In Memoriam

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John C. Pickett ’91

John C. Pickett ’91, of cancer, April 20, 1996, at his home in Portland. He overcame a difficult past and life of menial labor jobs to become a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Reed and a respected classics scholar. He was pursuing a PhD in classics as a Javits scholar at Stanford when he was diagnosed with cancer last fall. He entered Reed at the age of 27 after working a string of jobs ranging from steel foundries to warehouse work. At Reed, he was known for his incredible stamina, working nearly full time as a legal assistant while pursuing a full class load and spending time with his wife and children, whom he considered his highest priority. His senior thesis work, a translation and analysis of the poetry of Catullus, earned him the Class of ’21 Award, given each spring to honor exceptional creativity by a graduating senior. His own poetry was published in several journals, including Pavement and California Quarterly. Survivors include his wife of 16 years, a son, a daughter, his father and stepmother, two brothers, and two sisters.

Appeared in Reed magazine: August 1996

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