Lucille Oliver Koenig, Born February 12, 1926, transitioned through liberating dis-incarnation on May 18th at 2:55 AM (Eastern Daylight Savings Time), having offered us 97 years of inspiration, pleasantness, service and love. Lucille was the eldest child of Mary Sidney Satterthwaite (Westtown ’07), a Bucks County farm girl, and Wendell French Oliver, of Lynn, Ma., a landscape gardener and eventually Westtown Grounds Keeper. Lucille was raised at 17 West Ferry Road, Morrisville, Bucks County Pa. The Oliver family were members of Fallsington Friends Meeting. Lucille had three siblings: Betty (deceased at age 6), Bill 1934 (W ’52), and Miriam 1936 (W ’54).
Lucille, in the long established Sharpless family tradition, attended Westtown School, graduating with the class of 1944; and majored in history at Guilford College in Greensboro N.C. She went on to earn a master’s in library science at Simmons College in Boston.
She met Donald Ralph Koenig, of Vineland NJ, a University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School graduate, at the wedding of their high-school best friends: Winifred Cadbury and Martin Beer. Don and Lucille joined in marriage at Westtown Friends Meeting on September 6th 1952. They settled in a Revolutionary vintage stone house, on a 5-acre farm in Thornton Pa. Lucille created, embellished and enjoyed several extensive perennial flower gardens, and a large vegetable garden on the property, which also contained many fruit trees and numerous diverse shade trees. Gardening was her joy, and much healthy food was put up for each winter! There was also a barn full of chickens, and a flock of 20 sheep.
Lucille was raised in a household of gardens, gardeners, social activists and filled with classical music. There became a collection of over 100 glass 33 1/3 phonograph albums in our living room. There was a “state of the art” RCA Victor phonograph player from the early 1950’s! Having grown up among wildflowers, Music was perhaps her 2nd love.
Within this ambiance, Lucille and Don raised 4 Koenig children: Richard Steelman (1954), Frederic Satterthwaite (1956), Susan Sharpless (1959) and Edward McClain (1962). All attended Westtown School (just 4 miles over the creek, and through the woods).
Lucille enjoyed refinishing antique furniture, despite the toxic fumes of paint and varnish removal. Several restored classic furniture pieces can be found dispersed among her survivors. In 1960, Lucille became active with the local league of Women Voters.
While her kids were beginning first grade in the ‘60s, Lucille, with her Library Science ability, began volunteering to assemble and create the Westtown Lower School Library. She diligently persisted in this “calling” as well as a similar one at Landsdowne Friends School and at nearby Cheyney College. ln 1971, she offered a paid full-time position to fulfill the staffing needs of the Westtown Upper, Middle and Lower school libraries instead. This opportunity would consolidate her busy schedule, unify the family dispersion, relieve the stressful working conditions, reduce her children’s Westtown education costs, and pay some bills. She was a very practical woman.
Teacher Lucille was the Assistant Librarian at the Westtown Upper School Library for 23 years, working alongside Earl Fowler, Betsy Doan, Alice Long and Nancy Scardina until retiring at age 68 in 1994.
Following World War II The Oliver family had established a rustic cabin near Iona Lake and Mount Chocorua, in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Some weeks were spent in this heart-felt paradise every summer thereafter and continuing in the Koenig family life. Swimming in the lake, climbing the mountains, wildflower botanizing and inadvertently washing off her sandy feet in the bucket “with her shoes on!” were memorable experiences! The cabin and surrounding opportunities have been paramount in Lucille’s childhood, extended family, and those of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Daughter Susan, wife of Jim Cannon, and mother of Lydia and Benjamin resided in nearby Media. She maintained the family heritage and social connections, as well as the well-being and joy for both Don and Lucille. Susan and brother Ted, who also lived locally, instrumented the 2004 retirement move out of the large Thornton house, and into a cottage at Kendal Quaker Retirement Center (a major down-size, and dispersal of family heirloom antiques).
Don and Lucille thoroughly enjoyed their new-found freedom, community and activities at Kendal, into their 90’s: almost 20 years. They were extremely fortunate to find such an extended living opportunity in the local countryside, and filled with Friends, best friends, colleagues and classmates from both lineages of family experience. At Kendal, Lucille chaired the Garden Committee, personally tended to several perennial garden areas, managed the Kendal library, greeted many friends, and has been noted as “the sweetest person” by many!
Lucille felt she was ready to go and transitioned peacefully into Divine Light. She will always be present with us in spirit as she joins her Husband Don (d. 9/3/2019), Daughter Susan (d. 4/20/2020), Brother Bill (d. 5/2/2022), and countless other bright lights in her life. Sending her prayerful Blessings of the love that she emanated and bestowed upon me as a wistful son, who forever tested her dutiful motherliness: a big Hug from Richard!
Lucille is survived by her sister: Miriam Swartz (W ’54), Sons: Richard (W ’73), Fritz (Helen) (W ’75), and Ted (W ’81); Son in-law: Jim Cannon; grandchildren: Lydia Sharpless Shivers, Benjamin James Cannon (Tisha) and Katrina Marie Koenig; Grandson-in-law: Jeffrey Shivers; as well as Great grandchildren: Savanna Shivers, Gianna Shivers, and Jackson Shivers.
There will be a memorial celebration of Lucille’s presence among us on Sat, June 17th from 2-4
At the Kendall Community Center 1109 east Baltimore Pike Kennett Square Pa 19348.
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