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Passages: Quaker Obituaries

HANKS Jean Sargent Hanks, born in Los Angeles on May 4, 1923, passed away on the evening of May 26, in her home at Friends House in Santa Rosa. She and her brother, Will Sargent, grew up in Whittier. During WWII she met and married Tom Hanks, a young army officer. After the war she went back to Occidental College and completed work for her degree. While a Whittier resident, she raised five children, volunteered with the pediatrics ward at Presbyterian Hospital, and belonged to AAUW, E. Whittier Women’s Club, and the unprogrammed Friends meeting. In 1972, with two children still at home, she and Tom moved to Santa Rosa. There she worked with the volunteer center, the Home Hospice Program and the Bouverie Audubon Preserve. In addition to Will she is survived by her five children, Susan, Judith, Steven, Brian and Lisa; 8 grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter. The memorial service was held at Friends House, under the care of her meeting, Redwood Forest Friends Meeting, on July 22.

HOSKINS Elizabeth (Betsey) A. Hoskins died peacefully early in the morning at Medford Leas, Medford, New Jersey, on June 29, 2012. She was 91 years old. Betsey’s beloved husband, Lewis, died on August 5, 2001 at the age of 90. Born Gertrude Elizabeth Augur, Betsey was one of three daughters born to missionary parents in Davao, Mindanao, Philippines. While attending Hartford Theological Seminary, Betsey met and married Lewis Wendell Hoskins on May 22, 1944. Lewis was recorded as a minister and served as a pastor in the Religious Society of Friends. Betsey earned a degree in Library Science. Together, they served Quaker meetings in the mid-west, New York State, and New England. Betsey and Lewis were “partners,” aiding each other in their endeavors. Over the years, Betsey served with dedication as clerk of the Nominating Committee of the New York Yearly Meeting as well as many other committees of both New York Yearly Meeting and the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Among other talents and skills, both administrative and educational, Betsey was an outstanding seamstress and often designed and sewed many of her clothes. Betsey served as Librarian for the New Jersey Training School in Jamesburg for many years. Lewis also served the school as a psychiatric social worker. A long-time member of the Shrewsbury Monthly Meeting, Betsey is remembered for her many roles in caring for the meeting, whether as clerk, teaching first day school, compiling the newsletter and organizing hospitality, greeting guests “in costume” on special occasions, and a host of other ways, not the least of which was mentoring and supporting the work of others. For many years, she and Lewis would come to meeting regularly even after moving to Medford Leas. For the past few years the meeting has come to miss her, but were always glad to have news and the knowledge that Betsey was thinking of them. Betsey is survived by her two sisters: The Rev. Fidelia Lane and her husband, The Rev. Robert C. Lane, of Cromwell, CT; and Caroline Schneider, of East Lansing, Michigan. A Memorial Meeting for Worship was held at 12:00 noon on Sunday, September 30, at Shrewsbury Monthly Meeting, Sycamore Avenue and Route 35, Shrewsbury, New Jersey.

KRISHER Frederick Dale Krisher, 74, March 9, 2012, Cincinnati Friends Meeting. Fred was born December 22, 1937 in Massillon, Ohio, to Sheldon and Harriet Wardell Krisher. He graduated from Wilmington College with a B.A. in 1959 and married Mary Ellen Hadley in 1961. He retired from Cincinnati Financial Corporation (Fairfield) in 2004, and he and Mary Ellen moved to Clarksville, Ohio, her childhood home. Even after they moved to Clarksville, Fred and Mary Ellen remained active members of Cincinnati Friends Meeting where Fred served as clerk of the Board of Trustees for many years. He also served as treasurer of Wilmington Yearly Meeting, and after he retired, he worked on several Friends Disaster Service projects. Throughout the years, he was an active alumnus of Wilmington College, serving on the Board of Trustees and the Presidential Search Committee. Fred was involved from the beginning with the Grow Food Grow Hope Community Garden Initiative on the Wilmington campus, serving as a “Garden Mentor” for participants with little gardening experience. Fred was passionate about gardening and was president of the Cincinnati Daylily and Hosta Society. According to the Grow Food Grow Hope blog, Fred “imparted his love for gardening and his community with unrelenting enthusiasm.” After his death, his family created the Fred Krisher Grow Food, Grow Hope Endowment Fund, which “will help fund community gardens, educational initiatives, workshops, and community outreach.”Fred is survived by his wife Mary Ellen of Clarksville, Ohio; daughters Rebecca Krisher (Jason Herrick) of Denver, Colorado; Rachel (Jeffrey) Miller of Loveland, Ohio; and Sarah (Chad) Wyckoff of Dalton, Ohio; grandchildren Ellen and Aaron Miller; and Andrew and Seth Wyckoff; and brother, James (Donna) Krisher of Brentwood, New Hampshire. A memorial service was held at the McCoy Room at Kelly Center on the Wilmington College campus in Wilmington, Ohio, on March 14, 2012, with burial immediately following at Springfield Friends Cemetery.

