Howard W. Bartram, 77, a descendant of John Bartram, the world-renowned colonial botanist, and a retired headmaster at Abington Friends School, died Wednesday at Abington Memorial Hospital. He lived at Foulkeways, a retirement community in Gwynedd, Montgomery County.
Born in Lansdowne, Delaware County, Mr. Bartram was a 1930 graduate of the George School and graduated from Earlham College in Richmond, Ind., in 1934. He received a master's degree in physics from Syracuse University in 1936.
Mr. Bartram taught for 12 years, in the late 1930s and 1940s, at the Sidwell Friends School in Washington.
He served as headmaster of Abington Friends, in Jenkintown, from 1949 to 1966.
Mr. Bartram was associate executive secretary of the Chicago American Friends Service Committee for five years, until 1971. He returned to Philadelphia as general secretary of the Friends General Conference and served in that post for six years, until he retired in 1977.
"He was a genuinely nice person - a good, trustworthy Quaker," said Marty Walton, the current general secretary of the Friends General Conference in Philadelphia. "He was active not only in Friends General Conference, but also in many other Quaker organizations. People at Friends World Committee and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting also knew him well, and will miss him."
"He was just a very kind and gentle person," recalled Ken Miller, associate secretary and Friends General Conference coordinator. "He worked hard. He was always in before I got in and was there when I left."
Mr. Bartram was a member of Gwynedd Friends Meeting.
A seventh-generation descendant of John Bartram, Mr. Bartram was the son of the late John Henry Bartram and Mary H. White Bartram.
Mr. Bartram and about 200 other Bartram family members gathered in Philadelphia in August 1983 for a three-day tricentennial reunion of the descendants of the immigrant Bartrams who arrived in Philadelphia in 1683.
Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth Bailey Bartram; sons, Donald E., Stephen L. and Stuart B.; seven grandchildren, and two great-grandsons.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Gwynedd Friends Meeting, Route 202 and Sumneytown Pike.
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