Betty Jean Herring (Pegram) was born to R.B. and Lula Pegram, a Pastoral Quaker family, and grew up in North Carolina.
She graduated from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro in 1953 with a BS in Analytical Chemistry. She took a position at the School of US Public Health Service in Chapel Hill and met her husband, Jackson Rea Herring. They were married for 62 years. When they moved to Bethesda, MD, she worked as a chemist at the National Institute of Health.
After their two children were born, Betty devoted her time to raising them and working for good in the community through the Adelphi Friends Meeting and later at the Riverside Friends Meeting at Riverside Church in New York. Betty’s commitment both to service and to seeking the Light of the Spirit were unceasing throughout her life.
In 1972, Betty’s husband Jack joined the scientific work of the National Center for Atmospheric Research. They moved to Boulder and joined the Boulder Friends Meeting. Betty became a conscientious, generous, active member of our Meeting, standing indeed, like Jack, among the core Elders of our community for half a century. She served with First Day School, was a member of the Ministry and Counsel committee on several occasions, and served on Building and Grounds for decades, taking special enjoyment in taking care of our garden. She paid close loving attention to Friends and Attenders, discerning their needs even when they did not voice them publicly, and providing both counsel and practical support. In the 1980s the Meeting initiated the 20-year process involved in deciding to remodel our building in order to accommodate our growing numbers, improving its safety and the flow between the worship and fellowship rooms. Betty contributed unfailing wisdom and equally unfailing good humor to what was a complex and difficult endeavor. She and Jack also provided generous financial support not only to the building project but for the care of the Meeting as a whole.
In the last years Betty started to lose her sight, an evil she accepted with uncomplaining serenity. Though her failing eyesight led her to step back from the active role she had always played in Meeting life, she remained a faithful presence in our midst. Until her final illness, she joined us both in Worship and at business meetings, deepening the spiritual ground of our corporate experience.
She is survived by two sons, Peter Rea Herring and Christopher Jackson Herring; grandchildren Christian Herring and Natasha May Herring; brother Ralph Herring, Jr.; and sister Margaret Herring.
Since son Christopher lives in the UK, and given the ongoing pandemic, a Memorial Service to celebrate Betty’s life will be held at a date still to be determined with her family.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of Oversight and Membership by Maria Krenz and Mary Hey.