Milestones May 2014


Powell—Kitrina Elizabeth Glover Powell and Zachary Brooks Powell welcomed a daughter, Persephone Rose Powell, on February 27, 2014, at 3:46 p.m., in Richmond, Va. At birth, Persephone weighed over eight pounds and was 21 inches long. Zachary is a member of Richmond (Va.) Meeting.



Quest-Millar—Sophie Quest, of Burlington (Vt.) Meeting, and Frederick David Millar, of Montreal (Que.) Meeting, exchanged vows at Burlington Meeting’s meeting for worship on January 26, 2014. David, who is from Canada, applied a year earlier to live in the United States and marry Sophie. Receiving permission on January 7, 2014, and a visa on January 16, he crossed the border in a U-Haul on January 17. They married legally on the next business day (January 21) in a tiny booth at a recycle station—very Quakerly—and he submitted his Green Card application on January 22. Frederick and Sophie found that exchanging vows at meeting for worship, with the children from First-day school present, was very powerful.



Jones—T. Canby Jones, 92, on February 13, 2014, in Paoli, Pa., of pneumonia. Canby was born on September 25, 1921, in Karuizawa, Japan, to Esther Alsop Balderston and Thomas Elsa Jones, Quaker teaching missionaries. His family always called him “Beans” because on first seeing him, his father said that he looked like a little can of beans. When his parents returned to the United States in 1924, the family lived first in New York City and then in Nashville, Tenn., where his father was president of Fisk University. After attending Peabody Demonstration School and Westtown School, where he was a fourth-generation attender, he went to Haverford College, graduating in 1942, having studied under Thomas R. Kelly, who influenced him profoundly. During World War II, Canby worked in Civilian Public Service and traveled to raise money for the camps, meeting in Indiana the sender of a five-dollar donation, teacher Eunice Meeks. Although he had imagined her as an elderly spinster, young Eunice turned out to be his future wife, leading him to say that she had bought him for five dollars. Her engagement symbol was a small pendant made from a huge chunk of agate they had found and traded to a stone polisher at camp. They married in Danville, Ind., in 1945, and, with gasoline ration coupons heroically gathered by family members, moved to Trenton, N.D., to build farmsteads on an Indian reservation. In 1946, they went to Norway for American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) to repair war damage, returning to the United States when Canby came down with pneumonia. In Philadelphia, Pa., they continued work for AFSC, and then he went to graduate school at Yale Divinity School while Eunice supported them. In 1949, their son was born, and they named him Timothy because was the son of Eunice (2 Timothy 1:5). In 1955, he began teaching religion and philosophy at Wilmington College in Ohio, choosing it because Tom Kelly had gone there. He brought his childhood friend from Fisk to present a concert of Negro Spirituals, played Duncan in Macbeth, and used his construction experience to help build the Thomas R. Kelly Religious Center. He also taught classes at Lebanon Correctional Institution and invented the ecumenical traveling class with Sister Miriam Thompson of Chatfield College. A charter member of Campus (Ohio) Meeting, starting in the late ’60s, he traveled among Friends to try and bridge differences and misunderstandings, his verbatim command of many Bible verses helping mightily with Evangelical Friends. He traveled all over the United States and to England, Sweden, West Germany, Kenya, Namibia, China, South Korea, and Japan, although he never realized his dream to visit the Holy Land. At an impromptu meeting in the Indianapolis airport, he helped found the Friends Association for Higher Education, and he was the editor of the periodical Quaker Religious Thought. In the early ’70s, he taught briefly at Earlham School of Religion, his father’s alma mater and final college presidency. Canby wrote many books and other publications, including The Lamb’s Peacemakers and George Fox’s Attitude Toward War, which ironically was first published by the U.S. Naval Academy press after a Haverford classmate history professor there responded to the midshipmen’s interest in the background of the antiwar movement. (Friends United Press published the subsequent editions.) Canby also wrote a comprehensive edition of George Fox’s Letters. In 1987, he retired from Wilmington as faculty but continued to teach part-time as emeritus for eight years. Former student Lucy Steinitz wrote, “Canby learned from the students and made sure we learned from each other, more than anyone else I ever met. He wanted to know our stories, the origin of our faith, our personal histories, and whatever made us tick. He would rarely openly confront—rather ask questions or shoot up those famously bushy eyebrows of his in wonderment (often with some skepticism mixed in). [H]is deep religious beliefs but also his irreverence allowed questioning, humor, and disagreement.” Wilmington conferred an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters upon him in 1995 at its one-hundred-nineteenth commencement, and in 2007, recognized him as an educator, Quaker theologian, mentor, scholar, and peacemaker by naming the Meriam R. Hare Quaker Heritage Center addition the T. Canby Jones Meetinghouse. (He joked that this honor had given him an “edifice complex.”) As time went on, his travel decreased when he became Eunice’s primary caregiver. In the first of its creative supports for him, a Campus Meeting Clearness Committee reviewed any travel he considered to help him reconcile his secondary vocation with his vow of care to Eunice. After her death in 2004, he walked the back alleys and streets of northeast Wilmington with his dog, Jett the Pet, greeting friends human, feline, and canine, and he was able to attend his goddaughter’s twenty-fifth wedding anniversary celebration in Windhoek, Namibia. In August 2013, failing health brought him to a nursing home in suburban Philadelphia near his son, Timothy. A blessing of his final months is that Jett came with Tim every day to visit, usually jumping onto the bed to lick Canby awake from his nap. In the end, Canby’s life ended quickly, quietly, and peacefully when the pneumonia that he had escaped three times took advantage of a 92-year-old heart weakened by four cardiac episodes. Tim had visited him in intensive care unit the day before. Canby’s wife of 58 years, Eunice Meeks Jones, preceded him in death. He is survived by a son, Timothy Jones; and a sister, Catharine J. Gaskill.


