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1924 Luther 2021

Luther Pierce

January 28, 1924 — December 15, 2021

The Rev. Luther Calvin Pierce (97) of Gainesville, Florida died December 15, 2021 at North Florida
Regional Hospital. He was the eldest son of Amasa D. Pierce and Edna (Richardson) Pierce. Born in
Plainfield, CT on his grandfather’s dairy farm on January 28, 1924, he moved at age six with his family to
nearby Brooklyn, CT where his father established a poultry hatchery business.
He graduated from Killingly High School in 1942 and studied at Bucknell University before being
drafted for military service in World War II. He served occupation duty in the Philippines before being
discharged as a first lieutenant. He married Frances Ethridge in Dothan, AL on October 26, 1946 before
returning home to join his father’s business. In early adulthood, he was busy in the Connecticut poultry
industry as well as his local Baptist church and denominational and ecumenical groups. In the late fifties,
he left the business world to pursue a ministerial career. A close friend offered him the position of
Christian Education Director at Flagler Street Baptist Church in Miami, FL. He accepted and was later
ordained by that church. His next call was to be the Executive Secretary of the Greater Miami Council of
Churches. In this position, he originated and hosted a popular religious dialogue program, “Man To
Man,” on public television. It formed the base for his intensive interfaith work in the Dade County area.
In 1968, Rev. Pierce was called to be pastor of Union Congregational Church, United Church of
Christ, in Hallandale, FL. He returned to CT in 1975 to become pastor of Monroe Congregational Church,
UCC, from which he retired in 1986. He and his wife settled in Cummington, MA, where he built their
retirement home, and where he stayed busy with his gardening and woodworking. Early in his
retirement, he served as part-time pastor in Worthington and Peru, MA, as well as doing some fund-
raising for the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico. He was active in mission and stewardship work in
both the CT and MA Conferences of the UCC. In the former, he chaired the Department of Mission and
Stewardship for several years.
An accomplished pilot in his earlier years, he earned an Airline Transport Rating while
accumulating over 4600 hours of pilot in command time.
An avid traveler before retirement, he visited over forty countries, often to visit missionaries
and the churches of the Third World.
Rev. Pierce is survived by three sons: Roger C. of Gainesville, James R. of Port St Lucie, FL and
Alan L. of Winter Haven, FL. His wife of 66 years, Frances, died in 2013. His second-born son, Larry
Amasa, predeceased him. Surviving siblings are the Rev. Milton A. Pierce of Deltona, FL and Rev. Richard
N. Pierce of Bloomfield, CT. A sister, Rev. Esther Brown, predeceased him. Rev. Pierce donated his body
to the University of Florida Medical School. His ashes will be interred in the family plot in Brooklyn, CT at
a later date. A memorial service will be held at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Gainesville; the date
of the service will be dependent on COVID conditions and we hope it will be in mid-January.

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