Lois Elizabeth Day

Day—Lois Elizabeth Day, 92, on September 11, 2018, at home in New Port Richey, Fla., under hospice care, with her husband, Peter, at her side. Sue, as she was called, was born on July 28, 1926, in New Malden near Kingston-on-Thames, England, to Mona Josephine and Edmond Cecil Rhodes. Educated at Wimbledon High School, she went on to Cheltenham Ladies’ College and then read history at University College London, having wanted to study medicine but being persuaded to get an arts degree. There she met Peter Day, and they married in 1951 and bought an old house in Ware, Hertfordshire.

For an 18-month Commonwealth Fund Fellowship, they traveled to Madison, Wis., in 1954, and she encountered Quakers, becoming a member upon returning to England and moving to Bayfordbury, Hertfordshire. In 1963, they lived in Columbus, Ohio, for a year, and then became U.S. citizens during 15 years in Hamden, Conn. Once their children were in school, she obtained a master’s in speech therapy and worked in the Shelton, Conn., public schools. She also traveled to St. Andrews, Scotland, and to Canada to complete a Royal Scottish Country Dance Society teaching certificate. She and Peter worked with others to establish a New Haven branch of the Society. She was clerk of New Haven (Conn.) Meeting for some years and was active in New England Yearly Meeting.

In 1979 Peter returned to England to work at Cambridge University, and Sue joined him a year later in the village of Great Shelford. She was active in the Visiting Scholars Society that provided help, advice, and friendship to the wives of academics sojourning at Cambridge. In 1987 they returned to the United States to live in North Brunswick, N.J. Her Cambridge experience led her to establish, with another faculty wife at Rutgers University, an International Women’s Group to help the visiting faculty wives from overseas adjust to the United States. In April 2003 Union Institute and University awarded her a doctorate degree in interdisciplinary studies. Her thesis, Culture Shock and Beyond: the Experiences of Foreign Wives of Foreign Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows Sojourning at Rutgers University, explored the women’s changed perceptions of themselves as unwaged wives missing opportunities because visa restrictions prevented their employment.

She and Peter moved from New Jersey to New Port Richey, Fla., in 2003, and for several years she volunteered with students of English as a second language at Marchman College. In Clearwater (Fla.) Meeting, she showed empathy and a warm concern for visitors and new attenders and urged Friends to speak clearly, consider those with difficulty hearing, and maintain accurate records. She got to the heart of things, and her ministry was often about loving as a pure and simple way of being.

Although Alzheimer’s disease began to diminish her usual clarity, she listened to discussions and commented on their essence. She was generous and independent and delighted in being thought a little eccentric, with a zest for life and a tolerance of those with viewpoints different from her own. Friends enjoyed her sense of humor and her distinctive laugh. All who have known her will miss her and cherish the memories that enrich them by letting them know one who walked in the Light with such grace. A friend from the New Haven Royal Scottish Country Dance Society says, “I don’t know if there was Scottish dancing in heaven before—but I am sure there is now.”

Sue is survived by her husband, Peter Day; three children, Catherine Day, Rupert Day, and Bill Day; and four grandchildren.

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