Lois Agnes Forbes Sexton

Sexton—Lois Agnes Forbes Sexton, 96, on June 24, 2021, at Gilchrist Hospice in Towson, Md. Lois was born on May 14, 1925, to Don Watling Forbes and Stella Agnes Riley Forbes in Raysville, Ind. She was raised in Raysville Friends Church, a pastoral Quaker community church affiliated with Indiana Yearly Meeting (IYM). Her family suffered hardships during the Great Depression, but found support and comfort in the Friends church.

In 1952, as a representative of IYM, Lois attended the Friends World Conference and the Young Friends Conference in Oxford, England. The conferences were rich experiences. Lois was moved by the devastation caused by World War II. She participated in American Friends Service Committee workcamps in Germany, building housing for people displaced by the war, and served at Quaker House in London and Quaker Center in Paris. Her original three-month itinerary stretched to nine months.

Returning home to Indiana, Lois reconnected with John Montgomery Sexton. They had previously met at Young Friends Conferences, and had spent time together overseas. In 1953, John moved from Indiana to Baltimore, Md., to teach at Park School. Lois took a job at Friends School of Baltimore. They married on June 20, 1954, under the joint care of Baltimore’s Stony Run and Homewood Meetings. They were active members of Homewood Meeting and were house parents at the McKim Community Center’s Boys Haven, where John served as director.

Between 1956 and 1961, Lois and John had three children: Andy, Joan, and Nancy. Amidst all of her commitments, Lois gave her children a life full of creativity, adventure, and love, encouraging their different talents.

A Fulbright Teacher Fellowship for John in 1962 took the Sextons to Konya, Turkey. Lois found this small-town community very supportive of their young family. John’s work with Friends World Committee for Consultation’s “One Percent More Fund” (now the nonprofit Right Sharing of World Resources) brought them stateside to New Jersey for three years. Returning to Baltimore in 1966, they were drawn to Gunpowder Meeting in Sparks, Md., where they transferred their memberships in 1968. Over the decades Lois served Gunpowder Meeting in many ways.

Lois’s involvement extended to Baltimore Yearly Meeting and Friends General Conference annual gatherings. She also served on the Finance Committee of Friends Committee on National Legislation.

Lois helped Marjorie Scott establish a Baltimore office of American Friends Service Committee, where she served as bookkeeper. John and Lois were part of a strong network of Friendly neighbors, and mid-week meetings often gathered in their living room. In the 1970s, Lois’s bookkeeping skills were put to work with the Friends Lifetime Care Center of Baltimore (a joint committee of five area meetings). This led to full-time work at Broadmead Retirement Community, where Lois was known for her insistence on open and above-board accounting. She valued the many connections she developed with Broadmead staff.

In the 1980s, Lois served as bookkeeper for the publishing office of Johns Hopkins University, then took a stimulating job at the Walters Art Gallery.

After retirement John and Lois continued to enjoy travel, visiting elder hostels throughout the country. They went to Greene County, Ala., with the Washington Quaker Workcamps movement to rebuild African American churches destroyed by arson.

In 1998, Lois and John moved to Broadmead. Lois found many new friends. She enjoyed sharing good food, reading, gardening, swimming, and corresponding with friends. As John’s health declined, she was a devoted and loving caregiver.

John predeceased Lois in 2013. Lois is survived by three children, Andrew Forbes Sexton (Anna Safary Sexton), Joan Sexton, and Nancy Sexton Greenia (Matthew Paul Greenia); two grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Leave a Reply

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

Maximum of 400 words or 2000 characters.

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