Laile Bartlett (1955)

Writer and Researcher, Walnut Creek

OBITUARY (San Francisco Chronicle)

Laile E. Bartlett July 23, 1915 - May 11, 2006 Laile E. Bartlett, Ph.D., writer, sociologist, researcher, lecturer, and wife of Rev. Josiah R. Bartlett for 57 years, passed away peacefully early in the morning of May 11th in Ft. Bragg, CA. Dr. Bartlett received her B.A. at the Univ. of Cincinnati, Phi Beta Kappa; her M.A. at American University, W.D.C.; and her sociology Ph.D. at UC Berkeley. Three early appointments presaged an eventful career: a social settlement post in the east end of London, an internship with Nat. Inst. of Public Affairs in W.D.C, and a lectureship with the League of Nations in Geneva. The first half of her sociology career was devoted to teaching on college campuses (Hiram and Marietta Colleges in Ohio; and UW, Seattle) and the second half to research and writing. Her published books include: Bright Galaxy (Beacon Press), The Vanishing Parson (Beacon Press), New Work/New Life (Harper and Row) and Psi Trek (McGraw-Hill). The most distinctive aspect of her work was her long and extensive collaboration with her husband, the late Rev. Josiah Reed Bartlett, a Unitarian minister who served as president of the Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley for nearly 20 years. They wrote books and gave speeches together on topics of mutual interest, e.g. Moment of Truth and A Religion for the Non-Religious. They were founding members of the Bay Area Funeral Society and of the CO-OP member-owned food store chain. In 1968, when Josiah stepped down from the presidency, he and Laile created an interim ministry program for their denomination. Over the next two decades they served as interim ministers in over 25 US churches. They were regarded as models of matrimonial and professional teamwork to all who came in contact with them. Laile was a member of the Mt. Diablo Unitarian Church in Walnut Creek. Laile is survived by her four children: Joel Emerson Bartlett of Phonenixville, PA; Joselyn Kingsley Bartlett Miksak of Caspar; Loel Starr Bartlett Miller of Walnut Creek; and Noel Channing Bartlett, of Lafayette; and three grandchildren: Serena Reed Bartlett, Raleigh Hart Miller and Colby Reed Miller. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Student Conservation Assn., (SCA), PO Box 550, Charlestown, NH 03603-0550


My biography is in some ways the reverse of the usual assumptions. In short, my Sociology Ph.D. works as much or more as a legitimation of past activities rather than a preparation for future ones. More specifically, I was the Sociology instructor at two Ohio colleges (three years in all) and general utility instructor for three years at the University of Washington in Seattle - teaching a broad cross section of courses from Criminology to Race Relations.

My main emphasis both at UC Berkeley and afterwards, however, was the Sociology of Religion. I taught a summer course in this at Berkeley after getting my degree.

My post Ph.D. activity, however, has been research and writing: four books by major publishers, two published by organizations, and four books that are still in manuscript form. Much of my writing has a Sociology of Religion orientation. My most recent manuscript, Making Sin Legal, is an overview of gambling in America.

Dissertation Title
Unitarian Fellowships: A Case Study in Liberal Religious Development
Present Location
1866 San Miguel Drive, Walnut Creek, CA 94596