Mae Louise Simmerman was born January 17, 1922, in Manilla, Iowa, to Walter and Lucile Miller Simmerman, and she died April 4, 2013, in San Rafael, California. She married Richard Hanley Aldrich on August 12, 1939, in Denison, Iowa, and their two children are Elisa Lucile Drake and Philip Richard Aldrich.
Louise was an active member of the Religious Society of Friends and a peace activist most of her life. She became a member of San Francisco Monthly Meeting as a convinced Friend in 1964. The Friends Worship Group of Marin County, California, became the Marin Monthly Meeting in 1967, and Louise’s membership was transferred to Marin Monthly Meeting on July 14, 1968.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Louise ran a day care program for pre-school children. She always carried the concern for children’s programs in Quaker meetings. She often served on the Representative Committee for Pacific Yearly Meeting of Friends, and she was active in the movement to abolish the death penalty.
After her divorce in 1989, Louise lived in Sunnyvale, California, with her elderly aunt, and she was active in the Friends meeting in that area. When her aunt died about 1 ½ years later, Louise moved back to Marin, where she worked for the County of Marin as a legal clerk and lived in her long-time home in Ignacio.
In 1994, Louise moved into the home of her friend Helen Callbeck, and they remained housemates until Helen died in 2007. During their years together, they attended many peace rallies, marches, conferences, concerts, and peace celebrations. Louise and Helen were a familiar sight at these events, each driving a scooter. Louise and Helen also traveled together, visiting England, Ireland, Scotland, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Finland, and Norway.
Louise was active with the Gray Panthers of Marin until the last few years of her life. She continued to attend Marin Friends Meeting in her final months whenever her caregivers could bring her in her wheelchair. Many Friends recall how supportive she was of members and attenders of the meeting.