Milestones December 2014


Ward—Clara Rosemarie Ward, on July 29, 2014, at 5:38 p.m., in Asheville, N.C. Clara was 19.5 inches long and weighed 8 pounds 4 ounces. She joins parents, Jennifer Rhode Ward and Landon Ward, and sister, Eden. The family attends Asheville (N.C.) Meeting, where Jen is finishing a stint as co-clerk. Landon and Jen are faculty in the Environmental Studies (Landon) and Biology (Jen) Departments at University of North Carolina at Asheville. Delighted grandparents are Judith and Richard Rhode (La Plata, Md.) and Joyce Ward (Bellville, Tex.).


Cook—Donald Bowker Cook, 97, on July 16, 2014, at home in Spring Run, Pa. Don was born on January 14, 1917, in Easthampton, Mass., the only child of May Bowker and Melvin Jesse Cook. A member of Menallen Meeting in Biglerville, Pa., from birth, he was directly descended from Peter Cook, who emigrated from northern England in 1713, and his forebears, active in the Underground Railroad in Adams County, Pa., were founders of Warrington and Menallen Meetings. Don started school in the third grade at Baltimore Friends School, during his father’s year of study at Johns Hopkins University. He graduated from Williston Academy (now called Williston Northampton School) in 1933 but studied an additional year there before entering Princeton University, from which he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1938 with a bachelor’s in physics. He earned a master’s in physics at Columbia University in 1939, followed by a three-year fellowship in Langmuir Film Research. During the 1940s he attended Morningside Meeting in New York City, N.Y., working in Columbia University Division of Government Aided Research on the Manhattan Project and then researching the isotope separation pilot plant at Oak Ridge, Tenn. In 1943 he married Elizabeth (Betty) Conant of Southampton, Mass. After receiving a doctorate in physics from Columbia in 1950, he moved to Wilmington, Del., for work at the DuPont Company in nylon product development. He served as clerk of Wilmington (Del.) Meeting and was a member of the Friends General Conference Advancement Committee, attending yearly meetings in Silver Bay, N.Y.; Cape May, N.J.; Ocean Grove, N.J.; Traverse City, Mich.; and Berea, Ky. A lifetime member of the American Physical Society, the American Chemical Society, and the Phi Beta Kappa Society, he was a director of the Friends Meeting House Fund in Philadelphia, Pa.; president of the DuPont Experimental Station Credit Union; president of the North Mill Creek Association; and a docent and volunteer at historic Greenbank Mill. He sang in the Mercersburg Area Community Chorus and played piano for First-day school for many years, volunteering wherever a pianist was needed. He especially enjoyed Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hammerstein, George Gershwin, and big band music. An enthusiastic member of the Hockessin (Del.) Friends softball team, he played squash, tennis, and ping pong, and enjoyed electric trains, Scrabble, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, professional journals, and biographical and historical nonfiction. In 1986 he retired to the mountains of south-central Pennsylvania next door to one of his daughters, where he enjoyed helping with farm and yard work. He renewed ties with Menallen Meeting, becoming a member. He loved to have his family gather around, particularly enjoying his and Betty’s fiftieth wedding anniversary celebration in 1993. In his last years, he was given care by Sharon Cashell, Wilma Umbrell, and Pam Doyle, along with his family. Don was predeceased by his youngest son, Peter Bennett Cook, in 1986, and by his beloved wife, Elizabeth Conant Cook, in 1996. Surviving are five children, Dorothy C. Coady (Roger), Elisabeth (Lissa) E. C. Coady (Robert), Roger C. Cook, Alan H. Cook (Janice), and Avery M. Cook (Paula); nine grandchildren; two step-granddaughters; five great-grandchildren; and one step-great-grandchild. Memorial contributions may be made to Menallen Meeting, PO Box 306, 1107 Carlisle Road, Biglerville, PA 17307.

