Elizabeth Canfield (1922 - 2017)

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Canfield, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Canfield died on June 25 in Albuquerque of complications from an infection. Born in Vienna, Austria in 1922 to the composer Ernest Kanitz and pianist Gertrud Reif Kanitz, she and her family came to the U.S. in 1938 after Hitler invaded their country. She is survived by her daughter Maria D. Canfield and husband Gary Flores of Albuquerque; daughter-in-law Karen Canfield Meyer; brother Thomas Kane (Ann); sister Mary Lavender; four nieces/nephews, and many devoted friends. Her husband, John O. Canfield, and son, Paul G. Canfield, died in 1977 and 1998 respectively.

Liz had a long and rewarding career in reproductive health, family planning and sexuality education, starting in 1959 when she became a Spanish-language interpreter at Los Angeles Planned Parenthood. She ran a free contraceptive program for low-income families, helped win California abortion law reform, volunteered at LA Free Clinic, and co-created the Clergy Counseling Service for Problem Pregnancies. She worked in student health at the University of Southern California and CSU Northridge.

In 1980 Liz moved to Albuquerque, and worked with Lea County Perinatal Program, Lovelace Medical Center, and People Living Through Cancer. She worked part-time with Planned Parenthood for 23 years, and was board member or volunteer with Albuquerque Chamber Soloists, the NM Association of People Living with AIDS, and the Holocaust Speakers' Bureau. Recently she was focused on the Common Bond Emergency Project, since 1988 a last-resort fund for persons living with HIV/AIDS; she considered the project her "baby." It has been ably directed by Steve Ridlon since 2008.

Liz's love and regard for children led to her deep concern for thoughtfully-planned parenthood. She created the widely-used brochure "Am I Parent Material?" and authored articles and book chapters in her field. Liz had a special affinity for LGBTQ communities, speaking up without fear & working to promote understanding. Her pioneering work in human sexuality & reproduction were recognized with awards from Syracuse University, the ACLU, the YWCA, Common Bond New Mexico among others.

In keeping with Liz's belief that all things must be put to good use, she willed her body to the UNM School of Medicine.

Liz will be profoundly missed by all who knew her. A memorial event will be announced at a later date. In accordance with Liz's wishes, memorial donations may be sent to: Emergency Project, PO Box 8313, Alb, NM 87198

([email protected]).

Published in Albuquerque Journal on June 28, 2017