In Memoriam

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Susan Deery ’69

A picture of Susan Deery and Larry Frisch

Susan with Larry Frisch ’67 in the late ’60s on top of Mount Ruth in the North Cascades

Susan Deery ’69 of Longview, Washington, was buried in an avalanche that occurred on August 11, 1971, near the Alaska-Yukon border. She was climbing with four others, including John H. Hall ’68, Lucille Borgen Adamson ’65, and her husband, Stanley Adamson. The party had completed the assault on Mount Logan and was attempting to scale Mount St. Elias from the Newton Glacier via Russell Col. Survivor Leslie Wheeler returned to the group's base camp, where he notified officials of the disaster and was rescued. Susan's classmate and friend, Dick Burkhart ’69, who assisted greatly in this memorial for her, was teaching in Laos when the climbers were killed, and was hit hard by the news when he learned of it months later. He reports that the Reed Climbers’ Reunion in August 2007 was held at the Deery family home in Longview in memory of Susan. "Most of these Reedies, and Susan, had been with me on our 1967 expedition to climb White Princess in the Alaskan Range, which, thankfully was without tragedy, but after Susan’s death I never went back." Susan's family had been very supportive of her and her adventures, says Dick, and climbers heading north often stopped at the Deery home to pack and plan for the trip ahead. Susan's mother, Ruth, whom Dick knew to be a vibrant individual, died in 2008. Susan graduated from Reed with a BA in chemistry, and found a mentor in pioneering mountaineer Arlene Blum ’66, her Reed roommate, who was also a chemistry major. 

Appeared in Reed magazine: online only

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