The Rev. Ms. M. Alicia Corea, 92, passed away on March 17 in Walnut Creek, California after a lengthy illness.
Reverend Corea was born in Ashland, Maine on November 4, 1921 to Fred and Annie Coffin. Her brother, Charles, was born ten years later.
Alicia attended elementary school in Ashland, but her parents moved to Bangor so she could attend Bangor High School, from which she graduated in 1939.
Religion was an important part of Alicia’s childhood. Her parents were active members of the church, and her mother was a pianist and organist for many years.
In Bangor she was active in All Souls Congregational Church. Under the guidance of the minister, Frederick Meek, she joined the church. Her religious quest continued throughout her college years when she was influenced by Ruth Seabury, a Christian missionary who interested her the Danforth Foundation, and encouraged her to become a full time religious worker.
Alicia attended the University of Maine in Orono where she joined the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in History and Journalism from Univ. of Maine in 1943. The academic year 1943-1944 was spent at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln working under a Danforth Graduate Fellowship. As a traveling Secretary for the World Student Service Fund, in the fall of 1944, she visited campuses in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Kentucky; she spent the summer of 1945 as the student Summer Service Worker in South Dakota on the Cheyenne Reservation.
After her work at the University of Nebraska, Alicia felt the need for more religious study in order to be better able to work with young people. She enrolled at Andover Newton in January 1945 as a part-time student. It was at Andover Newton that Alicia met Peter V. Corea as a fellow student and they married on June 1, 1946.
In September 1947 Peter came to the Houghs Neck Congregational Church to preach for one Sunday. The congregation liked him so much that on Sunday, October 16, 1947 he was called to be the minister. His ordination to the Christian ministry followed on Sunday, December 8, 1947.
During their first two years in Houghs Neck Church, Alicia continued as a student at Andover Newton. Following her graduation in 1949, and with the strong support and encouragement of her husband and the parish, Alicia was ordained by her former minister, Dr. Meek to the Christian ministry on May 5, 1949. She was the first woman in Quincy, and one of the first in Massachusetts to be ordained.
Over the years the Coreas created and shared a unique team ministry in teaching people through worship and personal counseling. Peter loved teaching and for many years was a Professor of Psychology at Emerson College. As his teaching duties increased, Alicia gradually assumed more responsibility within the church. She attended Church Council, played the organ, sang in the choir, taught Bible classes, was involved with the youth of the church, attended Mothers Club, prepared the Newsletter and the church bulletins, and worked closely with the Diaconate. She performed her ministerial responsibilities with grace, compassion, and good humor.
Alicia’s ministry extended beyond the walls of the Church to the greater community as reflected in the significant committees and boards on which she has served, the denominational positions that she has held, and her involvement in social issues that positively impacted people’s lives. Among these activities are the following: Scribe and Moderator of Suffolk South Association of Congregational Christian Churches; Member of the Board of Supervisors at the Woodward School for Girls; President of the Quincy Assembly and Supreme Chaplain of the Social order of the Beauceant. In addition, with her husband, Reverend Corea helped to establish the Scholarship Fund for the Houghs Neck Congregational Church.
Reverend Corea is survived by her son, Dr. William C. Corea of San Ramon, Caliornia, and his wife Patty; her brother Charles and his wife Diana, niece Jannatha Coffin-Malia and her husband Scott and son Nathaniel of Mansfield, Massachusetts.
A memorial service is planned for early June in Quincy. Donations in Reverend Corea’s honor may be made to the Houghs Neck Congregational Church and the Scholarship Fund for the Houghs Neck Congregational Church.
You can read about Rev. Corea in the Quincy Sun:
You can read more about her in this article about the special reception at Houghs Neck Congregational Church honoring her 56 years of service in 2010: