Reverend Reuel Kaighn, Jr.

Obituary of Reverend Reuel Stewart Kaighn, Jr.

Reverend Reuel Stewart Kaighn, Jr., fondly known as Captain, died peacefully on September 13, 2023, in Okatie South Carolina. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, five children Susan, Dory (Jim), Sarah (Mike), Elynn (John), Derrick (Laura); seven grandchildren Alex, Eric, Shannon (Mike), Becky (Tullio), Austin (Amanda), Alysia, Eleni, and two great-grandchildren Morgan and Ayden; and his latest dog, Scruffy.

Reuel was born on December 17, 1936, in West Hartford, CT. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1958 and married his first wife, Ann Lord, the same year. He proudly served in the US Navy and saw much of the world during a time of peace. He earned a master’s degree from the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, MA and worked as an Episcopal minister at family parishes in Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania for over forty years.

He was … a model train enthusiast who set up his O gauge track every year for Christmas. A life-long swimmer who came to love triathlons in his sixties. A lover of boats – especially rowing right from his college days on the crew team and sailing from the moment his father-in-law Popie taught him the art. He loved water. He would often say, “He drank it, he sailed on it, he swam in it, and he baptized with it.”

He delighted that all the states where he lived – Connecticut, Massachusetts, Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and South Carolina - were part of the original thirteen colonies. He spent time ministering to imprisoned people through Kairos. He loved his dogs and his dog park friends. Here’s hoping he is reunited with Dee Dee and Sea Dog in the great hereafter. Let’s not forget camping, personalized pancakes, ice cream sundaes, ping pong and family reunions. He gave the best hugs.

His family is proud of his courage in fighting for civil rights and gender equality. We celebrate two examples of his leadership as we remember his life. He answered the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s call to northern white clergy and flew to Selma, Alabama to stand with black citizens preparing to march to Montgomery in 1965. He was present to lay hands on the first eleven women ordained in the Episcopal Church in Philadelphia on July 29, 1974, before the church recognized the right of women to become priests.

A kind and thoughtful man who loved well and was well-loved by family and friends. We are grateful for the time we had with him in our lives. He will be missed.

A Memorial Service is Planned for Sunday, September 24 at 1pm

The Episcopal Church in Okatie, 231 Hazard Creek Road #1, Ridgeland, SC 29936

Memorial donations to support any of these organizations that were important to Reuel are most welcome:

Friends of Caroline Hospice, Ridgeland, SC

The Episcopal Church in Okatie, SC

The World Central Kitchen,

Equal Justice Initiative,


Memorial Service

1:00 pm
Sunday, September 24, 2023
The Episcopal Church
231 Hazard Creek Rd. #1
Ridgeland, South Carolina, United States
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Reverend Reuel