Christian 04


May 22, 1926 ~ April 15, 2021 (age 94)

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The Rev. Howard Edward Box, age 94 of Oak Ridge died April 15, 2021.

Mr. Box served as minister of Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church from 1976 to 1991 and continued to be active in the church and the community.


He was born to Harland and Helen Box of Belleville, N.J., and attended Drew University and Seminary at Yale University. He was always active in peace efforts, civil liberties, and efforts for religious freedom. In addition to Oak Ridge, he served Unitarian Universalist congregations in Girard, Pa.; Newburg, N.Y.; Ottawa, Canada; and the Ethical Culture Society in Brooklyn, N.Y.


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, Ill.

Son, Gordon Box and his partner, Betsy Williams, of Durham, N.C. 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 Mateo 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.

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