School 25

Frank Everett Reynolds

November 13, 1930 ~ January 9, 2019 (age 88)


Frank Everett Reynolds, 88 years old of Plainfield, MA passed away peacefully on January 9, 2019. Frank was the only child of Howard and Caroline Roys Reynolds and grew up in Winsted and Hartford, CT. Frank graduated from Bulkley High School in Hartford. He attended Princeton and Oberlin for his bachelor’s degree and received a Masters Degree from the Yale Divinity School. He was ordained as a Baptist minister. After graduating from Yale, Frank spent three years as program director at the Student Christian Center in Bangkok, Thailand. Working with Christians, Buddhists and Muslims, he became convinced of the need to supplement confessional modes of religious scholarship with new approaches that are non-sectarian and empirically oriented. Upon his return to the United States, he earned his Ph.D. in the History of Religions program at the University of Chicago (U of C). In 1967 he joined the U of C faculty as a Professor of History of Religions and Buddhist studies in the Divinity School and the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations. Throughout Frank's career at the U of C he has fostered -- through his writing, his teaching, and the research projects he has directed -- the establishment and development of religious studies as an independent discipline that utilizes and creatively adapts approaches employed in other areas of the humanities and social sciences.  He was beloved by his students who benefited greatly from his close attention and mentorship. During his stay in Thailand, he met and married Mani Bloch, with whom he enjoyed a family life that produced three sons Roy (Amy), Drew (Kathleen) and Roger (Cheryl) and nine grandchildren. Frank and Mani collaborated on the translation of a 14th century Buddhist cosmology, The Three Worlds of King Ruang.  In 1997 after the death of his first wife Mani Bloch Reynolds, Frank married June Nash, an anthropologist who has written extensively on global issues and local communities in Burma, Bolivia, Mexico and the U.S. A memorial service will be planned for this spring at the Plainfield Congregational Church in Plainfield, MA.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to support the efforts of Frank's student, Koson Srisang, to develop a new, updated mission for the Bangkok Student Christian Center, where Frank served as program director.  Checks can be made out to the Plainfield Congregational Church at 1 Church Lane, Plainfield, MA 01070 and the memo should reference it is for the Frank Reynolds Future of the Bangkok SCC Project. 

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