Swarthmore Friends Meeting

Swarthmore, Pennsylvania







Memorial Minute for Holley Webster


Longtime Swarthmore Meeting member, Holley Webster died May 22, 2007.  She was born November 16, 1916, and proudly spoke of her New England roots going back to the Mayflower.  She was graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Syracuse University , New York , with a double major – in History and Literature, and a double minor – in Philosophy and Political Science. In 1940 she married Morris Webster. They had three daughters: Caroline, Nancy, and Elizabeth.  The family joined Swarthmore Friends Meeting in December, 1953. 

 Holley’s Quaker Face

At Meeting she was friendly and generous, always greeting newcomers, and sensitive to people who were experiencing hardship. She was deeply committed to Quaker values of equality, simplicity, and integrity.

She was a gifted speaker, and often gave messages at Meeting, such as her summaries from reading Pendle Hill pamphlets, and messages about her inspirations from other Quakers, especially those in the Meeting. She was the guiding light for the Discretionary Fund, and a high-energy Clerk of the Peace and Social Concerns Committee. She worked for Pendle Hill as a proof-reader for their pamphlet series until shortly before her death. She and her daughter, Nancy, were powerful engines in our Meeting.


Holley’s Civic Face

She was a longtime member of the Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom. She always spoke about the good side of today’s young people and was interested in cultivating them. She was a Girl Scout leader and the high school faculty sponsor of “Peace Groups against the Vietnam War.” She enabled high school students to mobilize against the war by organizing candlelight vigils and by training some as marshals for the November 15, 1969, massive Moratorium March in Washington D.C.

Her life’s pleasure was to go to plays, write reviews, and chat with actors and directors. One of her first reviews was the 1950s in the Chester Times for a Black theatre company.  She produced the Stage newsletter for over 30 years, organized 22 community workshops for theatre people, and joyfully volunteered at the Player’s Club for over 50 years.

Both in people and in plays she valued character. She said people who have character have goals; she was interested in how they worked to achieve their goals, and how they dealt with their achievement or lack of achievement.

We will remember Holley as a most-valued member of our Meeting community, who had, and achieved, many civic and Quaker goals.



Presented at Meeting for Business June 14, 2009