Dorothy Wright Davis, known to many as “Alden,” died peacefully on March 1 in Eugene, Ore. Her husband and her three children were with her. Alden would have turned 90 on July 29.
Born in Bryn Mawr, Penn., Alden was an unabashed intellectual and scholar, traits fostered by a set of remarkable parents. Alden grew up with an insatiable curiosity and the conviction that women could do whatever they chose.
In 1947, Alden graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Mount Holyoke College with a degree in geology. While earning her graduate degree at the University of Michigan, she met Robert I. Davis of Meredith, N.H., whom she married in June 1949. Over the next 36 years, as they raised their family and relocated frequently, their romance and relationship never faltered.
In the 1950s, Alden and Bob lived for several years in Mexico before returning to the U.S. where they lived in rural Pennsylvania, the Missouri Ozarks, suburban Connecticut, and the mountains of Colorado, as well as a few other places. Every move was an adventure and an opportunity, as far as Alden was concerned. So, too, was the raising of their three children, Andrew, Philip and Rebecca. As she watched her own children develop, Alden began working with children with developmental issues, particularly autism. In the 1970s, she earned her second graduate degree, this time in developmental disabilities.
Alden and Bob retired to New Hampshire in the 1970s. In Durham, they built a home that Alden designed and which incorporated their favorite elements from the many houses they’d lived in. After Bob’s death in 1985, Alden began working for Rev. Bob Karnan at South Church (UUA) in Portsmouth, later becoming a member of the congregation. It was there that she met Rev. Charles Reinhardt whom she married in July 1997. The couple lived in Newcastle until 2014 when they moved to Eugene. Her second marriage proved to be as deep and enduring as the first. Alden found the love of her life: twice.
Alden approached the many transitions in her life with enthusiasm, curiosity and a Zen-like acceptance of change. Shortly before her death, while reviewing the many moves she’d made, she noted, “there’s just one more move I have to make.”
She always said her proudest accomplishment was to raise three kids into adults that she not only loved but liked. Her pride in her children was evident to all who knew her.
Alden is survived by her husband; her three children; granddaughter, Leah; great-grandchildren, Elias and Astrid Alden; sister, Patricia Hume; and numerous nieces, nephews, stepchildren and grandchildren.