Natalie Balakshin Dodge dies at 97

Natalie Balakshin Dodge, a former member of Reed’s Russian department, died April 19 in Portland at age 97. She was born on May 29, 1904, and grew up in Western Siberia. She and her family moved to Omsk, then Vladivostok, then to Shanghai, China. The family immigrated to Seattle in 1922. She earned a degree in foreign languages from Washington State College, in Pullman, in 1926. Two years later she married Alexander Dodge; they later moved to Portland, where she taught English for the purchasing commission of the lend lease program to the Russians during World War II.

Natalie Balakshin Dodge After the war ended Dodge taught at Washington State College, the University of Oregon Extension Center, and then Reed College, where she was an instructor in the Russian department from 1943 to 1950, and again in 1967. She also did extensive work in tutoring and translation. She stayed in contact with several students, including Barbara Davis Crowley ’50 and Lois Baker Janzer ’50.

In retirement she continued to be active painting, reading, playing piano, sewing, gardening, attending Spanish club, and traveling with her husband in Italy, Georgia, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Moscow, and Leningrad. She was finally able to resume contact with her Russian relatives after Gorbachev opened Russia, and she maintained a lively correspondence with them. She is survived by her son, Nicholas Dodge; daughter, Kyra MacIlveen; two sisters, Irene Rozvaliaeff, of Vancouver B.C., and Ann Annis, of Chilliwack B.C.; and two grandchildren. Her husband died in 1995. End of Article


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Reed Magazine February 2003
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