Ingram—Ruth Iris Clark Ingram, 104, on January 11, 2019, in Annapolis, Md. Iris was born on November 1, 1914, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her lifelong wanderlust began when she was a child, traveling by ocean liner to Brighton, England, to attend Roedean Boarding School. With a passion for adventure, as a 14-year-old in 1928, she crossed the English Channel in a biplane, and for the next 80 years she traveled the world.
She graduated from Dalhousie University with a master’s in English literature. Later she earned a second master’s in psychiatric social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, leading her to a career as a psychiatric social worker for the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, where she obtained a grade 14 status.
She and her third husband, Robert Ingram, discovered the Quakers and joined Gettysburg (Pa.) Meeting in 1975. Diagnosed with chemical sensitivity in her 50s, she became an advocate for its medical recognition and treatment and refused to let it prevent her from traveling. She relied on the network of Friends on her journeys across the United States and abroad as she discovered she was better able to tolerate their homes than commercial hotels that rely on harsh cleansers, pesticides, or products with fragrances.
As they spent their winters on Florida’s Gulf Coast and their summers in Annapolis, Md., she and Bob attended both Sarasota (Fla.) Meeting and Annapolis Meeting. Iris wrote about how she loved coming to meeting, in the silence together with each member honoring a personal experience of Spirit. Bob passed away in 1987. When she could no longer live independently in Florida, she moved to Atria Manresa in Annapolis to be closer to family and maintained her connection with Annapolis Meeting until her passing.
Iris was preceded in death by three husbands, Cedric Yeo, Ernest Padgett, and Robert Ingram. She leaves behind three children, Helen Ebersole, Janet Johansen, and John Yeo; two stepchildren, Paul Ingram and John Ingram; and ten grandchildren.