Category Archives: Memorial Minutes

Janet Douglas, Memorial Minute

Janet Douglas, a long-time member of Durham Friends Meeting and mother of member and former pastor Jim Douglas, passed away on September 10, 2018. A memorial service was held in the Meetinghouse to celebrate her life on November 10 with her family and members of the Meeting present. Janet was well loved and appreciated for what she taught those who knew her through her life work.

Memorial Minute: Richard Reeve Wood, Jr.

January 18, 2015

Memorial Minute: Richard Reeve Wood, Jr.

March 30, 1932 – June 5, 2010

Screen Shot 2018-06-11 at 10.22.24 AMRichard Reeve Wood Jr. was born March 30, 1932, to Richard R. and Nancy Morris Wood in Moorestown, New Jersey. He grew up surrounded and seasoned by Philadelphia Friends. He attended Moorestown Friends School and received a B.A. in English from Haverford College while it was still an all male school. He loved playing soccer at Haverford or anywhere else he could round up a game!

Richard’s fascination with farms, farm animals and aesthetics of the land grew ever more important when he began working summers on a Quaker farm along the Delaware River. As a Conscientious Objector he served two years at the Earlham College dairy farm.

Following his stint at Earlham, Richard married Elizabeth Hoag. They bought the Goddard farm, a small farm in Brunswick, Maine, which had been bequeathed to Durham Monthly Meeting. There they had four children: Rebecca, Gilbert, Anna and Susan. They also built a Jersey herd of some note. After their divorce Richard continued to farm and provide hospitality to folks from various walks of life who were passing by. His was a compelling and welcoming presence and he connected easily with all sorts of people.

Richard loved cows and spent much of his time as he worked in the barn thinking and dreaming of the emerging contemporary small farm movement. He was ahead of his time, like Wendell Berry whose writings inspired him. Later he was given an opportunity, when hired by the Maine Department of Agriculture as coordinator for the Agriculture Viability Program, to travel and write on behalf of the small farm movement in Maine. Richard was a gifted writer and published articles in Small Farm Journal, Maine Times, Times Record. There was a memorable piece in the Boston Globe reporting on Richard’s visit to war torn Nicaragua as part of an Oxfam delegation.

Richard was a beloved and active member of Durham Friends Meeting, serving in various capacities including Monthly Meeting Clerk, Trustee, on Ministry and Counsel, and occasionally giving the message. He was Clerk of Falmouth Quarterly Meeting for a time.

One First Day at Durham Friends Meeting, Richard and Susan McIntire rose in the midst of silent worship and he declared, “Before God, my family and friends, I, Richard, take thee Susan to be my wife. With divine assistance and help from my friends, I will be unto thee a loving and faithful husband.” Susan responded in kind. The clerk read the marriage certificate aloud and invited each of us there to sign as witnesses. Those present witnessed a traditional Quaker wedding, and Richard and Susan went on to have a real Quaker marriage.

Richard and Susan eventually sold the Brunswick farm, moved to Western New York in 1990, and bought another farm. This one had Holsteins and draft horses. Here they continued raising their children Reeve and Isaac. They were assisted in this new venture by local farm folks including those in the nearby Amish community.

In 2000 Richard was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which he managed with characteristic grace and optimism. Richard and Susan returned to Maine in 2003 to be closer to family and friends.

Those of us who are privileged to have known him and listened to his deep penetrating voice, marveled at the almost effortless way he established close rapport with others. His Quaker roots and seasoning were embedded in his presence. He was profoundly steady and comfortable. Children loved him. He loved dogs. He wrote mystery stories. He loved his family. For many of us he was a compassionate listener. There are myriad tender memories of cups of tea with him at the kitchen table.

Richard Wood

No Hallmark Angels,

they asphyxiate me.

Send me one like

Richard Wood in

floppy rubber boots.

His large hands

cracked and gnarled

from washing cow’s

udders on winter days.

This cold Maine morning

The barn smells of burnt

rushes. A holstein heifer

is down dead in her stall.

He backed the old John

Deere into the barn and

dragged the carcass past

the restless herd, breath

rising like incense smoke.

He kicked a heap of snow.

“At least she’ll freeze out here

in the dooryard till I can think

of some place to put her”.

