Dear friends,

You may know that a few days after Lee's memorial service, Arlene drove to Oregon to be with her Mother, who was in hospice care. Arlene wrote to tell me that her Mother died on Wednesday, almost exactly two months after Lee's death. She died very peacefully and beautifully, Arlene said, and Arlene was with her Mother when she died.

She and her sister are going through necessary closing details. A graveside service is being held today [Saturday, October 5], with the burial of both Arlene's Mother's and Father's ashes. She asked me to tell you.

Love, Dorothy [Wonder]

Namaste, dear friends of the Williamsons.

As we remember and celebrate Lee’s life, Arlene invites you to share stories and remembrances, which I will post. Just e-mail them to me, putting “Remembering Lee” or somesuch in the subject line, so I will know the nature of the message. Photos are welcome, as are audio and video clips (as long as they aren’t too lengthy.) Please understand that I will exercise (gentle) editorial discretion.

E-mail to:

[You may write or e-mail Arlene by clicking  here. She would love hearing from you!]

What’s New:

 Sherry Beville graciously allowed us to share Lee’s tribute to her husand, Frank ... “Lee on Frank”.

Thanks again to Carolyn Scarr for the beautiful poem she wrote and shared at the Celbration, “Dear Lee”.

Thanks to Carolyn Scarr for providing us with the Talbot Award announcement.

Esther Ho offers this issue of the Westminster Hills Presbyterian Church newsletter, Connections. The author of the piece on Lee is their pastor, Rev. John Wichman: Connections.

I stand (sit, actually) corrected! I had thought folks would have tired of the background rain & thunder. So I put up a Seals & Crofts song. Then Arlene responded, “... as to the rain sound on your site, it was what I loved...did you notice that it rained yesterday was a gift from Lee to me...he knew how much I loved the rain and thunder.... Couldn't believe it, it was a total surprise...but how marvelous!” The song, though, is still available. Read below.I do invite you to listen to Nine Houses,

And if you’re not totally offended by anything Thos. Kinkaid, here’s what I originally discovered the rain&thunder sound clip to go with: RAIN. (The sound clip will take a moment to load.)

Please read Dorothy Wonder's lovely tribute to Lee, “Lee Williamson, beloved friend —

Seals & Crofts’ Nine Houses is a magnificent hymn to universalism (“So there’s a lotta sense in livin’ When the world we know starts givin’ We can spread our wings some sunny day and fly away But ’til we all fly together, what sense does it make?”) Think of it as a meditation. Take some time to really listen to it. Seals & Crofts combine their Bahá'í lyrical mysticism (“Children in cocoons; many colored tunes seem to make their way into a day where sense is no longer needed.”) with classical guitar and mandolin technique, and adding sitar and tablas to create a true masterpiece. Click on : Nine Houses, and enjoy!

And if you missed the songs I sang at the Celebration, or would like to hear them again, I have set up a page for you, and have even included my setting of the passage from Micah which was the first reading, although mine was a slightly different version. And as long as I was at it, I even added my “Beatitudes”, complete with an “Alleluia”! It’s all there in Songs for Lee.

The Tri-City Voice ran this excellent article September 9. Read: “Reverend Lee Williamson”. At the bottom of the page of that article they reference a Pace e Bene blog entry by Ken Butian but, unfortunately, give and incorrect URL (they left out a ‘dash‘.) Here is the correct link: Ken remembering Lee. And, today (the 10th), this came out in the Oakland Trib’s Inside Bay Area, complete with photo (to the right – click on it to view enlarged & w/caption.) Read: “Hayward Pastor to be remembered”.

Brandi sends us three more great photos ... 3 of Lee

Arlene writes, “Daniel..this an article written for the most current Circuit Rider, our church newsletter, by our Pastor, Rev. John Chamberlain, a good friend of ours for many years. He has forwarded it to me with permission to have it added to the PastorLee Website...Thank you so much for putting it in, I think it will be a wonderful addition to what you already have on the site.”

Click on “Thinking About Lee”.

