Milestones August 2014

Birth and Adoption

Cizek-Paulonis—Pollux Cizek Paulonis, on April 23, 2013, at the Woman’s Hospital of Texas, in Houston, Tex., to Laura Cizek and Matthew Paulonis. Pollux is named after the twenty-first navigational star, the Beta star in the constellation of Gemini. On the evening of his birth, the star Pollux was almost directly overhead in Houston at about 9:00 p.m., with a right ascension of 07 hours 45 minutes 18.95 seconds (SHA 243 degrees 31.5 minutes) and declination of N28 degrees 0.3 minutes. Now a sweet one-year-old, Pollux, although not an immortal son of Zeus, is living up to another meaning of his name: he is always smiling and laughing (pollux is the Roman form of a Greek word meaning “very sweet”).

Crawford-Vargas—Sophia Serenity Crawford-Vargas, born on February 11, 2013, in Ben Taub Hospital emergency room in Houston, Tex., and adopted on September 20, 2013, in Fort Bend County, Tex., by Karen Vargas and Stephen Crawford. Sophia was born ten weeks early, surprisingly healthy at 3.5 lbs. Knowing that she was not ready to be a mother, her very wise 16-year-old birth mother had selected Karen and Stephen of Live Oak Meeting in Houston, Tex., as parents for her daughter. Sophia’s birth mother named her Serenity, and Karen and Stephen have kept Serenity as her middle name. Sophia shows a remarkable willingness to try anything her mom and dad suggest, whether it’s swimming or broccoli or riding in a bicycle seat! The meeting community is looking forward to many adventures with Sophia.


Austin-Mognett—Mary Sue Austin and Margaret Stiff Mognett, on July 23, 2013, in Napa, Calif. Although Mary Sue and Marty were not married under the care of Napa-Sonoma Meeting, which they attend, a meeting representative attended the wedding to share in their blessing. Marty is a member of Live Oak Meeting in Houston, Tex., but currently lives in Vallejo, Calif. Marty and Mary Sue celebrated their love and commitment to each other with family and f/Friends at a reception at Live Oak Meeting on November 24, 2013. Live Oak Friends give thanks for their legal union in California and the joy and security it allows them.


Bansen—Shirley Mutch Bansen, 86, on November 10, 2013, at Abington Memorial Hospital in Lansdale, Pa., after a short illness. Shirley was born at home in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa., on October 9, 1927, to Helen Reed and Albert Mutch, M.D. She graduated from Germantown Friends School (GFS) in 1945 and from Mount Holyoke College in 1949. Her first job after leaving college was for the Bell Telephone Company, pacifying customers who thought the company had wronged them. Although she excelled at this work, she yearned to teach, so she took a job as an intern teacher at GFS in 1950. The school promoted her to full-time teacher after she pacified a class of rambunctious eighth graders (who boasted that they had driven several teachers to early retirement). She met Richard Bansen, a member of Lansdowne (Pa.) Meeting, in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s Young Friends Movement in 1950, when they had the task of addressing postcards announcing a bus trip to the United Nations. Soon after the trip, which they went on together, they announced their engagement. Shirley and Dick married at Green Street Meeting in Philadelphia in 1952. She taught at GFS until 1955, when their first child was born; then in 1972, she returned to teaching, this time at Greene Street Friends School. In more than 20 years of teaching there, she taught several grades, pioneered a first-to-third-grade vertical class, and drove the school bus for a few years. She served on committees in Green Street Meeting and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and on the board of Stapeley, a continuing care community in Germantown. In 2008, after 48 years in their home on Westview Street, she and Dick moved to Foulkeways at Gwynedd in Montgomery County, Pa. Shirley loved her family, gardening, wild birds, nature, Shakespeare, camping, and teaching, and to the end she had a great sense of humor. A devoted Gilbert and Sullivan fan, she was active in amateur theater and sang in the Foulkeways Singers. She devoted her life to service and kindnesses to others. Shirley’s youngest daughter, Elizabeth, predeceased her in 2004. She is survived by her husband, Richard P. Bansen; three children, Peter Bansen (Cindy), Sarah Bansen (Daniel Grossman), and Cindy Bansen Travis; and six grandchildren.

