In Memoriam

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Harold Ales Jambor ’35

A picture of Jim Jambor

Harold Ales Jambor ’35, December 28, 2008, in Olympia, Washington. Jim grew up in southeast Portland, the only son of Czechoslovakian immigrants, and was intent on going to the University of Oregon to be a journalist, he told Cam Foster-Keddie ’76 in an oral history interview in 2002. Instead, he went to Reed as a day-dodger, a choice he never regretted. Living at home, he lent support to his mother and sisters, while his father worked as a tailor in Klamath Falls—the only way he could financially assist his family during the Great Depression. “If Reed did anything for me, it was to talk about the importance of examining whatever was out there, to determine if it had validity. The search for truth, I think, has characterized Reed.” Jim received a BA from Reed in political science and developed a passion for advocacy. His first job, which inspired advanced study in social work, was as a research assistant for the Community Chest and Council of Social Agencies in Portland. He earned an MA from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. In the years that followed, he worked for the Pierce County Welfare Department in Tacoma and with the American National Red Cross in San Francisco, and during war years, he was welfare officer and field supervisor for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, Displaced Persons Program, in Washington, D.C., and in Germany. He received a PhD in social work from the University of Southern California in 1965 and was professor in the school of social work at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, retiring in 1970. In the 1970s, he taught at Portland State University, and was a member of the Reed alumni board. Jim suggested the idea of a Foster-Scholz alumni club at an alumni board meeting—the club remains a vital part of the alumni association today. He also taught in the sociology department at California State College in San Bernardino, retiring from that position in 1980. He and his wife, Dorothy, moved to Olympia in 1992. His love of biology and horticulture was lifelong—Jim worked on the grounds crew and in the raspberry field as a student at Reed. In 2005, he received an urban forest stewardship award, presented by the Washington Community Forest Council in recognition of his volunteer work, planting sustaining trees in several Pacific Northwest communities. Jim had three daughters, including Nancy-Ann K. Jambor ’74; one son; nine grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter. He and Dorothy were married for 54 years. In his public obituary was this statement: “He lived a remarkable life during remarkable times, relishing every moment.”

Appeared in Reed magazine: August 2009

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