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Barbara Wuest Thompson ’43

November 11, 2022, in San Francisco.

Barbara, a talented ceramicist and cofounder (with her sister-in-law, Enid Thompson ’44) of Allied Potters in San Francisco, died at age 101. At Reed, which Barbara said had an immeasurable influence on her life, she studied literature and wrote her thesis, “Constance Rourke and the Roots of American Culture,” under Prof. Victor L.O. Chittick [English 1921–48]. She went on to earn an MA in museum studies from John F. Kennedy University, served as editor of the graduate program’s journal, and became curator at the San Francisco Wine Museum.

Barbara and husband Ezra Thompson III had three sons. The family moved often, living in Canada, Colombia, and Venezuela. Later in life, Barbara moved into a home for active seniors in San Francisco; there she served as the chair of the library committee and wrote a biweekly column for the residence newsletter. She also volunteered her time as a reader to students at a local elementary school, held season tickets at the symphony and the theatre, and attended several classes a week at the Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning.

Barbara will be remembered for her abiding curiosity, love of literature, and passion for reading. She is survived by her three sons, Peter, Matthew, and John Ezra.

Appeared in Reed magazine: Fall 2023

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