In Memoriam

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Mary Kate Wheeler Spencer ’40

Mary Kate Wheeler Spencer ’40, June 1, 2008, at home in Menlo Park, California. Portland resident Mary Kate attended Reed during her junior year and graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1940 with a BA in philosophy. During her adult life, she taught nursery school for 20 years in Redwood City, and devoted more than 40 years to the study of Zen Buddhism. She married John Spencer in 1949 and moved to Menlo Park in 1952, where she raised her daughter and son. She received a master's degree in early childhood education from Stanford University in 1958. Her travels took her to Nepal, Afghanistan, and Peru, and in the U.S. West, she enjoyed backpacking in the Cascade Mountains, boating on the Metolius River, and swimming in the Pacific. Mary Kate was active in founding the Jikoji Zen Temple in Los Gatos in 1983. She also wrote poetry; did painting, drawing, potting, and sculpting; and took pleasure is sewing a family of dolls. Survivors include her daughter, Sarah Forsblad, who provided the details for this memorial.

Appeared in Reed magazine: February 2009

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