Deutsch—Elizabeth Gale Deutsch, 79, on July 26, 2014, in Seattle, Wash. Beth was born on April 25, 1935, in Benton Harbor, Mich., the first of three daughters of Mildred and Alex Gale, who were fruit farmers. Her family was active in the Congregational Church and in the community. Beth went to Oberlin College, where she met her future husband, Steven Deutsch, and joined him in attending Friends meeting. They married in 1958 and began 56 joyful years together. She taught early elementary school in Ohio and Michigan and earned a master’s at Michigan State University. The family moved to Eugene, Ore., in 1966, where Steven joined University of Oregon faculty and Beth taught and raised their three children. Beth was a member of Eugene Meeting, serving on several committees, and she was active in the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), leading several American Friends Service Committee projects and work camps for children’s services and to aid the exploited, such as farm workers. She and Steven traveled for his visiting and Fulbright professorships, attending Friends meetings in Sydney, Australia; Adelaide, Australia; and Stockholm, Sweden, and traveling also to New Zealand, Italy, Slovenia, and England. Beth loved learning about other cultures and studied how children learned, what programs worked best for immigrant children, and how best to teach nonviolence and peace. She was a loving grandmother and a great teacher in many settings; all of those whose lives she touched will remember her. Her warmth, love, and caring of family and friends affected everyone around her, and she appreciated the love and support she received as she struggled with multiple myeloma, which took her life. One of Beth’s children, Pamela Brettmann, died before her. She is survived by her husband, Steven Deutsch; two children, Peter Deutsch and Jennifer Bender; eight grandchildren; two sisters; several nieces, nephews, and cousins; and a large community of loving family and friends.

Jones—Curtis Wesley Jones, 100, on May 21, 2014, at home in Birdsboro, Pa. Curtis was born on December 3, 1913, in Reading, Pa., the oldest son of Mary Kreisher and David Jones. At an early age, he developed a love of music and nature that lasted all his life. He hiked and explored his native Berks County and took an eight-month canoe trip with a friend down the Intracoastal Waterway from Valley Forge, Pa., to Florida. He was active in the Natural History Hikers and helped form the Mengel Natural History Society in Berks County, where he got to know Charmoine Schartel, who shared his love of nature and his hopes for the future. In 1941, he bought a house and 19 acres of land in Robeson Township (Berks County), and he and Charmoine married and realized their vision of home as a place to enjoy and share with children, connect with nature, watch birds, garden, and find peace. They joined Reading Meeting in 1954. His wide reading of modern and ancient mystics led him to become the coordinator and teacher of the adult study group and a participant in many other activities and committees. He was a great reader, a lover of music and bird watching, a gardener, and a student of spiritual matters. His homestead, now known as the Rock Hollow Woods Environmental Learning Center, is a major primary nature center for the young. He will be remembered for his wise advice and counsel, as he had an uncanny ability to help people think through personal concerns and come to resolution. A Friend said about him, “He led us all in a way that helps people to think through and then think through again their beliefs and how to lead their lives.” As long as he was able, he read the biblical account of the birth of Jesus for Reading Meeting’s Christmas program. His deep voice and love of the story brought the narrative to life. Though aging kept Curtis homebound in later years, his gentleness of spirit, the song in his heart (and on his lips), and his Christian convictions continued to bless all who visited him. Curtis leaves behind his wife, Charmoine Schartel Jones; two children, Lawrence Jones (Darlene) and Kerry Lee; five grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Koponen—Niilo Emil Koponen, 85, on December 3, 2013, in Fairbanks, Alaska. Niilo was born on March 6, 1928, in New York City, to Finnish parents Aune and Niilo William Koponen, and grew up in a cooperative house in a working-class, multiethnic Bronx neighborhood. A conscientious objector, in 1948 he worked with American Friends Service Committee to resettle Karelian refugees in southeastern Finland, a seminal experience that confirmed his commitment to social solidarity and mutual aid, led him to join the Religious Society of Friends, and planted the seeds of his later Alaska homesteading. He attended historically black Wilberforce University in Ohio, often visiting nearby Antioch College, where he met Joan Forbes at a folk dance. They married in 1951 and moved to Alaska in 1952, homesteading on Chena Ridge. Several Friends began worshipping on their homestead in what became Chena Ridge Meeting, and he served as clerk, on several committees, and as an elder. His Quaker faith and practice suffusing his farming, community volunteering, grassroots organizing, and political activism, he worked as an electrician and an electrical workers shop steward, as a surveyor and surveyors union organizer, and as a teacher and National Education Association organizer. After studying at London School of Economics in 1958 and Harvard School of Education in 1962–1966, writing his dissertation on the Hartford, Conn., School District Desegregation Project, which he had directed, he returned to Chena Ridge, where he directed Head Start and introduced team teaching and other innovations as school principal. Facing protests about allowing students who had finished their assignments to read what they chose, he was asked what he was trying to teach the children. To his answer, “To learn to think for themselves,” the rejoinder was “We don’t want them to think for themselves—we want them to think right!” And the board maneuvered him out of his position. During his five terms in the Alaska legislature, beginning in 1982, he sponsored legislation for crime prevention, hospital safety, services to pregnant women, scholarships and student loans, disabled access, and employment rights. In every term, he introduced joint resolutions calling for a nuclear-free Arctic and subarctic zone and a nuclear weapons testing halt. University of Alaska Fairbanks Rasmuson Library holds his legislative papers. He helped establish Alaska Interior’s first credit union, Chena-Goldstream volunteer Fire and Rescue, Alaska Civil Liberties Union, Fairbanks Head Start program, Arctic Winter Games, Crisis Line, Humanities Forum, Alaska Peace Center, and Federation for Community Self-reliance. A lifelong Friend of Truth and a peace builder who found joy in creating community, he sought and celebrated Light in everyone. While a steadfast and eloquent opponent of oppression, he treated adversaries with kindness and grace and was creative rather than merely critical. Although he dealt with profound and weighty concerns, he was far from dour—almost never glum—and was a gifted storyteller, his stories speaking to the topic at hand in a roundabout way laced with humor and pithy, concrete details, and he spoke and wrote his third language (after Finnish and Yiddish) with rare mastery. He leaves Friends with his often-spoken “Onward!” Niilo is survived by his wife, Joan Forbes Koponen; five children, Karjala Koponen, Sanni Epstein, Chena Newman (Gary), Heather Koponen, and Alex Koponen; eight grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.

