Recent Obituaries
In Memoriam Archive

Jill McLean ’56

October 13, 2019, in Vancouver, Washington.

The death of her sibling when Jill was 19 shaped her outlook. “From then on,” she said, “I learned to value today, and not take the future for granted.” She transferred to Reed as a biology major and wrote her thesis, “An Investigation of the Response of the Proximal Retinal Pigment in Crustaceans to Direct Stimulation and to Drugs,” advised by Prof. Lewis H. Kleinholz [biology 1946–80]. “Reed is stretching, learning,” she said, “people doing something for the first time in  a nonjudgmental atmosphere.”

Believing her liberal arts education gave her more options in life, Jill sent a thank-you letter to the college 39 years after graduating: “I am grateful for Reed’s requirements of a broad background in math and sciences. I have used it all. I began working at the University of Oregon Medical School in Portland as an assistant to A.R. Tunturi, who was doing research on the auditory cortex of dogs. For this job, I used my biology major, expanded my math, and branched into statistics. Botany and statistics were used when I worked at the Pacific Northwest Experiment Station in Portland. I ended my working career in 1994, using statistics and physics in system operations at Bonneville Power Administration. Biology and physics came together in my favorite pastimes of photography and scuba diving. Thanks to Reed’s preparation, I have led a life of fulfillment.”

Jill married and later divorced John Hoopes. After retiring, she moved from Portland to Vancouver, Washington. Her love of computers was seeded when she first learned of them in 1959. An adventurer, she pursued natural history and underwater photography. She enjoyed bringing out the best in other people, and her formula was simple: “Provide fertile soil that all may flower.”

Appeared in Reed magazine: June 2020

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