In Memoriam: Marjorie Atwood


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death January 13, 2005 of Honorary Member Marjorie Atwood at her home in Irvington, VA of complications from a stroke. She was 79.

Marjorie Atwood was elected a Member of the Corporation in 1989 and an Honorary Member in 1995.

Born February 28,1926 in Fall River, MA, Marjorie Atwood lived in New York, Rhode Island and New Mexico before retiring to Irvington. She attended college after her children were grown, receiving B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Salve Regina University in Newport, RI. Her interest in the religious art of Mexico, Spain and New Mexico led her to write two books, The Legend of Galisteo and The Ex Voto as a Symbol of Faith and Survival. She organized the Atwood Lectures in Humanities at Salve Regina University, and later became conservation chairman of the Garden Club of America in Newport, RI. Most recently she served as chairman, Green Animals, for The Preservation Society of Newport. Green Animals is the oldest and most northern topiary garden in the United States, and is considered a rare example of a self-sufficient estate combining formal topiaries, vegetable and herb gardens, orchards and a Victorian house overlooking Narragansett Bay.

Active in numerous organizations throughout her life, Marjorie Atwood was a trustee of the Oliver S. and Jennie R. Donaldson Charitable Trust. An advocate for women's health issues, she served on the advisory board of the Cancer Research Institute of New York, supported cancer research at the Mayo Clinic, and supported the Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury Health and Wellness Program and a Parkinson's support group. She was a member of the Colonial Dames of America, a life member of the Newport Art Museum and The Preservation Society of Newport, and an honorary life member of El Rancho de Las Golandrinas.

She is survived by two sons, Warren Lirakis of Newport, RI, and Christopher Lirakis of Portsmouth, RI; two daughters, Elizabeth Lirakis of Springfield, VT, and Susan Lirakis Nicolay of Center Sandwich, NH; 14 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

A memorial service was held February 4 in Virginia. A second service will be held April 9 at Salve Regina University in Newport, RI. Memorial donations may be made to the Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury Foundation.


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