Inside we had a dirty mug of

tea and were as close as

those cows in the barn.

pbc (1995)

Approved by Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends, Meeting for Business, January 18, 2015, Sarah Sprogell, Presiding Clerk.

An obituary can be seen here.  An appreciation of his life by his daughter in law, Hannah Burroughs, can be seen here.

Durham Memorial Minute for Glenice Hutchins

Glenice Mae Caton Hutchins was born August 4, 1931, in Durham Maine, and passed to the next world on June 23, 2012. Her spirit lives on in her family and friends, her influence continues in the spirits she is touching in the new world.
Mere words cannot explain the life, love, influence and inspiration of my mother, Glenice Hutchins. Although she no longer walks this earth in human form, her spirit continues to walk with me daily, reminding me of her mission, her teachings and her own inner peace. From her lifelong belief in a strong education to her deep-rooted spirituality, she was and will always be my strength, my reason and my focus. She is the reason I continue to educate myself in all things, my reason for believing in God and my belief in a better life through inner peace. It was not until she passed away that I was finally able to see the woman she was, what she meant to others and how she changed the world, one blessing at a time, quietly and without fanfare. I was blessed to be her daughter, and I will live the rest of my life trying to fulfill her life’s mission.
She grew up in Durham, Maine, where she was active in Durham Friends Meeting Sunday School and Youth Group, and Falmouth Junior Quarterly Meeting. She began her spiritual journey on a farm one mile from the Durham Friends meeting. Always a Quaker she embodied compassion, courage and grace, truly loving others non-judgmentally and peacefully. She lived a life of frugality, simplicity and integrity. She was an inspiration to those who knew her and she lived her faith, knowing she was a disciple of God’s kingdom. She lived the present moment and enjoyed every phase of her life.
Glenice graduated from Lisbon High School and Fisher College. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Maine in 1970, and her Master’s in 1978.
Glenice lived and worked for others. She taught elementary school in Falmouth for twenty-three years. Her students loved her, as she loved them. After retirement she worked as a part-time receptionist at Cedars Nursing Care Center in Portland from 1993 to 2012. She had a strong commitment to education and never stopped learning, attending the lifelong learning (OLLLIE) classes at the University of Southern Maine after her retirement. She encouraged others in their education as well, buying all the books for her grandchildren’s’ further education. She was also a member of the College Club of Portland, which awards scholarships to local young women.
She was a member of United Teaching Profession, Falmouth Education Association, Maine Teachers Association, National Education Association, and Falmouth Historical Society. She volunteered for the American Cancer Society as a Reach-to-Recover volunteer after her first breast cancer surgery, and for the Committee for Living with Cancer Conference held yearly in Augusta. She also volunteered for the Salvation Army, correcting Bible study lessons for prisoners.
While living in Falmouth she was active in Portland Friends Meeting, serving as Clerk (1965-66 & 1978-79) and on Ministry and Counsel and the Finance Committee. Falmouth Quarterly Meeting was very important to her; she was Clerk of Ministry and Counsel (1973-1976). She served the United Society of Friends Women of the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends as Stewardship Secretary. And she was active in New England Yearly Meeting, serving on the Equalization Fund Committee from 1982-1988 and the Student Loan Committee (1994-1997). In the last years of Glenice’s life, she returned to Durham Friends Meeting where she served as clerk of Ministry and Counsel and on the Library Committee.
Glenice will be deeply missed by all who knew her. She is survived by her daughters, Beth Anne King and Donna J. Ross and her son Bradley Carl Hutchins. She was predeceased by her husband of 45 years,Wendell W. Hutchins; she is also survived by her partner of 12 years Albert Anderson, seven grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
Her memorial service was held June 26, 2012, at Durham Friends Meetinghouse.