PORTER Virgil R. Porter, 89, March 10, 2012, Cincinnati Friends Meeting, Cincinnati, Ohio. Virgil was born October 8, 1923, in Silverton, Ohio, son of Walter H. and Jennie Hadley Porter. He graduated from Sycamore High School and Wilmington College where he majored in math and minored in chemistry. After college, Virgil worked for Ashland Oil, and later he was hired as a chemist at the Hilton Davis Chemical plant in Pleasant Ridge, where he worked for 37 years until he retired in 1985. He married Ruby Edwards in 1949, and they lived for a while in Loveland, Ohio, and then moved into the house where his parents had lived since 1926, off Cornell Road in Montgomery, Ohio. After retirement, Virgil and Ruby moved back to Wilmington, but they continued to drive to Cincinnati to attend meeting for worship. Born into a Quaker family, Virgil attended Cincinnati Friends Meeting all his life. When he was a child, Cincinnati Friends Meeting was on Eden Avenue. In the early 1960s, Virgil was on the Board of Trustees and the Building Committee, actively involved in the construction of the current meetinghouse on Keller Road. Virgil served for many years on the meeting’s Burial Committee, arranging burials for Cincinnati Friends in the Quaker section of Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati. He was also active in Miami-Center Quarterly Meeting and Wilmington Yearly Meeting, serving on the Finance and the Evangelism and Church Extension Committees. In addition to his wife, Ruby, Mr. Porter is survived by a son, Jerry (Sheila) Porter; two daughters, Bonita (Robert LaGesse) Porter and Kathy (Bruce) Haggerty; a brother, Hershel (Angela) Porter; a sister, Eleanor Muchmore; a grandchild, Krista Porter Henson; and three step grandchildren, Lilia LaGesse, Nicholas LaGesse, and Joseph Walker. Funeral services were held on March 15, 2012, at Cincinnati Friends Meeting; Virgil was buried near the grav parents, not far from the grave of Levi Coffin, in Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, Ohio.

WINCHESTER Robert (“Bob”) Stine Winchester was born August 30, 1924, in Albany, New York, to Lois and Harold Winchester. He graduated from Albany High School and entered Wesleyan College, but then served in WWII as a pilot in the 9th Army Air Force, for which service he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross Air Medal. After the war, he returned to Wesleyan and went on to graduate studies in Public Administration at Syracuse University. He married Ann Robinson in 1949, and served in the Air National Guard from 1950-53. With a professional career as a management consultant in human resources, budget and fiscal matters, and organizational development, Bob moved many times to work in various cities, including Chicago, where he met Louise David, whom he married in 1967. Bob and Louise spent a number of years in the Washington, DC, area, where they were active with the Reevaluation Counseling community, and Bob was a member of the Friends Meeting of Washington. A lifechanging reaction to chemical overexposure in 1976 resulted in necessary moves to other parts of the country in search of a non-toxic environment. In 1981, Bob and Louise came to live in Patagonia, Arizona, where he was active in the community despite lingering chemical sensitivity. Bob transferred his membership from Friends Meeting of Washington to Pima Meeting in 1983. Bob shone with positive light and life, and music flowed through and around him. He sang with major choirs and orchestras, including at the National Cathedral under the direction of Leonard Bernstein and at the Lincoln Memorial at the memorial service for Robert Kennedy. In Arizona, too, he participated in many choral performances. In 1990, Bob obtained an MS degree in Counseling from the University of Arizona and, in addition to a counseling practice, served on boards of the Pima Council on Aging and the South Eastern Arizona Behavioral Health Services. He also worked with the VA to set up a counseling program and PTSD support group at Davis Monthan Air Force Base. Bob and Louise eventually moved from Patagonia into a retirement community in Tucson, and in the last years of his life, Bob was able to attend meetings for worship at Pima where his vocal ministries, spoken with a resonant voice, were a joyful inspiration. When he participated in a
program of spiritual story-telling at the Meeting,bhe spoke movingly of how music had always sustained him and had become part of his own reconciliation with difficult war-time memories. In about 2006, Bob was diagnosed with bone cancer, and he died on February 16, 2011, in Tucson. Predeceased by first wife Ann Robinson and son Richard David, Bob is survived by his wife Louise Diane Winchester, son Dennis David, daughters Robin Winchester Burchfield (wife of Robert), Starrly Winchester, and Libby Winchester McDowell (wife of Michael); grandchildren Carl Yetter III, Korena David, Brian Yetter, Emily McDowell and Andrea McDowell; and great granddaughters Natalie Szerszenski and Emily Burchfield. Despite the difficulties he faced, Bob looked for the joyful aspects of life and was a positive, empathetic presence among us. A Memorial Meeting for Worship to celebrate Bob’s life was held on April 9, 2011, at the Pima Meetinghouse in Tucson.