In Memoriam

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Michelle Weber Pailthorp ’62

Michelle Weber Pailthorp ’62, July 31, 2002, of a brain aneurysm, in Seattle, Washington. Mickie received a BA in history at Reed, and a master’s degree in history at the University of Pittsburgh in 1967. She married Charles Pailthorp ’62; they had three children and later divorced. In 1983 she earned a JD from the University of Washington and began her career as an attorney and as a women’s rights and environmental activist; she successfully campaigned for the Washington State equal rights amendment in 1972. She was described as feisty and independent, and a courageous fighter for all constituents, women in particular. She was the first person in Washington to commit to the campaign for Senator Patty Murray and remained vigilant in her observation of and support for Murray’s work. On September 19 Senator Murray read a tribute to Pailthorp at the Senate, which included the remembrance of her as a "whirlwind of passion and energy. She was there fighting the good fight for women on the ERA and so many other issues before it was popular and before it seemed possible." Murray focused on Mickie's ability to focus on the issues and goals, rather than on letting herself become the focus, and on her legacy to people in all walks of life. Survivors include her spouse, Joel Connelly; her son; two daughters; a granddaughter; and a sister.

Appeared in Reed magazine: February 2003

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