Marian Wengert Alter, aged 100, died peacefully at home on June 27, 2023, in the presence of her children. She was born on October 7, 1922, to Elmer and Shirley Wengert of Idaho Falls, Idaho. She is predeceased by her parents and brothers, Paul Wengert and Robert Wengert, and survived by her children, Robert Alter and Janet Alter (husband Kevin Lovas), and many nieces and nephews.
A lifelong pacifist and spiritual seeker, Marian’s journey took her from her Methodist roots in Idaho and family values of love and respect for all people, to Scarritt College for Christian Workers in Nashville TN, from which she graduated in 1945. While at Scarritt College she became interested in Quakerism and more committed to social justice and racial equality. She met Joseph Alter, a pacifist and non-registrant for WWII, at a Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) Conference, and they married in 1946 (later divorced). They became Quakers in 1949 and regularly attended and/or joined nine different Friends Meetings around the country and the world, including Dayton Friends Meeting, of which Marian was a member and active participant for almost 50 years. She was active in five different yearly meetings, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Friends World Conference (FGC) and Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC).
In her early married years, Marian was a nursery and preschool teacher and she continued with volunteer work for various organizations and schools in the many places she lived. She was a social worker with Quaker Heights Healthcare Center from 1981-1984 and at Catholic Social Services from 1989-1994.
A five year move to India in 1962 reinforced Marian’s values from her early upbringing that people everywhere share similar values and concerns and that, despite challenging cultural differences, the universality of humanity shines through.
For the Last 30 Years she shared a home with her son Robert, where they continued her lifelong love of gardening – especially to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
A Memorial Service for Marian Alter will be held at the Dayton Friends Meeting on Saturday October 7, 2023 at 2:00 pm. Dayton Friends Meeting is located at 345 Wyoming Street, Dayton, Ohio 45410.
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