Barbara Ann Bennett Mays, age 76, of Richmond, Indiana, passed away on Grandparents Day, September 13, 2020, at Golden Living Center – Golden Rule, where she had resided for five years.
Born February 13, 1944, to parents, Pete and Esther Bennett, Barbara Ann was a beloved mother, grandmother, sister, cousin, aunt, and friend. She served her family and community graciously with a fierce, yet quiet devotion to honesty and justice. When not reading and writing, Barbara Ann could be found teaching dance (her life-long passion), making gifts for family and friends, and camping at the local reservoir.
While working toward her Bachelor of Arts in journalism at Indiana University (1965), Barbara Ann wrote and edited for the Indiana Daily Student. Through her writing career, she served as an administrator, teacher, writer, and editor, primarily with Quaker schools and publishers. Barbara Ann did her best to walk the Quaker talk of simplicity, integrity, and equality for peace in her home and throughout the world. After her youngest child graduated from high school, Barbara Ann simplified her obligations and served several years as resident staff at Pendle Hill Quaker Conference Center, Wallingford, Pennsylvania.
Barbara Ann’s hymns are published in “Worship in Song: A Friends Hymnal”. She was pivotal in the publication of several Quaker pamphlets and books, including “Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship: Quakers, African Americans, and the Myth of Racial Justice” by Donna McDaniel and Vanessa Julye (2009, Quaker Press of FGC) and “Black Fire – African American Quakers on Spirituality and Human Rights” edited by Harold D. Weaver Jr., Paul Kriese, and Steven W. Angell (2011, Quaker Press of FGC).
Barbara Ann contributed to the evolution of Earlham School of Religion’s writing program while serving as an adjunct professor in the Ministry of Writing emphasis (2001-2009). She also served several years with United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg. In the late 1970s, while a full-time homemaker with three young children, Barbara Ann co-founded the Friends Preschool Academy (a school of excellence to this day) in Muncie, Indiana. Generally modest, she was proud to have raised three artists.
Barbara Ann is survived by her three children, Jim Hollingsworth, John Hollingsworth, and Megan Hollingsworth; grandson, Eli; stepbrother, Rick Parke; nieces and nephews; cousins; and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; aunts and uncles; and several cousins.
A private, unprogrammed burial service was held Saturday, September 19, 2020, at Earlham Cemetery. A Celebration of Life is planned for September 2021.
Memorial contributions may be made to: Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601.
Condolences may be sent to the family via the guest book at www.doanmillsfuneralhome.com.