In Memoriam

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William M. Wolfe ’51

William Wolfe ’51, February 4, 1997, in Lake Grove, Oregon. Bill came to Reed from Maryland. Ruth Cederstrom Wolfe ’50, whom he met at Reed and married in 1951, says that as a teen, Bill danced the jitterbug on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City—primarily with black dancers—in a powder blue, custom-grade zoot suit. “He so loved and admired his fellow dancers and his hope was to match their skills.” Bill went to Washington, D.C., to enlist in the army during World War II, and was shocked to find that the army was segregated. “He had a hard time reconciling the segregated army and fighting for the Jews,” says Ruth. “It was not the whole war. He landed in France on D-Day, too, and he came home to see a VA counselor in Los Angeles.” Bill and his friend, Al Ferguson ’52, met together with the counselor, who also was a graduate of Reed. The counselor called Reed and said, “I have two smart boys to send you.” The day following, Bill and Al set out for Portland in Bill’s model A, with their suitcases stashed in the rumble seat. Bill went on to earn a BS in mathematics from Portland State University in 1956 and worked as a statistician for the Oregon State Highway Department. He also was owner and manager of a vegetable juice company in the Portland area. Bill and Ruth had a son, and two daughters. Survivors include Ruth and their children. (Our thanks to Ruth for her assistance in amending Bill's memorial in April 2014.)

Appeared in Reed magazine: November 1997

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