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Jean Locke Webster Whipple McNutt ’45

A picture of Jean Webster Whipple McNutt

Jean Locke Webster Whipple McNutt ’45, October 4, 2010, in Hillsboro, Oregon. Jean was the daughter of Gladys L. Keck Webster ’18 and Dean B. Webster ’16 [mathematics 1919–46]. She knew of Reed through her mother, who maintained connections to college friends, and through her father, who served the college in various capacities, including trustee and acting comptroller during World War II. Jean did well in high school, she said, but found it difficult to be successful right away at Reed. “I was what was known at the time as a 'greasy grind.' I just kept my nose to the grindstone and plowed through the assignments.” In an oral history with Muriel Reichart Wyatt ’46, Jean provided a delightful account of many Reed memories, including the first Gilbert & Sullivan production, ice skating on Reed Lake, the arrival of the premeteorology students, and her work in commons and in the library. The experience at Reed fueled her growing interest in government affairs, the arts, and contemporary literature. “The whole spectrum of the world's knowledge was opened to me.” She earned a BA in general literature from Reed and a BA in librarianship from the University of Washington. For three years, she worked as a children's librarian at the Arleta branch of Multnomah County Library. In 1948, she married James E. Whipple ’49; they had two children. Jean worked at public libraries in Ohio and California before rejoining the Multnomah County Library as a children's librarian. Her library career spanned 26 years. In addition to interests in literature and history, Jean enjoyed singing and acting, and took up tap dancing midlife. A second marriage, to Eugene E. McNutt, lasted 20 years, ending with Eugene's death in 1994. Survivors include her son, Evan D. Whipple ’74; her daughter, Lauren; and two grandchildren. In memory of her parents, Jean founded the Dean B. and Gladys K. Webster Memorial Scholarship at Reed.

Appeared in Reed magazine: March 2011

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