The Rev. Earle R. Ramsdell died at home in Baton Rouge on April 23, 2016. Earle was born May 27, 1921 in Somerville MA, to Lloyd and Anna McDonald Ramsdell. He graduated from Boston English High School in 1939 and from Boston University with a BS in Education in 1944. He obtained a Master of Divinity at Andover Newton Theological School, Newton MA, in 1946 and a second masters degree in counseling in 1972 from the University of North Texas. He served two American Baptist pastorates, one in Allston MA from 1946 to 1949 and another in Pawtucket RI from 1949 to 1953. He then served as the Associate Director of the Rhode Island State Council of Churches from 1953 to 1959, where, as the Director of Radio and Television, he produced and participated in religious programming. In 1959 he became the Executive Director of the Greater Flint (Michigan) Council of Churches, where he had an active role in the unfolding events of the civil rights movement in the 1960's. He served as co-chair of the successful effort to pass an open housing ordinance, with Flint becoming the first city in the nation to enact such an ordinance by public vote. He was also instrumental in the creation of that city's Human Relations Commission. In 1973 he joined the staff of the Pastoral Counseling Center in Dallas TX, retiring in 1995 after twenty years as Director of Education and Training. He held approved supervisory status with AAMFT and was a diplomate in AAPC and a certified sex therapist with AASECT. In retirement he served as the Volunteer Director of Pastoral Care at the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge, having moved to Louisiana in 1995 with his wife Penny as she joined the faculty of the LSU School of Social Work. He is survived by his wife Penny Smith Ramsdell; two daughters, Cheryl Ramsdell-Speich and her husband Colibri, Lyons CO, and Lynne Jones, Orlando FL; two grandsons, Christopher Johnson, Grand Prairie TX, and Sean Jones, Denver CO; two great-grandsons, Alexander and Andrew Johnson; sister Olive Helen Sweeney and niece Margaret Lucey and her husband Fred, Newburyport MA; brother Alan Ramsdell and his wife Mary Jo, Mesa AZ; nieces Nova Nichols, Baton Rouge LA, and Shana Corbiere and her husband Zac, Round Rock TX; three great-nephews, Zane, Errett, and Wyatt Corbiere; and great-niece, Brie Matter, San Rafael CA. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of the Rev. Earle Ramsdell may be made to the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge, 8470 Goodwood Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70806. People can visit rabenhorst.com for on-line condolences.
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Published in TheAdvocate.com from Apr. 23 to Apr. 24, 2016