Adeline H. Bianchi
Addie passed away on November 23, 2013. Born Adeline Hope Hood in February 1924, she grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey. After graduating from high school, Addie commuted across the Hudson River to New York City where she worked as a secretary to save for tuition at the University of Michigan. With her savings depleted after one year in Ann Arbor, Addie chose to follow her longing for experience in the bigger world and signed on with the Women's Army Corps. At age 21 she found herself stationed at the China-Burma-India Theater Headquarters outside Calcutta where she met Eldo Bianchi. They married in 1946 and moved to California to attend UC Berkeley, where they both soon became active in the United World Federalists—advocating for world government and the newly formed United Nations. So began a life-long work for Addie: promoting peace and justice in the world and campaigning tirelessly against the use of nuclear weapons.
Addie and Eldo settled in the East Bay where they raised four children – Lianne, Craig, Marc, and Derek. While the children were still young, Addie earned her teacher's credential and taught elementary school for 23 years in the Mount Diablo School District. In 1972, Addie was able to combine her love of travel and her devotion to children's education during a sabbatical leave to study the British Infant School system. Addie returned to England after taking early retirement in 1980 to explore Rudolf Steiner's teachings at the Anthroposophical Center for Social Development. Her interest in Steiner and the tenets of Anthroposophy led her to join local efforts to found the East Bay Waldorf School in 1980. In addition to extensive travel and constant engagement in causes close to her heart, Addie spent much of the '80s and '90s reading endless stories to baking countless cookies with her grandchildren: Gabe, Sophia, Eva, Steven, Claire, Jamie, Ariana and Elise. In 2007, a year after Eldo's death, Addie again packed her suitcase, this time for a trip to Israel and the West Bank. There, she attended the Sabeel Conference, a gathering devoted to promoting peace and justice in the Middle East. This conference also provided Addie with the opportunity to visit refugee camps and talk with peace groups, in accordance with her deeply held belief that the path to peace is through dialogue.
As her children, our memories of Mom are rich and multi-faceted: the articles and letters she typed on the old Royal typewriter in the '50s and '60s about banning the bomb; the summers she loaded us into an RV to crisscross the country with Dad's birthday cake baking in the oven as the wheels sung beneath us; the trips down to Mexico to climb the pyramids with us in the hot, humid sun; the sight of her heading off to her teaching job in the white VW bug.
Our entire family would like to acknowledge the kind staff at The Berkshire in Berkeley for being so wonderful to our mother over the past two years. In lieu of flowers, please consider sending donations to the East Bay Waldorf School or the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists. Plans for a memorial service are pending.