Obituaries
— Class of 1984

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Jul, 2019

Miles B. Schuman ’84, of Calgary, Canada; Mar. 1. He spent many years as a family physician in Rankin Inlet in Nunavut, Canada. Fluent in four languages, he traveled the world to bring healing to victims of torture and children orphaned by war. He wrote editorials and scholarly articles on the subject. He counseled refugees and documented torture for the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture and the Clinique Accueil Santé in Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, and Thailand. He also served as an expert witness in cases on persecution and torture. Phi Beta Kappa. He is survived by his mother, two sisters, and four nieces and nephews.

 

Jul, 2019

Rachel H. Blumenfeld ’84, of Knoxville, Tenn.; Feb. 17. At Brown she was a member of the women’s softball team, winning the Ivy League Championship in 1982 and named All-Ivy Conference Softball Team Honorable Mention in 1984. After graduating, she moved to Memphis and attended the University of Memphis School of Law, where she was appointed editor-in-chief of the Law Review. Her legal work began in private practice at Gardere Wynne in Dallas, and shortly thereafter she worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 Office of Regional Counsel. In 1994 she moved back to Tennessee and began a career with the U.S. Department of Energy that would span more than 20 years. She started as an attorney advisor in the Oak Ridge Operations Office of Chief Counsel and at the time of her death, was serving as the General Counsel of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. She is survived by two brothers and nieces and nephews.

 

Sep, 2018

Gay Tokumaru Bessen ’84, of Williamsburg, Va.; Mar. 9, of cancer. She was chief of optometry at the Hampton VA Medical in Hampton, Va. She enjoyed the outdoors and traveling. She is survived by her husband, Andy; her mother; and two brothers.

 

Sep, 2018

Elizabeth Olarsch Hunter ’84, of Gardiner, N.Y., formerly of Portland, Me.; Dec. 5, from a cerebral hemorrhage while awaiting a bone marrow transplant due to myeloid leukemia. She was a concert pianist and trained in Musical Munchkins, developmentally staged techniques for teaching music to children. After relocating to Gardiner, she opened a Musical Munchkins branch in New Paltz, N.Y. At Brown she was a member of the Chattertocks. She and her husband established the Free at Last band and toured the New England college circuit, eventually recording an album in 1996 title One Woman’s Song. She enjoyed music and raising her family. She is survived by her husband, Tim; two daughters; and two sons.

 

May, 2018

Jessica Jones McBride ’84, of Bound Brook, N.J.; July 8, of breast cancer. She began her career as an investigative analyst for Safir Rosetti and most recently was at UBS Financial Services. She lived in New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Illinois before settling in New Jersey. She enjoyed traveling and following basketball and football. She is survived by her husband, John ’84; a daughter; a son; two grandchildren; two sisters; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

 

Apr, 2018

Elizabeth J. Farnsworth ’84, of Amherst, Mass.; Oct. 27. She was a senior research ecologist and director of education at the New England Wild Flower Society in Framingham, Mass. She conducted research projects in plant ecology all over the world, taught at universities, and developed ecology education projects for children. Her work was recognized and supported by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. She served as a scientific consultant to government agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. National Park Service, and the Environmental Protection Agency. She published 54 scholarly papers, numerous magazine and newspaper articles, and several books. She was author of the Society’s State of the Plants report, cocreator of the Society’s Go Botany website, and wrote the “Earth Matters” column for the Daily Hampshire Gazette. She received several awards for her work, including Harvard’s Bowdoin Prize. She enjoyed building wooden boats, kayaking, playing guitar and piano, and singing in contemporary and classical chorales. She is survived by her brother, Robert L. Farnsworth ’76; a sister-in-law, Georgia N. Nigro ’76; two nephews; an aunt; and four cousins.

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