Googling for Rev. Chamberlain’s e-mail address, I chanced upon this Webpage with some thoughtful words:

Please note  corrected e-mail address for Arlene:

Brandi Stewart writes, “Hello, My name is Brandi, I am married to Arlene's nephew Ian. This is a picture of Ian and our daughter Kalena at Lee's retirement party. Feel free to put it up on the web site if you want. I have more pictures that I'll be uploading to the computer soon.” (Click on the photo to enlarge.)

John Auer adds this, from Lee’s retirement party, “Well Done, Long-Standing Servant

Paul Quinlan reflects :How often do we (and me!) forget the basic essentials of what Lee was talking about.  I once asked him what was his source for peace-making.  He replied with no hesitation: the Sermon on the Mount!  since I knew the O’D AND Lee you can imagine the challenge it puts before me.  And one thing both those remarkable men were full of was compassion, gentleness, and forgiveness,  well; it speaks for itself.  PQ

John Auer  writes: "This gem of Lee’s work and witness was delivered outside his usual venues and may not have been seen/heard by many.  He was born to pastor, priest, preach, and prophesy!"

John Auer, in his debt

To read the sermon John so graciously sent us, click on: “Harvesting Peace”

Donations, in lieu of flowers ...

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to any of the five following organizations:

    South Hayward Parish Food Program,
    c/o The Food Program
    27287 Patrick Patrick Avenue
    Hayward, CA 94544

    Stepping Stones Growth Center
    311 MacArthur Blvd
    San Leandro, CA 94577

    Lavender Seniors
    1395 Bancroft Ave
    San Leandro, CA 94577

    Ecumenical Peace Institute  (EPI)
    P O Box 9334
    Berkeley, CA 94709-0334

    Methodist Federation for Social Action  (MFSA)
    c/o Dean Coons
    3960 N Pardale Drive,
    Lafayette, CA 94549


            Too many prophets have taken the Stairway — Father Bill O’Donnell, Joan McIntyre, Frank Beville, Diane Thomas. And now, our brother, Lee. Great, huge holes open up in the Universe. I only hope they’re having a way cool party on the Other Side.

            And let the heavens weep just a bit ....

            Ciao, bro’.  —Daniel

    A memorial service for Lee Williamson  was held September 12 at First United Methodist Church (Second and B St), Hayward.

Dear UCH people and other friends,

         I write to you today with very, very sad news. Our dear brother in Christ, Rev. Lee Williamson, had been ill. The last time I spoke with him, (the 18th) the doctors had not deduced what was wrong. He had been loosing weight, had lost the taste of food, and had low energy. He asked that his health concerns be kept private, a request I honored — though his name was lifted up, silently, when we prayed together as a congregation. Today, God and his soul decided that this would be his last earth day. Lee’s body died at home early this morning, but his soul is still with God and now finding new ways of being in Holy Presence.

         The entire community has begun to grieve — how could we not? His beloved family is being well tended by his closest friends, clergymen here in town. A fitting memorial service will be planned, but not immediately. His wife wants time to prepare a service appropriate for this man who so deeply touched so many lives, such a blessing to this city and beyond. You may want to check with his home church, First United Methodist Church of Hayward, on B Street. I’m sure there will be news story and information in the Daily Review soon, too.

         UCH folks, because Lee has been such a good friend and pastor to this congregation, I'm inviting us to comfort each other after worship on Sunday [August 2nd]. We’ll go out to lunch so we'll have time to tell Lee stories and be with each other. I also invite you to mail your condolences to his wife, Arlene, and their adult children. Their address is:

      The Williamson Family
      29179 Delgado Avenue
      Hayward, California   94544

         I last saw Lee at the Hayward Farmer’s Market Saturday before last. Folks were drawn to his table, to stop and tell stories about our common life in Hayward. Ever the pastoral prophet, Lee was quick to challenge any idea that did not honor and uplift the vulnerable ones. Amid my tears today, and there are many of them, I hear him laughing and saying, “’re not done with me yet!” Our brother will always be with us, calling us to act from and in God’s Big Love. Blessings and honor upon the soul of Rev. Lee Williams. Comfort and care for all who are grieving, most especially his wife Arlene and all his loved ones. God bless.

         In the Big Love, Rev. Kathryn

      The Rev. Kathryn Schreiber
      United Church of Hayward, UCC
      The Little Church with a Really Big Heart

    Pastor Lee, ¡Presente!