In Memoriam

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Miles Lorin Weber ’56

Miles Lorin Weber ’56, May 30, 2014, in Alameda, California. Miles grew up in southeast Portland and contracted polio when he was 12, rendering him paraplegic. His mother, Melba Weber, successfully fought Portland Public Schools for him to be educated alongside his peers. After graduating from Cleveland High School, Miles enrolled at Reed in the 3-2 biology–medical school program. He may have been the first student in a wheelchair to attend Reed, and since most of his classes and labs were in Eliot Hall, a building then without an elevator, classmates transported him between floors. During summers, he worked in the lab of Prof. Marsh Cronyn ’40 [chemistry 1952–89]. According to Prof. Cronyn, Miles challenged fellow students to a race down the stairs of Eliot on at least one occasion.

After Reed, Miles entered the University of Oregon Medical School. Because he was unable to gain access to the upstairs library, classmates brought materials to him. Once when he required noncirculating reference materials, which were stored on the upper floors, a willing, unnamed student secretly utilized a dumbwaiter to lift Miles to the locations. Following medical school, Miles married and did a psychiatric residency at Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UC San Francisco. He remained in the Bay Area for his career, making his home in the East Bay. Miles had a passion for planes and flying, and he owned a succession of hand-controlled small planes. He enjoyed a rich, evolving career in psychiatry that ended only when he contracted pneumonia a month before his death. Survivors include three children, Geoffrey, Lorise, and Jonathan, and nieces Melinda Jackson (married to Jim Jackson ’70) and Lauren Dillard, who all miss him profoundly. Our thanks to Melinda for providing this memorial to Miles.

Appeared in Reed magazine: December 2014

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