In Memoriam

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Bonnie Jean Mentzer ’53

Bonnie Jean Mentzer ’53, March 5, 2015, in Portland. Bonnie trained as a welder at the Kaiser Shipyard during World War II, then attended Reed for two years before transferring to Oregon State College. She earned a JD from Northwestern College of Law (Lewis & Clark) and served as assistant attorney general assigned to the welfare recovery division of the State Welfare Commission and Bureau of Labor. She also worked for Multnomah County legal aid service. Bonnie traveled by bus to the American South during the early years of the civil rights movement and Freedom Marches. In 1998, she won the E.B. MacNaughton Civil Liberties Award, presented by the Oregon ACLU for participating in the Mississippi Civil Rights Program of the ABA’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. She lived in her house in Sullivan’s Gulch in Portland for more than 60 years and was actively involved in her community. She is remembered for her contributions to neighborhood planning and development efforts, her amazing tomato garden, and most of all, her kindness and generosity to those in need. Survivors include a niece and nephew.

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2015

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