Cincinnati Friends mourn the loss of two individuals who brought Light and love to our Meeting.
Mildred Griswold, our oldest member, passed away January 30, 2020, at the age of 102. She had been a member of our Meeting since November 8, 1964. She and her daughter, Sandy, attended Meeting when our meetinghouse was on Eden Avenue in Corryville. After we moved to our current location in Indian Hill, Mildred took the bus from near her apartment in Norwood to Kenwood Towne Centre. In those days, ladies still wore high-heel shoes to Meeting, so Mildred would walk, in her high heels, from the shopping center to our meetinghouse, refusing our many offers to provide her transportation.
Even though she could have used it herself, if Mildred found any money on the ground, she always gave it to the Meeting, saying she could not keep it because it was not hers.
She was prolific at knitting and crocheting, giving away her most beautiful projects. When she no longer felt able to use her craft supplies, she donated them to our Meeting so we could use them to make things for those in need.
Mildred was always thinking of ways to be helpful to others, including often giving "nutrition lectures" to try to keep her many friends healthy.
She spent the end of her life in a nursing home but always remained interested in our Meeting. She greatly appreciated birthday cards and other notes from us at Meeting, and would hold them tightly in her hands, her way of holding onto that bond of community that she felt until the end of her life. She left us with many precious memories.
Our appreciation goes to Barb Napier for these loving and caring words about Mildred. Barb’s tireless and long-time ministry with our members and attenders who are home-bound, ill, elderly, or in need keeps them and us connected, maintaining the bond that we share as fellow seekers, assuring that no one is forgotten when they are no longer able to join us at worship and other activities.
Barb is our bridge between those like Mildred who have made us who we are and those who now are a part of our continuing journey as a Meeting and as a community of faith. It is her ministry that assures we will know and honor those who are part of our legacy.
We are holding our member Kathy Stewart and her family in the Light upon the passing of her husband, Steve Smookler. Steve enjoyed attending our Adult Spiritual Sharing group (Centering Down) which meets each First Day prior to worship. He also joined us for our 2018 Cape Hatteras Spiritual Retreat.
Steve enjoyed everything from motorcycles to RV travel to classical music. He loved the outdoors, especially taking walks with his beloved granddaughters and his dog Moses. He used his creative gifts to make stained glass, sharing his art with his family and friends. He really loved food and will always be remembered for just how much he enjoyed BBQ ribs.
Born in the Bronx, Steve began working at Wesley Community Services in 1999 and retired in 2015. He not only gladly mentored those who worked alongside him, he took joy in ramping up services for seniors living at home and in daycare. Upon his retirement, his agency was serving 5,000 home-delivered meals every day not only to seniors, but to their pets as well.
Steve volunteered his construction skills in helping to build Habitat for Humanity homes as far away as Durango, Colorado and Big Sky, Montana, as well as in the Cincinnati area. He was also a member of the Stew Crew with Hamilton County Parks, helping to maintain trails at Woodland Mound and helping in invasive weed control.
Just two days after his passing on February 12, 2020, Steve’s best friend, his dog Moses, passed away. They had found each other years ago at the SPCA Cincinnati puppy pen. So many were the walks they enjoyed together after Steve’s retirement. It is a comfort to all who knew and loved Steve to think of these two best friends now reunited and walking together along some quiet, serene trail. With this affirming thought and more, we will remember him.