Editor’s note: To make the online memorials special, we accept articles written by someone in the branch. Include fond memories, appreciation for her activities in the branch, whether she was an art, letters or music member, and something about her creative works and achievements. Always include date and age at time of death. Please also send photos of the member and of her work, or commentary about her creativity. Submissions for the In Memoriam webpage follow the deadlines for the The Pen Woman magazine.
We honor the lives of these departed Pen Women…
Jane McDonald Johnson
July 3, 1924 — July 3, 2021
Jane McDonald Johnson, longtime letters member, died in Tigard, Oregon, on July 3, 2021 at the age of 96. She was an integral part of Portland Branch, Oregon, where served as vice president and historian.
In the 1940s, Johnson left her home in Iowa and moved with her husband to Oregon, where she graduated from Marylhurst University. She had taught school in Iowa and, after earning her degree at Marylhurst, she taught in Portland. An avid poet, Johnson wrote beautiful, expressive poems, many about the charm and peace of Oregon.
Her fellow branch members remember her many sweet and fine qualities. She was a good friend. Johnson’s humor and the lighthearted chats around her old Franklin stove years ago remain treasured memories among her friends.
Johnson was a member of the Oregon State Poetry Association (now the Oregon Poetry Association or OPA) and Mount Hood Poetry Circle for more than 20 years. She served as historian on the OPA board.
She published “Varied Verses” in 1970; “Nedonna Notebook” in 1972; and “Songs Under the Fir Trees,” a collection of her poetry spanning over 30 years, in 1993. Although she was recognized by Pen Women for her lovely poetry, Johnson had many other talents and interests, which included painting, sewing, and quilting. She is warmly remembered by everyone in the Portland Branch.
July 20, 1947 – March 31, 2021
The passing of Pensacola Branch’s beloved watercolor, oriental brush, and sketch artist Jacqueline Campbell has saddened us beyond words. She divided her time between New Hampshire and Navarre, Florida, and whenever she walked into our meetings, Jacquie’s presence was always met with delight, as she brought light, smiles, a positive outlook, sweetness, support, and genuine interest in everyone.
An art member of NLAPW, she received a bronze medal from the Societé Academique Arts-Sciences-Lettres of Paris, and an honorable mention for her piece “Samurai Warriors” at the Florida State Association’s 2017 Biennial Conference.
Jacquie was born and raised in Long Island, New York, and attended Suffolk County Community College. Calling herself mostly self-taught, she studied at the University of Rhode Island and with numerous art instructors throughout the United States, having also lived in New Jersey and Kansas. Her paintings are in private collections and business establishments in the United States and Israel.
In the Pensacola Branch’s book Nobis, a collection of art and writing, she stated, “Art in many ways has always been inseparable from who I am. … I look on my surroundings as not just the world I live in but in colors and possibilities. … I know that when I sketch and paint a flower or a leaf, … I know that flower or leaf in a way no one else does. …I also love the peace I have when immersed in a project.”
Fellow Pen Woman Nancy Nesvik said, “Jacquie possessed an inner bright-hearted energy that flowed through her brush.” When they were both involved in mural projects at the same time, Nancy remembers Jacquie’s eagerness to show pictures of her church nursery mural, and their “shared discovery of how much fun it is to paint on a ‘canvas’ the size of a wall.”
Pensacola Branch President Emerita Mara Viksnins recalls, “When I first met Jacquie, she was so excited to find her niche in the art community. She considered her participation in the NLAPW as the perfect avenue to meet local artists and expand her knowledge of various art techniques and media. She entered the NLAPW Florida State art competition with a painting mimicking the Japanese brush techniques and she won honorable mention. It was a big highlight for her as she had never entered an art competition. She had a unique style with a deep interest in Japanese art and calligraphy.”
Jacquie also made beautiful custom luggage tags, and when I won one as a raffle prize, Jacquie said, “Now a little bit of me will be with you when you travel.” This will be true for all of her Pen Women sisters—the fond memories of our moments with Jacquie will always be with us.
— Submitted by Karen McAferty Morris, Pensacola Branch (Florida)
Pauline Dages, active art and letters member, died on Tuesday, February 2, 2021, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She was 96 years old. One thing we can be sure of, Polly has always adapted to her current situation, whatever it was. She totally embraced and enjoyed the opportunities that came her way. Throughout her life, her energy and optimism lit her path.