Minute for Barbara J. Jordan 1942-2011

Barbara (Bobbie) Jordan, a member of Durham Friends Meeting, Durham, Maine, died January 16, 2011,
after a two-year journey with ovarian cancer. Prior to transferring her membership to Durham Meeting
in 1996, she was a member of Mt.Toby Meeting in Leverett, Massachusetts, since about 1987. Bobbie was
born in Bakersfield, California, on September 28, 1942, but grew up in Denver, Colorado, the eldest
daughter of Lorne and Helen Jordan. Family life in the Jordan household consisted of regular camping
trips to fish the mountain streams of the Colorado and its neighboring states. Bobbie visited and
knew all of the best fly-fishing locations, thanks to her father’s avid interest in this sport. Her young life was
filled with outdoor activity, from helping her grandfather on his farm to taking the ski train into the Rockies for
lessons and eventual work on the Ski Patrol. She worked on a dude ranch in her early years, cooking for the
cowboys, and loved entertaining her family with many stories of the cowboys’ pranks. Sports were an early
interest for Bobbie, and she was drawn to a career in Health and Physical Education, graduating from Colorado
State University at Fort Collins in 1964. Her first year of teaching was in rural Wyoming and included teaching
classes at the Wind River Indian Reservation.
Throughout her life, Bobbie seemed to know her path forward, making decisions and taking on tasks and
responsibilities that served to steadily expand her experiences, skills and interest in education. Early in her
teaching career she accepted a summer job as the waterfront director at a Camp Tappawingo, a girl’s camp in
Harrison, Maine. While in Maine, she applied to a Master’s Program at University of Maine at Orono, where
she both studied and taught, and from which she graduated in 1967. Upon graduation she continued teaching at
the college level, working at the State University of New York in Albany teaching and coaching, then moved to
Wellesley College from 1969-1977. At Wellesley she coached the college crew team, staying one lesson ahead
of the team by reading the manual as the season progressed. She had never taught the sport previously, but
Bobbie was always game for a challenge, and failure was never an option. Needless to say, the crew team was a
success.
During her years at Wellesley College, Bobbie continued to work summers directing activities at a girl’s
camp in Hanover Mass., where she made many life-long friends. With no tenure track at Wellesley, Bobbie
found employment directing an alternative high school in Plymouth, Mass., for two years. The work was
challenging, with many troubled students, but once again Bobbie met the challenge head on. Once again,
failure was not an option, and she created many real-life situations to assist the students with developing skills
they could relate to. It was with some relief, however, that she returned to more traditional education at
Brookline High School, serving as Curriculum Coordinator and Teacher of Health and Physical Education from
1977 to 1982.
Bobbie’s love of education kept her advancing in her career, enrolling in advanced studies at University of
Massachusetts in Amherst in 1982, and serving as principal for the Leverett Elementary School from 1985 to
1990. Her continuing commitment to the education of children led her to a job in Maine, as principal of
Williams-Cone School in Topsham where she worked from 1990 to 2001, and later to Augusta where she
worked until her retirement in 2008 as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the Augusta Public
Schools. During this time, Bobbie also enrolled and graduated in 2001 from Nova Southeastern University,
Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with a Doctorate in Education.
Bobbie was a leader and an educator in all facets of her life. She served in leadership positions in many
professional organizations, and worked to support peer review among teachers and mentorship programs for
teachers and principals. Bobbie traveled to Eastern Europe, Sweden and Japan to learn and observe teaching
methods of other cultures. Rather than truly retire, Bobbie took on the task of developing an after-school
program for at-risk children in the Augusta area, through the Boys and Girls Club. She traveled to Kenya to
visit and help with a summer camp for AIDS orphans run by the Quaker group Friends of Kakamega. Indeed,
even through the last months of her life Bobbie eagerly took on the supervision of six student teachers, fulfilling
one of her long-time career goals.
Along with a growing career, Bobbie also deeply valued her friends and family. Over the years of job
changes and professional growth, Bobbie developed a wide family of friends, and regularly stayed in touch with
them. Trusted colleagues often became life-long friends. In 1982 Bobbie met her life-partner, Sarah Sprogell,
and together they raised Sarah’s two sons. Their life together was filled with trips to Colorado, camping and
canoeing, a string of family pets, and the joy of seeing both boys grow into fine young men with beautiful
families of their own.
Durham Friends Meeting was Bobbie’s spiritual home, and a place where her leadership and strong work
ethic also found tasks to accomplish. She served on Ministry and Council for six years, and also on Finance
Committee, serving as clerk for both committees. She also served as Meeting Treasurer at a time of transition
for the Meeting. Bobbie was often sought out to serve on Pastoral Support Committees, Pastoral Search
Committees, and Pastoral Evaluation Committees. She served on the Christian Education Committee and
taught Sunday School classes, where she shared with Durham youth her gifts for relating to and understanding
young people; Bobbie served Durham Meeting’s young friends well. While Bobbie’s natural inclination to be
of use to the Meeting kept her actively involved and admired for her leadership, she felt at her core that the
Meeting was most importantly a place of refuge from the busy outside world, and a place of worship that
resonated deeply within her.
Beyond pursuing her career in education and finding her spiritual home with Quakers, Bobbie also sang in a
local women’s chorus, Women in Harmony, for more than 10 years. True to her participation in any group,
Bobbie was involved in the board of directors, serving as chairperson, as well as on the production of
committee, search committee, and as administrative assistant to the director. As with all her endeavors, she
made important and lasting friendships through her involvement with this singing group.
The last two years of Bobbie’s life were years of spiritual deepening and strengthening, as she developed
her own style of living with cancer. As with so many of her personal and professional challenges over the
years, giving up was never an option. There were still things to do, trips to take and people to see. There was
still life to live and work to be done. She continued to face life and its challenges head on, maintaining her
grace and courage until her last days. Many of the nurses and aides at the Gosnell House, where Bobbie spent
the last week of her life, marveled at her spiritual equanimity and lack of agitation as she drew closer to death.
The strength of Bobbie’s spirit was evident at her memorial service, when over 200 people gathered to profess
their love and admiration for a woman who touched them deeply and from whom they had learned much. Her
generosity of spirit was clearly evident in the many testimonials heard on that day.
Our dear Bobbie is survived by Sarah Sprogell, her loving partner of 29 years, their son, Agostino Petrillo,
and his wife, Allegra, and daughters Ariel and Thalia of Northampton Mass., as well as his two daughters
Chelsea and Emily Craine of Blacksburg Va., their son, Dominic Petrillo, and his son, Lincoln, of Freeport,
Maine, her sister Pamela (Jordan) Costa, of Littleton Colo., her niece Angela (Costa) Hawes and her husband
Jason of Littleton, Colo., and her nephew Frank Costa and his wife Sarah of Pensacola Fla. Bobbie is
predeceased by her father Lorne Jordan. Her mother, Helen Irene (Hall) Jordan, passed away six months
following Bobbie’s death, on July 17, 2011, at the age of 100.