McCoy—Margaret Jean Stockdale McCoy, 94, on August 28, 2012, in McCandless Township, Pa. Margaret was born on September 26, 1917, in Pittsburgh, Pa., to Etta and Shields Stockdale. She grew up in a warm and close-knit but strict Presbyterian family, in which dancing, cards, alcohol, and working on Sunday were forbidden. A gift of dancing lessons from her adored older brother, Craig, muted her parents’ disapproval. She followed Craig’s footsteps to College of Wooster, where, at his urging, she took a class in public speaking. Her initial terror of public speaking gave way to lifelong enjoyment, skill, and confidence. After Wooster, she earned a master’s in literature at University of Pittsburgh School of Retailing and worked in retail in Pittsburgh, Pa. Fired from one job and then denied a job solely because “they want a man,” she despaired temporarily. But she persuaded the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph that it needed a new marketing department and that it should hire her. Through Craig, she met her future husband, Richard McCoy. After their marriage in 1952, she joined Pittsburgh Meeting. Their daughter, Carolyn, was born in 1954. At Pittsburgh Meeting, Margaret was known for greeting and welcoming newcomers. Throughout her 60 years there, people turned to her for guidance, support, and listening. She applied her skills and Quaker values in pragmatic activism, often outside the Quaker realm. In the 1960s, as a suburban homemaker, she founded a neighborhood-based swim club as an alternative to the nearby segregated and Christian-only country club. In the 1970s, she instigated and supported two experiments in communal housing and simple living that Pittsburgh Friends sponsored, one of them an intergenerational house where several elderly Friends lived cooperatively with young adults. She had leadership roles in myriad community groups as varied as Blackridge Garden Club and Allegheny Valley Development Corporation. She served as a Girl Scouts troop leader, as a member of the board of trustees for College of Wooster, and as coordinator for Physicians for Social Responsibility. Margaret’s proudest achievement was her part in the creation of Sherwood Oaks, the first retirement community in western Pennsylvania. This project began as a dream of four women, including her, in 1975, reaching fruition in 1982. It required all of Margaret’s skills in public speaking, persuasion, perseverance, and passion. She lived at Sherwood Oaks from its opening until her death, serving as the president of the Resident’s Association, initiating the Continued Learning Committee, coordinating the resident-run gift shop, hosting social events, and establishing a scholarship fund for the employees, which was especially important to her. She gave her final public speech at age 94. In her last years, she struggled with macular degeneration, which took most of her sight. Still, she delighted in meeting new people and hosted several parties in her new single room in the months before her death. Her lively mind, genuine compassion, and sensitivity made her a beloved friend to many. Margaret is survived by a daughter, Carolyn McCoy (Bill Sanderson), and two grandchildren, Matt and Margie Sanderson.

Price—Alice Waddington Price, 92, on July 29, 2014, in Ellsworth, Maine, in her sleep. Alice was born on May 22, 1922, in Woodstown, N.J., to Mary Allen and Edward C. Waddington. She graduated from George School in 1940 and married Harrie B. Price III in 1942. Over the next 50 years they lived at Westtown School near West Chester, Pa.; in Moorestown, N.J.; and in Penobscot, Maine. They spent every summer at the Flying Moose Lodge boys’ camp near East Orland, Maine. When Harrie died in 1992, Alice moved to Farmington, Maine, to be near her son and daughter-in-law, and joined Farmington Meeting. She was a frequent volunteer, working for the Safe Visitor Program, the Farmington Public Schools, the Franklin County Hospital, and the Food Closet. In the summertime she attended Narramissic Meeting in Orland, Maine. One of Alice’s sons, Harrie B. Price IV, died in 1994. She leaves behind three children, Polly Price, Margaret Sunderman, and Christopher Price; a daughter-in-law, Holly Price; twelve grandchildren and step-grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. Donations can be made to the Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust, PO Box 266, Orland, ME 04472.

