In Memoriam

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Josephine E. Lewis Utley ’39

Josephine E. Lewis Utley ’39, March 18, 2008, in Seattle, Washington. Josephine received a BA from Reed in literature and languages. She began a 15-year career in social work in 1940, employed with the Portland and Hillsboro, Oregon, public welfare departments. In 1945, she married artist and musician Windsor R. Utley, and moved to New York City. In 1946, she received her master's degree from the New York School of Social Work, Columbia University. The couple lived in Seattle for the next 23 years, where she did social work and assisted with the operation of her husband's business, Utley's Art Gallery. In 1969, the couple and their son, artist C.L. Utley, moved to Salt Spring Island, B.C., where she took up hand weaving. She was a lifetime member of the Salt Spring Island Weavers Guild. (Later, she joined the Seattle Weavers Guild and the Hand Weavers Guild of America.) The couple also opened an art gallery, in 1976, in Sidney, B.C. In 1980, they moved to Laguna Beach, and then to Seattle in 1987. Their business and interest in Italian art and culture included numerous trips to Italy. Josephine studied Italian language and cuisine and then, in turn, gave Italian cooking classes. During the ’90s, she was a docent at the Seattle Art Museum, and was a member of the Museum of Northwest Art in La Conner, Washington, and the Fry Art Museum in Seattle. She was also a member of the Meany Hall for Performing Arts and many chamber music groups. In her oral history interview with Deborah A. Prince ’71, in 2001, she said: “What Reed gave me is that I recognize every name I ever hear in any subject, and the rest of the people don't. I may not remember what the person's philosophy was precisely, but I'm not uncomfortable. Because I know when they're referring to these people, whether it be in music or philosophy or history, whatever, it just goes along with me. Others say, 'Who's that?' 'What's that?' That's what I really realize, how different the Reed education is.” Her sister, Claudia L. Lewis ’30, also graduated from Reed. Survivors include her son and brother. Windsor died in 1989. His portrait of Victor L.O. Chittick [English, 1921–48 ] was presented as a gift to the college.

Appeared in Reed magazine: August 2008

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