In Memoriam

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Priscilla Joubert Schwejda ’45

Priscilla Joubert Schwejda ’45, February 14, 2011, in Forest Grove, Oregon. Percy, as she was known at Reed, earned a BA in political science, and worked for Braniff Airways in Texas after college. A layover in Chicago led to a visit to the Jane Addams Hull House, where she took a job as the organization's program secretary. At Hull House, she took piano lessons from Donald Schwejda; they married in 1948. Don's teaching and study took them to Indiana and to Pacific University in Oregon. Percy spent 15 years at home raising their four children, before becoming a teacher's aide. After earning degrees from Pacific University and Western Oregon University, she taught reading for Yamhill schools. “Children need to be encouraged to take risks when reading. They need to be given the opportunities to try a lot of things and not to fear failure,” she said. Percy used songs, poetry, plays, and puppetry to point out differences in written and spoken language and to demonstrate the beauty of language. “Although my formal study for teaching took place long after I attended Reed, the habits of critical thinking and methods of research that I learned there were invaluable for academic work. And, hopefully, the Reed passion for learning was contagious for my students.” Outside of teaching, she enjoyed camping with her family, photography, calligraphy, drawing, painting, and sculpture. She appreciated the marvels of nature found in bird watching, viewing a sunrise or sunset, or in hiking. She also attended Elderhostels around the country and was a longtime member of St. Anthony's Parish in Forest Grove. Percy and friends Betty Havely Golding ’45 and Eleanor May ’45 gathered once a year for 30 years in the summer to reminisce about Reed. Survivors include two sons and daughters, six grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and two sisters.

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2011

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