In Memoriam

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Deborah Lynn Smith Martson, Staff

A picture of Deborah Smith Martson

Deborah Lynn Smith Martson, December 9, 2011, in Molalla, Oregon, after a “gritty and graceful” battle with ovarian cancer. Debbie earned a BA in English from Duke, graduating with honors. During her junior year abroad at the University of Edinburgh, she met Rick Martson, a student from Washington and Jefferson College. They married in 1969 and lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan, while Rick completed a JD from the University of Michigan. They moved to Oregon, where Debbie worked in public relations for Gary White Advertising and Rick began his law practice. They purchased a farm in Molalla, restored and renovated the 1852 farmhouse on the property, and raised American Saddlebred horses, Suffolk sheep, and Scottish Highland cattle. In 1974, Debbie got a job in publicity and publications at Reed and was appointed vice president for college relations two years later; she was the first female vice president at the college and the youngest member of the president’s staff. She also was a member of the Reed College Women’s Committee. After leaving Reed in 1983, she worked part time for Marylhurst University. She was a tireless volunteer and served on the boards of numerous organizations, including the World Affairs Council, Chamber Music Northwest, Young Audiences, the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility for Women, and the United Way. Debbie is remembered as an intelligent and determined individual, full of fun, and engaged fully in life. Survivors include her husband, two sons, three grandchildren, mother, brother, and many friends and admirers.

Appeared in Reed magazine: June 2012

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