Milestones May 2015


Brooks—Dorothy Jane Howell Brooks, 99, on January 11, 2015, in Pennswood Village, Newtown, Pa. Jane was born on March 26, 1915, in Lawrenceville, N.J., to Anna Hale Updike and James Roscoe Howell, both from grain farmer families with roots deep in New Jersey’s past. Her earliest memory was the World War I armistice. She grew up as a Baptist in Lawrence Township and Trenton, N.J., joining Trenton Meeting in 1936, a step that her devout father blessed, citing Quaker virtue and Howell Quaker ancestors.

With Quaker companions she took a cross-country journey to the Grand Canyon, the California redwoods, Death Valley, and south to Baja California, Mexico. After graduating from New Jersey College for Women (Douglass College of Rutgers University), she earned a master of social work degree from Boston University, worked as a parole officer in Atlantic City, N.J., and volunteered during the war years for Travelers Aid.

In 1949, when leaving Trenton for Hawk Mountain, Pa., she spotted a man standing on the curb holding a Peterson’s Field Guide for birds and a pair of binoculars and boldly offered him a ride. His name was Harold Fisher Brooks II, and he too was headed for Hawk Mountain. They married at Trenton Meeting in 1950.

Jane ran the outpatient department at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital and worked at the Children’s Home Society of New Jersey; at the New Jersey Neuropsychiatric Institute; and as a psychiatric social worker for the Princeton Regional school district, where she initiated the Princeton University Big Sister/Little Brother program. During her long membership at Trenton Meeting, she served as clerk and overseer, on many committees, and on the board of Mercer Friends School.

She and her family visited historic sites and bird-watching spots and vacationed regularly in Cape May, N.J., where they attended Friends General Conference gatherings. After 50 years on Cedar Lane in Titusville, N.J., surrounded by acres of farmland, woodlands, and wildlife, she and Fisher moved to Pennswood. At Pennswood she grew tomatoes and cosmos as gifts for other residents. She and Fisher attended over 15 elderhostels and traveled to Sweden; Wales; by cruise ship to the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal and on to Guatemala; and on river cruises down the Danube and Rhine rivers.

While reading the New Yorker, she knit dozens of sweaters for herself and her family. She also did needlepoint and best expressed her creativity, craft, patience, and diligence with quilting. Along with her handiwork, she leaves behind a generosity of spirit. Everyone she encountered she reached out to and touched in some way. The halls of Pennswood are quieter with her passing.

Fisher died in 2005. Jane is survived by three children, Carol Brooks Thomas, Gregory Brooks, and Gordon Brooks; and her equally beloved grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Mercer Street Friends Center or a charity of your choosing. To send a condolence, visit

Mabbs—Robert Donald Mabbs, 89, on January 16, 2015, in Prince of Peace Place, Sioux Falls, S.D. Bob was born on July 15, 1925, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Gertrude Conine and John Kenneth Mabbs. He graduated from Manhasset High School in Manhasset, N.Y., in 1942 and served as an aviation electronics technician in the U.S. Navy during World War II. In addition to degrees from Cornell University, College of Wooster, McCormick Seminary, and University of Pittsburgh, he earned a doctorate from University of Utah.

Bob married Alice Ruth Gabel in 1951 in Cairo, Egypt, where he was teaching chemistry, sociology, and ethics at the American University. For more than seven years in the Middle East as missionary for Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), he taught at Aleppo College (Syria) and National Evangelical College (Zahleh, Lebanon). Back in the United States, he was a community organizer in Pittsburgh and in Toledo, Ohio, where he founded the Stickney Neighborhood Area Council (recognized by the Toledo Health Department for outstanding neighborhood improvement), and supervised University of Michigan graduate students working with it. He was executive director of the North Toledo Community House before moving to Sioux Falls in 1966, where he founded and directed the Joint Community Development and Social Work Education undergraduate program between Augustana College and University of Sioux Falls, earning the 1971 Outstanding Educator of America Award. In Dell Rapids, S.D., he supervised students in an interdisciplinary 1969–1975 project to develop community leadership. His research developed and quantified criteria for social work education and practice, and he retired as distinguished professor for theological integration into college curricula.

