The Rev. Richard J. Nordgren Sr.

STANDISH — The Rev. Richard J. Nordgren Sr., 84, of Standish, died on Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010, at Maine Medical Center in Portland.

He was born in Hartford, Conn., on July 18, 1926, the son of the late Alfred and Blanche (Carey) Nordgren.

He enlisted into the U.S. Navy during World War II where he served as an electrician and gyro technician on the U.S.S. Quincy, which took President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the Yalta Conference in Crimea for the war’s second “Big Three” meeting with Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Communist Party General Secretary Joseph Stalin.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut, then furthered his education at the Hartford Theological Seminary receiving a Masters of Divinity. As a United Church of Christ pastor, he served many churches including the Riverton Congregational Church in Riverton, Conn., West Hartland Community Church in West Hartland, Conn., and the Kent Congregational Church in Kent, Conn.

While at the Kent Congregational Church, he marched with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the third and final march from Selma, Ala., to Montgomery, Ala. He also served at the Woodfords Congregational Church in Portland, Trumbull Congregational Church, Trumbull, Conn., and retired from the First Congregational Church in South Portland.

He enjoyed camping and traveling the United States with his family. He shared 55 years of marriage with his beloved wife, Janet Doris (Butcher) Nordgren who died in 2000.

Family members include his children, Kathryn Brown of Standish, Cynthia Irving of Naples and Mark Nordgren of Standish; eight grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; two brothers, Alfred Nordgren and Carey Nordgren; a sister, Florence Leishman; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was predeceased by two children, Richard Nordgren Jr. and Laura Nordgren.

A celebration of life was held at the Standish Congregational Church on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2011, with the Rev. Dr. Rick Hughes, officiating. Spring burial will be held in the Dow’s Corner Cemetery, Standish.

Arrangements by Dolby Funeral Chapels, Windham. For online condolences, please visit the website at

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: The American Cancer Society New England Division, One Main Street, Suite 130, Topsham, ME 04086.

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