Kuwait-born Rev Scudder passes away in Cyprus
THE Reverend Lewis R. Scudder died Nov 1, 2017 in Limosol, Cyprus. He passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, at Ygia Polyclinic after 3 months of complications after a gall bladder infection.
Rev Scudder, who preferred to be called “Lew”, came from a long line of Scudder missionaries in India. The son of locally famous Dr Lewis and Dorothy Scudder, medical missionaries in Kuwait, Lew was born in Kuwait in 1941. With his three siblings, he grew up playing with Kuwaiti children and developed an affection with Kuwait that lasted throughout his life. One of his best friends, Haidar Khalifa, the first Kuwaiti Muslim radiologist at the American Mission Hospital (Amrikani), was his source of inspiration for his interest in interfaith dialogue and understanding throughout both their lives, as is witnessed by his studies and writings.
Lew’s university studies revolved around Middle Eastern and Islamic subjects, as well as missionology, and he carried these on to his writings. Whether in a university term paper or in the magisterial, The Arabian Mission’s History: Finding Abraham’s Other Son, or in his blog, Morningstar Meditations, his analyses of history, culture, politics, and current events was clear and expert, delivered with a rare understanding and compassion of the people and events around him.
Lew Scudder returned to Kuwait often, and always visited his beloved Arabic Congregation at the Evangelical Church on the Mission Compound. When Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah embarked on a project to restore and conserve the old hospital mission buildings of the Amrikani for use as a cultural center, including exhibits about the history of the Mission, he provided information. Lew’s father, the renowned Dr Scudder, participated in the formal opening of the final hospital in the mid50s. Ironically, Lew came to Kuwait over 50 years later to be present at the opening ceremony of the cultural center renovated on the same building. He not only gave a speech there but also spoke in a film documentary made about the American Mission Hospital.
Our condolences go out to his wife, Nancy, to his children and grandchildren, and to his many friends, inside the Middle East and beyond.
He will be missed, but he will be remembered.