Memorial Minutes

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Accepting the fact of death, we are freed to live more fully.
In bereavement give yourself time to grieve.
When others mourn, let your love embrace them.
~ Quaker Booklet of Advice and Queries

In addition to a Memorial Meeting for Worship, we celebrate the life of all our deceased Members with a Memorial Minute – a lasting appreciation for the life and service of the departed Friend. This Minute is a brief biography, and may also serve as historical documentation of the Member’s relationships to other Members and to the institutions of the Religious Society of Friends.

Julia Reynolds

December 20, 1926 to February 19, 2022

Julia Reynolds left this earth on the peaceful afternoon of February 19, 2022, at her home among loved ones.

Born Julia Winston White on December 20, 1926, she was the youngest child of Alice and Exum White, members of the Bethel Quaker Meeting in Franklin, Virginia. As a child she enjoyed walking downtown to spend her babysitting earnings at the Friday movie matinees with their swashbuckling heroes. She attended high school at Westtown, a Quaker boarding school in Pennsylvania.

Julia went on to Guilford College in North Carolina, where she met her lifelong best friend Marjon Ornstein. The friends shared majoring in psychology, hockey, and being the most petite altos in the college choir, as well as working hard at summer jobs together.

Julia’s first teaching job after college graduation was at Friendsville Academy in Tennessee. There she met a tall and handsome young violin teacher named Delbert Reynolds. By the next June, 1950, Julia and Del were married, and were to have 68 anniversaries together before Del’s passing in 2018.

In the spirit of peace, service, and adventure to which they both subscribed, the young couple left the year after their wedding to teach for five years at the American Friends Schools in Ramallah, Jordan (now part of the occupied territories of Palestine). When Del was drafted as the school director, Julia gamely took on the duties of director’s wife while continuing to teach, helped by her newborn son Paul in demonstrations for infant care classes. Their second child Ellen was also born in nearby Jerusalem. The love of the rich culture and friendships Julia and Del experienced in Ramallah were to stay with them the rest of their lives.

In 1956, the young family returned to the States after an adventurous car camping tour of Europe. Future such camping trips were to be part of many summers for the expanding family. Sara, Martha, and Anna were born in Chicago, then the family moved to the Sierra foothills of California in 1963 for a two-year directorship at a new Quaker school, John Woolman.

They settled for good on a small farm near Grass Valley, where Julia was the soul of the home. She taught school full-time until retirement at nearby Pleasant Ridge Elementary, and is remembered fondly by many of her students. Her hands were ever busy turning the Farm’s bounty into organic cheeses, jams, and other deliciousness for the benefit of her family and community. Music, word games, and laughter were always a part of her lively household. The hospitality of the Farm was legendary—Julia always happily brought out the guest book for signing with every visitor, and many books were filled.

Julia and Del were among the founders of the Grass Valley Friends Meeting and were beloved long-time members. They were also among the founders of the BriarPatch coop. Julia volunteered for years for Sierra Symphony and as an election poll worker. Julia was known for her generosity, subtle wit, and kindness. She was a loyal friend to many, globally and locally.

She leaves five children, nine grandchildren, and seven (and counting) great-grandchildren, all whom she loved much.

It was hard to say good-bye, but those who knew her will be glad to take forward the gifts of love, service, and compassion that Julia gave so freely to the world.

Deborah Trask Aufdenspring

May 5, 1944 to December 20th, 2021

Deborah Trask Aufdenspring, solo female backpacker, bundle of sweet, has hiked her last trail and taught her last class.   Deborah died December 20th, 2021 at her home in Nevada City.   Her husband Gary and friends Pat  and Kathy were with her.

               She was born May 5, 1944 or as she liked to chortle   “five,five,four,four.”   She was adopted by Ozell and Barbara Trask.   She had a sister, Melinda, who passed before her.

               Deborah was raised in a middle-class home in Phoenix, Arizona.  She graduated from High School in 1962 then went to Wheaton College in Massachusetts.    She married her first husband there. She received her first bachelor degree from San Diego State.