Born Pauline Anna Dosch in Jasper, Indiana, she began to show her interest in writing and art in elementary school. In Jasper High School, she wrote stories for the Jasper Herald, the local newspaper, eventually writing for the Evansville Press before high school graduation. Polly went on to become an award-winning artist, author, and art shop owner who devoted her entire life to creating and promoting art.
In the 1960s, Polly moved from Indiana to Florida with her husband, Eugene Dages, and young son, Tim. Once in Fort Lauderdale, her interest and accomplishments in art blossomed. She opened an arts and crafts store, eventually buying out her partner and expanding the shop. In 1973, she discovered and joined the Fort Lauderdale Branch of the National League of American Pen Women, Inc. Soon she was the branch president.
Influenced by back-to-back hurricanes, Polly moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 2004. She happily joined the Yucca Branch and became the primary recruiter for membership. This passionate advocacy for Pen Women continued throughout her life, a 48-year commitment.
Many members of her Yucca Branch testify that they joined Pen Women because of Polly’s enthusiasm.
“I met Polly at the very first Pen Women event I went to. She made a lasting impression. Her spirit and kindness will never be forgotten,” said Thelma Giomi.
“She was very inspirational and always promoted Pen Women and Art in general,” recalled Sally Bryant.
“It was Polly who told me about Pen Women at an art opening years ago,” Janine Wilson said fondly.
“Indefatigable in her loyalty to and promotion of all things Pen Women, Polly has been the embodiment — the definition — of devoted membership,” offered Elizabeth Lauer.
Not long ago, Polly described her work this way, “My art had evolved from a talent worth exploring to a gift worth sharing with others. If I can make a viewer half as happy as I am when creating the artwork, my talent will have been well used.”
Polly was the first NLAPW member to be featured in the Legends and Legacies series that began in The Pen Woman, Fall 2016. The variety and beauty of her artwork, which extends from oil on canvas to decoupage, repousse, moulage, and other forms of sculptured decoupage, is amazing. Her book, Repousse and Moulage, the Art of Advanced Decoupage, cemented her legacy.
— Submitted by Jane Maclean, Yucca Branch Art member
Photography by Jane Maclean
Archives (by NLAPW date published):
- Mary Elizabeth McKenna
- Rosemary Potter
- Dr. Myra F. Levick
- Ann Terry Davis
- Thelma H. Urich
- Genevieve “Jenny” Gumptertz
- Bette Veronica Miller
- Judy Bingman
- Nancy Bloomer Deussen
- Marcia Chellis Kay
- Catherine Wilding Atkinson
- Colleen Stanley Bare
- Cokie Roberts
- Carolyn Alexander Fleming, Pensacola Branch
- Kathleen Langan, Greenwich Connecticut Branch
- Pearl Newton Rook, Central New York Branch
- Diana Carol (Howe) Etheridge, Satellite Beach Florida Branch
- Yvonne Kirkpatrick Willie, Birmingham Branch (Alabama)
- Dorothy Timmons, 101, Art Member, Des Moines Branch
- Barbara Pierce Bush, Honorary Member
- Grace Lieberman, Modesto Branch
- Mary Elizabeth Perry Hildebrand, member-at-large
- Muriel C. Freeman, former national president, Alexandria Branch
- Janet Schulz, Stockton-Lodi Branch
- Diane Louise Wold, Modesto Branch
- Virginia Dall, Modesto Branch
- Cheri M. Bentley-Beckman, Palm Springs Branch
- Idell Weiss, art member, Golden Gate Marin Branch
- Kay O. Cornelius, Huntsville Branch
- Stella “Maurine” Vance Geldmacher, Southeast Louisiana Branch
- Arlene Montgomery Spencer, Indianapolis Branch
- Gloria Huttner Ross, Southeast Louisiana Branch
- Katie Wainwright, Southeast Louisiana Branch
- Liana M. Moonie, Greenwich, CT Branch
- Lois A. Charles, Diamond State, DE Branch
- Carolyn Burton Landers, Atlanta Branch
- Anne Lorraine Macdonald, Greenwich, CT Branch
- Pam Babcock, La Jolla, CA Branch
- Lois Duncan, Sarasota, FL Branch
- Harriet Foster-Parrish, Nashville Branch
- Donna Freckmann, Pensacola FL Branch
- Gayle Norton Hornsby, Nashville Branch
- Dorothy Kishibay, Connecticut Pen Women
- G. Arlene Silva Mattos, Modesto, CA Branch
- Kathleen Alice Neal, Atlanta Branch
- Margaret Lynch Siskow, Iowa City, IA Branch
- Emily Virginia Blake Vail, Atlanta Branch