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Bessie Ramona Johnson Day ’40

A picture of Bessie Johnson Day and Jesse Day

Bessie Ramona Johnson Day ’40, February 4, 2010, in Portland. Bessie was a day-dodger at Reed when she met Jesse H. Day ’42; they married in 1938. She worked for the Navy Department in the Family Allowance Division while Jesse earned advanced degrees in chemistry from Case Western Reserve University. “When I stopped with the Navy Department, my husband was editing a magazine called the SPE Journal, the Society of Plastics Engineers Journal, and I sort of half took over his work on that. And then they asked me to be the executive secretary, to run the national office,” she told Gay Walker ’69 in an oral history interview in 2003. Bessie was executive secretary for the society for five years, after which she volunteered with the Red Cross and the Sigma Kappa sorority. Jesse taught at Ohio University, and after his death in 1989, Bessie returned to Portland. She greatly valued the year she spent at Reed.

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2010

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