Howe—Patricia Howe, on January 4, 2014, after a brief illness. Pat was born on June 28,1929, in Buffalo, N.Y. Her parents were educators, and she grew up in New York City; Princeton, N.J.; and Philadelphia, Pa. After high school, she worked as a bookkeeper at a bank in Philadelphia and then at Friends Central School. She married Fielding Howe, and they had two sons. Returning to college as an adult, she earned a bachelor’s degree at Chestnut Hill College. Pat taught First-day school at Merion Meeting in Merion Station, Pa., and at Doylestown (Pa.) Meeting. She was also clerk of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s Religious Education Committee. She wrote poetry and enjoyed spending summers in Castine, Maine. Living her last 11 years at Pennswood Village in Newtown, Pa., where she clerked the Library Committee, she was surrounded by friends and active in Pennswood’s annual book sales and theatrical productions. Pat is survived by her partner of 25 years, Mary Louise Wentzel; two sons, Sam Howe and Geery Howe, and their wives; four grandchildren; one great-grandchild; one granddaughter-in-law; and two grandchild fiancées.

Kimber—William Lawrence Kimber, 98, on February 22, 2014, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Lawrence was born on March 13, 1915, in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa., to Elizabeth Haines and William Marmaduke Cope Kimber. He attended Germantown Friends School, Solebury School, and Haverford College, graduating in 1937. He joined Leeds and Northrup (later a division of General Signal) as a sales trainee, moving to Buffalo, N.Y., in 1940. Lawrence married Carol Letchworth in 1941, and they spent most of their married life in East Aurora, N.Y. He was a charter member of the Instrument Society of America’s Niagara Section, member of the Association of Iron and Steel Engineers, and member of the American Society for Metals. A Quaker from birth, he helped to reopen the 1820 meetinghouse of Orchard Park (N.Y.) Meeting in 1958 for weekly worship and served as meeting trustee, clerk of New York Yearly Meeting’s Financial Services Committee, and treasurer of Farmington-Scipio Regional Meeting. Retiring from Leeds and Northrup in 1981 as district manager of Western New York, he volunteered at Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Portable Meals, and Scipio Lake Property Owners Association on Owasco Lake, of which he was a charter member. Carol died in 2004. His brother, John H. Kimber; and his companion, Helen Matlock, also died before him. He leaves behind three children, William L. Kimber Jr. (Elaine), Susan Kimber Kiviat (Stephen), and Margaret Hatrick (David); four grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; a brother Richard H. Kimber; and several nieces and nephews. Memorials may be made to Orchard Park Meeting (6924 E. Quaker Street, Orchard Park, NY 14127).

Lomax—Walter Pleasant Lomax Jr., 81, on October 10, 2013, in Philadelphia, Pa., of a stroke, surrounded by his family. Walter was born on July 31, 1932, at home in South Philadelphia, the youngest of five children born to Elizabeth Harvey and Walter Pleasant Lomax Sr. After attending Walter George Smith Elementary School, Barrett Junior High School, and Central High School, he studied biology at La Salle University and medicine at Hahnemann Medical College. He interned at Albert Einstein Medical Center Southern Division (Mount Sinai) in 1957. In 1958, he married Beverly Hill, and their six children attended George School. Walter was a Renaissance man, and his career was wide and varied, from working in a haberdashery and shining shoes in his early youth to chairing the Lomax Companies, which focused on health care, venture capital, and real estate. In 1994, he bought the farm/plantation in King William, Va., where his great-grandmother had been enslaved. He and his siblings, other relatives, and friends were glad to restore and revive this beautiful ancestral land. One of his most passionate business ventures was forming in 2003 WURD Radio, a local AM talk radio station that is the only African American-owned talk radio station in Pennsylvania. The Lomax Family Foundation, founded in 2004 to fund organizations that promote health and wellness, art and culture, and education in the African American community, embodied his philanthropic spirit. A member of Doylestown (Pa.) Meeting, he took part in post-meeting discussions on topics such as Martin Luther King Jr. and reparations. Walter escaped every February to Jamaica to sit quietly in his favorite lounge chair, listen to music he had gathered over the years, read, and just be still. Within the last few years, Central High School recognized him as one of its distinguished alumni. Walter leaves a remarkable legacy to a deeply loved family: his wife, Beverly Hill Lomax; six children; 14 grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; his aunt, Ariminta Lomax; his mother-in-law, Muriel Hill; and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and longtime friends.

