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Barrie Bedell

  • 2021-08-10 8:07 AM
    Message # 10922444
    Cristina (Administrator)

    C. Barrie Bedell has graduated from our world and begun the next stage in his eternal journey. He was 90 years old and living independently in Oxnard, CA at the time of his transition (Feb 28, 1931-July 10, 2021). Barrie is survived by his son, Evan who lives in New York City, his daughter Megan who lives in Prague, Czech Republic, and his younger brother Jeff who lives in Clearwater, FL. 

    Barrie was the first-born son of Clyde and Florence Bedell of Chicago, IL and later Santa Barbara, CA. He was a graduate of Denison University in Ohio and followed his father’s footsteps into the advertising industry upon his graduation. His Dad was a well-known Chicago-area advertising industry genius and author of How to Write Advertising That Sells (1940).

    Barrie’s father, Clyde Bedell, was a well-known figure in the early days of the Urantia revelation. Both of his parents were members of Drs. William and Lena Sadler’s cultural salon in Chicago, called “The Forum,” in the early decades of the 20th century. Students of Urantia Book history know that The Forum was a group of people from many walks of life who met weekly at the Sadler’s home to review and discuss the revelatory papers as they appeared in the decades before The Urantia Book was published in 1955.

    Barrie was probably one of the people who had been reading The Urantia Book the longest of anyone in the Urantia community, having been invited by Dr. William Sadler to join The Forum when he was 14 years old in 1945. Prior to that time, Barrie recalled that he and Jeff had wondered where their parents secretly went every Thursday evening during their childhood.

    Of course, Clyde and Florence were members of the Forum who had been sworn to secrecy concerning the activities of The Forum. They took their vow seriously and did not reveal this secret activity even to their children until Barrie was deemed old enough by Dr. Sadler to join The Forum. Barrie loved to tell the story that, in the absence of factual information, he had sometimes wondered during that time if his parents were members of the “Fifth Column” in that WWII era or some other subversive political organization that required absolute secrecy!  

    After he was finally informed about the Urantia Papers by his parents and introduced to them by Dr. Sadler, he frequently joined in the activities at 533 Diversey Parkway. He remembered reading some of the type-written, pre-publication papers that were available for study by Forum members in the second floor reading room only. No papers were allowed to leave the premises! He had fond memories of hanging out with Carolyn and Tom Kendall on occasion when they were all young adults and part of the early Urantia community.

    Barrie inherited his father’s fluency in marketing and adroit craftsmanship in writing advertising copy. After working in a variety of advertising account management positions, Barrie established his own advertising company in Santa Barbara in the 1960’s. He was still involved in selling Clyde Bedell’s advertising materials until the time of his death.

    The Urantia Book remained the primary spiritual guide for the remainder of Barrie’s long life.   For decades he served as a contact for the Southern California area for Urantia Book study groups and ran a study group at his house for many, many years. Barrie was a founding member of C.U.B.S in Santa Barbara, CA and helped produce The Synergist, an early paper for Urantia Book readers.

    For the last 20 years, he was a faithful member of the combined Ventura and Santa Barbara County weekly study group led by Elisabeth and John Callahan and Maureen Amato Mayes. Barrie attended meetings right up until the last year of his life, when Covid and his limited technical ability left him unable to do so. Notwithstanding the pandemic, the group helped Barrie to celebrate his 90th birthday last February (2021) at the Callahan’s house. On this wonderful occasion, he was thrilled to attend his first ever online Zoom meeting during which friends and family from all over the world joined the meeting to wish him a happy birthday.

    Religion and philosophy were lifelong areas of study and importance to Barrie. In the last ten years of his life, he also found a spiritual home in the Unity Church of Ventura. He enjoyed the loving and compatible community of open-minded religionists and derived great value from the Unity services and the fellowship meetings following the service.

    A “Celebration of Life” online service will be held for Barrie Bedell on Saturday, September 4, 2021, from 9:00-11:00 a.m. Pacific time.

