1930 – 2017
Career: Marriage and family therapist; probation officer
“Sometimes older people get kind of set in their ways—that’s not me!”
Liz passed away in November 2017 at the age of 87. In the spirit so typical of her, she continued to be involved in singing with her beloved Berkeley Community Chorus and in her work with Ashby Village right up until the end. A staunch liberal Democrat and political activist all her life, she was unfailingly open hearted and full of humor. Following are some of the thoughts about aging that she expressed during an interview in February 2017.
Music is really the most important thing for me these days. I sing in the Berkeley Community Chorus—I’ve been with them for twenty-seven years.
I’m not afraid to try new things, because that helps make my life richer. For example, I like the challenge of learning new music. I have a singing teacher who works with me every week. Also, I try to become familiar with innovations. I have compromised vision because of macular degeneration. So I’ve learned how to use low vision goggles, which incorporate a smartphone. The inventor—a neuroscientist at UC Berkeley—sort of made me his field developer.
I’ve been an activist in small ways over the years, in anti-war and anti-nuclear-weapons marches. The last time I was arrested, though, those tight plastic handcuffs hurt too much, so that’s not for me anymore. I did go to the recent women’s anti-Trump march in Oakland. I took a walker so I could sit down.
I’m an extrovert. I get a lot out of being with people, and I can’t imagine not spending a lot of my time with people. It energizes me.