RIP: New Hampshire Bishop Douglas Edwin Theuner

By ENS staff
Posted Nov 11, 2013

[Episcopal News Service] Bishop Douglas Edwin Theuner, the eighth bishop of New Hampshire, died peacefully in his sleep while in hospice on Nov. 8, according to a post on the diocese’s website. Theuner was 74.

Theuner was born on Nov. 15, 1938, in Bronx, New York, to Grace Elizabeth McKean and Alfred Edwin Kipp Theuner. Theuner is survived by his wife of 54 years, Jane Lois Szuhany Theuner, and two children, Elizabeth Susan DiTommaso and her husband Frank of Hampton, New Hampshire, and Nicholas Frederick Kipp Theuner and his wife Charlotte Driver of Morehead City, North Carolina; and by five grandchildren and one great-granddaughter, according to the Concord Monitor.

Theuner earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Wooster, in Wooster, Ohio, and a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Bexley Hall, the Divinity School of Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio; and a Master of Arts degree in history from the University of Connecticut. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by Cuttington University in Liberia in 2000. The Episcopal Church founded Cuttington University in 1889.

Theuner was ordained a deacon and priest in 1962 in Ohio, and served congregations in Ohio and Connecticut before being elected bishop coadjutor of New Hampshire in 1986. He served as bishop of New Hampshire until his retirement in 2003, according to the diocese.

His episcopacy was distinguished by his strong stands and advocacy for social justice, serving on boards and committees on AIDS, human sexuality, family planning and Planned Parenthood.

He was the president of Province I from 1994 to 2002, and was a member of the Presiding Bishop’s Council of Advice, of which he also served for five years as president. He was a member of the board of directors of Lutheran Consolidated Community Services of Concord, and of the advisory committee for the Emergency Cold Weather Shelter of the First Congregational Church of Concord, according to the Concord Monitor.

The burial office was held Nov. 11 at 10 a.m. at St. Paul’s Church in Concord and a requiem Eucharist was to be held at the Church of the Epiphany in Newport at 3 p.m.


Comments (7)

  1. Bill Rankin says:

    Doug was a first rate human being. I’m so sorry about his death.

  2. Freda A. Gardner says:

    Doug was a gift and joy to work with . Even as we pondored issues facing the church we found much to smile about and much to discuss. He was a fine human being and although we haven’t been in touch recently the memories are vivid and I am blessed to have known him. His death will be a loss to many and I pray for those who will miss him most. May God bring comfort to all who grieve and strength for the living of these days. Freda A. Gardner……a Presbyterian colleague (retired Princeton Seminary professor) who enjoyed our work together and Doug’s many gifts for making the work a gift.

  3. Phillip Ayers says:

    Doug was a colleague in Connecticut, a “cardinal rector” at St. John’s, Stamford, but you’d never know it! He loved to push the envelope on a number of fronts and it was no surprise that he was elected bishop eventually. His son and my older son were cabin-mates at Camp Washington, and purported to be two wild pk’s, although they didn’t succeed!
    Doug played a large role in the election of Gene Robinson and preached at Gene’s consecration 10 years ago; and it was a “zinger” of a sermon.
    It’s sad to learn of his death at such a young age, just two years older than I am! May he rest in peace and rise in glory!
    Phillip Ayers, Portland, OR

  4. The Rev. Lucretia Jevne says:

    +Doug was a friend and mentor. He and my father plotted and planted many good things while he was that “cardinal rector” in Stamford, CT. His sermons were inspirational and provocative. He preached at my father’s memorial and continued to watch over our family. I loved to visit him at Lake Sunapee and hear his stories of my father and their time together at St. John’s. His death seems sudden and he was young. May his soul rest in peace and may he hear “Well done, good and faithful servant.” I will miss him.

  5. Barbara Morgan says:

    My family and I first met Doug and Sue at St. George’s Church in Bolton, CT. Little did I know what an impact he would have on my life and the life of my family. My mom and Sue were good friends and I can remember visiting them when Doug moved from Bolton to Willimantic. We moved. They moved. We moved again. They moved again. Shortly after my husband and I moved to Littleton, NH, I heard his name as being one of the candidates for Episcopal Bishop of NH. I told everyone I knew about him and what a presence he had about him. When he was ordained, my mom and my husband and myself attended his ordination. Even though I no longer attend the Episcopal church, every once in a while I would run into him and he would start the conversation with “I remember when…” I’ve been married now for more than 30 years and moved around the state of NH and there is Doug again….He attended the Episcopal church in Newport, NH when he and Sue were in residence in Sunapee. My husband has a client whose mother was the minister there, and it was like “…so you know Doug?” I last saw him two Christmas Eves ago at the Newport church. At the end of the service, he was telling everyone in the church that me and my family were members of one of his first churches. Little did I know that it would be the last time I saw him. My husband saw him a few months later when he came to visit the minister’s son, who is my husband’s client. And he always remember me and my family. What a legacy he leaves behind….He will be missed among those of us who remain on this earth. But what joy there will be when we are reunited together in the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

  6. Daniel Calhoun says:

    Janet and I were saddened to learn of Doug’s death. As my student, he was both a joy and a challenge. As our friend, he enriched our lives. We were privileged to have been a small part of his life. RIP, Doug!!

  7. Debbie Hoyt says:

    I remember Bishop Theuner when he was at St Johns in Stamford Ct. My mom used to clean the church part time as well as us attending the church. I will never forget him coming over to the house on Christmas to give my mom a bonus and see how us kids were doing. It was so nice to see him. I also enjoyed his sermons and have not found one person like him and the message he would send from the pulpit never over preachy but very thought provoking! RIP and go with the angels

    The Hoyt Family

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