Caroline Furnas Trueblood

TruebloodCaroline Furnas Trueblood, 90, on July 26, 2021, at Foulkeways at Gwynedd, a retirement community in Gwynedd, Pa., where she and her late husband, Arnold Trueblood, had lived since 2005. Caroline was born on September 1, 1930, to Paul J. Furnas and Elizabeth Ann Walter Furnas in Woodbury, N.J., the fourth of six children. Caroline spent her childhood at Spring Hollow Farm in Media, Pa. She had deep roots in the area as a descendant of Godfrey Walter, a member of the first generation of Quaker colonists to follow in the wake of William Penn, arriving in 1684 and establishing his family in Chester County. She met Arnold, also a descendant of a Quaker family with colonial roots, when both were seven years old.

Caroline attended Media Friends School. In 1945, she enrolled in tenth grade at Westtown School, a Friends boarding school near West Chester, Pa., where she and Arnold were classmates. Caroline was a very good student and became lifelong friends with many of her classmates. She graduated from Westtown cum laude in 1948. In 1944, Caroline’s parents had moved to Richmond, Ind., where her father was vice president of administration at Earlham College. Following graduation, Caroline joined the family in Richmond and enrolled at Earlham.

Caroline’s Quaker heritage loomed large in her life. On February 17, 1951, Arnold and Caroline married at Clear Creek Meeting in Richmond in the meetinghouse that Arnold had helped build. Later that year they moved to the Philadelphia area, first to Media and Moylan, then to North Wales, where they joined Gwynedd Meeting. Caroline was a member of the Preschool Committee and the Worship and Ministry Committee. She served on the committee that recommended building Foulkeways at Gwynedd (opened in 1967), one of the earliest life care retirement communities in the country, on land given to the meeting. She was a member of the Nominating Committee at Philadelphia Yearly Meeting for several years.

In her 40s Caroline returned to school for a registered nursing degree from Albert Einstein School of Medicine, and worked at Chestnut Hill Hospital, the Ambler Medical Center, and Foulkeways. Later, she served on Westtown School’s Board of Trustees and on the committee to hire the new head of school in 2002.

Caroline had a keen sense of design, which was the foundation of her delight and skill in gardening, cooking, and creating artful spaces to live in. She and Arnold developed a family home on high ground along the Trewellyn Creek that had its own unique Quaker history. It was part of the original grant by the Lenape to William Penn, who re-granted it in turn to the Evans family, original settlers in the area. As a result, the Trueblood family was the first ever to pay for the property, purchasing it from the late Horace Evans in 1959.

Caroline was admired for her warm hospitality. An avid reader, she was also an indefatigable walker and tennis player. Later in her life she was a keen traveler, exploring gardens and architecture in Europe and Great Britain in particular.

Caroline was predeceased by three siblings, William Furnas (who died in infancy), Deborah Furnas Savage, and Paul J. Furnas Jr. She is survived by five children, Ann Trueblood Raper (David), David Trueblood (Michael Flier), Eric Trueblood (Linda), Neil Trueblood (Janet Binswanger), and Jonathan Trueblood (Katrina); a sister, Elizabeth Ann Nichols (Robert); a brother, Philip Furnas (Carol); ten grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

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