In Memoriam

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Lyn McGuire ’57

Lyn grew up in Altadena, California, an L.A. suburb near Pasadena. As a young girl she was fascinated by geography, history, and the natural world. She became the first woman in her family to earn a college degree, earning a BA in anthropology from Reed in 1957. Her time at Reed was liberating, transformative, and a source of growth for Lyn. She wrote her thesis, An analysis of Nez Perce political organization with Prof. David French ’39 [anthropology 1947-1988].

Lyn had a passion for social justice and for all living creatures (as well as being a gifted cat whisperer). After time spent in Salem, Oregon, and the Southwest pursuing anthropology, she married and taught at University of Wisconsin-Madison during the civil rights era. In 1971, she received her MS in anthropology from UW. She participated in non-violent protests against segregation and supported the civil rights movement passionately. When her son, Erik, was born, she gave him the middle name Martin in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

She moved back to the West coast, worked for the Bay Area chapter of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and continued her interests in anthropology and archeology with time spent in El Salvador at dig sites and doing research. Unfortunately, her time in San Salvador coincided with a period of political upheaval, necessitating an early departure. Later, a travel agency opportunity offered her knowledge and information about the industry, and she explored widely, enjoying the Panama Canal, the Galapagos, seeing wildlife in Tanzania, spyhopping whales, and multiple trips with family in Hawaii and Mexico. Lyn was defined and received joy through a lifelong love of books, history, knowledge, swimming, dancing, hiking, long walks on the beach, horticulture and gardening. Her son, Erik Martin Hanisch, who survives her says, “Mom really loved her time at Reed, and the experience was a highlight that shaped her life in so many ways.”

Appeared in Reed magazine: March 2016

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