Milestones: April 2014


Boggs—Barbara M. Boggs, 91, of Medford, Ore., on May 16, 2013. Barbara was born on June 11, 1921, in Cedarville, Modoc County, Calif., to Lura Owens and Benjamin F. Boggs. Until she was three, she lived in a one-room homesteader’s cabin on a desert claim farmed for alfalfa and winter wheat, harvested with a team of horses and one mule. The family eventually moved to Las Vegas, Nev., where her father worked on building Hoover Dam. After graduating from high school in 1938, she attended a photography school in Los Angeles and from 1940 to 1943 worked in a studio in Ashland, Ore. Motivated to serve her country, she enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps, and her work in the chaplain’s office influenced her to go into religious education. The G.I. Bill helped her to earn a degree in psychology from William Jewell College, and she trained for a year in social group work, Christian education, Bible study, and nursery school education. Volunteering for the Methodist church, she taught preschool and English to Spanish-speaking children for five years in Robstown, Tex. She enrolled in Boston University School of Social Work, choosing Boston because of her love of early American history. After ten years in Boston working in a settlement house, for a family service agency, and in service to the Methodist church and community organizations, she moved west in 1969, partly to be closer to her family and partly because she loved the spirit and outdoor opportunities of the West. She worked for 19 years for Linn County Mental Health Services in Albany, Ore. From a life of concerts, theater, sports events, and tours of colonial sites, Barbara’s recreation became camping; fishing; and visiting ghost towns, Indian country, and western historic and scenic sights, at times with the group Wild Women Adventures. In 1978, she bought a house and began to garden, enjoying all the activities of canning and sharing abundance. A Friend invited her to visit the Corvallis (Ore.) Meeting, and she joined in 1984. At her retirement in 1987, her colleagues honored her for her dedication, humor, and “no nonsense matter-of-fact, yet supportive approach to counseling.” During the 26 years of her membership in Corvallis Meeting, she frequently served as clerk or member of a committee. She was a member of the Oversight Committee for Boise Valley (Idaho) Meeting as they went through worship group and meeting formation under the care of Corvallis Meeting. She regularly attended quarterly and yearly meeting sessions and was a particularly enthusiastic planner for the Corvallis-Boise Valley Friends spring campout at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Ore. She happily camped and picnicked with meeting members on the Oregon Coast. At potlucks in the fall, she was famous for the plentiful grapes shared from her backyard. Her passion for peace was not just local, but expanded to Russia, where she traveled with other Quakers to encourage and support women activists to work for universal peace. In 2010, she moved to the Avamere Assisted Living facility in Medford, Ore., to be near a sister, transferring her membership to South Mountain Meeting in nearby Ashland. Failing in body but not in mind or spirit, she continued to attend regularly, becoming a solid anchor for meeting for worship and often contributing witty and valuable remarks to adult education discussions. Her goals were to bring about change for good; find joy in what lay before her; and meet it with humor, enthusiasm, and simplicity. “I enjoyed every kind of life I had,” she said. The outdoor adventuring, the spiritual expansion of understanding, the call to serve, the eye for beauty, the love of challenge, the willingness to work for change at any level, and the spirit of loving kindness through it all made Barbara a Friend who is sweet to remember and a model for Friends who knew and loved her. She made her transition from life shortly after falling and breaking her hip, moving quickly and efficiently on to her next opportunity, as was her style. Barbara was preceded in death by her parents; her sister Lois Boggs Sargent; and her brother, Franklin Boggs Jr. She is survived by her sister Katherine Cook.

