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Memorials: South Mountain Friends Meeting

Barbara Rosen

Date of birth

April 10, 1929

Date of death

Dec. 19, 2018


South Mountain Friends Meeting

Memorial minute

Barbara Rosen, born Barbara Cooper in Nelson, England, on April 10, 1929, passed away peacefully at home on December 19, 2018, at the age of 89.

Barbara began her long teaching career at Ackworth School, a Quaker co-educational boarding school in England, in 1952. Still in her 20s, she came on her own to America to teach English at Wisconsin University-Madison, where she met William Rosen, and married him in 1960. She taught English, with a specialty in Shakespeare and Renaissance drama, at the University of Connecticut from 1960 until her retirement in 1999. In 2003, when she and Bill moved to Ashland, Oregon, to be near their daughters and grandchildren, they began team-teaching adult classes on Shakespeare. After Bill died in 2004, Barbara enjoyed a return to acting; some favorite roles included a dysfunctional fairy in Ashland Children’s Theater’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and the wife in Oregon Stage Works’ production of Bertolt Brecht’s “The Jewish Wife.”

Barbara’s experience of war as a child marked her deeply and made her a lifelong pacifist and activist for human rights. She rejected the British anti-Semitism of the day to marry a Jewish man.

She taught journalism when the English department refused to hire her because of nepotism rules, then actively opposed and defeated those rules. For 43 years she was a very active and deeply valued member of Storrs Friends Meeting, serving as Clerk and on many committees, bettering her community in countless ways. In 2003, Barbara’s membership was transferred to South Mountain Friends Meeting, where Barbara was active on numerous committees, attended and helped facilitate sessions on racism and human rights, happily marched in the PRIDE parade as long as her health permitted, and generously shared with us her wit and humor, her poetry, her stories, and her love.

Even as dementia took away some of Barbara’s memory and words, her humor and her love— especially for her family—never faltered. Barbara is survived by her daughters Judith Rosen and Susan Moen, her sons-in-law Don Matthews and Paul Moen, and her grandchildren Nick Moen and Willa Moen. Barbara is greatly missed and appreciated by all who knew her.