              Deborah had a strong urge to help end the war in Vietnam.   She volunteered to be a draft counselor and a military counselor.  During this time she became a Quaker at La Jolla meeting.   Doing this work, Deborah met her second husband Gary Aufdenspring.  They were each married to others then.  It took until 1976 to get  married  in Tuolumne County.   She was a long time member of Grass Valley Friends Meeting. 

               She had two other loves in her life (besides Gary) : backpacking and teaching.     She received her first teaching credential from Sac State in Social Studies. She also had a Masters degree and another teaching credential, on  the use of computers in education.      Deborah worked hard to get computers in the schools when this was not common.   She was one of five founding teachers at New Technology High School in Napa.  She helped start and teach in Technology  High Schools in St. Paul Minn. And Vallejo,Ca. Besides teaching she developed a second career in consulting and recruiting to open small Technology High Schools in Carson City, Birmingham, and San Francisco and others.

                 She was a person who truly cared about her students.   She found ways to bring food in for breakfast for those she knew didn’t have any and not make it  obvious to their classmates.   She understood that she had been privileged as a child growing up and always reached out to those who were not so privileged.

              Deborah loved backpacking in the Sierras, solo & with others.   She also backpacked in the Grand Canyon after meeting Colin Fletcher, the noted backpacking Author.

               Deborah had many serious medical issues throughout her life. But she had great  medical help and lived a good life.   Deborah is survived by her husband Gary and many other wonderful relatives, friends, and students, plus her dog, Jesse.

               Her memorial will happen Saturday, June 11th at 1p.m.  It will be in-person at Sierra Friends Center,  13075 Woolman Lane, Nevada City, Ca.    The memorial will also be available live, via Zoom.   To use Zoom, e-mail before hand and you will receive the link.

               It is Deborah’s heartfelt wish that someday on a nice sunny day or on a wet rainy or foggy day you stop, Just STOP and  think how wonderful your life is.

Peggy Baldwin

December 10th,1936- January 26th, 2021

            Peggy was born December 10th, 1936 to Howard and Roxie Lang in San Francisco, California.

She grew up in nearby Oakland.  She loved acting and performed in many student drama productions at Oakland High School.

            At age 19, she moved to New York City to pursue her love of acting and graduated from the American Theater Wing.  She performed in summer stock theater in New England and on television including the Patty Duke Show.

            In July of 1964, she married Don Baldwin, a newly graduated Methodist minister.  Their first pastoring experience involved a move to Yosemite Valley,serving first at the El Portal Community Church and later appointed as the Resident Minister in the Park. They lived in Yosemite for 4 years during which time both of their daughters, Eve and Joy, were born.  It was at an evening Chapel service on silence that Peggy began her Quaker journey.

            Peggy and Don moved to Lawrence, Kansas in 1969, where Peggy  attended an on-campus Quaker Meeting.  During their 7 years at Kansas University, Peggy took a year’s sabbatical at Pendle Hill and deepened her commitment to prayer and peace.

            In the following years, Don and Peggy served at Methodist churches in Kings Beach, Truckee, Sacramento and Aptos, California. Peggy added to Don’s ministry by singing in the choirs, teaching Sunday school, supporting Peace Builders and serving as host to many homeless guests. While in Sacramento, Peggy graduated cum laude from Cosumnes  River College with a degree in television communication and spent the next few years working at a Sacramento television station.

            In 1999, Don retired and the couple moved to Santa Rosa where Peggy became active in the Redwood Quaker Meeting, engaging in many actions for peace and social justice.

            Don and Peggy moved to Nevada City in 2004.  Peggy worshiped with the Grass Valley Friends Meeting where she quickly became an active and beloved participant.  She served on almost every committee, being especially active in the Spiritual Life and Peace and Social Justice committees. Many a morning, Peggy would act as ‘greeter’, standing outside on our cold winter mornings in her handmade wool sweaters and down parka, welcoming folks to First Day Meeting.

            Peggy is survived and dearly missed by her husband, Don, daughters Eve and Joy (Troy), sister Linda Bishop (Floyd) and her nieces, nephew and cousins.

The Grass Valley Friends Meeting also misses Peggy greatly.

