Recent Obituaries
In Memoriam Archive

Sylvia Wells Baldwin ’50

August 17, 2018, in Honolulu, Hawaii, from a ruptured aorta.

Born in Seattle, Washington, Sylvia began Reed at 17, supporting herself as a waitress and majoring in literature and languages. After three years at Reed, she transferred to the University of Washington, where she earned a bachelor’s degree. She married J. Allen Johnson ’50 and moved to Alaska and back to Portland before moving to Hawaii in 1959.

Sylvia focused on raising her four children when they were young, and then, after she divorced, she worked a variety of jobs to support them, including secretary, encyclopedia salesperson, substitute teacher, and tutor. She always wrote, whether it was unpublished novellas and short stories, correspondence with Reed friends, or penning columns in local publications and professional outlets. At the age of 62, she became a U.S. immigration inspector at Honolulu International Airport and worked there for 11 years before retiring. She took trips to Egypt, Machu Picchu, the Galapagos, and an around-the-world marathon, and to the end maintained an active interest in the world and in politics. Survivors include her four children: Branden Johnson, Hunter Johnson, Morgan Johnson, and Melissa Johnson.

Appeared in Reed magazine: March 2018

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