Paul W. Zeckhausen, Jr. D.Min., 1977
February 25, 2009
The Rev. Dr. Paul W. Zeckhausen, Jr., Associate Minister for Pastoral Care at the First Church of Christ in Suffield, died unexpectedly on Wednesday, February 25, 2009. He was 77.
Dr. Zeckhausen had a long and distinguished career in the ministry, serving for thirty years as senior minister of t Wilbraham United Church in Wilbraham, MA, and eighteen years as the August minister at Union Chapel in Hyannisport, MA. Following his retirement, he served several congregations as interim pastor, and was planning to conclude his service in Suffield in April.
Members of the Suffield church describe Dr. Zeckhausen as “a gentle, warm and caring pastor.” He was affectionately known there as “Dr. Z.”
Among the highlights of Dr. Zeckhausen’s career, he named:
- Directing the first religious drama, "Billy Budd," at Union Theological Seminary;
- Organizing Civil Rights Meetings in New Haven;
- Establishing the Wilbraham Counseling Center for Families; and
- Having a book of his sermons published: When Things Don’t Go Your Way.
Born in New York City, NY, in 1932, he was educated at Williams College (BA), Union Theological Seminary (M.Div.), Yale Divinity School (STM), and Andover Newton Theological School (D.Min.). In addition to First Church in Suffield, Dr. Zeckhausen served the First United Church of Christ Congregational in Milford and the Northford Congregational Church in Connecticut, early in his career.
Dr. Zeckhausen greatly enjoyed golf, achieving five holes-in-one in his lifetime. He played varsity football at Manhasset High School and hit over .400 on the Williams College varsity baseball team. He played semi-professional baseball in the Cape Cod League. He was also an accomplished trumpet player, bringing that talent to worship services many times over the years.
Dr. Zeckhausen leaves his beloved wife of 50 years, Suzanne (Ross) Zeckhausen; and two children, Paul Wesly Zeckhausen, III, of Springfield, MA, and Tracey Evelyn Zeckhausen of Coventry, RI; and three grandchildren, Benjamin, Alison, and Amanda Poole; and a brother, the Rev. Dr. William Zeckhausen, Sr., of Laconia, NH.
A service of celebration of his life and ministry was held on March 28 at Wilbraham United Church, Wilbraham, MA. Memorial contributions may be sent to Wilbraham United Church, 500 Main St., Wilbraham, MA, or to the First Church of Christ, 81 High St., Suffield, CT. 06078.