Steitz—John Arthur Steitz, 98, on December 15, 2013, in Medford, N.J. Arthur was born on November 16, 1915, in Philadelphia, Pa. He grew up in Haddon Heights, N.J., spending his summers on Rancocas Creek, its cedar-stained brown waters shaping his life. A high school graduate during the Great Depression, he found work that enabled him to enroll in Albright College. His fascination with the medical skills of his family doctor led him to pursue a medical degree, which he earned from Jefferson Medical College in 1942. In World War II, he served in the Army Air Corps as chief medical officer at Maxwell Field in Montgomery, Ala. He realized his dream of having a family practice after the war, seeing patients in his house in Mount Holly, N.J., for $1.50 per visit and making house calls for $2.00. In an interview for Joel R. Gardner’s book Neighbor Caring for Neighbor, Arthur said, “You got to know your folks very well, and I could walk into 50 different houses at suppertime and sit down with the family. I would never go hungry in those days.” He served as the first chief of the Department of Family Medicine at Memorial Hospital (now Virtua) of Burlington County and practiced emergency room medicine at Memorial and at Southern Ocean County Hospital. Arthur was a member of Mount Holly (N.J.) Meeting. Staying on Long Beach Island; sailing his boat Lightning; and traveling the world with his beloved wife, Marion Kramer Steitz, were the warp of his life’s fabric, and birding; visiting Arney’s Mount, N.J.; and watching Rancocas Creek were the woof. He was a healer, sailor, traveler, and nature lover. Arthur was preceded in death by his wife, Marion Kramer Steitz, and one daughter, Mary Ann Toedtman. He is survived by two children, Constance Zimmer and John Arthur Steitz Jr. Mount Holly Meeting celebrated his life at a memorial service on January 18, 2014.


Thomas—Pauline Steed Thomas, 97, of Climax, N.C., on February 18, 2014. Polly, as her family called her, was born on March 1, 1916, in Asheboro, N.C., to Susan Frances Prichard and Charles Woodburn “Duncan” Steed. On November 24, 1937, she married Ray Thomas, and they created a home that welcomed everyone. Polly gave meaning to the word “homemaker”: raising two children; sewing clothes for the family; baking, freezing, and canning produce from the garden; and sharing responsibility for work on the farm, especially the task of grading eggs. Sunday worship and lunch afterward with family and friends were highlights of each week. She also loved needlework, doll making, and painting. After retiring from the farm, she and Ray were enthusiastic campers, often taking their grandchildren with them. Polly’s Christian faith was especially important to her. Aside from her responsibilities to Asheboro (N.C.) Meeting, she devoted many hours to sewing for American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). She served her family, her community, and God. Pauline was preceded in death by her husband of 76 years, Clarence Ray Thomas; one daughter, Janet Thomas Morris; her parents; seven brothers, Clarence Carl Steed, Willard Frank Steed, Charles Fletcher Steed, Jonathan Everett Steed, William Steed, Hal Dixon Steed, and Clyde Wilson Steed; two sisters, Mary Blanche Cox and Louette Steed; and one great-granddaughter. She is survived by one son, Neal Thomas (Susie); two grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; special family friends Pam and Evan Griffin; and one sister-in-law, Dorlas Steed. Asheboro Meeting held a memorial service on February 23, 2014, with the Reverends Ken and Pat Thames officiating. Memorial gifts may be made to C. Ray and Pauline S. Thomas trust funds for Quaker Lake Camp: c/o North Carolina Yearly Meeting, 4811 Hilltop Road, Greensboro, NC 27407; Asheboro Friends Meeting, 230 East Kivett Street, Asheboro, NC 27203; or Whites Memorial Athletic Association, 2930 Whites Memorial Road, Franklinville, NC 27248.

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