Christopher Henry Hodgkin

HodgkinChristopher Henry Hodgkin, 74, on June 11, 2018, at home in Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Wash. Christopher was born on May 22, 1944, in Philadelphia, Pa., to Ruth Walenta and John Pease Hodgkin. He was a cousin of Eli, Sybil, and Rufus Jones on his mother’s side and a grandson of Henry T. Hodgkin, the first director of Pendle Hill study center in Wallingford, Pa. He attended Germantown Meeting in Philadelphia, where he was a birthright member. Before he started kindergarten, the family moved from Philadelphia to Bryn Gweled Homesteads, a cooperative community in Bucks County, Pa., that his parents and 12 other couples, many of them Quakers, had founded in 1940. He attended public schools; enjoyed soccer and week-long bike trips; and played piano, trumpet, and French horn. He spent summers sailing and canoeing at the Jones family farm on China Lake in Maine, which later led him to guide youths on months-long wilderness canoe trips in the lakes and rivers threaded through the North Maine woods. He attended St. John’s College.

During the Vietnam War, rather than apply for conscientious objection as a Quaker, he was led to avoid taking advantage of his birthright and practice as a Quaker to exempt him from military service as a conscientious objector, when non-Quaker objectors to killing on moral grounds could not be so exempted. So he turned himself in as a non-registrant and spent two-and-a-half years in Allenwood Federal Penitentiary. After his release he earned a master’s in business administration and worked as business manager at Quaker institutions and schools, including Pendle Hill, Sandy Spring Friends School (where he also taught English literature), Oakwood Friends School, and Staten Island Friends School. In 1978, he transferred his membership to Staten Island (N.Y.) Executive Meeting.

He moved to San Juan Island, Wash., and married Margaret Scott Bryan, called Peggy, in 1980 and two years later transferred his membership to University Meeting in Seattle. After a law degree from University of Washington, he opened a law office in Friday Harbor. He continued his love of the Great Books and classic fiction, leading several online book groups for many years. His Facebook page photo shows him seated in front of his Great Books bookshelf reading a Great Book. He enjoyed time in his vegetable garden; creating in his extensive woodshop beautiful items for use and enjoyment (many of which he designed himself); and playing bagpipes, hammered dulcimer, concertina, pipe and tabor, harmonica, and recorder.

After treatment for acute myeloblastic leukemia in 2017, he returned home in remission, enjoying his last few months with his family before the disease returned and took his life. On August 18, 2018, Southampton (Pa.) Meeting held a memorial meeting for Christopher and three of his Bryn Gweled contemporaries who had died that year.

Christopher’s brother, David Hodgkin, died in 1948. He is survived by his wife, Margaret Bryan Hodgkin; three children, David Hodgkin, Katharine Sears, and Dorothy Sears; five grandchildren; and a sister, Margaret Hodgkin Lippert.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Maximum of 400 words or 2000 characters.

Comments on may be used in the Forum of the print magazine and may be edited for length and clarity.