Rev. Dr. William N. Penfield



LITCHFIELD, CONN. — The Rev. Dr. William N. Penfield died Friday, Oct. 28, 2011, at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, Torrington, Conn., at the age of 87. A son of Walter A. and Mary O. Penfield, he was born in Hackensack, N.J., raised in New Jersey and Massachusetts and is a World War II veteran.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts, Hobart College, 1949; Bachelor of Sacred Theology 1959; Master of Sacred Theology, 1975 and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity, 2002, all from General Theological Seminary, where he was a trustee for six years. After ordination, he served first as priest, educator and administrator at St. Bernard’s Lower School in Gladstone, N.J.; at Kent School, in Kent, Conn., where he was organist and choirmaster, and St. Stephen’s School in Rome, Italy. A faithful pastor, he has served parishes in Newark, N.J., Hartford, Conn., and Palm Beach, Fla. He formed the Episcopal Metropolitan Mission, a consortium of parishes to serve inner city programs in Hartford. He was a director of urban ministry and mission, chaplain to the clergy, and a member of the Board of Examining Chaplains in the Diocese of Connecticut. Finally, before retiring to Connecticut and Maine, he served for 11 years as executive director of the Society for the Increase of Ministry. A member of the Buck’s Harbor Yacht Club, he loved music, his house in Maine, sailing, tennis, his family and his friends. He was also a devout follower of Judge Judy.

He leaves his wife, Meredith; son, Nicholas; daughter, Sarah; brother, Walter; and numerous nieces and nephews, who referred to him as “Uncle Pie.” He was loved and will be missed by all who knew him.

A service will be held at noon Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 679 Farmington Ave., West Hartford, Conn. In place of flowers, gifts may be sent to The General Theological Seminary, 440 West 21st St., New York, NY 10011, attention of Donna Ashley or in honor of the Rev. Dr. William N. Penfield to the Society for the Increase of the Ministry (SIM), 924 Farmington Ave., Suite 100, West Hartford, CT 06107.


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