In Memoriam

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Kathrine (Kay) McCullough Story French, Friend

Kathrine McCullough Story French, June 13, 2006, of pneumonia, in Portland. Kay received a BA in philosophy and anthropology from Pomona College in 1942, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. She earned a PhD in anthropology from Columbia University in 1955, with the dissertation “Cultural Segments and Variation in Contemporary Social Ceremonialism on the Warm Springs Reservation.” In 1943, she married David French ’39 [anthropology 1947–88]. The two were, in her words, colleagues, partners, and friends for life. She began her affiliation with Reed in 1947, when David joined the faculty in sociology and anthropology. The couple undertook the first of their exploratory trips to the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in 1949, and initiated summer fieldwork in 1951. Reed alumni who assisted them include Yvonne Phillips Hajda '55, Ed Harper '51, Dell Hymes '50, Gail Kelly '55, and Michael Mahar '53. In the mid-1980s, Kay collaborated with Hajda in the study of continuity and change in ritual practices at Warm Springs. From 1959 to 1980, Kay worked at Oregon Health & Science University, where she planned and directed research on cultural and socioeconomic aspects of health care, lectured to and supervised students in the nursing and the medical schools, and served as associate professor of anthropology in the pediatrics department. She was an expert consultant on public policy issues of mental retardation, gerontology, reading disabilities, and the nature of the hospital as a social environment. Beginning in 1981, she was adjunct professor of anthropology at Reed, and, during the last 15 years, she was consulting ethnographer with Archaeological Investigations Northwest. Kay was also a connoisseur of post-war and Pacific Northwest art. David died in 1994. Her colleagues and friends, Robert Brightman '73, John Huss, Rob Moore, and Michael Silverstein, provided details for this memorial.

Appeared in Reed magazine: August 2006

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