Believing God’s mercy and grace had made him what he was, he served in World Council of Churches work camps in Italy and Lebanon, a Presbyterian work camp in Illinois, and Toledo Area Council of Churches Inner-City Ministries. He started and clerked Sioux Falls Meeting and served on the North Central Executive Committee of American Friends Service Committee. He was president of South Dakota National Association of Social Workers; chair of teams to evaluate undergraduate social work programs nationally; treasurer and newsletter editor for Tri-State Polio Survivors, Inc.; and a member of the National Social Action Commission; the editorial board of the Great Plains Observer; Teen Aid Phone; American Indian Services; National and International Social Welfare Conferences; and the Governor’s Medical Advisory Council. In his spare time he enjoyed model railroading and belonged to a model railroad club.

Bob was predeceased by his much beloved wife, Alice Ruth Gabel Mabbs, in 2004, and by his parents. He is survived by four children, Bonnie J. Swenson (Kevin), Cherie Goehring (Bob), Dick V. Mabbs (Linda), and Merrill L. Mabbs (Brenda); nine grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; a niece; and a nephew. He willed his body to University of South Dakota Medical School. The family requests that memorials be directed to the overseas humanitarian relief of your choice.

Scott—Austin Alan Scott, 94, on November 27, 2014, in Victoria, B.C., Canada. Austin was born on January 6, 1920, in New York City. After earning a bachelor’s from Guilford College in North Carolina, he studied at Juilliard and earned a master’s at Columbia University. His first teacher was Eugene C. Rose, one of the earliest pioneers in recording flute solos for Edison records. He also studied flute with Lamar Stringfield, Burnett Atkinson, and Arthur Lora. Principal flute of the North Carolina Symphony for four years, he spent most of his career in England as head of the Nottingham High School Orchestra Department and conductor of the Nottingham Youth Orchestra. He was principal flute of the Nottingham Harmonic Orchestra for 15 years. Settling in Victoria in 1966, he taught high school music for the Saanich district, played for seven seasons in the Victoria Symphony, and taught flute and flute ensemble at Victoria Conservatory of Music until his death. He was a former member of Westbury (N.Y.) Meeting and a member of Victoria Meeting. He belonged to the Victoria Railway Club and spent many hours on his model railroads. His colleagues miss him, and his family mourns him. Austin’s wife, Mary Jane Mathewson Scott, predeceased him. He is survived by his children, Douglas Scott and Rosalind Scott; two grandchildren; a brother, David Scott; two nephews; and four great-grandchildren.

Shaw—Mark Shaw, 90, on January 26, 2015, in Foxdale Village, State College, Pa., after a long illness. Mark was born on August 22, 1924, in Karuizawa, Japan, the only child of missionary parents Alma Dodds and Mark R. Shaw. When he was three years old, the family returned to the United States and settled in Massachusetts, where he showed an early pacifist bent by refusing his teacher’s request to donate a penny toward a bell for the newly commissioned battleship USS Massachusetts. As a high school senior in a time when war had begun in Europe, he and a partner won a debating contest speaking against compulsory military service.

He attended Earlham College, where he met his future wife of 66 years, Mary Dearden (called Mardy) and earned a degree in sociology. Expecting to follow in his father’s footsteps as a minister, he attended Yale Divinity School. While there, he applied to work for American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and learned that China needed relief workers. After a year studying Chinese and theology at Yale, he went to China, where he worked with Friends Ambulance Unit to restore war-damaged missionary hospitals and transport medical supplies. Originally planning to stay for two years and then come home to marry, he decided to stay longer and asked Mardy to join him, and in 1948, they married in a Quaker ceremony in Zhongmu (Chungmou), Henan Province, China, in a wedding overseen by Shanghai Meeting at the request of Mardy’s home meeting, Chestnut Hill Meeting in Philadelphia, Pa. Following Zhongmu, he and Mardy spent a year in the AFSC office in Hong Kong, where the first of their five children was born.

