In Memoriam

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Marguerite Maria Laine Griffith ’49

A picture of Marguerite Laine Griffith

Marguerite Maria Laine Griffith ’49, July 28, 2007, in Beaverton, Oregon. Marge received a BA from Reed in mathematics, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. She married her high school sweetheart, Richard E. Griffith, in 1947, with a honeymoon at Timberline Lodge after his return from U.S. Naval service in Pearl Harbor. The couple had three children: a daughter and two sons, including Jack C. Griffith '83, who supplied the details for this memorial. Richard's work as a field engineer in the rubber industry took them to numerous places: Seattle, Washington, in 1952; back to Portland in 1954; Boise, Idaho, in 1956; Portland (again) in 1958; Eugene, Oregon, that same year; Denver, Colorado, in 1965; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1968; Walla Walla, Washington, in 1970; and Fremont, California, in 1984. In 1995, a difficult year that brought the loss of both her daughter and husband, Marge returned to Portland, her home, in proximity to extended family. She was an avid gardener, turning barren properties into lush landscapes. She loved exploring the outdoors in the Cascades, Rockies, Adirondacks, Wallowas, and Blue Mountains, and sought to identify all the flora, fauna, and geology in her path. She was also a closet artist, dabbling in some painting and photography, but mostly rug-hooking incredible wall hangings of forests and abstract patterns. “This was in spite of the Rheumatoid arthritis that deformed and ravaged her joints. It seemed that as the disease progressed, her passion for hooking increased,” says Jack. Marge was a perpetual student, devoted in her study of Latin, Greek, and Finnish languages and literature in original texts. She had a great passion for Finnish history and culture, the language of her heritage, and had a lifelong love of mathematics, physics, philosophy, and literature. “Her modest nature always kept her searching for understanding, never assuming she had the answers,” says Jack. Survivors include two sons and five grandchildren. A memorial was held in the Eliot Hall chapel on August 4.

Appeared in Reed magazine: February 2008

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