Barbara Cooper Rosen

Rosen—Barbara Cooper Rosen, 89, on December 19, 2018, peacefully, at home in Ashland, Ore. Barbara was born on April 10, 1929, in Nelson, England. Her experience of war as a child marked her deeply and made her a lifelong pacifist and activist for human rights. She began her teaching career at Ackworth School, a Quaker coeducational boarding school in England, in 1952.

In her 20s, she came on her own to the United States to teach English at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she met William Rosen, marrying him in 1960—rejecting the antisemitism of the day by marrying a Jew. She taught journalism after an English department refused to hire her due to nepotism, actively opposing and defeating that practice. 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, Ore., to be near their daughters and grandchildren, they co-taught adult classes on Shakespeare. After Bill died in 2004, she returned to acting; two favorite roles were as 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.

For 43 years she was an active and deeply valued member of Storrs (Conn.) Meeting, serving as clerk and on many committees and bettering her community in countless ways. In 2003, she transferred her membership to South Mountain Meeting in Ashland, Ore., where she served on many 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 Friends her wit and humor, her poetry, her stories, and her love.

Even as dementia took away some of her memory and words, her humor and her love—especially for her family—never faltered. All who knew her greatly appreciated her and miss her.

Barbara is survived by her daughters, Judith Rosen (Don Matthews) and Susan Moen (Paul); and two grandchildren.

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