Memorial Sunday May 24, 2020
Traditionally, we do not have a service on Memorial Weekend. That has been a time reserved for family, cemetery visits, parades and just time off for all our volunteer workers.
Today, I wish to honor 5 men who have been important to the Portland Spiritualist Church over the years before their passage to spirit. Three were members and two were devoted attendees but all were loved.
1.) David O. Jenkins who spent 22 years in the service playing in every military branch band at one time or another on his trumpet. He even played for President Roosevelt. Dave was a trustee in our church who located the 2 locations in which we would meet for the longest periods of time. The first was the Lyric Theater in South Portland from 1975 to 1988. The 2nd location was the former Universalist-Unitarian church in Westbrook from 1992 to 2009. Dave always had a story to share related to any reading a medium gave to him. He passed to spirit 12-22-2001 at age 82.
2.) Thomas B. Haldane, LM served in the U.S. Army in WWII. Tom was treasurer, then President and then Pastor of our church. When the church opened back up in 1989 after a 6 months hiatus to meet at the Swedenborgian Church in Portland, he performed our marriage there. He also very quietly served as President of the Maine State Association of Churches. Tom passed away 4/24/2002 at age 84.
3.) Carl Edward McCrillis, Sr. served in the US Navy for 21 years and then joined the Naval Reserves. He and his wife were regular attendees and supporters of the Portland Spiritualist Church. He absolutely loved the hymn “Let the Lower Lights Be Burning”.Carl passed away 7-22-2005 at age 81.
4.) Arnold “Bud” Howe served in the US Army which included the invasion of Normandy. Bud operated an early computer that tracked enemy aircraft. He later assisted in the liberation of concentration camp in Dachau. Bud was active, along with Eva Giro, as part of the Newsletter staff until he was about 92. He passed to spirit 5-11-2019 at age 96.
5.) Dr. Richard Neal Coffin served in the Army in Germany. He was sure you understood that he was drafted. Later his studies were in English and Literature serving as a professor at the University of Southern Maine and Orono. After the war he was called upon by the army to use his skills to write a Laotian Phrase book for Army officers. It was so successful they had him do another for the Vietnamese Language. Dick was another one who had a great story for any reading he received from a medium. He really enjoyed the Friday classes. Dick passed to spirit 11-4-2019 at age 90.
Mike and I have been very grateful to have had the pleasure of knowing and serving with these 5 men. We have been blessed by having known them.
Mike and Beth Carter