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Gem Cressman Nelson ’50

Gem was born in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and raised in Eugene, Oregon, where her father, Luther Cressman, established the anthropology department and the museum of natural history at the University of Oregon. (Luther’s discovery of 9,000-year-old sandals in a cave near Fort Rock southeast of Bend forced scientists to more than double their estimates of how long ago the first humans came to the Pacific Northwest.) Gem met her husband, Dr. James T. Nelson ’50, at Reed, and they were married for 69 years. He passed away three weeks after Gem’s death. Both are survived by their son, Richard, and their daughter, Patricia.

Appeared in Reed magazine: June 2018

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