Helen Steere Horn

HornHelen Steere Horn, 86, on April 29, 2018, unexpectedly, in Athens, Ohio. Helen was born on April 11, 1932, in Grand Rapids, Mich., to Dorothy and Douglas Steere of Haverford, Pa. A lifelong member of the Religious Society of Friends, she received a bachelor’s in history from Oberlin College, a master’s in education from Radcliffe College, and a master’s in counseling from Ohio University. She taught in Boston, Mass.; Chicago, Ill.; and at Alexander High School in Albany, Ohio. She also led workshops using the arts and small group sharing at Pendle Hill study center in Wallingford, Pa. She helped found Athens Meeting in Chauncey, Ohio, where she was part of the first feminist consciousness raising group in Athens in the early ’70s, a group that evolved into a 20-member monthly Feminism and Faith group that lasted for over 25 years. Her work is described in Feminists Who Changed America, 1963—1975, edited by Barbara J. Love.

With grants from the Ohio Humanities Council, Ohio University Women’s Studies program, and the United Mine Workers of America, she created a video “The Other Half Speaks: Reminiscences of Athens County Coal Town Women: 1900–1950,” featuring her interviews and stories of women in local mining towns. The video won a prize from the Humanities Council. She also wrote for Friendly Woman and was active in peace and civil rights efforts. In 1996 Pendle Hill Pamphlets published her spiritual autobiography, There Is a Fountain: A Quaker Life in Process.

Her many published poems often expressed the resonance she felt between things in the natural world and her inner experience, and she was kind and generous. She belonged to a monthly writers and artists group, facilitated an Inner Journey Writing Group, and was a skilled song leader. After living in Europe and Africa, she and her husband, David, moved to a farm in New Marshfield, Ohio, land which they later donated to become the Woodcock Nature Preserve. She settled in Athens shortly before her death.

Helen was preceded in death by her husband of over 50 years, David Horn. She is survived by her daughter, Becky Ferguson (Douglas); two grandchildren; and a sister, Anne Steere Nash.

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