Peggy Baldwin

E.H. Ted Smith

June 5, 1934 to November 18, 2020

Edward Harlan Smith was born June 5, 1934, in Long Beach, the middle child of Irene Bettina Smith and Harlan Yager Smith, and died Nov. 18, 2020, in Grass Valley, California.

Ted grew up with sisters Betty and Carolyn in Southern California; Berkeley/Oakland; Dayton/Yellow Springs, Ohio; and Minneapolis. Their father, Harlan, was an engineer, a colonel in the Army Air Corps during WWII, and a Shell Oil divisional manager whose work and military service entailed frequent moves. His sensitive and loving mother, Irene, made each new place feel like home for the family.

Ted studied at St. Olaf College and graduated from the University of Minnesota with an engineering degree. He married college sweetheart Sonya Albrightson in 1957, becoming a father to Sarah Elizabeth in September 1958 after the young couple relocated to Oakland for his job at Shell Oil.

Ted’s daughter likes to say with a smile that he went off to the 1960s and never really came back! The civil rights and social movements that were in full swing in the Bay Area had a profound impact on the trajectory of his life. The era’s values aligned with Ted’s interest in non-violence and social equity, and his lifelong search for God.

In 1968, the year of his divorce, he earned a master’s degree from Cal in sociology and went to work for five years with inner-city youth at the YMCA in Oakland, where he eventually became director. Articles in the Oakland Tribune show him leading new programs that introduced boys to camping, judo, fencing, and yoga, as well as working with high school students at the Model Legislature in Sacramento.

In the 1970s, he was briefly married to Molly Steele. He worked as an instructor at Laney College and Dominican College, and as a counselor at group homes for teens facing challenges. He also worked as a professional fundraiser for the Berkeley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, led by his close friend, the iconic activist (and Ken Kesey-Merry Prankster associate) the Rev. Paul Sawyer.

During this era, Sarah had many adventures (“anthropological experiences,” her mother would say) with her father, such as a memorable trip to Disneyland with 40 Oakland YMCA kids playing cards for 15 hours on the bus; an off-road exploration in the Sierras featuring an unscheduled hike back to the highway after Ted’s 1964 Jaguar sedan became high-centered on a manzanita bush; a ski trip to Heavenly Valley that landed them in the South Tahoe emergency room with frostbite after the chairlift malfunctioned at 4 p.m. and stranded them for three hours high above the snow in the dark; interesting visits to his mother’s Berkeley best friend, Margo Wonder, with whom Ted lived for several years, and her year-round-blooming camellia garden; and most of all, happy vacations with his sister Betty Murphy’s large, vibrant family in Fullerton.

(His daughter was not invited along, however, when Ted and his friend Gary Ireland hopped trains up and down the West Coast, filming a quintessential 1970s male-bonding odyssey.)

When Ted moved to the Sierra foothills in the late 1970s, he had the good fortune to join the communal Grass Valley household of retired Methodist minister and Quaker activist George Burcham on La Barr Meadows Road. Ted adopted the social causes George had long championed and joined progressive groups George had founded in the area (while also learning a lot about gardening).

After assisting George with the chapter newsletter, Ted became active in the United Nations Association in 1985. He served as Golden Empire Chapter president for 20 years and was selected as U.N. Northern California division president in 1999. He became a fundraiser for John Woolman School and a volunteer for KVMR. He earned a certification in conflict resolution, provided elder care and operated a gardening business.

A Mayflower descendent and son of a genealogist, Ted came by his interest in history naturally (he recalled seeing Orville Wright “in his big coat” watching him and the other children play in the schoolyard across from Wright’s home in Dayton, Ohio), but he was equally interested in new ideas and spiritual growth. In Grass Valley, he had longstanding commitments to everything from a Robert Bly-inflected men’s drum circle to the Course in Miracles study group he hosted for 35 years.

His other signal quality was his ability to connect with family and friends, from Country Joe’s father, “Mac” McDonald, in his Bay Area days, to his beloved late nephew Peter Murphy and all Peter’s siblings, to his circle of Grass Valley cross-country skiing and hiking friends, to those from the Grass Valley Friends Meeting and Sierra Center for Spiritual Living.

