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Phronsie Ruth Kellmer McFarling ’38

A picture of Phronsie Kellmer McFarling

Phronsie Ruth Kellmer McFarling ’38, January 5, 2010, in Portland. Phronsie grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, but moved to Portland at the time she entered high school. The transition was difficult, but she persevered, and went on to Reed, earning a BA in psychology; her thesis focused on strategies for teaching remedial reading to elementary school students. After graduation, she attended Oregon Normal School in Ashland and taught for a year in a one-room schoolhouse in Myrtle Creek, Oregon. At a neighborhood picnic in Mt. Tabor Park in 1939, she met (William) Kenneth McFarling; they married a year later. Kenneth was a civil engineer for Southern Pacific Railroad, and Phronsie devoted her time to making a home and raising a family. In an interview in 2006, Phronsie quipped: “I didn't make use of the psychology, except for trying it out on our four sons!” The couple lived in the same house in Southeast Portland for 67 years.

Appeared in Reed magazine: December 2010

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