Rudd—Mary Carolyn Clausen Rudd, 94, on June 16, 2014, in Foxdale Village in State College, Pa. Carolyn was born on July 21, 1919, in Hamilton, N.Y., to Mary Elizabeth Darnell and Bernard Chancellor Clausen. She grew up in Syracuse, N.Y.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; and graduated from Westtown School. She traveled with the Experiment in International Living to Germany in 1938, living with a German family who became lifelong friends. She married Ralph Rudd in 1941, the same year she received a bachelor’s degree from Smith College, and they raised their family in Cleveland and Willoughby, Ohio, as members of Cleveland Meeting. She received a master’s from Yale School of Nursing in 1944. Her family enjoyed car travel and camping in the United States and Canada, and she and Ralph, enthusiasts for internationalism, visited France and other European countries, Russia, China, and Guatemala. In 1963, they and their daughter participated in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Carolyn earned a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Certificate in the 1970s and worked as a registered nurse in Philadelphia, Pa., and Cleveland, finishing her career as a research nurse at University Hospitals of Cleveland. In 1992, Carolyn and Ralph moved to Foxdale Village Retirement Community in State College and joined State College Meeting. Always an activist, a feminist, and a pragmatist, Carolyn was a participant and leader in Cleveland Church of All People, Cleveland Meeting, Friends Committee on National Legislation, American Civil Liberties Union, Parent-Teacher Association, American Field Service (exchange student program), Lake County Mental Health Association, and League of Women Voters. She served on State College Meeting’s Literature, Visitation, Telephone, AFSC Clothing, and Program Committees and on the Borough of State College Tree Commission, gaining attention in 2011–12 for her efforts to save an oak tree that was removed for a Foxdale expansion. She volunteered at the Center County Women’s Resource Center and the Voices of Central Pennsylvania newspaper. At Foxdale Village she was resident board chair and served on Health Care, Programs, Food Service, Marketing, Diversity, and Green Committees. She acted on her yearning to soar, taking a glider ride with a son-in-law to the top of Mount McKinley on her ninetieth birthday and a hot air balloon ride to celebrate a later birthday. She was practical, frugal, generous, nurturing, self-reliant, and caring to the very end of her life. She knitted and gave away socks, scarves, hats, and mittens. Until she could no longer see, she knitted remarkable patchwork blankets using leftover yarn from the Foxdale crafts room, naming a lacy green-and-white scarf for a crafts exhibit Spring Around My Shoulders. Carolyn is survived by her four children, Darnell Rudd Mandelblatt (David), Herbert Finley Rudd II, Corlies Anna Rudd Delf (Greg), and Rachel Clausen Rudd Christensen (Eric); 13 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

Talbot—Ardith Snell Talbot, 81, of New Providence, Iowa, on June 3, 2014, after an intense struggle with squamous cell carcinoma. Ardee was born on March 11, 1933, to Dolly and Howard Snell. She grew up in Juniata, Neb., and graduated from Juniata High School. With a bachelor’s in secondary education from Kearney State University, she was a semi-pro softball catcher in the 1950s, teaching English and drama and directing church plays and cantatas. Later she owned and operated Christian bookstores in Sutherland, Mason City, and Marshalltown, Iowa, and retired in 1997 as editor for Friends United Press in Richmond, Ind. A member of Northwest Community Friends Church in Tucson, Ariz., Ardee followed Christ and enjoyed being around people. She was known as the Hat Lady in her later years, wearing different hats as she gave talks throughout the Midwest about the healing effects of humor with a theme “Have a Blast While You Last.” Enjoying sports, theater, card games, music, books, and most of all her children and grandchildren, she was a loyal cheerleader at the concerts, games, and productions of those she loved. Ardee was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers; a sister; and an infant son, Edward Talbot. She is survived by her husband of 59 years, Richard Talbot; two children, Richard Talbot (Darlene) and Robert Talbot (Jennifer); one brother, Robert Snell (June); seven grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; and several nieces and nephews. The family held a Celebration of Life party on July 5, 2014, at Quakerdale Broer Center in New Providence, Iowa, where her beloved Quakerdale Eagles play their home games. Memorial gifts may be sent for completing a room in the new Broer Center addition to Quakerdale at PO Box 8, New Providence, IA 50206.

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