Byerly—Olin M. Byerly, 93, on December 15, 2012, at Capital Manor in Salem, Ore., peacefully, of age-related causes. Olin was born on November 16, 1919, to Olive Mitchell and Edgar Byerly, and grew up with four sisters on a farm near the Smyrna Friends Church in Weldon, Iowa. After graduating from William Penn College (now William Penn University) in 1942, he taught high school science in Wall Lake, Iowa, until 1944. As a conscientious objector, he operated a tractor on a Bureau of Reclamation project at Trenton, N.D., and was a nurse at Alexian Brothers Hospital near Chicago, Ill.. In Chicago, he met a visiting nurse named Lucille Williams at the Methodist Temple, which he frequented, as he said, as a starving medical student because the church gave out free meals. Lucille and Olin married in 1948, in Crystal Falls, Mich. After studying at Northwestern University and Roosevelt City College, he graduated from University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1951, taking a break from his studies one summer to operate a wheat combine for a friend on a ranch near Gate, Okla. Olin had a solo practice in Mapleton, Ore., for two years before moving to Eugene, Ore., where he and Lucille raised their four children, and he practiced in the River Road Medical Group. He was a member of Eugene Meeting from its earliest beginnings. In 1955, he and Lucille hosted a meeting of the then Eugene Preparative Meeting, at which it was decided to purchase the property at 2274 Onyx Street in Eugene that is still the location of the meetinghouse. On June 1, 1956, Olin was appointed clerk of the meeting. Pacific Yearly Meeting approved the Preparative Meeting’s becoming a monthly meeting, and Olin clerked Eugene Meeting’s first meeting for worship with attention to business on June 17, 1956. He was also presiding clerk at the marriage of Barbara Autenreith and Bent Thygesen on July 21, 1956, the first legal marriage in Oregon in an unprogrammed meeting. Olin served on the Building Committee throughout the planning of the meetinghouse, and he served on the quarterly meeting’s Ministry and Oversight Committee, at Pacific Yearly Meeting, and on North Pacific Yearly Meeting’s Ministry and Oversight and Steering Committees. Minutes of later years confirm Olin’s dedication, participating as he did on Clearness Committees, as liaison with other congregations, and as clerk. Throughout, he was a spiritual guide to all Friends who knew him. He studied Edgar Cayce’s work and healings and used them in his practice, attending the annual Edgar Cayce gathering at Seabeck, an experience that deeply affected his spirituality and beliefs. He cared lovingly for Lucille throughout her extended illness. He visited India, China, and Egypt and enjoyed flying as a private pilot from 1956 to 1985. Olin retired in 1989. In 2000, he and Lucille moved from their beloved friends and Friends meeting in Eugene to new friends in the Capital Manor retirement community and Salem (Ore.) Meeting, for which he served on Ministry and Oversight and Nominating Committees. He was fond of the children of the meeting, and they enjoyed chatting with him at the rise of meeting. Lucille passed away on November 17, 2010. Olin is survived by four children, Robert Byerly, Larry Byerly, Sandra Olson, and Betty Dunn; and ten grandchildren. Memorial donations may be sent to American Friends Service Committee, 1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102.

Hull—Eleanor Means Hull, 100, on November 5, 2013, in Boulder, Colo. Eleanor was born on August 19, 1913, in Denver, Colo., the only child of noted writer Florence Crannell Means and Carlton Bell Means, a lawyer. She grew up in a devout Baptist family and was much influenced by her grandfather, who, after retiring from his post as president of the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., moved in with her family and preached in nearby churches. She was also inspired by her mother, who wrote young adult novels about girls of different ethnic backgrounds and took young Eleanor with her on many trips to Native American reservations, migrant labor camps, Mexico, and African American colleges in the South. Eleanor attended Colorado Women’s College and University of Redlands, a small Baptist college where she met her future husband, Angus Hull. Angus was a Baptist preacher taken by the emerging social gospel. Eleanor embraced this gospel, and in her 100 years, her interest and passion never wavered. While raising five children, she wrote six books and worked for social justice; and she wrote 12 books after all her children were grown. In New York, she became a social investigator for Aid to Families with Dependent Children. She also worked with Angus for civil rights and traveled with him to Africa and the Soviet Union. During their work and travels, they were drawn to Quakers. In 1974, just before he was to retire, Angus died of a heart attack while giving the invocation at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration in New York. Eleanor returned to Colorado to the house that Angus and she had built in Gold Hill for retirement and joined Boulder Meeting. She served as recording clerk on several committees. At 82, she broke her femur, and although she was able to walk again, she became less active and more contemplative. But she never lost her love of words and her wry sense of humor. She continued to attend meeting for worship well into her 90s. Her son, Stephen Hull, preceded her in death. She is survived by four children, eight grandchildren, and thirteen great-grandchildren. A joyful memorial service celebrating her life was held on November 13, 2013.

Kraushaar—Jack Kraushaar, 89, on July 24, 2013, in Boulder, Colo. Jack was born on September 6, 1923, in Maplewood, N.J. At age 20, he lost both of his parents in a train wreck. With the support of his brother and family friends, he finished a degree in physics in 1944. He served in the Navy as a tactical radar officer on a supply ship in the Pacific Theater until 1946, and completed graduate studies at Syracuse University and doctoral research in nuclear physics at Brookhaven National Laboratory. While there, he met Nancy Whiting Curtis, a fellow scientist at the laboratory, and they married in 1951. After three years as junior faculty in physics, in 1956 he was made assistant professor at University of Colorado. Besides his many papers on nuclear physics, Jack studied the limitations of fossil fuels as a long-term energy source and their impacts on the environment. He was an early scholar in the need to develop alternative and clean energy sources. Jack and Nancy participated in forming Boulder Meeting, and in the 1980s, he served on the Ministry and Counsel Committee, on the Finance Committee, and as treasurer. Later he served 25 years on the Service Committee, tending to the transitional unit the meeting sponsored and raising money for it. He loved backpacking with Nancy and their three boys, stamp collecting, and gardening. A skilled craftsman, he helped to design and build the home where they lived for 50 years and extended warm hospitality to family, friends, students, and faculty. Friends will remember Jack’s humility, commitment, simplicity, kindness, and smile. He is survived by his wife, Nancy Whiting Curtis Kraushaar; their three children, Jeffrey Curtis Kraushaar, Steven Lester Kraushaar, and Matthew Jourdan Kraushaar; and four grandchildren. A memorial meeting for worship to celebrate Jack’s life was held at Boulder Meeting on August 17, 2013.

