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Marian Wilcox Goldman ’60

April 16, 2021 in Tucson, Arizona.

Marian “Rafia” was born in 1938 in Tucson, Arizona. At Reed, she received a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, with Prof. John E.H. Hancock [chemistry 1955-89] advising on her thesis. She went on to earn a master’s in vocational rehabilitation counseling for the deaf from Western Oregon University and an associate’s degree in computer programming from Pima Community College-West. In 1993 she married Ron Wilcox, who provided constant loving attention throughout the 28 years of their life together.

Marian was a multidimensional being with an independent spirit and a piercing, non-judgemental, and loving gaze. Her enthusiasm and sense of adventure led her to travel up the Amazon, to India, and to hike in Nepal. Despite living with Parkinson’s disease, Marian continued hiking, exercising, painting watercolor pictures, and writing books of poetry—one of which was intermixed with her watercolor paintings. She enjoyed painting nature, loved ones, and self-portraits.

Marian’s spirituality was an integral part of her life; her Jewish roots were celebrated along with a Sufi path with Inayatiyya lineage. Her spiritual name, Rafia, reflects the exaltation that everyone experienced being with her. She held the belief that each religion’s unique voice reflects the One God. As a minister in the Inayatiyya, she conducted universal worship services celebrating all traditions. She was a recipient of a Golden Heart award for recognition of work selflessly given. She is remembered for her great courage, truthfulness, simplicity, generosity, intelligence, love for family and community, and commitment to the rights of all humans. Marian was laid to rest in the Ner Tamid section of Evergreen Cemetery with a traditional ceremony conducted in Hebrew and English by her son, Rabbi Michael Goldman ’89. The Inayatiyya Tucson Center conducted a memorial service celebrating her life. She was widely loved and is greatly missed.

Marian is survived by her husband, Ron Wilcox; daughter, Dr. Lisa Goldman; granddaughter, Lucy Heller; son, Rabbi Michael Goldman; grandsons, Ben, Elie, and Judah Goldman; and stepson, Sean Wilcox.

Appeared in Reed magazine: Fall 2023

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