Reverend Levering Reynolds III, former pastor of the First Congregational Church in Wiscasset from 1969 to 1978, passed away peacefully on January 2, 2022 at the age of 81 at his home in St. Charles, Missouri.
Born in Peterborough, New Hampshire, Lev has lived in 11 states and has traveled to all but one. His love of the outdoors, including hiking and camping, began in his childhood as a 9-year-old Cub in Andover, Massachusetts. He has been a dedicated Boy Scout for over 70 years and has held various leadership positions with Boy Scouts and Sea Scouts. Lev has worked with Scouting at the local and national levels to support inclusion and outdoor experiences for all. He has attended several Boy Scout Jamborees to serve as a chaplain.
Lev received a BA in Philosophy from Stanford University in 1962, followed by an MA from Yale Divinity School in 1965 and an MA in Consulting and Development from Texas State University – San Marcos in 1991. Lev continued to learn, research, and teach throughout his life. Countless people have grown in their spirituality, outdoor and safety skills, and general knowledge because of Lev.
In 1965, Lev followed in his father’s footsteps in ordained ministry through the United Church of Christ. During his nearly 57 years of ordained ministry, Lev served many churches. He has served primarily in the role of interim minister, helping congregations navigate the process of identifying a permanent pastor. Lev has also served in leadership roles at the United Church of Christ Conference. Lev was a humble and gifted preacher and storyteller.
Lev married Gail McKeen in 1965. Together they raised three sons. After his death in 1997, Lev continued to support Reverend Gail’s commitment to Emmaus Homes, which provides support to adults with developmental disabilities. He most recently served as Chairman of the Board, with his term ending this fall. His commitment as a volunteer was also manifested in his more than 20 years as a volunteer with the Red Cross. Lev has worked as a local volunteer, was an instructor trainer, and has been deployed to help coordinate the agency’s disaster response on several occasions, including after Hurricane Katrina. Friends of the Red Cross said he trained too many volunteers to count. Her work with Emmaus and the Red Cross illustrates her compassion and commitment to serving others.
Blessed in 1998 in marriage to Linda Persov Bartels, Lev’s family has grown to include two “bonus daughters.”
With an âempty nestâ in sight, Lev encouraged Linda to discern her call to ministry, and she received her master’s degree in divinity from Eden Seminary in 2002 and was ordained that same year. Their years together have been filled with opportunities to minister together (but separately, with different congregations) in Missouri, Minnesota, and southern Illinois. They fed their blended family and continued to spend time with their children and grandchildren across the country, always grateful for the âexcuseâ of traveling.
Family and faith were at the center of Lev. A keen genealogist, researching and recording family trees of family members bound by birth or bound by life circumstances was the demonstration of his enduring love for all of us. Lev’s participation in weddings, baptisms, and life celebrations for his children and grandchildren will be cherished forever, as will his dry sense of humor and unconditional love.
Lev is survived by his wife Linda, their five children Levering Andrew and his wife Tami of Columbia, Missouri; Peter John and his wife Marisol of San Pedro, California; Timothy Earle and his wife Allison from Albuquerque, New Mexico; Kimberly Bartels Fine of Saint-Charles; and Angela and her husband Bryan Curtis of St. Charles; her thirteen grandchildren Andrea and her husband Joe Waner; Bailey and her husband Charles Larkins; Leverage Zachariah, Grace, Ruben, Elsa, Marie, Jacob, Theodore, Desmond, Nathaniel, Eleanor and Anna; and her two great-grandchildren Henry and Luna.
He was predeceased by his parents, the Reverend Dr. Levering Reynolds, Jr. and May Louise Mosher Reynolds, and his wife Gail.
A celebration of Lev’s life is planned for Memorial Day weekend. Donations in his memory can be made to the EmmaÃ¼s Houses, https://emmaushomes.org/