After becoming blind in 2012 due to corporeal arteritis, a type of vasculitis, Ted was deeply grateful to the many faithful friends who supported him with companionship and meals, enabling him to remain in his home until 2019. Shera Banbury (who sang with him and accompanied him to his array of activities), Catie Edwards (who brought dinner every Saturday night), Steve Frazier (who helped with tech issues when Ted became blind), Joe Spang (who shared a weekly Course in Miracles reading right up until Ted’s final days), Nancy Buey (his personal assistant who handled health and schedule matters), and so many others.

Ted was also thankful for the love from his sisters, Betty and Carolyn, his daughter, Sarah, and his nephew John Murphy, who gracefully shouldered responsibilities for his finances and medical needs. He is survived by his daughter, Sarah Smith, of Corvallis, Oregon; and his sisters Betty Murphy, of Fullerton; and Carolyn (John) Sanders of Carmel; as well as numerous nieces and nephews and their families.

“Thou art in me and I in thee, Lord.”

Remembrances in Ted’s memory may be made to Quaker Friends.

Lyndell Udell Dickerson Henderson

July 7, 1922-September 24, 2020

Lynne at her 95th Birthday Party

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us. ~Romans 5:3-5

Anyone who met Lynne was blessed with her extraordinary care and attention. She was more likely to ask you about your life than to tell you about hers, and her phenomenal memory meant that she could recount details of stories told decades ago. Her spirit lives on through the shared memories and gratitude of her family and all those who were fortunate enough to know and love her. 

Lynne married Robert Henderson on December 20th, 1941. Over the next fifteen years they welcomed daughters Sue, Cindy, Dorothy, Barbara, and Toni and son Pat.

Lynne took great pride and joy in her family. She referred to her family as her crown, with each of her descendants a jewel in that crown. 

Lynne was an example to all who knew her of how to age gracefully. She loved music of all kinds, was an avid reader, a competitive bridge and Scrabble player, and dessert connoisseur.  She especially relished taking her family to Disneyland, where she was often the last one ready to leave. 

Lynne was preceded in death by her parents, siblings, husband Bob, daughter Barbara, sons-in-law Chuck and Clifford, and daughter-in-law Sherri. She is survived by her daughters Sue, Cindy, Dorothy, and Toni, her son Patrick, and sons-in-law Doug and Gordon, as well as her many grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren.

Nana, Forever in our hearts

Dave Barnett

Dave was born October 9th, 1947 in Rockville Centre, New York.  Dave was the oldest of three children, four years older than his brother, Bruce, who still lives in the state of New York and  eleven years older than his sister, Lisa, who retired from her county position in San Diego, had moved to South Carolina and just recently passed away.  Dave died December 23, 2019.

He and Pam came into the Quaker Meeting as new members and both were active.  They planned their marriage under the Care of the

Meeting.   Several years after they were married Pam passed away.  They had been married together when much younger and now in their senior years had come back together.

He spent 40 years as a computer engineer specializing in health services.  And as a new member of Meeting, he used his skills as publisher of our monthly newsletter for awhile.  He helped some members with computer issues.  Both he and Pam helped in preparing meals that were brought to our local homeless shelter, Utah’s Place.  

They were very involved in the community, and avid gardeners at their home.  They introduced us to Hugelkultjur, which is creating a large mound with buried trunk section of a tree and wood debris. 

Her passing deeply grieved Dave and his health and living situations rapidly diminished after this.  For a while, he had a private apartment near town, then went into Hilltop Independent Living, but he actually needed help.  For a period of time, he was in a nursing home, after which he moved into an Assisted Living Home.  That did not work out for him, and he moved to The Atrium in Carmichael, California, where he passed away.

The one thing he brought with him from the Bay Area, where he hadbeen living in Half Moon Bay, was his older Corvette (the only one in our parking lot on those Sundays).   His father got him to move out to California when he told him as a young man he’d buy him a motorcycle.  One of the pictures we packed up and sent to his brother was Dave and his sister, Lisa, on that motorcycle.  When he was younger, he entered several horse contests with the family horse, a golden palomino.  One of the people who came to visit him when he was in the nursing home was Mike Culum who shared that when he was a teen, he and his mom lived with Dave and “Dave was the smartest person I’ve ever met in my life.”  

