In Memoriam: Sue Reynoldson and Linda L. Mahan

Sue Reynoldson, 1942–2015

Sue Reynoldson died peacefully Aug. 3, 2015, at her home in Santa Cruz, Calif. Despite chronic pain after a 1973 back injury, she lived a satisfying, productive life. She was born on Nov. 18, 1942. A 40-year resident of Santa Cruz, she was raised in suburban Madison, Wis. The first of three daughters of Ruth and Jack Reynoldson, she attended the University of Wisconsin High School, Rollins College (Fla.), UW-Madison and UC-Santa Cruz. She received a UW bachelor’s degree in 1963.

She taught public high school art and worked as an art therapist with children in Canada. Before her back injury, she traveled on six continents. Her interests ranged from European art museums to sustainable living cooperatives. In Santa Cruz, she coordinated programs in the arts, affirmative action and energy conservation. She joined UC-Santa Cruz staff in 1987, coordinating campus development and scientific research programs until retirement in 2007.

She wrote articles, poems, stories, film scripts and plays. Her play “The Last Utopian” had a staged reading and is available for production.

She was a founding member of the Coalition for University Employees, Santa Cruz Action Network and Democratic Socialists of America. She served on city and county advisory bodies, including four years on the Santa Cruz County Women’s Commission.

Survivors include her sisters, Mary Baker of Prescott, Ariz., and Julia Hutton of Morgan Hill, Calif. Donations in her honor may be made to the UC-Santa Cruz Smith Renaissance Society for disadvantaged students.

“Sue contacted me this summer, knowing she was dying, to inform FFRF that she would be making our nonprofit one of seven beneficiaries, including Final Exit, and expressing the wish to be ‘immortalized’ on our donor wall in the Anne Nicol Gaylor Lobby. We corresponded back and forth, realized we had common acquaintances, and I was so touched and grateful for her brave and cheerful interest in helping FFRF,” said FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. Sue bequeathed $9,800 to FFRF.

“We will be walking past Sue Reynoldson’s name every day and will remember her generosity,” Gaylor said.

Linda L. Mahan, 1943–2015

Freethought Today regrettably reports the death of Lifetime Member Linda L. Mahan, 72, on Aug. 4, 2015, only five weeks after learning she had pancreatic cancer. She was married to Alan B. Palmer, who survives her.

Linda, born in West Chester, Pa., graduated from Henderson High School and Drexel University and had retired from DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical as a benefits specialist in human resources. She tended lovely flower gardens, was an avid bird watcher and amateur photographer and collected antique dolls and lovely miniatures of museum quality.

She volunteered with the West Chester branch of Planned Parenthood. “Once a week she would escort clients past angry and insensitive protesters who yelled vile rhetoric and held disgusting signs,” recalled her friend Margaret Downey, an FFRF state representative who heads the Freethought Society based near Philadelphia, to which Linda also belonged.

She volunteered for animal welfare organizations and sponsored a scholarship for a veterinary student. She adopted several rescue dogs. She was also a dedicated supporter of American Humanists.

At her request, there was no service.

Freedom From Religion Foundation