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Elizabeth Drummond Marshall Ackley ’32

A picture of Elizabeth Marshall Ackley

Elizabeth Drummond Marshall Ackley ’32, August 24, 2009, in Portland. After earning a BA in history from Reed, Elizabeth taught elementary school in Boardman, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington. “Vancouver did not permit their teachers to marry until they had served five years. I had been engaged to (Wilson) Lee (Ackley) for seven years, so we threw caution to the winds, I resigned, and we married (in 1935).” The couple and their three daughters lived in southwest Portland. Elizabeth taught at the Gabel Country Day School, and later was the librarian at Ainsworth School. “I thoroughly enjoyed those years. I was able to do a much needed piece of work and allay the ghost of nonaccomplishment on a personal level.” Elizabeth and Lee retired in 1975, worked on their home—designed and built by Lee—gardened three acres “furiously,” and did some traveling. “Looking back, I seem to have been mainly a domestic creature, concerned chiefly with home and hearth. Not so. Any Reed College person knows there is a larger scene out there and our concern for the future of our citizens does not diminish. In fact, it's risen sharply! As someone's aunt once remarked, 'Life ain't neat.' I would amend it to read, 'Life ain't tidy, but it's sure been neat.'” Her daughters—including Meribeth Dahlberg, former registrar at Reed [1985–89]—survive her, as do five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Her husband died in 2005.

Appeared in Reed magazine: March 2010

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