Pastor Dick Taber, 1941-2021

The Rev. Richard H. Taber, Pastor of Salisbury UCC from 1981-2009 and afterwards Pastor Emeritus, beloved husband, father, grandfather, friend, and community leader, died on Monday, 24 May 2021.

Pastor Dick’s family, friends, and church will gather to thank God for his life on Saturday, 29 May at 4pm. We know that there will be many more stories to tell and tributes to share than time will allow — so please add your memories and appreciations in the comments below.

The memorial service will be live-streamed; you may watch on the church’s YouTube channel:

May God bless you and watch over you; 
may God’s radiance shine upon you and be gracious to you; 
may God look upon you with favor and grant you peace, now and evermore. 

33 thoughts on “Pastor Dick Taber, 1941-2021

  1. Roberta Willis says:

    Dick meant so much to this town. He was not just the spiritual leader of the Salis Congo, he was a community leader. We really don’t have anyone like him any longer.

    1. joanne says:

      Thank you Roberta and thanks for coming today. You also mean so much to this town; you have given and given. I love to see that now you are traveling and spending time with your wonderful family.

  2. Gordy Johnson says:

    Dick Taber will be sorely missed as pastor of our church for all these years and for his contributions to this town and region in his many loving moments for all of us. He is a cherished member of the citizenry of northwest Connecticut

  3. Dorothy Ray says:

    Dick was a wonderful giving man with a heart as big as the world. He will be sorely missed. My prayers and my thoughts or with his family. I will greatly miss him.

  4. Dottie Wilson says:

    The wonderful smiles on Dick’s and Joanne’s faces tell mountains about the fantastic people they were!!! And always will be in my memory book…..I was secretary of the Wilton Congregational church when Dick came with his family to be our Assistant Minister. It was love at first sight to have their caring, warm, gentle ways.

    When my husband and I retired in 1980 and were uncertain about where we should move, Dick asked if we had ever thought of Mystic. And that brought us to Mystic where we continued our friendship which has been so special all these years. I have given thanks every day since for each and every one….Joanne, I love you and have you all in my heart and prayers.

    1. Joanne says:

      Thank you Dottie. If you did not get to the livestreaming, let me know. If you did, weren’t the kids absolutely wonderful.

  5. Rindy Higgins says:

    Dick was an incredible asset to not only the Church but to our community. His love and caring touched so many people and families not just within the Congo community but to all those who he provided love and guidance. He was truly cherished by all who new him. We all will miss him greatly.

  6. Erick Olsen says:

    I was privileged to know Dick as a colleague, mentor, and friend. It was a true delight and honor when he and Joanne were, albeit briefly, members at Norfolk. Dick welcomed me upon arrival to this area, and he inspired me to the end of his life with his compassion and deep faith, particularly his focus on justice and care for the least. I will miss him dearly. On behalf of the Norfolk UCC, I send condolences and much love to Joanne, Joslin, and Desean, as well as the Salisbury UCC family.

  7. Jane Kellner & Charlie Kelley says:

    Always a cheerful countenance, a warm, embracing smile of joyousness, the pleasure to share a moment or interlude, that was who we knew. Looking back from the memorial service just now—framed by a phrase in his daughter’s remembrances—it’s plain to see we all joined him “singing into the wind.” ~ Jane&Charlie

  8. Salisbury UCC says:

    (Comment from live stream) Todd Townsend: Wishing we could be there in person, but grateful that the service is live-streaming. Sending love from the mountains.

  9. Salisbury UCC says:

    (Comment from live stream)

    Carly Goldberg: Sending love to entire Taber family. Grateful to be with you virtually and in spirit.

  10. Salisbury UCC says:

    (Comment from live stream)

    Malcolm Brown:
    Very sorry that we are not there in person, but very glad to be able to watch the proceedings in YouTube! MMB

  11. Salisbury UCC says:

    (Comment from live stream)

    Vivian Moy: In our thoughts and prayers Taber family….hugs and healing to all!

  12. Salisbury UCC says:

    (Comment from live stream)

    Erick Olsen: Sending much love from Norfolk. Dick was a beloved colleague, mentor, and friend. He will be missed very much.

  13. Salisbury UCC says:

    (Comment from live stream)

    Kathy Rockwood: I am thankful that I could participate virtually in this beautiful service for Dick. I am sending my love and condolences to the whole family.

  14. Salisbury UCC says:

    (Comment from live stream)

    Karen Averill: We are with you in spirit, so sorry we can’t be with the Taber family at this time in person, so thankful we can watch this. We send our heartfelt love and condolences.

  15. Salisbury UCC says:

    (Comment from live stream)

    Laurie Slotnick: thank you for the livestream. Sending love to Joanne, Joslin, Desean, and the rest of the Tabers. We will always think of Dick with love, gratitude, and awe.