Macy Whitehead 1924-2012

BATH — H. Macy Whitehead, died Wednesday, May 16, 2012, at his home in Bath, just two days after his 88th birthday.Born May 14, 1924, in Mt, Vernon, N.Y., to the Rev. Robert Charles Whitehead and Miriam Macy Whitehead. Named for his grandfather, Rev. Herbert Macy, he was known to everyone as “Macy.” Though he grew up in New York his ties to Maine developed quickly when his parents became part of the Brightwater summer community in Phippsburg in 1926.

Over the next decades he and most of his siblings, aunts, uncles, father and mother all moved to Maine. In later teenage years he worked as a summer volunteer at the Three Fevers work camp run by Albert Baily in Phippsburg, helping low-income families in the nearby Sebasco village with improved housing and economic development. Many of these families were the descendants of the 1912 Malalga Island Expulsion. After graduating from high school in Mt. Vernon, Macy went to Haverford College in Philadelphia, where he reconnected with the values of his Quaker ancestors who settled on Nantucket in the 1670s. Intending to become a clergyman like his father and two grandfathers he received a clergy deferment during World War II.

Graduating in 1946, he volunteered to join up with the American Friends Service Committee’s post-war relief effort in Italy. In an interview with The Times Record in 2007 he said, “If there was an opportunity to work in a different way, to heal the wounds of war and to show a different attitude toward people, that was important for me to do that. I didn’t want to just have a free ride through this. If I didn’t participate in the destruction, I wanted to be part of the reconstruction.” In the spring of 1946 he began working with other AFSC volunteers on community-building projects in villages located in the Abruzzi Mountains on Italy’s Adriatic Coast. In 1947, he arrived in Montenerodomo, a mountain village almost entirely devastated during the war. He set up a small work camp and rallied villagers to build a day nursery for the children, enabling their parents to tend their crops in the lower hillsides. The AFSC and its counterpart in England were named co-recipients of the 1947 Nobel Peace Prize. For Macy, that was “no big deal” — he considered it a far greater honor that in 2005 the citizens of Montenerodomo named him an “honorary citizen” in gratitude for helping their village in its time of need.