Maxfield—Anne Rothermel Bowly Maxfield, 100, peacefully, in her sleep, on December 23, 2013, at Pennswood Village, Newtown, Pa. Anne was born in Fleetwood, Pa., on June 22, 1913, to Florence May Rothermel and Heyward Wirgman Bowly, whose marriage linked two quite distinct strands of American society: her father came from Winchester, Va., in the Shenandoah Valley, and her mother was Pennsylvania Dutch, most people in Fleetwood speaking German as a first language well into the twentieth century. Anne grew up in Summit, N.J. Anne’s paternal grandmother, Anna Maria Wood (Nannie Wood Bowly), had attended Swarthmore College during the 1870s, when it was principally a pre-college preparatory school, and Anne enrolled there in 1930 in the recently established honors program and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. After graduation, she met William Francis Maxfield, a graduate of Haverford College (class of 1934), and they married in 1936 and settled in Philadelphia. Bill belonged to Germantown Meeting in Philadelphia, and their attachment deepened when its members rallied around them during the dark winter of 1940–41, after their first son, Richard Bowly Maxfield, died in a tragic accident. Only those closest to Anne and Bill realized the intensity of their life-affirming decision to cherish the present and their refusal to allow Richard’s death to scar them. Their three other children grew up in the meeting and attended Germantown Friends School from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. In 1947, the family moved to a house Bill had designed in the intentional community Bryn Gweled Homesteads, in Southampton, Pa. An eagle-eyed editor, Anne had many roles at Bryn Gweled; for more than two decades, she was its treasurer, a job that used her organizational and financial management strengths. Anne and Bill moved to Pennswood Village in 1992 after 45 years at Bryn Gweled. Bill was the more gregarious partner, and when he died in 1995, Anne’s loss narrowed her circle and shadowed her remaining years. But she persevered, visiting and cheering residents who welcomed her attention. Until 2006, she drove herself every First Day to Germantown Meeting (where she was a member for over 70 years), and she delivered meals-on-wheels weekly from Pennswood to the homebound. Anne remained alert until the end of her life. The highlight of her last year was her one-hundredth birthday reception and party in June 2013, to which she wore a striking gold dress and thoroughly enjoyed herself. Anne is survived by three children, Betsy Maxfield Crofts (Dan), Bill Maxfield (Susan), and Alice Maxfield (Nelson Camp); six grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and a niece. Contributions in Anne’s memory may be directed to American Friends Service Committee ( or to the Friends Committee on National Legislation Education Fund (

