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Mary J. Mathisson MacKenzie ’53

Mary J. Mathisson MacKenzie ’53, May 30, 2012, in Portland. Mary earned a BA from Reed in general literature, writing the creative thesis “Three Leaves, and other poems.” Her interest in art led to a secondary teaching credential from California College of Arts & Craft in 1958. One year later, she married John R. MacKenzie ’50; they had two children. From Mike Munk ’56 we learned that John was one of the “Portland Four,” who lost their jobs and were sentenced to jail as a result of their refusal to cooperate with HUAC’s political interrogation in 1954 (see “McCarthyism Laid to Rest?” in Reed, spring 2006). Mary told Mike that John dealt with government harassment for decades and the family felt isolated and lived in an “atmosphere of crisis.” Mary was an artist, a homemaker, and a freelance writer. She wrote regularly for American Astrology magazine for over 40 years. “I love astrology,” she said in a note to the college. “I consider astrology to be an important proto-science, which has both contributed importantly to the academically recognized sciences of mathematics and astronomy and has changed with the times, updating primary tenets in line with contemporary scientific discoveries as well as making its own original contributions to science.” Survivors include her son and daughter, three grandchildren, and a brother. John died in 1999.

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2012

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