In Memoriam

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Violet Kochendoerfer ’41

Violet Kochendoerfer ’41, July 22, 2001, in Duluth, Minnesota. After attending Reed for two years, she served in World War II, first in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps and then with the American Red Cross, where she was director of onbase military service clubs. She was with the 82nd Airborne Division when the 21st German Army surrendered to them as they liberated a concentration camp. She later enrolled in the Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, California, and became the first woman graduate of that school in 1962. She served as a Unitarian Universalist minister in congregations in Provincetown, Massachusetts; Calgary, Alabama; Tallahassee, Florida; and Kent, Ohio, retiring in 1978. Her experiences growing up in a small town in Minnesota, serving during the war, and working as a minister led her to write four memoirs: One Woman’s World War II, published in 1994; A Modern Pioneer, published in 1996; Santa Fe in the Fifties, published in 1998; and Growing up in Minnesota, published in 2000. Survivors include a brother, a sister, and several nieces and nephews.

Appeared in Reed magazine: November 2001

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