In Memoriam

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Alison Estabrook Gass Murie ’53

A picture of Alison Gass Murie in April 2013

Courtesy of the Murie family

Alison Estabrook Gass Murie ’53, May 29, 2013, in Xenia, Ohio. Growing up in a home with parents who were writers—and her father, a university professor in English—Alison loved language, spoken and written, and the meanings of words. She attended Reed for a year and also studied at the University of Washington. Alison and Martin E. Murie ’50 were married in 1952; they had three daughters and moved to Yellow Springs, Ohio, in 1961, when Martin joined the faculty in biology at Antioch College. Martin wrote of Alison’s presence in the college town: “She contributed, as always, to literacy, the nurture of human communication. And again, as always, she stood fast for the complete liberation of women.” In 1975, Alison and Martin moved to an old dairy farm in North Bangor, New York. “There they took up a life of conscious simplicity, one they could reconcile with their strong belief in leaving a light footprint on the earth.” They gardened, raised animals, repaired walls and buildings, and made new friends. “Alison’s ingenuity, frugality, and creative hands were employed everywhere, inventing household tools and improvements.” She taught herself to weave and decorated their home and created clothing using her textiles. “Alison will be best remembered for her lifelong commitment to social activism and her staunch belief in human rights and the equality of all.” Survivors include three daughters; five grandchildren; a great-grandson; and her brother, Geoffrey A. Gass ’52.

Appeared in Reed magazine: December 2013

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