Time For Mourning

By Chris Edkins, President of the Board of Trustees


What a time of loss it has been for Westside members over the last few weeks. The loss of Bill Calhoun and Mary Donovan in such a short space of time.


Bill was in the pulpit the first time I ever came to Westside on January 1st 2004, giving his traditional Janus service to mark the new year. Bill was also on the lay ministry team when I was president of the board of trustee the first time. After I resigned from the board following some conflict, it was Bill who contacted me and provided someone I could talk to about the experience, and keep me engaged with Westside. He also gifted me a copy of his remarkable book, “From Warrior to Sage”. He was a true elder of Westside and his influence on myself and our institution will be an enduring legacy.


Mary Donovan was on the Worship Committee at Westside when I first joined and took over as chair. She had a love of great music and was committed to providing a meaningful Sunday morning experience to all our members, friends and visitors. When I was living with Sue Draper in my early recovery from alcoholism, Mary and Merry invited us to dinner and provided the most wonderful meat loaf. Sue purchased a Christmas Cactus to take with us as a gift. Unfortunately, it had been forced so hard, to make it flower, that it was in a sorry state. I ended up keeping it, since Mary and Merry were traveling a lot doing those years and could not really look after a plant. It is still on my desk here at home today, to remind me fondly of Mary.


Both Mary and Bill were much loved and will be sorely missed. May they rest in peace and may their legacy endure.


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Westside Unitarian Universalist Church

616 Fretz Road

Knoxville, TN 37934

(865) 777-9882

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