One of his items mailed to his brother was a set of specialized harmonicas.  He had a love of music, especially the Blues.

Dave was cremated,and his and Pam’s ashes were scattered in San Francisco Bay by the Nautilus Society.  Like with Pam, we will be hosting a Memorial Service for Dave.  One of the maps taken down from his room was a nautical map of the San Francisco Bay.  When he lived there, he loved to go sailing.  

Bob Barns

May 21, 1926 to July 16, 2019

Bob Barns

Bob Barns, or Bodacious Bob as many came to know and love him, was a father, an activist, a teacher, a writer, and an inspiration. He was a social activist especially for issues regarding violence, peace, and environmental concerns. He was a man who tried hard to live his ideals.

Robert Edward Barns was born in New York, New York, on May 21, 1926 to parents, Frederick Balston Barns and Virginia Elizabeth Kift Barns. Bob moved with the family to Philadelphia where his mother worked for the Ladies Home Journal. His next move was to California with his father. He lived in Morgan Hill with his grandparents who operated a prune orchard. Later he moved to Burlingame to live with his father and stepmother.

Finishing high school at 17 he joined the Army and was in Germany when the atomic bomb fell. The war ended soon after. The military’s attempt to teach Bob how to use a bayonet led
Bob to decide war was futile and to become a lifelong pacifist. Bob studied at University of California at Berkeley, where he first came into contact with Quakers. He spent wonderful summers hiking and camping with a friend. Together they hiked from Lake Tahoe to Yosemite taking on a section each year for three years.

Bob met Dorene Mercer in Berkeley at Lifestream House, an outgrowth from the World Council of Churches, it was a boarding house, meeting center, and a place to publish a newsletter/ magazine. They were married in 1953. In 1954, Bob and Dorene participated in an AFSC work project to build a school in the Seri Indian fishing village of Desemboque, Mexico. Bob became very close with some of the people he met there and maintained
contact with them over the course of his life.

Bob and Dorene have four adult children; Chris, Laurelyn, Meredith, and Allison.

Bob and Dorene were active Quakers in the Berkeley Meeting until 1963 when they learned about John Woolman School near Grass Valley. They bought land adjacent to the school and moved their amily there. Bob was a handyman at the school and built the home on their property. They both became early members of Grass Valley Meeting. Both Bob and Dorene had variety of associations with John Woolman and Dorene became a teacher there, while Bob was the teacher at North Columbia, a one room school.

In 1966, Bob got a job at a small private school in Davis. Later Bob was a Special Education Teacher at Davis Senior High School. During that time, they were active members of Davis
Meeting. They were both active participants at Pacific Yearly Meeting. The family lived in Davis until Bob and Dorene were divorced in 1979.

In about 1980 Bob retired from teaching at Davis Senior High School. He then moved back to the home in Grass Valley and renewed his membership with Grass Valley Meeting. Bob dedicated his retirement years to volunteering in a number of capacities which expressed his passion to contribute to peace and justice.

Witness for Peace

In Bob’s publications Nica Notes: A Collection of Newsletters from a Peace Activists Stay in Nicaragua he documents many of his experiences while living in war-torn Nicaragua in 1986. He used his life to accompany those who were in danger of being killed, as the presence of a foreigner abated some risk. Some years later, during Meeting for Worship in Grass Valley Friends Meeting, Bob and his Australian girlfriend, Giri, detailed an experience he had in an AVP workshop in Folsom Prison. Bob was confronted by a wretched, tearful, and mournful man who had years before been hired kill Bob when he was in Nicaragua.
When the man had Bob’s face in his rifle’s scope, he saw something special about Bob and could not bring himself to do it.

Bob knew he was putting his life at risk being in a war zone, but he had not known that there has been an explicit effort to have him assassinated until meeting this man many years later.

