Celebrating the Life of Reta Maurine Stuart
December 18, 1930 – February 25, 2017
Saturday, April 1, 2017 • 2 p.m. • Newberg Friends Church
Reta Maurine Stuart died on February 25, 2017, in Newberg, Oregon at age 86. She was born on December 18, 1930, on a farm near Glen Elder, Kansas, to Charles Irvin and Ruth Hendricks Stuart. Ancestral Quaker and Mennonite family roots reach back to Scotch and German immigrants who arrived in Pennsylvania late in the seventeenth century.
After high school graduation in 1948, Reta attended Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, graduating with honors in 1952 with a B.A. degree in Bible. Until mid-1956 she served in Mid-America Yearly Meeting of the Friends Church in various capacities, including youth leader.
In August 1956, Reta arrived in Brussels, Belgium, for a year of French and colonial course study to prepare to be an educational missionary with Friends Africa Gospel Mission in Burundi, Africa. She was on staff until 1977, serving primarily in the preparation and production of Christian literature. During her first furlough in 1961-62 Reta studied at Syracuse University in New York where she received a master’s degree in religious journalism. During her last term, she supervised a radio recording studio.
In January 1978, after more than 21 years with Friends Africa Gospel Mission, Reta became the first administrative assistant of Evangelical Friends Mission, a new cooperative venture of the Evangelical Friends Alliance, and continued until December 1995, when she became 65. She then worked part time for five years as editor with the North America Office of Evergreen Family Friendship Service, a Christian public service corporation in Shanxi Province of northern China.
After living 23 years in Arvada, Colorado, in February 2003, Reta moved to the Friendsview Retirement Community in Newberg, Oregon. Reta’s parents and siblings—Gail, Stanley, and Shirley—all preceded her in death. She is survived by two nieces and five nephews.
Memorial gifts can be sent to Evangelical Friends Mission, PO Box 771139, Wichita, KS 67277.