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Kenneth S. Muldoon

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Kenneth S. Muldoon Obituary
Kenneth Scott Muldoon, an accomplished writer, lawyer, singer, social-justice warrior, and devoted family man who brought distinction and passion to everything he did, died on Nov. 29, 2018 surrounded by loved ones. A longtime Needham resident and Town Meeting member, he was 74. Known to most people as Scott, he was too humble to speak much about his many and varied accomplishments. As a choral singer, he performed at Carnegie Hall, Boston Symphony Hall, and Lincoln Center. As a journalist, he served as associate editor for the Harvard Business Review. As a champion for social and environmental justice, he was part of the team that helped free a man who had been wrong fully convicted of homicide, and he himself was once arrested protesting outside the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant. Born in Bronxville, NY, and raised in nearby Eastchester, Scott was blessed with loving, supportive parents, Ken and Hulda (Sellman). They instilled in Scott and his sisters a strong ethic of service to others, which significantly impacted their career choices and personal lives. He earned his Bachelors degree from Brown University in American Studies and his law degree from The George Washington University School of Law. A member of the New York bar, he worked for a Manhattan law firm as well as Vista, in the Minneapolis Legal Aid Society, and the Model Cities Program in Asheville, NC. In 1975 he married Freda (Bein) Muldoon, and two years later they had their beloved son, Christopher. He switched to journalism, becoming associate business editor of the Star-Ledger in Newark, NJ, before moving to Massachusetts to join the Harvard Business Review. Later, he became senior writer and editor for New England Mutual Life Insurance Company and edited a newsletter for Tufts University. In 1995, Scott married Barbara Ridge, in his words, the joy of his life. His family increased to include two stepdaughters, Beth and Emily, as well as their exchange daughter, Miwa. It kept growing to include six grandchildren, who all adored Scott | their Peepaw | as much as he adored them. Family was at the center of the life Scott built with Barbara, turning their home into celebration central for holiday and other family gatherings. They also loved being outdoors and travelled widely. Service was an integral part of Scotts life. He volunteered for Generic Ministry supporting the homeless and tutored high school students and adults in literacy programs. He reviewed the case of Angel Echavarra, who had been wrongfully convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Scott had the pleasure of being present in the court room the day Angel was granted his freedom. Scott was deeply committed to First Parish Needham. He was a member of the Parish Committee and the Music Committee, participated in small group ministry, helped write the covenant for the church. He was a member of Chorus Pro Musica for more than 20 years, serving on its board and as its president. He performed with the chorus at Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Boston Garden. He also performed with the Betty Singers, who bring comfort through music to the infirm and ailing. Scott leaves his wife, Barbara Ridge; son, Christopher and his fiance, Emily; stepdaughters Elizabeth (Beth) VanDelinder and her husband, Brian, and Emily Duggan Bonkowski; sisters Rosalie Anne Dahlen-Hartfield, Cary Hopwood and her husband Walter; sister-in-law Mary Piso and her husband, John; exchange daughter Miwa and her husband, Rob; grandchildren Ella, James, Gavin, Maeve , Amy and Lewis; first wife, Freda, and many beloved nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. A memorial service will be held at First Parish UU Needham on Jan. 12 at 11 a.m. Burial will be private. Scott would have appreciated any contributions in his memory be made to: Generic Ministry http://generic ministry.org/donate/, Chorus Pro Musica https://chorus promusica.org, The First Parish Music Endowment http://uuneedham.org/ giving/giving-first-parish/. For full obituary, directions or to share a memory of Scott, please visit www.eaton funeralhomes.com
Published in The Needham Times from Dec. 6 to Dec. 20, 2018
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