A collection of tributes to some of our late members.
Betty and Don Goss
Betty and Don Goss traveled from Bloomington to the Woodstock Club at Indianapolis many times over the years for board and member meetings. They also worked at home to serve our Indiana Society. Betty was Historian until her illness. Don was on the Scholarship Committee and he was editor of the newsletter. You may recall seeing Don, with a smile, taking notes and interviewing people for the newsletter. No matter what was happening with Betty and Don, the newsletter was always accurate and on time. These are the major ways which they served our society. Both did countless small acts which enabled our society to function smoothly.
Don and Betty were devoted to each other. Don brought Betty to meetings as long as she was able to come, sometimes with the help of their daughter Cindy Goss Johnson. We knew that Betty and Don loved their family, were proud that two grandsons were scholarship recipients, were proud of their Mayflower ancestors, worked for our society, and that they cared greatly about our Indiana Society. Betty Jean Soule Goss passed away on September 19, 2005. Donald Carlton Goss passed away on December 23, 2005. The Indiana Society of Mayflower Descendants was surprised and touched to find that Betty and Don left six thousand dollars to our society. We are grateful for this gift which will be placed in the Scholarship Fund. The Indiana Society misses Betty and Don and will long remember their devotion to each other as well as to the Indiana society. Our condolences go to the Goss family
Written by Sarah Weddle, Past Governor
It was in 1982 that I first met Jo Taylor at a Mayflower meeting. It was my first meeting. In a roomful of strangers, she made me feel welcome. She seemed to be truly glad that I came.
I later served on the Memorial Book Committee with Jo. She took our duties seriously. We carefully selected each book the Society donated to the Indiana State Library in memory of each deceased member. She made sure that the bookplate dedication was correct and that a note was written to the family advising of the donation.
I know that Jo faithfully served the Indiana Society of Mayflower Descendants for many years, in many capacities – including Governor. Yet, I felt her interest was always with the Book Committee. When I succeeded Jo as chairman of the committee, we often talked of the Indiana State Library, of possible books to be donated, and of the members’ lives the books were in memorial. She knew many.
Somehow, I wasn’t surprised to learn that Jo had left a generous bequest in her will to insure that the Indiana Society of Mayflower Descendants will be able to continue the memorial donation of books to the Library. Her faithful service and interest in our Society will be apparent with each book the committee purchases for many, many years to come. I believe that this was Jo’s desire when she made the bequest in her will. I think it must have given her pleasure to know that the memorial books will continue to be donated.
Some day, someone in the future may ask, “Who was the Jo Taylor who left funds to purchase these memorial books?” The answer should be, “She was a great lady who loved the Indiana Society of Mayflower Descendants and memorial books.” I think Jo would be pleased with this answer.
Jo Taylor passed away April 4, 1998, at the age of 93. She had been a member of the Mayflower Society for 40 years and served actively in its leadership for many years. She was a descendant of William Brewster.
Written by Sarah Weddle, Past Governor
Pat Batchelder Scahill
On 28 January 2020, Indiana Mayflower lost one of its legacy members, Pat Batchelder Scahill. Pat was the current Indiana Mayflower Secretary and had served previously as Hospitality chair. She was the daughter of former Indiana Mayflower Governor (1973-1977) William Batchelder and his wife Minna Belle Seidensticker. Pat was also the great grand daughter of Indiana member #100 Anna Starkweather Batchelder. Pat became a member in 1971 and was active with the society during her father’s four years as Governor. As she became an adult, life changes occurred that took her to other states and she could not be active in our Society. When she returned to Indianapolis years later, she decided to become active again.
I sat next to Pat at my first board meeting in the spring on 2013. I was new to lineage societies in general and only been a member of the Society since December 2012. I had told the Historian I liked genealogy and he suggested I come to the board meeting. I had intended on being a silent observer but Governor Graham Morey asked me during the meeting to be on the board of assistants. Though I was not sure about being on the board, I said yes. Pat and I talked about serving on the board during lunch and she encouraged me to try it out. We also talked genealogy at that first meeting.
When I unexpectedly became Historian in November 2013, Pat again had words of encouragement. Pat asked me at the spring 2014 board meeting if I could help her family with a lineage problem. Since her application was based on her dad’s application and his was based on her great-grandmother’s application, Pat had run into some problems proving to today’s genealogical standards when trying to help her niece, Susan Loucks with her application. I went home from that meeting and began looking at Pat’s three approved lines, Isaac Allerton, Edward Fuller, and John Howland to see which one I thought would be easiest to prove. Little did I know, Pat called Susan after that meeting and said she thought she found the person that could help them.
I felt very driven to prove this particular line. The history of the society is important to me and Pat’s connection to it was so tangible in my mind. She was such a lovely person and one that really tried to make me feel like part of the Society from the beginning. I worked for weeks trying to find the connections to prove what I already knew was true. With hard work from the three of us, Susan did become a member in 2014 under Edward Fuller and later through John Howland and Edward Tilley. To this day, Isaac Allerton has been an illusive Pilgrim.
Pat is one of the few people I chatted with at every meeting. Not because we always sat together but because we made it a point to catch up with each other before or after each board and member meeting. And that is the goal of Lineage societies: to foster relationships between people who share a common ancestry and promote the telling of our ancestor’s stories.
It was not until I attended her funeral that I learned many things about her I wish I could talk to her about. I knew she was a lawyer that did not practice law but I didn’t know she was an actuary and she wrote part of a book that is the required reading for anyone that wants to become an actuary. I learned she volunteered at the Indianapolis Zoo which is something I have always wanted to do. I learned she and I were both members of Caroline Scott Harrison chapter of DAR. I learned she and her husband Gary knew they were right for one another within months of meeting and that their first dinner was Valentine’s day so she could interview him for an article she was writing on volunteers that worked at a suicide crisis hotline center. I learned that Pat relentlessly encouraged Gary to connect with a half brother he never knew growing up and now that is a wonderful relationship he may have never had if it was not for her tireless persistence. She was truly a humble person.
I will miss her love for Mayflower and family, her devotion to our society, and the spirit she had for everything she did. I know she is walking with all her beloved pets for all eternity and enjoying catching up with her parents and two brothers.
Written by Laura Smith, Historian