Sarah Hinshaw Rickerman

RickermanSarah Hinshaw Rickerman, 94, on July 10, 2015, peacefully, in her home in Landenberg, Pa. Sally was born on February 16, 1921, in Kansas City, Mo., to Augusta Wiggam and David Hinshaw. A member of the Quaker Universalist Fellowship beginning in 1983, she wrote about her spiritual journey in “Trust: My Experience of Quakerism’s Greatest Gift.” Her faith developed gradually and without conscious seeking, and she studied many religious traditions.

She was a founding member (member #2) of the Newark Natural Foods Co-op in Newark, Del., often saying that while she was waiting in line someone apparently walked in front of her and gained the coveted first spot. She edited the Quakers Uniting in Publications (QUIP) book list for many years, commenting in 1995 about the impact Quakers have in the world in spite of being just 0.0087 percent of the world’s Christians. Although she once said she was a Cassandra, foretelling the future but not being believed, she helped bring about significant change. She was one of the founders of the White Clay Creek Watershed Project to prevent a dam that would have flooded the surrounding valley, helping instead to create White Clay Creek State Park (in Delaware) and White Clay Creek Preserve (in Pennsylvania), a large open space enjoyed by thousands. She was an active, caring member of her world community, initiating and working on many projects to better humanity and Earth.

She mentored others, including one who met her as a college student in the late ’70s and found her to be a “no-nonsense beam of light, pulsating in from an older [yet newly lived] world,” working tirelessly to nurture others in and outside Quakerism, freely sharing her insights, and developing resources to help others follow their own leadings. People who knew her felt an uncanny connection that restored their faith. She lived guided by her Quaker belief that we all have an Inner Light (caring, nurturing, the Divine) and that humanity is elevated as we seek and nurture the Inner Light in ourselves and others.

Engaging, wise, strong, and strong-willed, she lived thoughtfully and intentionally. As she entered her eighth and ninth decades of life on Earth, she had thrilling and encouraging insights about the potentially world-changing understanding and empowerment of liberal Quakerism, finding hope not only for Quakerism but for the rest of the world. A memorial meeting for worship was held for her on August 15, 2015, at London Grove (Pa.) Meeting.

Sally was preceded in death by her husband, Henry George Rickerman. She is survived by three children, David Rickerman, Jonathan Rickerman, and Jeffrey Rickerman; one grandchild; four nieces and nephews, their children, and grandchildren; extended family members; and many dear friends. A memorial fund has been established to continue Sally’s efforts and contributions are welcomed. For information contact [email protected].

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