Sarah Wood Fell

FellSarah Wood Fell, 91, on January 22, 2019, in Doylestown, Pa. Sally was born on July 22, 1927, in Langhorne, Pa., to Elizabeth Cadwallader and John Henry Wood Sr., recording clerk of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and a member of the committee that reconciled Hicksite and Orthodox Quakers. She grew up as a member of Middletown Meeting in Langhorne and started her schooling at Fallsington Friends School, finishing elementary school at Abington Friends School when Fallsington didn’t survive the Great Depression. She then went on to George School in Newtown, Pa.

A regular attender of Bucks Quarterly Meeting, there in the 1940s she met Marjorie Content Toomer and Jean Toomer, the author of the Harlem Renaissance novel Cane. Jean Toomer was a frequent speaker at yearly, quarterly, and monthly meeting gatherings. Like many Friends, she was intrigued by him. In The Lives of Jean Toomer, by Cynthia Earl Kerman and Richard Eldridge, Sally said of Toomer that although what he said was similar to what she had grown up with as a Quaker, she was struck by his openness, his interreligious and interdenominational approach, and his emphasis on living close to God.

At Swarthmore College, she played tennis and graduated in 1949 with a major in French and a minor in political science. After college she worked as a clerical librarian in the United Nations French library, but following her heart soon moved to Iowa, where she worked in public relations for the University of Iowa while her husband sought a master’s degree. Then she returned to the Philadelphia area, attending Drexel School of Library Science at night and working in the Presbyterian Historical Society’s Philadelphia Research Library by day. She met her second husband, computer researcher Leo Horowitz, while working as librarian for Philco’s computer division in Willow Grove, Pa. They married in 1960 and began to attend Doylestown (Pa.) Meeting. Their daughter, Susanne, was born in 1961. Leo accepted a graduate assistantship at the California Institute of Technology, but Sally and Susanne remained in Pennsylvania. From 1962 to 1969, at various times, she corrected papers at home for the Council Rock School District, catalogued books for Delaware Valley College, and assisted the librarian at George School. In 1966 she transferred her membership to Doylestown Meeting.

An early owner of a Volkswagen and a member of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), she raced and participated in other SCCA events, traveling to Watkins Glen, N.Y.; Lime Rock Park, Conn.; Sebring, Fla.; and Daytona Beach, Fla. Through racing she met her third husband, Ed Fell, who was a mechanic for renowned racer of Porsches Bob Holbert. By 1969, when she married Ed, he had opened his own VW repair shop. She settled in to raise her daughter and volunteered for the American Red Cross Blood Division. For 40 years she coordinated bloodmobiles and trained new volunteers.

Over the years, she served on many committees for Bucks Quarterly Meeting and Doylestown Meeting, and her service to Friends Home and Village in Newtown, Pa., was especially long and deep. Contributing her time and talents to community, civic, and charitable activities, she also enjoyed cruising and travel to Scandinavia, Russia, and other European countries.

Sally’s two brothers, John H. Wood Jr. and Franklin Cadwallader Wood, predeceased her. She is survived by her daughter, Susanne Fell Adams (Steven); two grandchildren; and four nieces and nephews.

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