Obituary of Meg Palley
January 29, 2018
Meg Palley died of natural causes Wednesday, January 17, 2018, 3 days before her 100th birthday in Santa Rosa, CA. She was born Margaret Baker Knight, on January 20, 1918 on a farm near Adrian, Michigan.
Meg attended a Nashville Quaker Work Camp which led to joining the Society of Friends after she earned a B.A. from Case Western Reserve in 1938. Marshall and Meg married in 1941 and had 6 children by 1955. The eldest was born in 1943, 10 days before Marshall was sentenced to prison as a Quaker conscientious objector. He served 13 months. After his release they moved to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan for 7 years. Marshall used his advanced Forestry degree to oversee an inventory of forests in Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. Meg operated a nursery school in their home.
Marshall was a Professor of Forestry at Michigan State University and UC Berkeley. A friend of many, Meg invited the hungry for lunch on Wednesdays. The couple helped found John Woolman School, a Quaker boarding school near Nevada City and moved to the area in 1974.
An experienced weaver, Meg taught adult education classes in weaving, basket and hammock making and spinning. She enjoyed gardening, scrabble, painting, creative writing and clowning (in a clown outfit). She travelled extensively and opened a B&B Home (Palley Place) after Marshall died, welcoming everyone, including same sex couples.
Meg believed in questioning authority. She was a social and political activist, marching and getting arrested in peaceful protests. She loved co-ops and was very proud of her #7, indicating an early membership in BriarPatch Co-op. In 2002, she joined others to form Nevada City Cohousing, selling Palley Place and moving in at age 88 when it opened.
Meg is survived by sons Tom, David, Jon and Dan Palley; daughters, Judy Oversby and Rebecca Palley; 16 grandchildren plus 3 by marriage, and at least 17 great-grandchildren of diverse racial backgrounds.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her older sister Alice Jane Brattin and her husband of 43 years, Dr. Marshall Palley.
The family is grateful to Friends House of Santa Rosa which provided her companionship, stimulation and very tender care. Meg moved there in 2013, gracefully accepting help, becoming sweeter and more loving at each stage. Many family members gathered with others to celebrate her life on her 100th birthday in Santa Rosa and at the Sunday Friends Meeting.
A memorial service may be held in Nevada City in spring.