Richard Leonard Lancaster
91, died on October 30, 2013, a week after suffering a heart attack. He had lived independently until that point, having recently returned to Indianapolis from his 47th annual summer stay at the family cottage in Deer Isle, Maine.
Richard Lancaster was a minister at Meridian Street United Methodist Church from 1962 to 1988. During his fifty years as an Indiana minister, including several years at churches in Stidham, Plainfield, and Hammond, he preached more than 2,000 sermons. Although his quarter-century at Meridian Street was the core of his professional life, he treasured lasting relationships with members of prior congregations throughout his life.
Richard was born in Massachusetts and lived there, Iowa, and Ohio before serving in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific as a gunnery officer during World War II. His father was also a Methodist minister, but he did not make the decision to become one himself until after the war. At Yale Divinity School, he met Harriet Schroeder, his wife for fifty years until her death in 2000.
Few could have approached impending death with greater equanimity and acceptance. His repeated message during his final days was how lucky his life had been, from a happy childhood, to his marriage to Harriet, to his satisfaction with his family and friends. He strongly expressed his gratitude to members of the Meridian Street congregation for their kindness and support in trusting him to participate in their spiritual lives.
He is survived by his brother, Paul in Alexandria, Virginia; by three children - David in Seattle, Peter in Minneapolis, and Ann in Boston; by six grandchildren - Katherine in Senegal, Meg in Boston, Sarah in Chicago, Hannah in Austin, John in New York, and Claire in Minneapolis; and by one great-grandchild, Leila in Senegal.
Richard conducted hundreds of funerals. Though he recognized that his children and many friends would make a different decision, he emphatically and repeatedly expressed his desire not to involve his survivors in another one on his account. That request is being honored. His ashes will be buried next to Harriet's on Deer Isle.
Condolences or remembrances may be shared at http://www.flannerbuchanan.com. Memorial gifts may be made to Meridian Street United Methodist Church or Yale Divinity School. Arrangements entrusted to Flanner and Buchanan - Carme l.