He also spent a year at AFSC headquarters in Philadelphia after returning to the United States. The family moved to State College, Pa., for his study at Pennsylvania State University, from which he received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural engineering. He joined the Penn State faculty, and the family spent four years in Pune (Poona), India, while he served on a Penn State/USAID agricultural team, primarily working with farmers to increase food production. He particularly enjoyed photography and woodworking and raised their children in a house that he built himself. He retired as an associate professor of agricultural engineering in 1991, after 37 years.

After retiring he took part in projects that took him to China, Armenia, and Bolivia, among other places. A member of State College Meeting for 64 years and the backbone of the Building and Grounds Committee for decades, he was a member of the Peace and Social Action Committee and a volunteer driver taking used clothing to AFSC in Philadelphia. He helped to found State College Friends School, serving on its first board of directors and alternating with Mardy on that board for over 20 years. In 2006 Mark and Mardy moved to Foxdale Village and became active members of the retirement community.

Mark was predeceased by his parents and by a grandson, Carl Snare. He is survived by his wife, Mardy Dearden Shaw; five children, Karen Snare, Betsy Wells (Tony), Craig Shaw (Eileen O’Connor), Jennifer Nikel (Andrew), Richard Shaw (Patricia Milford); six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Shivers—Enid Lynne Shivers, 73, on February 3, 2015, in Wyndmoor, Pa. Lynne was born on June 21, 1941, in Camden, N.J. Growing up in Woodbury, N.J., she spent summers with extended family near Waldoboro, Maine, reveling in coastal nature and developing a lifelong love of plants, birds, and sea creatures. She received an undergraduate degree from Albright College and a master’s in social change from Crozer Theological Seminary, where she studied peace and nonviolent conflict resolution.

A lifelong Quaker and longtime member of Central Philadelphia (Pa.) Meeting, she worked as a trainer and demonstrator in the 1960s and 1970s with George and Lillian Willoughby and others in the nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience civil rights and anti-war movements. She read on the steps of the U.S. Capitol the names of people killed in the Vietnam War in 1969 for A Quaker Action Group; trained nonviolent anti-war activists at Pendle Hill in 1969–70 for the October 1969 and May 1970 anti-war demonstrations in Washington, D.C.; and was a founding member of the Philadelphia Life Center, the Movement for a New Society (MNS), and the Transnational Collective of MNS.

In 1979, she began teaching English at Community College of Philadelphia (CCP), starting part-time as an adjunct professor and tutor, working to gain a contract for adjunct staff, and advancing to a tenure track position in 1989, having impressed the CCP president with her writing on issues such as the conflict in Northern Ireland. Influenced by the longing for peace of people who had suffered and survived through war and bombing, she wrote many articles about the hibakusha (“fire-exploded people”), survivors of the 1945 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, many of them published in Friends Journal. She volunteered at and introduced CCP students and faculty to the World Friendship Center in Hiroshima (founded in 1965 by Barbara Leonard Reynolds), which she later directed. Specializing in English composition and American and British literature, she was promoted in the fall of 2003 to associate professor. Because of her health, she again worked half-time, this time with tenured pay. She retired in September 2005.

Joining Chestnut Hill Meeting in Philadelphia after her move to Wesley Enhanced Living at Stapeley in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia, she also belonged to the Order of Interbeing, practitioners of Buddhism as taught by Thich Nhat Hanh.

Lynne loved painting and poetry, taking particular delight in the work of fellow New Jerseyan Walt Whitman. She traveled widely, including to Iran and Northern Ireland, using interviews and friendship experiences to inform what she wrote: More than the Troubles: A Common Sense View of the Northern Ireland Conflict; essays on the Iranian Revolution and the Nagasaki and Hiroshima peace movements; and Jottings in the Woods: Walt Whitman’s Nature Prose and a Study of Old Pine Farm. An almost finished book about Hiroshima survivors awaits final editing and (it is hoped) publication. As one Indian friend wrote from Mumbai, she had a soft heart and a sharp mind.