Potts—Grace (Mimsey) Olmsted Peterson Potts, 93, on February 13, 2014, at Pennswood Village in Newtown, Pa. Mimsey, nicknamed after a character in the book Peter Ibbetson by George du Maurier, was born on July 16, 1920, in Buffalo, N.Y., to Grace Legate and Harold Olmsted. Her mother died two weeks after her birth, and for five years she lived with her uncle John Olmsted and his wife, Margie (Nannie), in Hubbard Woods, Ill., returning to her family in Buffalo when she was six and developing a quite close relationship to her father. Along with a tomboy’s penchant for tennis, swimming, biking, skiing, and pranks, she had an aptitude for music, starting violin lessons at age six. Attending Elmwood School and Buffalo Seminary, she loved animals and considered veterinary school, but decided to major in music at Vassar College, from which she graduated in 1942. That same year, she married her Dartmouth beau, Harold (Pete) L. Peterson. They moved to Maryland, homesteading and working in wartime jobs. In 1947, polio struck Mimsey, but as an uncle said, she displayed “character of courage in abundance,” and the resulting physical problems never held her back. Giving up their farmstead dream, she and Pete moved to the Philadelphia, Pa., area, and Pete joined the family Oldsmobile business in Jenkintown. Mimsey learned to drive again, and along with taking part in volunteer activities, including the March of Dimes, she became the lower school librarian at Abington Friends School. In 1958, she and Pete took on a 1760 stone farmhouse and 11 acres in Sellersville, Pa., but a devastating house fire in 1963 claimed Pete’s life. She was able to find a rental in Bryn Gweled Homesteads and immediately felt at home there. In 1965, with a master’s in education from University of Pennsylvania, she began 18 years as a guidance counselor in William Tennent High School. She and widower Edward (Eddie) Rhoads Potts, a longtime member of Bryn Gweled Homesteads, married in March 1967, and their home served as a gathering point for a growing clan. She helped found the Quaker School at Horsham for children with learning differences, became a member and a trustee of Southampton (Pa.) Meeting, and served on several committees and boards. In 1992, she and Eddie moved to Pennswood Village in Newtown, Pa., and she continued to spend summers at the Olmsted Camp in Sardinia, N.Y., or at Riverbrink, the Potts family summer home in Pocono Lake Preserve. Eddie died in 2002. Mimsey is survived by two children, Susan Maxfield (William) and Anne Ogan (Nicholas); three stepchildren, Elisabeth Brown, Lydia Quill (Paul Jefferson), and Edward R. Potts Jr. (Laura); nine grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; her sister-in-law, Christie Ann Peterson Shoop (Ashton); and many nieces and nephews. Contributions in her memory may be made to the Quaker School at Horsham (250 Meetinghouse Road, Horsham, PA 19044). A memorial service was held at Pennswood Village on April 12; there will also be a memorial at the Olmsted Camp in Sardinia, N.Y., in the summer.

Swift—Gladys Hubbard Swift, 91, on March 9, 2014, in her sleep, in Sandy Spring, Md. Gladys was born on November 28, 1922, in Paotingfu, North China, to Mabel and Hugh Hubbard, who were missionaries. She attended the North China American School in Tungchow, near Beijing, and her parents sent her to college in the United States to keep her from suffering under the Japanese occupation. She graduated from Oberlin College in 1944 with a bachelor’s in sociology and married Lloyd Balderston Swift in 1943 on the condition that he serve with her in China. In 1948, the Congregational Mission Board sent them as English teachers to the Chongqing area in Sichuan, China, but the Communist-led political situation thwarted her ambition to spend her life in mission work there, and so she chose Turkey for her next assignment in 1951. She worked for six years in Turkey and Lebanon, raising four boys and supporting Lloyd’s teaching work before returning to the United States for his work with the State Department. When the Prince Edward County, Va., schools were closed to avoid racial integration in 1959, she invited an African American teenager to live with her family for a year and attend school in Bethesda, Md. A founding member of Bethesda Meeting, Gladys was active from 1961 to 1993 serving on the Peace and Social Concerns Committee and as clerk of the meeting. She opposed war in Vietnam in many demonstrations and protested American hegemony and social injustice. From 1965 to 1974, she was a caseworker for foster care in Montgomery County, Md., and later supervised social work in Prince George’s County, Md. After earning a master’s degree in social work from Catholic University in 1977 and training for a year at the Family Therapy Institute, she worked part time as a family therapist in a public health clinic in the Washington, D.C., area until she retired in 1988. In 2003, she was arrested in Virginia Congressman Virgil Goode’s office while protesting the funding of the Iraq war; and as recently as 2009, she traveled to Fort Benning, Ga., to protest the activities of the School of the Americas. She never abandoned her love of China and founded a newsletter for alumni of the North China American School called Tungchow Re-collected, serving as its editor from 1983 until 2008 and organizing and chairing several annual reunions. She enjoyed playing tennis, sculpture, painting, square dancing, and gardening. Her husband, Lloyd Balderston Swift, died in 1989. Gladys is survived by four children, Eric Khusrau Swift, Lloyd (Larry) Swift Jr., Alan Aubrey Swift, and Jonathan Swift; five grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and a sister, Emma Rose Martin. The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be contributions to Bethesda Meeting ( or Friends Committee on National Legislation (

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