In memoriam: William K. Laurie (1924-2008)

May 8, 2008

William K. Laurie, former vice president of administration for Pacific School of Religion, died April 17, 2008 in Chico, CA. Born in Altoona, PA on June 2, 1924, he grew up in Jeannette, PA. He enlisted in the Navy in 1943 and flew B-26 bombers until the end of the war. Bill married Abigail Jean Benson of Jeannette on December 20, 1946.

He graduated in 1948 from the University of Pittsburgh and entered Eden Seminary in Webster Groves, Missouri. He was ordained in June 1951 and served for nearly six decades as a minister in the United Church of Christ in Ohio and Missouri. Bill headed the UCC’s Ohio Conference, the denomination’s largest. In 1983, he came to the Bay Area to serve as PSR’s vice president, retiring in 1989.

In his retirement, Bill served several churches as interim pastor, served on the board of the Greater Richmond Interfaith Project, and was active in his local parish in Kensington, CA. In 2005, Bill and Abbie moved to Chico to be near family. “I’ve known Bill Laurie for more than 30 years,” said PSR President Bill McKinney. “He’s been a loyal and trusted advisor to me, and Bill and Abbie have been loyal and steady friends to PSR.

Bill Laurie is survived by his wife of 61 years, their five children, nine grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Memorial services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, June 7, 2008 at Arlington Community Church, 52 Arlington Ave. in Kensington, CA.