FOWLKES, Martha R. (nee Richmond), Ph.D. Age 68, died March 17 at Knollwood Nursing Center in Worcester. She had lived for nearly 22 years with lymphoma. Born in Lynn, MA, she graduated from Glen Ridge (NJ) High School. Fowlkes graduated from Smith College in 1961, and then obtained her Master's degree in Anthropology from the London School of Economics, and her Ph.D. in Sociology from UMass-Amherst in 1976. She often boasted that she'd delivered triplets that year, completing her dissertation and delivering twin daughters in such a short period of time. A staunch supporter of women's rights, Fowlkes co-founded the first Memphis, TN chapter of NOW in 1969. She believed whole-heartedly in equality, diversity, and acceptance for all human beings. She taught in the Sociology department of Smith College for many years, and served as Smith's Dean of Student Affairs. She was Dean of the School of Family Studies at UConn-Storrs, splitting her time between Hampton, CT and Cambridge, MA until retiring from her position in UConn's School of Education. She wrote many book reviews, and studied and wrote on topics including Salem witchcraft, wives of medical and academic doctors, deinstitutionalization, Smith College alumnae, Three Mile Island, and Love Canal. Fowlkes was an avid reader, gardener, bird watcher, and she loved to travel. She leaves four daughters and their spouses: Lisa and Stuart Pollack of North Attleboro, MA; Anne Bladen and Jill Barton of Hampton, CT; Abigail Fowlkes of Annapolis, MD; and Maggie Fowlkes and Jon Shirland of Brookline, MA. She also leaves three grandchildren: Jason Pollack, and Lucas and Gracie Bladen. Services will be private. In lieu of flowers or donations, Martha's daughters request that friends perform a good deed for someone in need.
Published in Boston Globe on Mar. 20, 2009.