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Margaret Strawn Mesirow ’62, MAT ’64

December 5, 2022, in Portland, at home.

Margaret was born in Pocatello, Idaho, and was one of four valedictorians graduating in her Pocatello High School class. She attended Reed, majored in Russian, and wrote her thesis, “Yuri Zhivago in the ‘Superfluous Man’ Tradition,” advised by Prof. Vera K. Krivoshein [Russian 1949–72]. Two years later, she received her master of arts in teaching from Reed. While at Reed, she met David Mesirow, whom she married in 1962. They were married for 52 years, until his passing in 2014.

She taught language arts and Russian at Cleveland High School in Portland. In 1972, she began working for the Kobos Company, and eventually became its human resources manager. After she retired, her passion for education inspired her to volunteer at Beach Elementary School for 14 years. Margaret had a sharp wit and a keen intellect. Not only was she an excellent listener, she had a strong moral compass. She never forgot where she came from and lived her life in accordance with the strong values and sense of self she gained while growing up in Pocatello. She was an avid reader, enjoyed listening to West Coast jazz and gardening, and was a meticulous record keeper.

She is survived by her daughter, Catherine Mesirow, and son, Nicholas Mesirow.

Appeared in Reed magazine: June 2023

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