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Dorothy Davenhill Hirsch ’52

A picture of Dorothy Davenhill Hirsch

Dorothy Davenhill Hirsch and her daughter record their arrival at the North Pole in 2004.

Dorothy Davenhill Hirsch ’52, December 6, 2007, in Portland, from congestive heart failure. Dorothy moved to Portland in the 1940s and served in the U.S. Women's Army Corps during World War II. She married Robert M. Hirsch in 1947. Utilizing the G.I. Bill, she attended Reed, graduating with a BA in history. Her thesis was on the wheat trade and its effect on the growth of the Port of Portland. Dorothy's rich and interesting life included a major investment of her years in volunteer work. While in Portland with her three young daughters, she became active with the Junior Symphony Board, United Way, and Campfire Girls. In 1963, the family traveled by freighter to spend a year and a half in Italy. They returned to Portland in 1965, and Dorothy began volunteering for the P.T.A.; she was active in the organization for 10 years. For six years, she also served on the board of a community service center in Northwest Portland, Friendly House. In 1975, she was asked to join Friends of the Multnomah County Library, where she served as director and treasurer, and also joined the board of trustees of the Library Foundation. She supported Friends of History, was on the board of the Oregon Holocaust Research Center, and was co-chair of the campaign committee that helped raise funds for the refurbishment of the Central Library and to endow the library's future endeavors. Dorothy served in many capacities for the Reed alumni association and was president of the alumni board in 1979. In 2002, she received the Foster-Scholz Distinguished Service Award. In 1980, Dorothy, along with her husband and daughters, began extensive world travels. In August 2004, she reached the North Pole, and at 89, was designated the oldest person to reach the North Pole, by the Guinness Book of World Records. Survivors include three daughters, including Margaret D. Hirsch '79. Her husband died in 1995.

Appeared in Reed magazine: May 2008

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