Margaret Shirley Holmes Fritchoff

Fritchoff—Margaret Shirley Holmes Fritchoff, 97, on November 17, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz., after a brief illness. Shirley was born on November 11, 1919, in Shoshone, Idaho, to Elizabeth Wimmer and James Robert Holmes. A long-time resident of Tucson and San Carlos, Mexico, she always called herself a farm girl from Idaho. She was married to Norman Edgar Fritchoff briefly and worked full time while raising a daughter as a single mom. She earned a master’s degree in sociology from the University of San Francisco and practiced as an art therapist for more than 30 years. She founded and directed Idaho’s Coalition for Advocates for the Disabled (COAD) and later she ran the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation of Idaho. After World War II she worked in Saudi Arabia, and then in the United States for the Federal Aviation Agency until retirement.

She joined Pima Meeting in Tucson in 1993, transferring from San Diego (Calif.) Meeting. She attended the newly formed early meeting and made it welcoming and cordial. She usually had something wise and thought-provoking to share when the group stood in a circle at the rise of meeting, and she often invited Friends over to her home for coffee after meeting. She was a wise member on the Ministry and Oversight Committee and shared her wealth of experience working with adults on the Adult Education Committee. She would open her home to the meeting for a spiritually engaged potluck.

She found a warm and economical place to live in semi-retirement: a pristine stretch of beach at the edge of a nature preserve in San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico. Living there for over 20 years, she explored her creativity, guided by the gifts of the sea and sand, leading groups and individuals in a variety of self-discovery methods, including sand tray, a form of art therapy. She brought people together for exploration and reflection, encouraging them to find their authenticity and live it.

Her positive energy was infectious. She would lean in and smile when asking you about your life, embracing you with her warmth and love. She strove to be a conscious navigator of her life’s ups and downs, twists and turns, becoming ever more honest with herself. She spiced her environment and her relationships with humor and took delight in mischief. She loved the image of the lighthouse, saying, “It’s our responsibility to fuel our light and let it shine into life.”

Shirley is survived by her daughter, Melinda Fritchoff Davis (Owen), called Mende; and two grandchildren.

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