Recent Obituaries
In Memoriam Archive

Jill Susanna Dubisch ’65

January 30, 2023, in Rimrock, AZ, from complications related to Parkinson’s disease.

Jill was born in Missoula, Montana, and grew up in Fresno, California. She earned a bachelor’s in anthropology from Reed in 1965 and wrote her thesis on “Double Descent in Africa,” advised by Prof. Gail M. Kelly [anthropology 1960–2000]. She went on to the University of Chicago, where she earned a doctorate in anthropology, for which she did dissertation fieldwork in Greece, a country that drew her back many times. She taught at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for 20 years and at Northern Arizona University for 20 years.

In 1988–89 Jill was a Rockefeller “Humanist in Residence” in the women’s studies program at the University of Arizona, where she wrote a book based on her research on gender and pilgrimage in Greece. Jill’s passion for pilgrimage stretched from the Mediterranean to the Beltway. In the summer of 1996, she participated in the Run for the Wall, a California to Washington, D.C. motorcycle trip that concluded at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. This experience was the basis for her book Run for the Wall: Remembering Vietnam on a Motorcycle Pilgrimage (with Raymond Michalowski, her husband, from Rutgers University Press, 2001). She retired in 2013.

Over the course of her career, Jill taught more than 6,000 undergraduate university students, mentored numerous graduates, authored four scholarly books and 30 academic articles, and served as president of the Society for the Anthropology of Europe.

In addition to her academic work, she published two novels, sailed between North Carolina and Florida, crossed the United States by motorcycle four times, and in later years became a watercolor artist. On an alumni questionnaire about memories on campus, she offered: “The library on Saturday night, spring in Portland, and the troll under the bridge.”

Jill and her husband Ray lived in the Verde Valley with their three cats. She was smitten with the three redheaded daughters of her nephew (her substitute grandchildren). She was a practitioner of Jin Shin Jyutsu and a Reiki master.

Jill is survived by her husband, Raymond Michalowski Jr.; stepson, Raymond Michalowski III; and brother, Ralph Dubisch. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Russell Dubisch ’67.

Appeared in Reed magazine: Fall 2023

comments powered by Disqus