Alternatives to Violence

Bob was a facilitator for the Alternative to Violence Project (AVP). Bob led AVP workshops in prisons and out of prisons around the world, possibly on 6 continents. Bodacious Bob, as he was better known approached all people he met with civility, love, respect, and good humor. This same caring for all people led to the advice he gave Amanda and Nick Wilcox. Amanda said, “My personal memory is that Bob was a steadfast supporter of our efforts to prevent gun violence and our most loyal Brady Chapter member. Our first early action
was to stop gun shows in Nevada County. Bob was worried about the strong feelings and possible acrimony that the issue could cause and early on, advised Nick and me to always seek to understand the needs of those who disagreed with us. It was the best advice we ever received. In the years since, we have had strong policy disagreements but have never had a negative or disrespectful interaction with our opponents. I attribute this to Bob’s advice.”

Bob’s sense of right use of the worlds resources led to a lifelong involvement, including spending time on the national board of Right Sharing of World Resources (RSWR). As an attender and then a member of Grass Valley Friends Meeting, Bob served in a number of capacities and continuously championed many important causes. He volunteered with organizations including Witness for Peace, Alternatives to Violence, and Right Sharing of World Resources. At one point he served as Treasurer of the Meeting, but stepped down because of all the travel he engaged in, mostly due to his work for AVP and Right Sharing of World Resources. He also was instrumental in the success of the Stamp Project, collecting used and new stamps from around the world to raise money for RSWR. Many times our Business Meeting heard Bob ask, !Is this (spending) the best way for us to use the world”s resources?”

Bob lived the last few years of his life in Beaverton, Oregon, near his son Chris and daughter-in-law Caroline. Nearby lived his grandsons and great grandkids. During that time he was able to visit with most of his family. Bob passed away peacefully at home on July 16, 2019. Bob chose an all natural burial and he was laid to rest at Riverview Cemetery in Portland Oregon.

Harry Bailey

to March 5th, 2019

Harry Bailey left this world at dawn on March 5th, 2019. He was at his home in Grass Valley, surrounded by his family. He was a few months short of his 99th birthday.

Harry was born in Berkeley, California to Faye and Vernon Kealoha Harris. During high school, Harry’s eyes were opened to social justice and peace issues by a radical young Methodist minister, George Burcham, initiating ideals that would be with him for life. Harry attended Sacramento Junior College and took every chemistry class that was offered. He went on to UC Berkeley and continued studying chemistry but found wider interests, including the Co-op Movement. It was at UCB that he met Lois Waddell. They married in 1942.

    Harry was a conscientious objector during World War Two.  After the war, Harry and Lois settled in Southern California to live in an intentional community with Quaker friends. There they raised their three children; Jeannie, Glenn, and Nancy and helped found the San Fernando Friends Meeting. When the children were young they spent two years in East Africa leading an American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) community development program. Harry served on the national board of the AFSC for many years.

Harry and Lois moved to Grass Valley in 1974, again forming a cooperative community, “Towhee” with other Quakers. Harry and Lois were involved in the Domestic Violence Coalition, offering a safe house for victims of domestic abuse for several years. They participated in the local alternative money system called the “G plan” and an early food buying co-op called the “Grub Club.” He was part of the group that founded the BriarPatch Co-op, where Harry volunteered weekly into his nineties. He was a staunch supporter of John Woolman School, serving on the Building and Grounds Committee for many years. He and Lois were dedicated members of the Grass Valley Friends Meeting. Harry served on Buildings & Grounds, Peace & Social Justice, Ministry & Oversight, and Finance committees. He also hosted Friendly Eights, regularly served on Clearness Committees, and hosted the Friday morning meeting for worship at his home.

Harry was an avid bird watcher in later years. He remained actively engaged with life well into his mid-nineties. Harry is remembered for his beautiful smile, his enveloping and warm hugs, his passion for social justice, his deep concern about climate change, his big heart, and his dedication to cooperative and community values. He made a difference in this world. So many people have loved him and will miss him in this physical realm.

Harry was preceded in death by his beloved, Lois Waddell Bailey, and is survived by his children.

He contributed greatly to fellowship and the sense of community in Grass Valley Friends Meeting.