  16. Salisbury UCC says:

    (Comment from live stream)

    Peter Stuart: Friends from Mystic Peter and Karin Stuart

  17. Salisbury UCC says:

    (Comment from live stream)

    Jane M. Elwood: Such a devoted and supportive pastor to his flock. Love to the Taber family!

  18. Salisbury UCC says:

    (Comment from live stream)

    Betsy Beck: It is wonderful to see the faces and the names of so many people who share our love, admiration, and affection for Dick Taber and his family. We are grateful to have been a part of his life.

  19. Salisbury UCC says:

    (Comment from live stream)

    Diane Monti-Catania: A beautiful service and tribute to God’s good and faithful servant. Prayers for the Taber family and all those who loved Dick.

  20. Salisbury UCC says:

    (Comment from live stream)

    Thomas Townsend: Virtually here, spiritually there, wonderfully sad

    1. Beautifully put, Thomas Townsend.

      I appreciated Dick immensely. When I arrived as a new citizen and a minister, in March 2003, Dick was instrumental in giving me ground to stand on. Acquainting me with Salisbury. Being present as a new friend and colleague. I really, really liked him.

  21. Kylie Fleming says:

    Kylie Fleming nee Goodwill
    Writing from Australia where I watched the service for Dad with my mum Carol and sister Tamara. Sounds confusing but I had the amazing God given privilege to live with the Tabers for a year in 86/87. They quickly became my second family and I have always had my other Mom and Dad as part of who I am from then on. To my brothers and sisters from another mother/father I miss you and was so very sorry I couldn’t be there. You did a great job of celebrating Dad’s life together and I loved the dragonfly story. Big hugs Mom and to you all. Take care of yourself too at this time. Love you so very much. From your Aussie sister and daughter. Xxxxxxxx

  22. Leanne M Larson says:

    A wonderful man. He will be missed.

  23. The Maxwell Family says:

    Unfortunately we couldn’t make the service yesterday. However, that doesn’t diminish the esteem and love we hold for Dick Taber. When we moved to the area and searched for a church for us and our very young boys, Dick welcomed us into the church and made it into a home. He also baptized our two boys. Our hearts will always have Dick Taber in them and the life-changes he brought into our lives.
    Robert Maxwell

  24. Sarah Zarbock says:

    What a remarkably wonderful, kind man. The service was a beautiful tribute and honor for Dick and his family, much beloved by his flock and his town. He was the minister for our marriage ceremony and I cherish the picture of him smiling at us as we walked down the aisle. We are blessed to have had him in our lives; our world was a better place with him in it. My love to Joanne and the Taber clan. Thank you for sharing this man with us.

  25. Charlie Parker says:

    I just received word of Dick’s passing with sadness and also a very large smile. Dick was a good man…That is obvious to all who ever met him…And in all the stories retold and relived about Him…But Dick’s true goodness is in the hearts of those he touched quietly when he instinctively knew how to reach out and touch them when they were in pain or felt hurt…We those recipients of his quiet love could and can only thank him by trying to emulate this wonderful man…Thank You to the Tabor Family for sharing Dick with us..

  26. Maria Horn says:

    I feel so blessed to have known Dick, whose name you can find among the founders of so many community organizations in Salisbury and beyond. There wasn’t a need that he didn’t step in to fill, nor person who crossed his path who didn’t feel the delight he took in his fellow humans. Thanks for sharing him with us.

  27. Kerry Noble says:

    We at church and in our community were all blessed to have Dick leading us, counseling us, finding new ways to create support. And he never missed a moment to be a wonderful father, son, husband and grandfather, with his immense patience, care, and constancy. Thank you to Dick’s family for sharing him.

  28. Salisbury UCC says:

    From Fr. Joe Kurnath:

    Dick was a one-in-a-million person who was a delightful mixture of warmth, love, humor, listening ability, giftedness in homiletics, sage(s) of wisdom(s), and an ability to truly welcome any and everyone. His idea of what religion could be was a blessing to us who worked with him in our many communities of faith in this community and beyond. My sympathy to all.

    (Fr.) Joe Kurnath

  29. Joanne Taber says:

    Thank you everyone for your kind and supportive words. Dick’s spirit will continue to work in this community as we love and support each other. He was as you all say a special person; a special husband, father, grandfather, uncle, friend and pastor.

  30. The Good Family says:

    Dick Taber was a gem and will be sorely missed in our community.
    Warm, kind, gentle, an attentive listener, and a passionate preacher.
    He was one of the main reasons we became members of the church and involved.
    All my children were saddened to hear he passed, but smiled when they remembered a memory with him from the past. They were all under this gentle leader & shepherd at one time or another. Love and prayers of healing to all that knew him.
    God Bless.

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