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Christopher Barclay Kuhn

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Christopher Barclay Kuhn Obituary
Christopher Barclay Kuhn

Iowa City

Christopher Barclay Kuhn, 75, of Iowa City, passed away peacefully Wednesday, August 28, 2013, at Iowa City Rehabilitation Center after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. Memorial services will be held at the Des Moines Valley Quaker Meeting for Worship, 4211 Grand Ave., Des Moines, IA on Saturday, September 14th at 2pm. There will also be a celebration of his life at Saddlebrook Club house, 120 Paddock Circle, Iowa City, IA on Saturday, October 5th from 1-4:00 pm.

Barclay was born in Madison, Wisconsin on March 5, 1938 to Manford and Agnes Reagan Kuhn. He is survived by his spouse, Dana Harr, children Rufus Kuhn (wife Kathy Marshall-Kuhn), Jennifer Sotelo (husband Tony Sotelo), Christopher HarrKuhn , Terra HarrKuhn, and grandson, Keegan Sotelo. In addition, he is survived by two sisters, Linda Skinner and Deborah McGregor, his brother, Gilbert Kuhn, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

Barclay attended Scattergood Friends School his last two years of high school, where he met Elsie Standing, whom he married in 1958 and with whom he had his first two children, Jennifer and Rufus. He attended Haverford College, a Quaker college in Pennsylvania, and then went on to the University of Iowa in Iowa City, earning a degree in Political Science. He received a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship to study at Northwestern University in Illinois, where he earned a Master's Degree. Just shy of a PhD, Barclay went to Montana State University and the University of Montana where he taught political science. While there, he instituted a "Model UN" where students played the roles of different nations, settling disputes. The concept was practiced among universities across the United States at one time.

It is fitting that Barclay died on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech and the March on Washington of 1963. He had a passion for peace and liberty that led him to actively engage with students and others to protest against the War in Vietnam. After two years teaching, he left his job in Missoula and became involved in a commune that lived the revolutionary values common at that time, and lived in the woods in northern Idaho and western Montana. In the early eighties he returned to Iowa City and earned a Master's in Rehabilitation Counseling which led to a position with the Iowa Commission for the Blind. There he met his current life partner, Dana. They adopted their son, Christopher, and daughter, Terra, while he and Dana lived in Des Moines where he took a position with the Department of Human Services in Child Protection. Barclay, Dana, and Christopher lived in Las Cruces, New Mexico for a time after he retired, and then returned to live in Iowa City.

Barclay had a lively interest in current events and politics all his life. His passion to advocate for the poor and disenfranchised was always evident in his conversations. He enjoyed fiction and poetry immensely and was known for his satirical sense of humor. Being a member of the Iowa City Friends and the Des Moines Friends Meeting was important to him. He loved the 60's movement and wrote about his personal experiences during that time. The music he so dearly loved came from that era as well.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's disease and/or Scattergood Friends School.

Online condolences may be left for the family at

Published in Des Moines Register on Sept. 8, 2013
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