    Due to the ongoing pandemic, the virtual event will be conducted in a live Zoom session to allow Barrie’s many friends and family from around the country (and the world) to attend without endangering their health or that of others.

    For further information about joining the Zoom online service, contact Elisabeth Callahan at eli.callahan@gmail.com.  We will send a reminder with the Zoom login information to everyone who requests it.

    Greetings to all!

    Barrie is on his way to the mansion worlds and we wish him a safe and happy arrival!

    Here is his How I Found the Urantia Book story as he submitted it to me in 1998:

    C. BARRIE BEDELL

    World War II was raging, rationing was in effect, and citizens of all ages were pouring all available money into savings bonds and stamps to support the war effort. Signs and posters and radio announcements barraged us with warnings to keep mum about defense activities: “Loose lips sink ships.” Everyone was aware of the subversive “fifth column,” spies and espionage agents working for the Nazis.

    I was in my early teens, a mediocre high school student, obsessed with sports, and reasonably well informed on the progress of the war. At some point—I don’t remember exactly when—I noticed that my folks, Clyde and Florence Bedell, would disappear like clockwork every Sunday afternoon and Wednesday evening. I began to question them, “Where are you going?”

    “Oh, the Forum,” was the usual reply. On Wednesday nights the answer would be, “The Seventy.”

    “What is the Forum? the Seventy?” I would press them. “What do you do?”

    The typical response was maddeningly vague, not at all satisfying to an inquisitive teen: “We read and talk about a variety of subjects.”

    “Like what?” I would demand.

    “We really can’t say.”

    I began to harbor doubts that soon turned to suspicion. Something was terribly wrong. Then one blustery winter night I watched them depart in blizzard conditions. I began to think the unthinkable, that perhaps my parents were involved in something sinister. I came to the terrifying conclusion that they were involved in the Nazi fifth column.

    I was greatly relieved when a few weeks later, on my fourteenth birthday, my parents announced: “Now we can tell you what we’ve been doing every Sunday and every Wednesday evening.” They took me to 533 Diversey Parkway and introduced me to Dr. William Sadler, who told me about the Urantia Papers and invited me to attend the Forum. I was excited about what I was soon to experience and, as all who had joined before me, I took an oath of secrecy. It was a pivotal day in my life, for which I will forever be profoundly grateful.

    Frequently on Saturdays I went to 533 where I would sit in a small, dark anteroom on the ground floor and read papers one at a time—typewritten manuscripts, each page pasted onto heavier stock, each paper supplied in a kraft envelope handed to me by Christy. Later, typeset galley proofs replaced the typewritten pages. My favorites were “Life Establishment on Urantia,” “Government on a Neighboring Planet,” and the Adam and Eve saga.

    I also regularly attended Sunday meetings upstairs (except when away at school), always greeted by Wilfred and Anna Kellogg. Papers were read by Dr. Sadler or his son, Bill. During breaks I hung out at O’Connells Coffee Shop across the street with somewhat older members Tom and Carolyn Kendall, Nola Evans, Al Leverenz, Phil Copenhaver, Donna and Harry Rowley, and others. My brother Jeff started attending the Forum in 1951 when he was 13 or 14.

    Disturbing as it was for a while, I am proud my folks honored their vow of secrecy, as did all but one or two Forum members from the very beginning till the day of publication in October, 1955. Saskia Raveouri

    Berries Bedell is a good friend of mine, and a valiant soldier of the circles. Due to his leadership of cubs in a trying time and his ever existent optimistic attitude of the spiritual forces ever ready to help us, the Revelation took a step forward.  

    Cubs was a very visible organization for outreach of the revelation.  As far as I can remember the very first. Their trials and tribulations paved the way so that all of us could participate, in our own way, in the dissemination of the revelation. Thank you Barrie, thank you Cubs. Love and miss you very much!  Tom Choquette

    Last modified: 2021-08-10 10:55 AM | Cristina (Administrator)

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