Betty Jean (Pegram) Herring

Herring—Betty Jean (Pegram) Herring, 89, on October 21, 2021, peacefully, in Boulder, Colo. Betty was born on June 6, 1932, to R.B. and Lula (Smitherman) Pegram, a pastoral Quaker family, in High Point, N.C. She graduated from High Point Central High School in 1949 and from Woman’s College of Greensboro, N.C. (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro) in 1953 with a bachelor’s degree in analytical chemistry. Betty was a birthright member of High Point Meeting.

Betty worked for the School of U.S. Public Health Services in Chapel Hill, N.C., where she met her husband of 62 years, Jackson Rea Herring. Betty and Jack moved to Bethesda, Md., where she was employed as a chemist at the National Institutes of Health.

After their sons, Peter and Christopher, were born, Betty devoted much of her time to child-rearing and community work through Adelphi (Md.) Meeting and later at Riverside Meeting, which met at Riverside Church in New York City.

In 1972, Jack took a position with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. They moved to Boulder and joined Boulder Meeting. Betty became a conscientious, generous, active member of the meeting, and was, like Jack, among the core elders of the meeting for half a century. She served First-day school, was a member of the Ministry and Counsel Committee on several occasions, and served on the Building and Grounds Committee for decades, taking special enjoyment in tending the garden.

Betty paid close loving attention to Friends and attenders, discerning their needs even when they did not voice them publicly, and provided both counsel and practical support.

In the 1980s, Boulder Meeting initiated a 20-year process to remodel its meetinghouse to accommodate the meeting’s growing numbers. Betty contributed unfailing wisdom and good humor to what was a complex and difficult endeavor. She and Jack provided generous financial support not only to the building project but for the care of the meeting as a whole.

Betty’s sight began to deteriorate in her later years, which she accepted with uncomplaining serenity. Though her failing eyesight led her to step back from the active role she had played in meeting life, she remained a faithful presence. Until her final illness, Betty participated in both meetings for worship and business meetings, deepening the spiritual ground of the corporate experience.

Betty’s commitment both to service and to seeking the Light of the Spirit were unceasing throughout her life.

Betty was predeceased by three sisters and their husbands, Marjorie Beck (Rayvon), Dorothy Culler (Roy), and Elizabeth Walker (Paul). She was survived by her husband, Jack, who died seven months later (see next milestone). She is survived by two children, Peter Rea Herring and Christopher Jackson Herring; two grandchildren; a brother-in-law, Ralph Herring Jr.; and a sister-in-law, Margaret Herring.

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