The Reverend Richard Shackell
Extracted from the July 30, 2008 obituary for our first rector, Rev. Richard Shackell, in the Contra Costa Times
The Reverend Richard Shakell died on July 17 of natural causes at Samarkand Retirement Community, Santa Barbara. He was 81 and had been in poor health, suffering from dementia for several years.
Shackell was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on May 30, 1927. He earned a B.A. from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and later of Master of Divinity from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. He was ordained a priest in 1953.
He married Joan Brees in 1949 with whom he had two daughters, Mary and Sarah. I 1960 he married Jeannette Fayram and became father to her three children, David, Margaret and Rick.
Shackell's early ministry was centered in the San Francisco Bay Area where he was rector of Holy Trinity Church, Willows; then rector of St. Francis of Assisi Church, Novato. He was founding vicar and later rector of Church of the Resurrection, Pleasant Hill (1959-1976). From 1976-84 he served as rector of Grace Church, Glendora.
During his ministry, Shackell promoted adult education, stewardship, and ministry of laity. He established three mission churches. After he retired, he worked on a low cost senior housing project. In addition, he helped organize a trip to Uganda to take medical supplies and provide training in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
In 1965 Shackell was among the California clergy who answered the call of Dr. Martin Luther King to join in the civil rights march from Selma to Birmingham. He led the Diocese of Calfornia contingent, and he was a marshall on the march. According to his wife, he counted his participation as one of the highlights of his life.
As ardent Anglophiles, the Shackells made 20 trips to England, ans Shackell became a Fellow of the Royal Society of (industrial) Arts in London. The Society works to improve the lot of workers in England. He was passionate about pipe organ music, often taking tours of church organs throughout the UK. His hobbies also included body surfing, fitness training, travel and reading.