Completing his divinity studies at Yale Seminary School, he graduated with a Master’s of Divinity degree in 1950. Macy was ordained by the Maine conference of the United Church of Christ and began his ministry back in Phippsburg, where he served three parishes in Popham, Small Point and Parker Head. He also worked as a “character-building teacher” in Phippsburg and other local schools, teaching music and arts and crafts.

It was in Phippsburg that he met his future wife, Edie Lamb, an Irish Quaker, who had come to care for her cousin, a friend of the Baily family, which ran the Three Fevers program where he had worked as a teen. He had heard that this “charming Irish gal” could sing, so he invited her to perform at a service. After a short, but earnest courtship (Edie had to return to Philadelphia), they were married April 22, 1952, in the “manner of Friends” at the Quaker meeting in Westtown, in West Chester, Pa. They remained deeply committed to each  other over the 60 years of their marriage, sharing interests in music, theater, animals, the outdoors, and most especially the lives of their children and grandchildren. They became an inseparable team, sharing in the challenges of raising four children in often very challenging environments, and working together in the work of the Church.

Though Macy was often the more public figure, in the pulpit and elsewhere, Edie was both the rock and the glue that held everything together. After they finished their work in Phippsburg, Macy accepted a post at the First Congregational Church in South Portland from 1955 to 1960. In 1961, the family made a big decision when Macy’s ministry took him to Eagle Butte, S.D., the tribal headquarters of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation — at the time, one of the most impoverished communities in the United States. In addition to serving his parish, he was chairman of the South Dakota Commission for Indian Mission and served on the board of directors of the South Dakota conference of the United Church of Christ.

From 1966 to 1973 the Whitehead family served the Beresford and Centerville communities in eastern South Dakota. In 1973, the family decided to move back to the East Coast, to be closer to Maine and so ended up at what would be Macy’s final parish in Kent, Conn. During his entire pastoral career, Macy was always deeply involved with youth groups and youth-related activities. He ran Sunday schools, organized church-run summer camps and trail rides in the Black Hills, including 10-day backpacking trips for older students in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. He once led a group of college students and his family to a very poor section of southern Missouri, where they helped to build and repair housing.

Macy was a life-long learner and he constantly challenged himself and his convictions about how to best serve humanity. In 1978, he felt his effectiveness in the Church environment was waning, so he returned to school and earned a degree in pastoral counseling at Blanton-Peale Institute and Counseling Center in New York City. During this time, Macy and all four children were in college and Edie supported Macy through her work at a hospital. After finishing this training in 1982, he and Edie then returned to Bath, where he developed a family-counseling practice during the 1980s and into the 1990s. He also continued work on a thesis he had developed while at Blanton-Peale, and this work eventually earned him his Doctor of Divinity degree. Macy’s counseling work evolved over time to include: individual and family counseling; helping people suffering from chronic pain; and those with terminal illnesses. He also worked as a hospital chaplain at the former Bath Memorial Hospital, and continued to officiate at weddings, funerals and other celebrations when asked.

In his later years both he and Edie reaffirmed their Quaker roots and joined the Quaker Meeting in Durham, where he served as the clerk (chairman) of the Meeting for a number of years, and continued to play the organ and give messages to the Meeting right up until he died. He had a great love of animals, once raising a wild mustang from a foal. For a brief time, he raised chinchillas for their fur … then the market crashed.

More recently, upon returning to Maine, he raised Angora rabbits for their wool, which he would spin into yarn, dye and knit hats and other items for sale at craft fairs. An accomplished musician, he played the piano, organ, zither, recorder and auto-harp. He also sang in the Downeasters Barbershop Chorus, the Oratorio Chorale and most recently the Macy Family Band. He is survived by his wife, Edie Whitehead; their four children and spouses, Deirdre Whitehead, Harris Whitehead and Carla Seekins, Heather Whitehead-Sampinos and Phil Sampinos, and Tom Whitehead and Camilla Dunham Whitehead; and five grandchildren, Celia and Kai Whitehead, Sammy Sampinos, and Bevan and Lionel Whitehead. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Macy Whitehead’s honor to The American Friends Service Committee, AFSC Development, 1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia, Pa., 19102. Please make check payable to “AFSC.”