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Ronald F. Thiemann

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Ronald F. Thiemann died on Thursday, November 29, 2012, at the age of 66. A resident of Concord, Massachusetts, Ron is survived by his beloved wife, Beth; his two daughters, Sarah Thiemann Connolly and Laura Thiemann Scales; sons-in-law William J. Connolly and Daniel Scales; and grandchildren Kate, William, Anna, and Nathan. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, he was the brother of Robert Thiemann and his wife Sharon and Beverly Gunderman and her husband Gary Sims. He was brother-in-law of Lee Barkow and his wife Colleen. Ron was Bussey Professor of Theology at Harvard Divinity School. A scholar, theologian, and teacher, he was a leading voice in discussions about contemporary theology and the role of religion in American public life. He was Dean and John Lord OBrian Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School from 1986 to 1999. Before coming to Harvard Divinity School, he served for ten years on the faculty of Haverford College. At Harvard Divinity School, he helped found the Center for the Study of Values in Public life, a teaching and research center founded to xamine the values that shape public policies and debates. He directed the Business across Religious Traditions initiative, an executive education program for business leaders. He recently co-founded the Foundation for Religious Literacy, and he addressed the first meeting of that group in New York City, on October 4, 2012, his sixty-sixth birthday. An ordained Lutheran minister, Ron was active in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In 2010 he was appointed the North American representative to the Lutheran Roman Catholic International Commission on Christian Unity by the Lutheran World Federation and the Vatican. Ron loved to travel and visited many different countries with his family. He lectured in such places as Germany, Greece, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Turkey, and Iran. He was a lover of all sports, from Wiffle Ball to college basketball. A St. Louis Cardinals fan from childhood, he came to adopt the Red Sox as his home team and spent many a summer afternoon at Fenway Park. He took great pride in his family, and most recently enjoyed spending time with his four young grandchildren. Funeral services were held at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, Woburn, on Wednesday, December 5th. Interment followed in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord. A memorial service will be held at Harvard University early in 2013. In lieu of flowers , contributions in his memory may be made to Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, 60 Forest Park Rd, Woburn, MA 01801 ( or to Dana Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284-9168 ( Arrangements were under the care of Charles W. Dee and Susan M. Dee, DEE FUNERAL HOME OF CONCORD. To share a remembrance of Professor Thiemann in his guestbook please visit

Published in The Concord Journal from Dec. 4 to Dec. 11, 2012
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Dee Funeral Home & Cremation Service
27-33 Bedford Street Concord, MA 01742
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