Margaret Kitchell ’70

3 April 2020
Margaret Kitchell

Class: 1970

Residence: Seattle, WA

Deceased: March 23, 2020

Margaret Anne Kitchell was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on February 23, 1948 to Ralph Lloyd and Mary Clare (nee Murray) Kitchell. When she was a teenager, the family moved to Manhattan, Kansas, where she graduated from Lucky High School. Margaret returned to Minnesota to attend Carleton College for the first two years of undergraduate school, then transferred to Reed College in Portland, Oregon, where she received a B.A. in Philosophy. She went on to pursue a degree in medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, where she also participated in efforts against lead poisoning with the Medical Committee for Human Rights. She did her medical internship at Rush in Chicago, finally settling in Seattle during her psychiatry residency at the University of Washington in 1976. Margaret practiced for many years in general and geriatric psychiatry as a private practitioner and for Group Health, Seattle Mental Health, and Harborview Medical Center. Margaret believed that her work in geriatrics also helped her prepare for her retirement in 2012. While in Seattle, Margaret joined PRAG House, a housing cooperative. There she met many of her lifelong friends, building a support network that has lasted for over 40 years. While at PRAG House Margaret became a “groupie” for the activist band Shelly and the Crustaceans, where she met Jack Buchans. They married in 1980 and had two children, Julia and Alexander (“Sandy” or “Alex”). They joined Plymouth Church in 1991, where Margaret participated on many boards and enjoyed singing in the choir. Jack passed away from cancer in 2012. Margaret had a strong moral compass and was a passionate and vocal advocate for climate, health and public transit. She took pride in having marched against the WTO in a turtle outfit during their 1999 convention in Seattle. She was actively involved with many organizations including People’s Memorial Association (board member and president), Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility (Health Task Force and board member), Feet First (co-founder and policy board member), and was an active member of Transportation Choices Coalition, Climate Solutions, was a Clean Air Ambassador for Earth Justice, as well as an educator for Our Whole Lives (OWL). In 2014 Margaret met her new partner, Kim Waggie. They shared a love of the outdoors, reading, travel and music. Joining the University Unitarian Church, they both taught religious education and Margaret sang in the intergenerational choir and participated in several groups. They moved to Ballard and were often seen on their daily walks with their previous dog, Gertie, and their current dog, Jackson. Margaret loved traveling to the coast of Oregon and being in nature, often going camping, hiking and snowshoeing. She was an enthusiastic participant on her local soccer team for many years, was an avid pedestrian and yoga enthusiast. She passionately supported the arts and numerous environmental and socially responsible organizations. Margaret died after a short illness at Swedish Hospital – Cherry Hill in Seattle. The family counts themselves lucky in these uncertain times, with Margaret receiving excellent medical care and the family able to be with her at the end. Margaret is survived by daughter Julia, son Alex and his wife Anna Braswell, partner Kim, brother Michael Kitchell, and sister Martha Kitchell. She was preceded in death by her husband Jack, and her parents. The family would like to thank all the medical personnel at Swedish Hospital – Cherry Hill for their care of Margaret over her stay there.

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  • 2020-06-04 01:23:31
    Shan Steinmark

    Margaret “Maggie” Kitchell I never really knew Margaret “Maggie” Kitchell. Like a lot of you, I remember her red hair and distinctive gait as she glided around campus. She ended up finishing her degree at Reed, but Maggie indicated in her Bio that she hoped to attend our 50th. Hopes were raised when the original plan for a Health Panel called for Margaret Kitchell to join Jimmy Kolker, Gaard Arneson & me on Saturday, June 20th. As a geriatric psychiatrist, she would have been an ideal panel member. Fate cruelly intervened with the Pandemic and Maggie’s death. We don’t always have to know someone intimately to be influenced by them. National political leaders and professors in the front of the classroom speak to us through their words, ideas, images and reputations. As a potential geriatric psychiatric patient-in-the-making, I can readily appreciate the value of the service Dr. Kitchell provided. In addition, while I was writing about my experiences as an at-home caregiver, I often wondered “what would Maggie say ?” Dr. Kitchell would have provided a perfect professional counter-point to my amateur perspective. For those of you who actually knew Maggie, it is important to remember her as she really was. For me, Maggie is yet another beautiful symbol of what we all stood to gain through an in-person reunion in June. A chance to re-unite with old friends, a chance to make new friends, a chance to exchange ideas with an incredible diversity of minds. Maggie, you will undoubtedly be fondly remembered – by your family, friends, colleagues, clients and former classmates. Maggie, you will also be sadly missed – by those of us who lost our chance to get to know you.

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