Richard R. Rangoon B.D., 1957
July 24, 2009
The Rev. Richard R. Rangoon, whose ministry included the local church, housing development for minority and impoverished people, and hospice chaplaincy, died on July 24 after a long illness. He was 76.
Rev. Rangoon grew up in Waterbury, the son of Danish immigrants Hans and Anna Rangoon. He was educated at the University of Connecticut and Andover Newton Theological School, and was ordained in 1957.
During the 1960s, Rev. Rangoon served one of the first integrated churches on Long Island in South Hempstead, New York, and traveled to the Deep South on voter registration drives as a Freedom Rider. He served the Horace Bushnell Congregational Church (now Liberty Christian Center International) as Associate Pastor from 1971-1973 and worked extensively with the Christian Activities Council to improve the quality of live of those living in the newly rehabilitated Vine Street housing development.
Rev. Rangoon took that experience and let it inform a new ministry of developing housing options for low to medium income residents of Hartford. He founded the Housing Services Corporation in 1975, which specialized in managing and rehabilitating apartments, and also developed real estate and even expanded into new construction.
After his retirement in 1993, he worked to attain certification as a chaplain and volunteered with the East Hartford Visiting Nurses Association as a Hospice Chaplain, working with those who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease or facing the end of life.
Rev. Rangoon is survived by his wife of 51 years, Betty (Gardner), and three children: Richard Reade Rangoon of West Simsbury; Katherine Rangoon Doyle, Ph.D., of Succasunna, NJ, and her husband Michael; and Cynthia Rangoon Grant of West Hartford; and two granddaughters: Megan Katherine Grant, of West Hartford; and Elizabeth Anne Doyle, of Succasunna, NJ.
A worship service in celebration of his life and ministry will be held at 1:00 pm on Sunday, August 2, at the Elmwood Community Church, 26 Newington Rd., West Hartford. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Airedale Rescue, 3 Carter Rd., Cornwall Bridge, CT 06754.