After completing his military obligation in the late 1940s, John M. Caughey "spent some time traveling around the Mediterranean and wound up teaching at the American University in Cairo," his daughter Patricia Caughey said.

Mary Pennell had "done reconstruction work in England after the war," and in the late 1940s "was teaching English at a girls' school in Cairo," Patricia Caughey said.

"I'm not sure exactly how they met," she said, but "all the Americans tended to hang around together and go on field trips."

They married at the Middletown Friends Meeting in Langhorne, Bucks County, in 1950.

But their wanderings didn't end, she said, because the late 1950s found them back overseas, in Kenya.

On Wednesday, Oct. 1, John M. Caughey, 91, who retired in 1986 as science department chair at Moorestown Friends School, died at Medford Leas, the retirement community in Medford where he had lived since the late 1990s.

In 2005, the Moorestown Friends School Alumni Association gave him its service award.

Born in York, Pa., Mr. Caughey grew up in several towns in the Pittsburgh region, where his father was a Presbyterian minister at a succession of churches.

He earned a bachelor's at Allegheny College in 1944 and a master's at the University of Illinois soon after.

When he entered the Navy, his daughter said, he was assigned to the motor pool but soon was sent "to MIT for six months to learn about radar. They changed their minds and sent him to Harvard to study nuclear physics."

With that background, the Navy sent him to what is now the Los Alamos (N.M.) National Laboratory, she said, where "he was one of the lab assistants or something."

His military work was vague because Mr. Caughey had become a Quaker after marrying his Quaker wife and talk of his 1940s military service was not heard much in such a household, his daughter said.

After teaching physics in the early 1950s at Olney Friends School in Barnesville, Ohio, Mr. Caughey moved his family to the Kenyan town of Kimilili, near where he taught in a secondary school from 1956 to 1960.

The family returned to the United States, where he taught physics at Oberlin College in Ohio, before they moved to South Jersey and he began his Moorestown Friends School career in 1963.

Since then, Mr. Caughey had been a member of the Moorestown Monthly Meeting, the Haddonfield Quarterly Meeting, and the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.

He served a two-year term in the 1980s as clerk of the Moorestown congregation.

A son, John P., said in an interview that Mr. Caughey was on a committee that helped to preserve the Burlington Meeting House in Burlington City.

"People were going to lay down the meeting - stop meeting there," he said, but the committee worked to make it what it is today, a place for Sunday worship and a conference center.

Besides son John and daughter Patricia, Mr. Caughey is survived by son Robert, daughter Margaret Hawkins, a sister, five grandchildren, two great-grandchildren. His wife, Mary, died in 1997.

A memorial service was set for 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, at the Friends Meetinghouse, 118 E. Main St., Moorestown. Donations may be sent to

Condolences may be offered to the family at

610-313-8134 @WNaedele