mother & scribe

Miriam Robinson Hollingsworth

March 27, 1918 ~ April 10, 2015



     Miriam is the grandmother who took me to the graves on Memorial Day.

     We stayed in the car and licked melted chocolate from our fingers

     then she named names and told me the order of lives.

     On the way home, we drove by the Robinson and Hollingsworth family farms

     and the house in town where she was raised. Born to Quakers

     near the close of a world war and just before Native Americans were given citizenship,

     Miriam is one among Friends who lived through another world war and several more

     wars; one in the generation that lived through the rise

     and refinement of weapons and communications technologies;

     one among parents who watched the assassination of a spokesman for peace

     play out on the living room screen in a story that changed everything not long before

     another untimely death would be told in the quest for civility. Miriam is the one

     who preferred post mail to electronic mail; who never used

     a personal answering machine or mobile phone. Miriam is the one who reminds me

     frugality is a practice of honorable simplicity, not just necessity; she is the one who taught me

     conversation is something best shared in person

     because suffering is sitting alone on the other end of a telephone wire

     and the kitchen cabinet is a hollow thing

     when the dinner table is set for one




In April, my son Elias and I traveled to be with family in Indiana for my Grandmother Miriam’s funeral service. My infinite gratitude for the sharing of stories and song in keeping with Quaker tradition. Miriam is remembered a family matriarch; a model of Faith In Practice, and a keeper of esteemed values, including graceful humor, frugality, and simplicity.

Obituary Published in The Indianapolis Star 4.15.2015

Miriam R. Hollingsworth

Age 97, died on Friday April 10, 2015 in Indianapolis. She was born on March 27, 1918 in Winchester, IN to Vernon and Henrietta (Retta) Robinson. She graduated from Winchester High School in 1936 and attended Indiana Business College in Muncie, IN. She enjoyed music, playing the organ, piano, doing crossword puzzles and being with family. Miriam worked in a bookkeeping and secretarial capacity for several businesses, volunteer organizations, and a legal firm, as well as being among the founders of the Irvington Friends Meeting in Indianapolis. Survivors include a daughter, Marietta Klapper (Morris) of Indianapolis and a son Dr. Thomas Hollingsworth (Beth) of Bloomington, IN and Sarasota, FL. two grand sons, Jim Hollingsworth of San Francisco, CA and John Hollingsworth of Los Angeles, CA. Also three grand daughters, Laurel Gilchrist (Scott) of Indianapolis, Sara Bridges (Eric) of Memphis, TN and Megan Hollingsworth of Missoula, MT. Four great grandchildren. Hannah and Rachel Gilchrist, Jacob Bridges and Elias Drimal. Four step-grand children Andy Starr, deceased, Suzanne Goodman, Anna Faust and Josh Faust and special friend, Barbara Mays, Richmond, IN. She was preceded in death by her husband James T. Hollingsworth and a brother John Richard Robinson.

Funeral service will be held on Friday April 17, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. at the Chapel in Fountain Park Cemetery, in Winchester, IN. with Ron Ferguson officiating, burial will follow. Visitation is one hour prior to the service. Greg and Yolanda Thayer of Thayer Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Miriam Hollingsworth.