Lois Naylor Berl

March 16, 1925

Lois Berl Obituary

Obituary text mostly written by the late Lois Naylor Berl

Lois Naylor Berl of Wilmington, Delaware passed away peacefully on January 17, 2024.  She was 98 years old.  Born on March 16, 1925 in Wilmington, Delaware, the youngest of four daughters of Helen B. and Gordon L. Naylor.  Mother’s Quaker ancestors immigrated to this area during the 1860’s, from England, during the reign of James II to escape religious persecution from being Quakers.  They were among the first Protestants (protesters) to arrive in this country. 

I have lived the majority of my life in the Highlands area in Wilmington; the exception being when I accompanied my husband when he returned to Princeton University after the conclusion of World War II to complete his junior and senior years.  Following graduation from Princeton, we moved to Charlottesville, Virginia to enter the School of Law of the University of Virginia.

Before the birth of first son, Charles Waggaman Berl, III, I was secretary for the International Finance Section of the Economics Department, Princeton University, working for Professors Graham, Morganstern and Viner.  Our second son, Gordon Naylor Berl, was born during his father’s second year in Law School.  The remaining six children were all born after our return to Wilmington.  The four sons were first, followed by the four daughters.

In 1930, while on a leisurely drive on Adams Dam Road, I was seated on one of the jump seats in the rear section of our 1928 Buick.  When I stood up to give Mother a hug in the front seat, the pocket of my coat caught the door handle and I swirled out.  Fortunately, no serious injury; however, Daddy, being one of DuPont executives, contacted the CEO of General Motors, which at the time was a wholly owned subsidiary of DuPont, and informed him of the accident.  On the basis of this, every subsequent General Motors vehicle has been equipped with safety locks on the doors.

Shortly after entering first grade at the #30 School at Baynard Boulevard and Concord Avenue, I became ill with rheumatic fever, which resulted in a heart condition.  My teacher was Miss Sybill Feldmeir, with whom I remained in contact for several years.  Before my illness, we had just started to learn to read.  While I was confined to bed rest for at least fifteen weeks, I had continued to learn to read, teaching myself.  The book was “The Little Red Hen”.  I have always loved reading.

I graduated from Friends School, class of 1943.  While a student there, I served alternately as Class Treasurer, Secretary of the Athletic Association, Secretary of the Whittier Society, Vice President of the Athletic Association, Art Editor of the Whittier Missellany, 1st Sopranosolists in selected Glee Club.  I played the leading role as Elizabeth Bennett in Whittier Play, “Pride and Prejudice” and elected May Queen.

After Mother’s death in 1944, I graduated from Thompson’s Private Business College, joined DuPont’s Organic Chemicals Department and married June, 1945, I worked at DuPont until moving to Princeton after the conclusion of World War II.

I was also a member of the Junior League.  While an active member, I was Chairman of the Puppet Committee.  We performed for schools and community events.  I taught construction and manipulation of hand puppets, and directed.  I received some training from Jim Hensen of the Muppet fame while attending a workshop for Puppeteers of America in Detroit in 1960.

I was a former member of the Wilmington Country Club and Trinity Episcopal Church for 40 years, serving in the Altar Guild for 20 years.  I chaired several Committees for the Christmas Shop while still under the auspices of the Women of Trinity Church.  I was also a model; in several local fashion shows, formerly listed in the Whos’ Who American Women, Who’s Who in the East and Who’s Who in America.

In addition to my family, my special interests include bridge, gardening, reading, needlework, piano and cooking.

Survived by four sons, Charley, Gordon, Terry and Ennalls; four daughters, Mary, Camille, Lois and Carolyn along with their spouses; many grand children and great-grandchildren.

We, the family, would like to thank former and current employees of Shipley (Manor) Living for their attention and support of our mother.  She always commented how lucky she was to live there among such great people.  Her spirit thrived while in residence, which reflects the staff and residents. 

In lieu of flowers we suggest a contribution to Wilmington Friends School Annual Fund class of 1943 in her name. {101 School Road Wilmington, DE  19803}

Please join the family for a celebration of her long and glorious life on what would have been her 99th birthday, on Saturday, March 16, 2024 from 12:00PM to 3:00PM at the DuPont Country Club, 1001 Rockland Road, Wilmington, DE  19803

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