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Margaret A. Kitchell ’70

March 23, 2020, in Seattle, Washington.

Margaret was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, and as a teenager moved to Manhattan, Kansas. She attended Carleton College in Minnesota for two years and then transferred to Reed, where she majored in philosophy and wrote her thesis, “Knowledge of Personal Identity.”

She went on to pursue a degree in medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, where she participated in efforts against lead poisoning with the Medical Committee for Human Rights. After a medical internship at Rush University Medical Hospital in Chicago, she settled in Seattle and did her psychiatry residency at the University of Washington. For many years, Margaret practiced in general and geriatric psychiatry, both as a private practitioner and for Group Health, Seattle Mental Health, and Harborview Medical Center.

Margaret joined the PRAG House, a housing cooperative, where she met friends and built a support group that lasted more than 40 years. She became a “groupie” for the activist band Shelly and the Crustaceans, where she met Jack Buchans. They married in 1980, had two children, Julia and Alexander, and joined Plymouth Church. Jack died in 2012.

A passionate and vocal advocate for climate, health, and public transit, Margaret took pride in having marched against the World Trade Organization during its Seattle convention. She was actively involved with People’s Memorial Association, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, Feet First, Transportation Choices Coalition, and Climate Solutions, and was a Clean Air Ambassador for Earthjustice and an educator for Our Whole Lives.

Margaret met a new partner, Kim Waggie, in 2014, and the two shared a love of the outdoors, reading, travel, and music. They taught religious education at the University Unitarian Church, where Margaret sang in the intergenerational choir. The couple moved to Ballard and were often seen on their daily walks with their dog. Margaret loved being in nature, whether camping, hiking, or snowshoeing, and was an enthusiastic participant on her local soccer team.

She is survived by her partner, Kim Waggie, her daughter, Julia Buchans, and her son, Alex Buchans.

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2020

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