Although she lost her immediate family—parents and a beloved brother—in an automobile accident when they were young, Lynne is survived by many friends and colleagues who treasure her life and work and mourn her loss. Memorial gifts may be made to American Friends Service Committee, the War Resisters League, Old Pine Farm Trust, the Prisoner Visitation and Support, and the World Friendship Center in Hiroshima, Japan.

Stokes—Ruth W. Stokes, 87, on February 16, 2015, in Hanover, N.H., of kidney cancer. Ruth was born on November 15, 1927, into a Quaker family in Moylan, Pa. She graduated in 1945 from Westtown School and in 1949 from Wellesley College. In 1948, she married Joseph Stokes III, MD.

She was a member of Cambridge (Mass.) Meeting for many decades and worked at Cambridge Friends School from 1963 to 1980 as secretary, assistant head of school, and director of admissions. Her first marriage to Joseph ended in divorce in 1964.

Excelling at friendship, she traveled widely, curious about other cultures and enjoying visits with friends who had moved all over the world. Family and friends were what she held most dear, and they returned that love with great loyalty. After she moved to Kendal at Hanover, she attended meeting there. She and Joseph reunited in 1979, a particularly happy time in her life, and they remarried in 1988.

Ruth was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph Stokes, in 1989. She leaves behind three children, Peter W. Stokes, Margaret Stokes Holt, and J. Barclay Stokes; a stepson, Jay Stokes; four grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and countless extended family members and friends.

Yarrow—Michael Norton Yarrow, 74, on June 2, 2014, in Seattle, Wash. Mike was born on March 8, 1940, in Oxford, Miss., to parents who had become Friends as a result of experience with the 1930s social gospel and Quaker workcamps. He spent his early school years in a Quaker school in southern California and attended high school in Swarthmore, Pa.

When he felt out of place in school and encountered race and class issues, Swarthmore Meeting high school fellowship provided a welcome space for him. At 18 he applied for conscientious objector status. He attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where he met his future wife, Ruth Morris. After graduation, he served two years of alternative service at Friends Peace Committee in Philadelphia, testing his resolve to take nonviolent action in a life-threatening situation by registering voters in Mississippi during the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee’s 1964 Freedom Summer. While he was studying for a master’s in sociology at Cornell University, he and Ruth married in a Quaker ceremony.

In the next half dozen years his work included poverty research, carpentry, running a tutorial center, and teaching in an alternative school and at Stockton State College. He did hundreds of interviews with Appalachian coal miners for his doctorate from Rutgers University, which focused on how the miners understood the issues affecting their lives. He taught sociology at Ithaca College for 18 years, joining Ithaca (N.Y.) Meeting.

In 1997, when he took early retirement, he and Ruth moved to Seattle, drawn both by the mountains and by the opportunity to pursue second careers as activists. He especially enjoyed working with Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation, for which he launched the Peace Activist Trainee program, which in its 14 years had graduated more than 90 high school students. He served on the boards of the Church Council of Greater Seattle, the pro-soldier anti-war center Coffee Strong, and the Abe Keller Peace Education Fund. He and Ruth enjoyed extensive outdoor adventures: hiking high mountain trails, canoeing lakes, and rafting rivers.

His clearness committee for transfer from Ithaca Meeting to University Meeting in Seattle in 2001 reported him as questioning the “unloving social arrangement” and “pale pleasures of consumerism” that permeate life in North America. Mike also felt that Quaker communities ought to inspire, nurture, and goad Friends to test one another’s life decisions and follow the “path of love.” Mike played this role with energy and humor at University Meeting, where Friends fondly remember his singing ministries in meeting for worship. Friends will miss the passion, values, and joy this much-loved sociology professor and organizer for peace and justice brought to his work on social concerns.

Mike is survived by his wife, Ruth Morris Yarrow; two children, Matthew Yarrow and Delia Yarrow and their families; a brother, Douglas Yarrow and his family; and a loving extended family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Maximum of 400 words or 2000 characters.

Comments on may be used in the Forum of the print magazine and may be edited for length and clarity.