Sunday, August 14, 2016

Obituaries, the Funeral, and Chewbacca


Today's Post and Courier carries an obituary for Alison.  ABC News also ran a story about Alison.

The funeral will take place on Friday, August 19, at 3:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Church in Charleston (4 Archdale St.).  A reception will follow the service at the Church's Gage Hall, which is next door to the Unitarian Church.

Alison loved the UU faith community, which supported her so wonderfully during her illness.  We thank Rev. Reed and the entire Unitarian Church family for all they have done for Alison, Maybelle, and me.

Here's the family-approved obituary, which includes information for donations to the Alison Piepmeier Scholarship Fund.  If you have expressions of sympathy for any member of the Piepmeier family, you are very welcome to use the comments section below:

"College of Charleston professor and writer Alison Massa Piepmeier of Charleston, SC, 43, died August 12, 2016, six years and many treatments after being diagnosed with brain cancer.  

"Piepmeier was born and grew up in Cookeville, TN, where she attended Tennessee Tech University.  She earned a doctoral degree in English from Vanderbilt University, where she taught for several years.  Piepmeier came to the College of Charleston in 2005 as the Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, a position she would hold for the next decade.  In that role, she successfully led the effort to create a separate academic major in Women’s and Gender Studies at the College of Charleston. 

"An accomplished scholar who had recently focused on disability studies, Piepmeier published two books, one edited volume, and many academic articles. She was a guest lecturer or scholar at several universities and was a former officer of the National Women’s Studies Association and a former president of the Southeastern Women’s Studies Association.  At the time of her death, Piepmeier was conducting research on the high incidence of abortion for fetuses with a risk for Down Syndrome. 

"In Charleston and nationally, Piepmeier was a frequent media commentator on social justice and on disability.  Her columns and academic research were featured in leading print and online news outlets, including the New York Times. 

"Piepmeier was best known in Charleston for her column on Southern feminism in the Charleston City Paper.  Her final column, in which she acknowledged her imminent death and expressed thanks for her “beautiful life,” was widely read online and led to stories at abcnews.com and the website of Us Weekly

"The online magazine Charlie recognized Piepmeier in 2014 as one of the 50 most progressive people in Charleston. 

"Piepmeier is survived by her daughter, Maybelle Biffle-Piepmeier; her husband, Brian McGee; her parents, Lee and Kelly Piepmeier of Cookeville, TN; her brother, Trey Piepmeier, and his partner, Olivia Miller, of Greensboro, NC; her brother, Aaron Piepmeier, Aaron’s wife, Mary Piepmeier, and their daughter, Margot, of Greensboro, NC.

"A Memorial Service will be held at the Unitarian Church in Charleston, 4 Archdale Street, Charleston, SC 29401 on Friday, August 19, at 3:00 p.m.  A reception will follow in the Church's Gage Hall. 

"In lieu of flowers, Piepmeier requested that gifts be made in her memory to the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, 66 George Street, College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina 29424, or at giving.cofc.edu/piepmeier.  These gifts will help establish a scholarship in Piepmeier’s name."


P.S. A gift from her brother, Trey, which Alison adored, was an oversized Chewbacca action figure.  Chewbacca was put in a place of honor in her bedroom while Alison was in hospice care.     
Alison loved Chewbacca and Star Wars.  And her movie boyfriend, Han Solo.


12 comments:

  1. Will the church be big enough to hold everyone who wants to attend? I doubt it. Might the College arrange a feed to Stern or somewhere similar? Given that the timing of the ceremony (Friday at 3) is quite conducive to attendance, I really think there'll be a lot of people who are unable to find space. Simon L

    ReplyDelete
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  2. We are trying to arrange a simulcast but like your idea of a feed to Stern. I will bring it up with the person that is calling me about it tomorrow. If that is not possible we are working on plans for the overflow.

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  3. I like the idea of a feed for those of us who will not be able to attend. Please keep me posted. Thanks so much!

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  4. We will explore the possibilities, folks. -Brian

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  5. I am both heartbroken about the loss of Alison and filled with gratitude that I knew her. I send love and comfort to all her family. Thank you so much, Brian, for keeping this online community informed. I know I can speak for many who truly loved Alison, her work and, of course, sweet Maybelle. My heart goes out to you as you move forward --

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  6. Brian here, to note that overflow seating with a live video feed will be available on site, if the church's sanctuary won't accommodate all the attendees. We believe that everyone who comes to the service will be able to see it.

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