Foster—Georgana Falb Foster, 89, on July 2, 2017, in Greenfield, Mass. Gee was born on May 15, 1928, in Elgin, Iowa, to Myrtle Marie Kerr and George Henry Falb. She grew up as a Methodist, taking part in the Methodist Student Movement in college and spending time in India with Methodist missionaries, influenced by the women’s feminist sisterhood. Also in India she met her life’s spiritual partner and lover, John Foster. They married under the care of Providence (R.I.) Meeting in 1954, and she became a Friend soon after.
They settled in Leverett, Mass., in 1956 and joined Mount Toby Meeting in Leverett (then Middle Connecticut Valley Meeting in western Massachusetts). She served on Meetinghouse, Ministry and Worship, Peace and Social Concerns, Trustees, and Newsletter Committees, and created a bulletin board where she posted clippings about Friends activities in the wider community. In her years as Friends Committee on National Legislation liaison, she kept Friends abreast of political issues needing action. She also attended sessions of New England Yearly Meeting (NEYM), at which she gave several presentations on the history of Quaker women. Beginning in 1974 she served for six years as NEYM’s representative to Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC).
Her work in India had exposed her to the tradition of Hindu goddesses, which remained a profound interest. She collected their statues and folk art, and to better understand their iconography and history, earned a second bachelor’s degree with a self-designed program in Hindu goddess worship and folk art. Mount Holyoke College installed her senior project exhibit, “Faces of the Goddess: Folk Images of the Female Divinity in India,” in 1988. Seven museums have displayed other items from her collection, which is now housed at University of Iowa.
In sharing her spiritual journey in 2001, she recalled the faith communities she had been a part of, beginning with her youth as a Methodist and culminating in several Friends meetings, especially Mount Toby, which she had helped found and where she worshiped for over 50 years. She appreciated the gradual progress of building a Quaker community in the Amherst area and had a passion for describing this evolution to new members and attenders. Eventually she wrote The History of Mount Toby Meeting, Volume 2: 1954–1990s. At Mount Toby’s fiftieth anniversary, she led the History and Records Committee in telling the story of the meeting’s founding, delighting newcomers and old-timers alike. She enjoyed her role as the memory of the meeting and embraced meeting life in all its forms, consistently participating in meeting for worship with attention to business and providing her perspective on a wide range of agenda items. She was without pretense, forthright, often opinionated, and warm.
Gee was predeceased by her husband, John Foster. She is survived by her children, Ethan Foster (Natalie Golden) and Joshua Foster; and two grandchildren.