In Remembrance: Howard E. Box ’49BD Died on April 15 2021

Rev. Howard Edward Box, 94, of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, died April 15, 2021. Box served as minister of Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church 1976 to 1991 and continued to be active in the church and the community.  

He was born to Harland and Helen Box of Belleville, New Jersey, and attended Drew University and seminary at Yale University. He has always been active in peace efforts, civil liberties, and efforts for religious freedom. In addition to Oak Ridge, he served Unitarian Universalist congregations in Girard, Pennsylvania; Newburgh, New York; Ottawa, Canada; and the Ethical Culture Society in Brooklyn, New York. 

World issues and ecumenical possibilities always occupied Mr. Box. He attended many conferences of the International Association for Religious Freedom which serves liberal expression of world faiths and also the International Humanist and Ethical Union involving groups on all continents. He was active in the Vietnam War protests, and went to the March on Washington when Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. He also wrote a Christmas song which is in the denomination’s hymnal. 

Mr. Box is survived by his wife of 68 years, Jean Newton Box. The couple met when they were graduate students working at a psychiatric hospital. He is also survived by daughter Ruth Westfall of Mohamet, Illinois; son Gordon Box and his partner, Betsy Williams, of Durham, North Carolina; and daughter Carol Box and her husband, Alessandro Nicita, of Geneva, Switzerland. He works for the United Nations there. Grandchildren are Robert Westfall, and Sofia and Matteo Nicita. 

A memorial service will be held at a later date, with interment in the ORUUC Memorial Garden. Donations honoring Mr. Box can be made to ORUUC, 809 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Oak Ridge, TN 37830, or to the charity of one’s choice. 

Arrangements are being handled by Jackson Funeral Services, Oliver Springs, Tennessee. 

—Submitted by the family.

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