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.

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 – 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

Besides a variety of occupations, 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. Many within the Alternatives to Violence Project circles praise his effervescence, his clarity, and his loving, joyful spirit.

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 the Burlingame area to live with his father and his second wife. 

Finishing high school at 17 he joined the Army and was in Germany when the atomic bomb fell and the war soon ended. The military attempt to teach him how to use a bayonet led him to decide war was futile and to become a lifelong pacifist. Bob studied at University of California at Berkeley, where he also came into contact with Quakers. He spent wonderful summers hiking and camping with a friend. They hiked from Lake Tahoe to Yosemite—taking on a section each year for three years. After completing his studies he taught in Davis, California and continued in his relationship with Friends in the Davis Friends Meeting. 

Bob married Dorene Mercer in 1953. In 1954, Bob and Dorene, before they had children, participated in an AFSC work project. The project was to build a school in the Seri Indian fishing village of Desemboque, Mexico. During his career, his various jobs included being a draftsman at a pump manufacturing company, running his own company, and working with volunteer organizations. During the Korean War he saw that his employer was doing more work on war equipment then he could deal with, so he quit and went back to Mexico to work with Quakers on the water supply for a small village. Later he worked with them ??? on similar projects in northern Mexico. The work was very hard—laying pipes and blasting rocks. There was no electricity in the area and water had to be carried about two miles, but Bob loved the people and several called him God with a beard. Bob and Dorene separated in 1979.

One of Bob’s publications was Nica Notes: A Collection of Newsletters from a Peace Activist’s Stay in Nicaragua. It documented 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. In later years, during Meeting for Worship in Grass Valley Friends Meeting, Bob’s 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 been assigned the task of killing Bob when he was in Nicaragua. He even had Bob’s face in his rifle’s scope, but could not bring himself to do it. He said there was something in Bob’s face that would not allow him to carry out the assassination.

Perhaps Bob’s two most impactful ministries were his dedication to the good within all people and his concern for the environment. Bob was a disciple of 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 world’s resources led to a lifelong involvement, including spending time on the national board of Right Sharing of World Resources (RSWR). When Bob moved to Nevada City, he built his own home largely from recycled materials and lived for many years as a neighbor of the John Woolman School without a personal vehicle.

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 his wife Caroline.  During that time he was able to visit with most of his family. Bob passed away peacefully at home on July 16, 2019

Harry Bailey

Harry Bailey left this world at dawn on March 5th. 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.