In Memoriam: Baha’is who have lived in Ohio

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Dr. H. Elsie Austin, Knight of Baha’u’llah,

Remembering the Trailblazing Life of Dr. Helen Elsie Austin, Knight of Baha’u’llah, (1908-2004) Video Elsie Austin was a pioneer civil-rights activitists. She was the first African-American woman to graduate from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Law and the first to be appointed assistant attorney-general of the State of Ohio. The service rendered to humanity by Dr. Austin was so distinguished that…the Universal House of Justice advised the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States to hold memorial gatherings throughout the Baha’i community in the United States and in the Baha’i House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois. Dr. Helen Elsie Austin: A Life of Faith, Protest & Service – video

Dorothy Beecher Baker (1898-1954) appointed as a Hand of the Cause in 1954. Hands of the Cause were a select group of Bahá’ís, appointed for life, whose main function was to propagate and protect the Bahá’í Faith. Hands of the Cause are considered to have achieved a distinguished rank in service to the Faith.

Ghamar Behjati (1921-2019) Lived in Sylvania and Yellow Springs, Ohio. Born in Tuyserkan, Iran. In addition to Farsi, she was a self-taught speaker of Hebrew, English and Arabic. An avid reader, she memorized and recited volumes worth of poems and prayers. [Buried in the new section of Glen Forest Cemetery in Yellow Springs, Ohio.]

Professor Suheil Bushrui, distinguished scholar, promoter of world peace, poet, author, translator

Dr. Suheil Badi’ Bushrui, (1929-2015) Yellow Springs resident, distinguished scholar and tireless champion of the cause of peace, passed away on Sept. 2 at the age of 85…Author: Desert Songs of the Night: 1500 Years of Arab Literature (2015), Kahlil Gibran: Man and Poet, The Spiritual Heritage of the Human Race: An Introduction to the World’s Religions…Professor Bushrui became the first incumbent of the Bahá’í Chair for World Peace at the University of Maryland in 1992, a position he held until his retirement from the post in 2005 and from which he sponsored events and publications that advocated alternatives to the violent resolution of conflict, global education and spiritual solutions for otherwise intractable social ills. [Buried in the new section of Glen Forest Cemetery in Yellow Springs, Ohio.] A Memorial and Celebration Honoring the Life and Career of Professor Suheil Badi’ Bushrui (1929-2015). November 18, 2015 at the University of Maryland’s Memorial Chapel.

Dr. Genevieve Lenore Coy (1886-1963), First Baha’i in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Coy served as the second director of the Tarbiyat School for girls in Tihran; “Fortitude, patience, detachment and integrity are the qualities that best describe the life and service of this devoted, highly competent and faithful maidservant of Baha’u’llah.” (Borrah Kavelin)

Olivia Kelsey, Knight of Baha’u’llah, a Shakespearean actress, writer, animal rights activitist

Shelly Cook (1943-2004) an innovative educator and energetic Baha’i pioneer for over 30 years from Yellow Springs, Ohio, to Appalachia Ohio, Transkei region of South Africa to Stutterheim, South Africa.

Olivia Kelsey, Knight of Baha’u’llah, (1889-1981) a Shakespearean actress, writer, Baha’i Answers 1947, animal rights activist. [Buried in the Friends cemetery just south of Yellow Springs on Rt.68.]

Sarah Elizabeth Martin Eason Pereira Born December 12, 1909 Cleveland, Ohio – Died April 5, 1995 Matthews, N.C., Served on the US National Spiritual Assembly from 1961 – 1973. Served as a Counsellor for North America from 1973 – 1980 and the Americas, 1980 – 1985.

Dr. Cora Tula Watters (1932 – 2011) esteemed educator, musician and mother of six children.