Traditionally, when a valued member of a meeting dies, the clerk, a close friend of the person, or another committee writes a memorial minute. When approved by the Monthly Meeting, it becomes part of the permanent records of the meeting. Memorial minutes sent to Lake Erie Yearly Meeting’s Publications & Archives Committee are printed in the Annual Records and many appear below.
Obituaries and memorial minutes have different purposes and different audiences. While some of the material may be the same, an obituary is the family’s take on what they want published in the newspaper and on-line, and made available to those who come to the showing, memorial meeting, and/or funeral. Traditionally, it provides biographical information. A memorial minute is a meeting’s recollection of a Friend and the part he/she has taken in the meeting and the wider Quaker world. They can vary enormously, but at their best capture the spirit of the Friend, warts and all. They are usually anywhere between two paragraphs and two pages long. They do not need to include biographical information.