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Alice Margaret Churchill Labovitz ’30

A picture of Alice Churchill Labovitz

Alice Margaret Churchill Labovitz ’30, April 30, 2012, in Mitchellville, Maryland, two weeks shy of her 105th birthday. Margo hailed from Marinette, Michigan, and came to Reed through the support of an uncle who lived in Portland. She earned her degree at Reed in general literature, writing her thesis on Montaigne. After Reed, she married Israel M. Labovitz; they moved to Chicago, where she worked in advertising and took courses at the University of Chicago in support of her position as a psychiatric social worker with the Cook County Psychopathic Hospital in Chicago. In 1936, Margo and Is left Chicago for Washington, D.C., where Is was a government economist at the budget bureau. They made their home in Maryland and raised three sons. In an interview in 2004, Margo talked about the loss of her mother at an early age, the positive influence of her grandparents, who lived nearby, and the importance of family. Margo believed, as did her grandparents, that a mother should raise her children, rather than find a career outside the home. “I was further propelled in that direction because I missed very much having a normal family, and my real desire all my life was to establish a family I didn’t have. So, I didn’t have any great wish to do anything else, and I think we did have a good family.” After her sons were grown, she taught part time in a nursery school and volunteered with the League of Women Voters and the Women’s Democratic Club of Washington. She was inspired to find ways to keep individuals intellectually motivated beyond the years of traditional schooling. “A group of us at the Women’s Democratic Club met every week to study subjects of political and general social interest, and to concoct a series of morning meetings on these subjects with the most knowledgeable speakers we could get.” Margo and Is moved to a retirement home in 1988. Through the years, Margo maintained connections to Reedites, including George Wheeler ’29 and Eleanor Mitchell Wheeler ’30, and traveled to Egypt with Dorothy Gill Wikelund ’29. Her cousin, John R. Churchill ’49, also attended Reed. Survivors include sons David, Peter, and John; four grandchildren; and two-great grandchildren. Is died in 1992.

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2012

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