The Heroines

Meta Whiting Lytle

is honored with a Brick from Elizabeth S. Lytle.

 Meta Whiting Lytle At 77, Meta W. Lytle says that she feels really competent as a fiddler and is getting there as a cellist. She also says that she's interested in all sorts of people and still appreciates the wonders of life.

Meta was born December 30, 1920 in Douglas, Arizona, the first child of Edgar M. and Helen H. Whiting. She grew up an Army brat, as her father was an old time Cavalry officer. This produced closeness between siblings, since they moved a lot. She graduated from the Masters School, Dobbs Ferry, New York in 1939 and Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., in 1943, majoring in Plant Science. Now a widow, Meta was married to Scott Lytle, a college professor, for 48 years. She was at New York Postgraduate Medical School and hospital until her eldest child, Margaret, was born. She raised five children; one, Sarah, died in 1979.

Meta began studying music in middle age and plays violin, viola, cello, harpsichord, piano, and recorder. Meta also has produced many beautiful portraits and drawings, woodcuts, and pastels, including original renditions of small churches that are sent as Christmas cards each year.

Her family and friends have shared a few thoughts about her.

Daughter Margaret: Mom continues to have enthusiasm for learning and enjoying creative projects. She is gregarious and friendly. She experiences the aches and pains of advancing age but doesn't waste her time longing for the past to return. She is a woman of valor and a heroine.

Daughter Gigi: Mom looks at the independence and freedom of advancing age as an opportunity to explore, learn, share, and create. She commented to me recently how lucky she is to be able to do whatever she wants every day of the week!! I love her enthusiasm and joy of life. And I'm sure she has no idea how admired and appreciated she is.

Daughter Susan: There she was at almost 75 years of age, running and jumping through the eight lane highway in the middle of Mexico City, eating goat barbecue, and climbing pyramids in 110 degree weather. She was the only one who never complained! What a good example of optimism she has been to me.

Son Scott: Mom is the embodiment of the creative spirit. She believes she is never too old to take on and master a new skill; she began harpsichord studies at age 40 and cello at age 75. Her example has been the inspiration and guiding light to my pursuits and aspirations.

Granddaughter Clare: Grandma taught me so much about love and acceptance. I learned to accept people for who they are inside, rather than judging them by their exterior or because they are different from me.

Grandson Daniel: She allows every one of her children and grandchildren to be an individual, be different, and she doesn't judge them by convention.

Granddaughter Sarah: She's a warm and generous person. And when she lets her hair down, she can dish with the best of them!

Granddaughter Lesley: Our family resplendent together, like fractiles creating a feather, Meta the eye of this plume.

Grandson Jacob: If she had the world to give, her love, compassion and caring would be spread to all people with an open heart and an open mind.

Daughter-in-law Denise: Meta reads constantly. She prefers non-fiction books that tickle her intelligence, that present all the paradoxes, conundrums, and complexity of human beings and life on this planet. She's extraordinarily generous about people, while recognizing their flaws, eccentricities, and downright weirdness.

Daughter-in-law Dolores: Meta is a wonderful person and a marvelous artist. It was really neat, being with her in Spain, and watching her develop her sketches, getting a chance to look at things through her eyes.

Son-in-law Alfredo: One might ask what is the formula that defines a classy woman? Motherly +easygoing + talented + adorable = meta = classy woman.

Granddaughter-in-law Aileen: She immediately made me feel very welcome and accepted into the family.

Phil: She possesses the unique ability to face life's challenges without fear and to maximize her opportunities with grace and humor.

Arden: She's honest, straightforward, completely active, always learning and growing. She started to play the cello after turning 70, and from my point of view, she's done a damn good job of it!.

September 5, 1998