Mihalas—Dimitri Mihalas, 74, on November 21, 2013, in his sleep at home in Santa Fe, N.M. Dimitri was born on March 20, 1939, in Los Angeles, Calif. He received a bachelor’s (with highest honors) from University of California, Los Angeles in three majors: physics, mathematics, and astronomy. At age 24, he received a doctorate degree in astronomy and physics from the California Institute of Technology. Professor at Princeton University, University of Chicago, University of Colorado at Boulder, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he was also a laboratory fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory. His broad knowledge and contributions earned him election to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences at the age of 42 and many other distinguished awards. He had an exceptional record of both quantity and quality of work and developed new and far-reaching methodologies yielding results of great importance. The radiation hydrodynamics community views his book Foundations of Radiation Hydrodynamics as the authoritative and indispensable resource. He was a world-renowned astrophysicist; a pioneer in astrophysics and computational physics; and a world leader in the fields of radiation transport, radiation hydrodynamics, and astrophysical quantitative spectroscopy. Dimitri struggled with depression and bipolar disorder, writing about this in two essays: “Surviving Depression and Bipolar Disorder” and “A Primer on Depression and Bipolar Disorder.” A long-time member of Boulder (Colo.) Meeting, he also wrote in his book Depression and Spiritual Growth about how his struggles strengthened his Quaker spirituality. Throughout his long career, he gave generously of himself to all with whom he interacted; he was a patient mentor to students and younger scientists, acknowledging strengths, helping overcome weaknesses, giving encouragement, and enthusiastically praising success. Although a world class astrophysicist, he was humble about his mind. He was also an accomplished poet, writing poetry that was luminous, gripping, and full of wisdom.

Weber—Amy Hodel Weber, 93, on January 8, 2014, in State College, Pa. Amy was born on May 20, 1920, in Summit, N.J., to children of Swiss immigrants Amelia Holer and Jacob Hodel and always treasured her Swiss ancestry. She graduated from Milburn High School in 1937 and earned a bachelor’s in English literature from Wellesley College in 1941. After working as a sales clerk, news reporter, and secretary in Princeton, N.J., she earned 30 credits toward a master’s in sociology at University of Wisconsin. There she met Paul Weber, a PhD student in plant pathology; they married in 1948. Paul’s first job took them to Wooster, Ohio, and his next job brought them back to southern New Jersey, where they began attending Haddonfield (N.J.) Meeting, and Amy mostly stayed home with the children, taking occasional substitute teaching jobs. When the family moved to Bordentown, N.J., she devoted her time to her children, books, Crosswicks Meeting in Chesterfield Township, N.J., and work with the local National Association of the Advancement of Colored People. In 1961, she began teaching English at Allentown High School, leaving around 1970 to work as a research assistant for Educational Testing Services in Princeton, N.J. She retired in 1984, and she and Paul moved to Haddonfield to be closer to Haddonfield Meeting. For 10 years, they traveled all over the United States helping to organize the Friends Committee on Unity with Nature (now Quaker Earthcare Witness). Her affection for her Swiss heritage culminated in a trip to Switzerland with her children, her grandchildren, and her sister Ethel. In 1995, she and Paul moved to Foxdale Village in State College and joined State College Meeting. Amy was active on the Literature Committee, the Peace and Social Action Committee, and the 2003 Planning Committee for Friends General Conference. She served in the local Tembé Indian Support Group and enjoyed Penn State extension classes on Shakespeare. Beginning to write, she self-published a mystery story taking place in Haddonfield meetinghouse called “The Ghost of Elizabeth Haddon” and an engaging fictionalized version of her mother’s life, “An Ordinary Woman.” She often contributed to the Foxdale Miscellany, a quarterly publication of residents’ stories and poems. Interested in local, national, and world affairs, her concern for future generations—and the environment that would be left to them—influenced her work as a writer and poet. Loving her family cheerfully and creatively, she refreshed herself by splurging on lengthy long-distance phone calls to her sisters, Florence and Ethel. Engaged cheerfully with life until her last days, her life centered on her family even though she lived far from them. Her poem “I Talk to Ghosts” embodies the humor with which she met that challenge:

Although I often mutter to myself, as others do,
No one knows that I have ghosts around me, too.
My husband, Paul, is always here, quite near,
Though I remind myself he cannot hear.
My sister and I still gossip on the phone.
Without ghosts, I would be terribly alone.
Sometimes, like a dash of water, cold as ice,
My mother appears, with sensible advice.
Others wander in and out, marking trends,
From childhood playmates to college friends,
My favorite aunt is here, and relatives I never liked,
Both kinds appear, just as in real life.
Without my host of ghosts with whom to chat,
I would be lost, or talking to my hat.

Amy is survived by her three children, Bruce Thron-Weber, Barbara Fuller, and Jay Weber; her children’s spouses; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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