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Barbara Ann Besson Martin ’41

Barbara Ann Besson Martin ’41, August 17, 2010, in Portland. The daughter of a Portland physician, Barbie lived briefly in Vienna, Austria, where she discovered a passion for art and music. Returning to Portland, Barbie attended Lincoln High School and performed double bass with the Portland Youth Philharmonic. At Reed she studied foreign languages and fell in love with William F. Martin ’41. The couple married and raised their five children on a cattle ranch near the Clackamas River. Outside of ranching, Barbie enjoyed golfing, fishing, and traveling. She did calligraphy, played bridge, and was a fan of the Portland Trail Blazers. She was a member in many local organizations, including the Reed College Women's Committee. After Bill died in 1986, Barbie remained at the ranch, raising and showing Angora goats, and spinning and knitting their fleece. In the early ’90s, she sold the ranch and moved to northwest Portland. Barbie is remembered for her beauty, courage, dignity, and humor. Survivors include 1 son and 3 daughters, 9 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and a brother. A son died in 1977.

Appeared in Reed magazine: March 2011

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