Editor’s note: To make the online memorials special, we accept articles written by someone in the branch. Include fond memories, appreciation for her activities in the branch, whether she was an art, letters or music member, and something about her creative works and achievements. Always include date and age at time of death. Please also send photos of the member and of her work, or commentary about her creativity. Submissions for the In Memoriam webpage follow the deadlines for the The Pen Woman magazine.


candles and tulips    We honor the lives of these departed Pen Women…



Rita Toppa Busch

July 14, 1926 – October 15, 2020

Rita Toppa Busch

Rita Toppa Busch, beloved longtime member of the Oklahoma City Branch, died October 15, 2020 at the age of 94. She was born July 14, 1926 in Newport, Rhode Island to Bertha and Anthony Toppa. She married the love of her life, William “Bill” Sims Busch on July 13, 1949.  Their marriage lasted 60 years until his death in 2009.

An exceptionally talented and accomplished artist and sculptor, Rita Busch was a vital member of our group. She could always be counted on to help with meetings and projects for Pen Women. She often regaled us with amusing tales about growing up in an Italian family in her beloved Rhode Island.

She will be sorely missed.

—Submitted by Dena R. Gorrell, OKC, OK Branch President


Archives (by NLAPW date published):

Fall 2021

  • Jane McDonald Johnson
  • Shirley May Tabler
  • Frances Tunnell Carter

Summer 2021

  • Jacqueline Campbell
  • Pauline Dages

Winter 2021

  • Mary Elizabeth McKenna
  • Rosemary Potter
  • Dr. Myra F. Levick

Fall 2020

  • Ann Terry Davis
  • Thelma H. Urich
  • Genevieve “Jenny” Gumptertz
  • Bette Veronica Miller

Summer 2020

  • Judy Bingman
  • Nancy Bloomer Deussen

Spring 2020

  • Marcia Chellis Kay

Winter 2020

  • Catherine Wilding Atkinson
  • Colleen Stanley Bare
  • Cokie Roberts

Fall 2019

  • Carolyn Alexander Fleming, Pensacola Branch

Summer 2019

  • Kathleen Langan, Greenwich Connecticut Branch
  • Pearl Newton Rook, Central New York Branch

Spring 2019

  • Diana Carol (Howe) Etheridge, Satellite Beach Florida Branch

Winter 2019

  • Yvonne Kirkpatrick Willie, Birmingham Branch (Alabama)
  • Dorothy Timmons, 101, Art Member, Des Moines Branch
  • Barbara Pierce Bush, Honorary Member

Fall 2018

  • Grace Lieberman, Modesto Branch
  • Mary Elizabeth Perry Hildebrand, member-at-large

Winter 2018

  • Muriel C. Freeman, former national president, Alexandria Branch
  • Janet Schulz, Stockton-Lodi Branch
  • Diane Louise Wold, Modesto Branch
  • Virginia Dall, Modesto Branch

Fall 2017

  • Cheri M. Bentley-Beckman, Palm Springs Branch
  • Idell Weiss, art member, Golden Gate Marin Branch
  • Kay O. Cornelius, Huntsville Branch
  • Stella “Maurine” Vance Geldmacher, Southeast Louisiana Branch
  • Arlene Montgomery Spencer, Indianapolis Branch

Summer 2017

  • Gloria Huttner Ross, Southeast Louisiana Branch
  • Katie Wainwright, Southeast Louisiana Branch

Spring 2017

  • Liana M. Moonie, Greenwich, CT Branch

Winter 2017

  • Lois A. Charles, Diamond State, DE Branch
  • Carolyn Burton Landers, Atlanta Branch
  • Anne Lorraine Macdonald, Greenwich, CT Branch

Fall 2016

    • Pam Babcock, La Jolla, CA Branch
    • Lois Duncan, Sarasota, FL Branch
    • Harriet Foster-Parrish, Nashville Branch
    • Donna Freckmann, Pensacola FL Branch
    • Gayle Norton Hornsby, Nashville Branch
    • Dorothy Kishibay, Connecticut Pen Women
    • G. Arlene Silva Mattos, Modesto, CA Branch
    • Kathleen Alice Neal, Atlanta Branch
    • Margaret Lynch Siskow, Iowa City, IA Branch
    • Emily Virginia Blake Vail, Atlanta Branch