de PAYAN--Alexa Mackinnon Alexa Mackinnon de Payan, died at the age of 102 in Cuernavaca, Mexico on the 18th of February 2014. She was born in Boston, MA on July 23rd, 1911. Her childhood years were spent in Nova Scotia, Canada. She graduated from Jackson College (Tufts University) in 1932, and went on to do graduate work at the Sorbonne in Paris. She taught at the McJanet School in St. Cloud, France, and The International School of Geneva, Switzerland during the period 1933-1939. During WWII, she was a freelance journalist in South America, where she met and married Jorge Payan Herce of Lima, Peru (1900-1975). They traveled extensively throughout Latin America and Europe, finally settling in Mexico City in 1954. She taught at the French Lycee of Mexico City from 1958 through her retirement as head of the English department in 1976. In her retirement she devoted herself to writing the definitive biography of the feminist Flora Tristan, published in 2003 (Flora Tristan, "Duena del porvenir," House Mondadori, Barcelona). Her sisters, Jean Shaw of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Winifred Cluff of Wellesley, Mass, and Kaye MacKinnon Pacheco de Cespedes, of Lima, Peru, predecease her. Her son Dr. Donald George Payan, of Hillsborough, CA, survives her.
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Published in The New York Times on Feb. 20, 2014