Lois Ann Hunkele Hobbs


April 19, 1922 ~ October 2, 2022

Lois Ann was born in Newark, New Jersey, the second child of Florence Bippart and Herbert John Hunkele. The family lived in East Orange, New Jersey, where she lived until she left to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Lois Ann married into a family of Quakers, and she quickly adopted Friends’ beliefs which shaped much of her life. While her husband Grimsley was in graduate school at Duke University, the Hobbs family helped establish Chapel Hill Friends Meeting. Throughout her life, she worked for peace, demonstrating for peace in Ukraine even in her 100th year. She worked for equality of all people; women’s rights and anti-racism were life-long themes.

Lois Ann’s social activism was only one dimension of the great life force she embodied. She approached her life in Richmond, Indiana, as the wife of a professor of philosophy with gracious enthusiasm, while also raising six children. She and Grimsley also focused their great energy to restore and live in Cox Mill. They ground their own wheat which inspired Lois Ann to bake bread, a practice she continued throughout her life. She frequently blessed her family and many friends with a freshly baked loaf. Her significant interest in gardening was present wherever she lived. Most recently, she helped maintain the garden outside her assisted living apartment and cut flowers to bring to her friends. Earlier, she wrote a regular column about gardening for the Chapel Hill News.

Moving back to North Carolina, when Grimsley became the President of Guilford College, Lois Ann continued to raise her children and found opportunities to travel, camping across Turkey and biking in France. And again, the family restored an old mill, Baldwin’s Mill in Chatham County, where they lived and occasionally ground cornmeal. They renewed their active participation in Chapel Hill Friends Meeting.

After Grimsley’s death, Lois Ann helped to found the community of Arcadia, using Quaker process to make decisions. She built a house and lived there for several years before moving to Carol Woods Retirement Community in 2000. Here, she regularly baked 6 loaves of bread on Saturdays and participated fully in stimulating programs and gatherings. There was nothing she loved more than meaningful conversation with fellow residents! She attended Quaker Meeting in person, and later by Zoom.

Lois Ann shared deep friendships. A conversation with Lois Ann was a treat: you learned a lot and left, knowing she cared about you. She encouraged friends to embrace life, frequently sharing her life’s motto: “audace, sempre audace” (be daring, always be daring). Her many friends will repeat stories of adventures and conversations with Lois Ann for years to come. She will be missed — and celebrated. Her significant imprint on Chapel Hill Friends Meeting remains a blessing and will endure to influence future generations.

Lois Ann will be missed by her seven surviving children, six surviving grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at the Carol Woods Retirement Community auditorium at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 8. Gifts in Lois Ann’s memory may be sent to the Carol Woods Retirement Community Employment Development Fund. These gifts will be for the employees of Carol Woods that provided exceptional care for Lois Ann. Donations may also be made to the Chapel Hill Friends Meeting in her honor.