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In Memoriam: The Rev. William Lynn Inderstrodt

TOPSHAM, MAINE (05/24/2011) -- The Rev. William Lynn Inderstrodt, former member of the Connecticut Conference staff and former pastor at the First Congregational Church UCC of Washington and the First Congregational Church UCC of Danbury, died on Tuesday, May 17, 2011, in Topsham, Maine. He was 83.

"Bill was a person of wonderful humor, a great mentor to me personally," said the Rev. David Peters, who served with Rev. Inderstrodt in Danbury. "He loved the Church in all its manifestations: local church, national, and state conference."

"He knew how to do worship well," remembered Peters. "'Make every Sunday special,' he used to tell me, and I've never forgotten that."

Bill, as he was known to so many, was born on July 14, 1927, in Richmond, Indiana, to Sheridan and Inez Inderstrodt, with two other brothers, David and Richard. He grew up in the Quaker tradition, attending the Friends Meetings in Richmond, and was a boy soprano in the Quaker services. He was active in sports while growing up, attending Richmond public schools and then Earlham College, graduating in 1943.

Bill expanded his education in the fall of 1949 when he attended the Hartford Seminary Foundation in Hartford. That was the same year he met his future wife, Jane Sattler of Washington, D.C., who was also attending Hartford as a graduate student. On February 6, 1954, Bill and Jane were married in the Methodist church she grew up in, with her minister and Bill's co-officiating, in a Quaker service the couple had written. It was the beginning of a splendid marriage and partnership which would last more than 57 years.

After his graduation in 1952, he became associate minister at the Westmoreland Congregational church in Washington, D.C. Four years later, Bill and Jane moved to Washington, Connecticut, where he was the minister for the First Congregational Church. He served there for 16 years and in Danbury for eight years. He also served as the Minister to Business and Government of the Connecticut Conference UCC, where he built housing for moderate-income seniors and managed 100 units in coastal Fairfield. He was very active in the Connecticut Memorial Society, which advocated for increased consumer protections in the funeral industry.

The many hats he wore included interim Deputy Director of the Office of Communications for the United Church of Christ in New York City. He even served for a summer as pastor of the Church of Scotland in Bermuda. His last installed parish before retirement in 1993 was with First Parish Congregational Church UCC of York, Maine.

In the years following, Bill became the interim minister at numerous churches, including Elijah Kellogg Congregational Church in Harpswell, Maine, and Pride's Corner Congregational Church UCC in Westbrook, Maine. He also gave countless hours as a board member for Volunteers of America, the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Maine, and the Ethics Committee of the Office of Guardianship for Adult Services with Maine Department of Human Services. There is a named scholarship at Hartford Seminary honoring Bill and Jane.

In 2001, Bill and Jane moved to The Highlands in Topsham, as both continued their very busy lives of giving back to the greater community.

A jovial, fun person to be around, you could always find Bill by following the laughter. He also used humor to get his point across, sometimes taking a stand when it wasn't always the most popular one, but the one he felt was right. His humor, his laugh, his honesty will all be sorely missed, but remembered with great warmth.

Bill leaves behind his wife, Jane; a nephew, many nieces; countless friends, but few untold jokes.

A memorial service is planned for Wednesday, June 1, at 11:00 am, at First Parish Congregational Church UCC in Brunswick, Maine.

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The Connecticut Conference United Church of Christ
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