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Orval "Bill" Clawson ’49

Bill will be remembered both for his dedication to his family and friends and his public service. Born the eldest of four children, he grew up in Portland and attended Grant High School before serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After the war, he attended Reed, where he met his wife, Annamae Armstrong ’50. Together they raised three children and enjoyed a life filled with public service and enduring friendships.

Bill earned his BA in economics from Reed, where he wrote his thesis, “The Problem of Skilled Labor Supply in an Industrial Society: Oregon’s Apprenticeship Program” with Prof. F. Eugene Melder [economics 1946–49].

“The Reed experience made it possible for me to sort out my values and determine guidelines for my goals in life,” Bill said. “I believe that experience provided me with a sharpened awareness of not only what I could expect to receive from society, but also, especially, what I could do to serve society.”

For the rest of their lives he and Annamae continued to socialize with a small group of Reed graduates and were generous supporters of the college.

Bill got an MA in education from the University of Oregon in 1955 and began a 36-year career in education. He taught U.S. history and was instrumental in establishing some of the first special education services and centers in Portland public schools.

Annamae, who taught first grade, died in 1976. In 1992, Bill married his longtime friend and colleague, Helen Stricklin, who died in 2005. His son, Joel, died in 2006. His children, Mark Clawson and Janice Larson, and grandchildren, Maggie and William Larson and Taylor Clawson survive him.

Appeared in Reed magazine: June 2016

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