Rev. Donald A. Fonda Jr.

FONDA, Rev. Donald A., Jr. 70, exuberant & compassionate American Baptist minister. His smile was as wide as his open arms, radiating his love of life. Whether it was family, friends, parishioners or strangers, Donald A. Fonda (Jr.) enjoyed the people in his life. After encountering Don's lively interest in a person's story, one remembered his joy and compassion. Don Fonda's exuberance flowed into the varied interests he shared with his wife, Jeanne Dancey Fonda: going to concerts and the theatre, traveling, gardening, doing family research and being a grandparent. It was while staying in Venice, Italy, beginning a vacation which would include family, that Don died in his sleep on October 11, 2008. Donald Fonda was born on 17 August 1938 in Washington, DC. He was the only child of Dr. Donald Albert Fonda, Sr. & Mary Gladys Speaker. He graduated from Ridgewood High School in Ridgewood, N.J., from Alderson-Broaddus College, Philippi, W.Va. (BA 1962), and from Colgate Rochester Divinity School in Rochester, NY (B.D./M.Div, 1966). In 1966 Don was ordained an American Baptist minister in the Gaines-Carlton larger Parish, Albion, N.Y. Don was passionate in his ministry; ecumenical and interfaith activities were especially important to him. He served churches in four states which were: Warrenville Baptist Church, Ashford, CT; First Baptist Church of Youngstown, OH; First Baptist Church of Northampton, MA; the Federated Church of Bolton, MA (Baptist, Unitarian, and Quaker roots); First Baptist Church of Beverly, MA; and Church of the Master in Providence, RI. During his 35 years in ministry, Don took an active leadership role in The American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts (TABCOM). With them he served twice as interim area minister and in his retirement he continued with TABCOM, working with two Baptist, Portuguese-speaking seminaries. In 2006 he became WatchCare Coordinator, preparing Baptists for ordination. Don and Jeanne moved to Haverhill in 2001 to retire & enjoy their two married adult children and four grandchildren: their daughter, Debbie, husband Ed Kruzel, and granddaughters Niki and Kesli in Pelham, New Hampshire; and their son, Douw, wife, Sanne De Graaf, and grandchildren Aiske and Minne in the Netherlands. A memorial service will be held for the Rev. Donald Fonda at the First Baptist Church of Beverly, MA on Wednesday, October 22, 2008 at 2 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations made be made to the "Don Fonda Fund" established for immigrant clergy support by The Conference of Baptist Ministers at 15 Spring Valley Road, Worcester, MA 01609.