Edith Tschudi

Tschudi—Edith Tschudi [Cole], 86, on July 2, 2014, in Lahore, Pakistan. Edith was born on May 25, 1928, in St. Gallen, Switzerland, the younger of two daughters. She studied Swiss history and Germanic philology at University of Basel and was especially interested in Germanic and Romance languages and the migration patterns of peoples in early centuries. Her interest in religion drew her toward Quakerism. As a graduate student in the summer of 1953, she attended a youth camp sponsored by American Friends Service Committee, where she met Clifford Cole, a graduate of Whittier College. When the two-week camp was over, they traveled together by bicycle for the rest of the summer and decided to marry. Cliff returned to California to find a job, and Edith traveled with her sister to Australia. Edith and Cliff reunited in Honolulu, Hawaii, and married under the care of Honolulu Meeting in 1955. During her marriage she went by Cole.

A teaching job for Cliff drew them to Claremont, Calif., and from 1966 to 1969 to Bogota, Colombia, where they both taught at the American school Colegio Nueva Granada. When they returned to Claremont, in addition to raising her children and participating in Claremont Meeting, Edith earned a PhD at Claremont School of Theology, worked as a school psychologist, and volunteered with Peace Brigades International, making use of her fluency in multiple languages to strive for world peace and promote accessible education, especially for girls.

Late in life she and Cliff divorced, and she took back her maiden name. When she visited a daughter and son-in-law in 2002 in Lahore on the occasion of their seventh child, she learned of the lack of schools for girls in the Afghan refugee camp near the Afghan border. Largely because of her urging, many Friends and others established and supported schools for these girls. The school was one of her last projects, and she worked tirelessly on it until West Nile virus left her dependent on others.

Edith is survived by her six children.

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