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Jessica Ann Nathanson, 42 , Assistant Professor, Director of the Women's Studies Program, and Director of the Women's Resource Center at Augsburg College, died April 5, 2011, of breast cancer in Minneapolis, MN. She is survived by her husband, Dr. Daniel Weinstein, and son, Koan, of St. Paul, MN; her parents, Norbert and Barbara Nathanson of Northport, ME; and her brother, Jared Nathanson of Boston. Jessica graduated Linton High School in 1986, earned a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from The State University of New York at Buffalo. Jessica's passion for and knowledge of social justice and gender issues was instrumental in shaping the Women's Studies community on the Augsburg College campus. Prior to moving to St. Paul, she was an active force in feminist organizations and taught at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In her work beyond Augsburg, Nathanson was an active member of the National Women's Studies Association and recently co-edited the book Mother Knows Best: Talking Back To The 'Experts.' She developed a broad outreach to diverse community groups and enjoyed a wide following as a blogger on feminist issues.

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Published in The Daily Gazette Co. on Apr. 10, 2011.
Memories & Condolences
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11 entries
May 3, 2011
A sad goodbye to my new friend.
janis babcock
April 30, 2011
My heart goes out to the family of Jessica in this time of terrible tragedy. Please accept my sincere condolences. I am very sorry for your loss.
- David Barnes, friend to Jared.
David Barnes
April 29, 2011
Jessica worked with me and the Center for Teaching and Learning. This past year she was a co-leader for our Excellence in Scholarship programs and helped organize our popular Speaking of Scholarship series and founded our annual Scholarly Writing Retreat. She had a keen ability to hone in on what was really important and enthusiastically pursue it. She was an important asset to teaching and learning at Augsburg and will be sorely missed.
Her compassion and energetic spirit did so much to inspire others and make them feel that they belonged. In her short life, she touched more people in a positive way than most do with many more years of life. She lived well.
Velma Lashbrook
April 22, 2011
The Nathanson's (Eliz, Bria, Jacob and Craig) of Chesterfield want to express their deepest sympathies to all of Jessica's friends and family. Jessica was a good mother, wife, daughter and a great person. We love Jessica and will miss her greatly. Jessica will live on in all of our hearts.
Craig Nathanson
April 18, 2011
I first met Jessica in Summer of 2010, in the Twin Cities. I was impressed with her feminist passion, humanist compassion, and astute intellect. We connected on collegial and personal levels. She shared with me her poignant writing, and generously lent her insight and writer's eye to my own work. She and Dan welcomed me into her their house, sharing warmth, food, and conversation about gender justice and the roles of women in ever-shifting Middle Eastern societies.

Jess, Dan, and Koan were among the last people I saw in early March before I left for a six-month author’s retreat in Ticino, Switzerland.

Recently, I had sent a friendly e-mail update to Jess, but got no response. I sent a cell phone text asking if she was doing ok. Yesterday, Dan sent a text back, inquiring as to who had sent the message to Jess’s phone. When he found out it was me, Dan texted that Jess’s cancer had returned and that she had passed.

I felt I faint. My shock turned to grief after reading her obituary online.

I’ve asked the rabbi in Lugano, Switzerland, to hold a memorial prayer during the Passover synagogue prayers tomorrow. I would like the family to know that I grieve with them from this long distance away.

May Jessica's soul rest in peace.
Smadar Lavie
April 17, 2011
I studied under Jessica at UB. She was a wonderful influence at a difficult time and was a stimulating professor and always available and outreaching as a person. Love
Matthew Miranda
April 12, 2011
Jess' spirit, an enduring flame, is an inspiration to all of us as we try to match her dedication to and pursuit of a more just world, already so much better for all she has done. With much gratitude for her life and for having known her! Condolences to Dan, Koan, and family.
June Licence
April 11, 2011
To the Nathanson family, Dan and Koan:

I also grew up with Jessica, having been in music classes with her and having reconnected with her 3 years ago due to Facebook.

Jessica and I had some wonderful memories together in high school, including sharing a limousine ride that we never forgot at our high school prom in 1986. She always was a positve person and saw the good in others.

In our adult years, I came to appreciate her working in a field that she was passionate about and I admired her courage in fighting cancer each and every day.

Jessica is one of those rare individuals you do not see every day. She will be terribly missed by myself and others who got to witness her intelligence, passion and service to her fellow human beings.
Courtney Erickson
April 11, 2011
I am so sorry to hear of Jessica's passing. My thoughts and prayers are with her and her family.
David Falvo
April 11, 2011
Barb, Norb, Jared, Dan and Koan,
Our sympathies. Jessica was a wonderful, caring person who will be missed in the family.

Michael and Michelle Kiley and Family
April 10, 2011
Jess and Erica, Summer 2009, New Paltz, NY
I am grateful for my friendship with Jessica. We were in music programs together at Linton High School in Schenectady. We lost touch and reconnected through Facebook a few years ago, and I loved our conversations and notes about various articles and issues. She really broadened my horizons by examining and writing about things in such a strong, passionate, compassionate, and clear way, and I can't think of anyone I'd rather have those exchanges with. I treasure our visit when you guys came by in summer, 2009. I grieve the loss of this friend, and this powerful, empowering voice in the world, and I send hugs to Dan and Koan every time I think about one of you. I'd love to stay in touch if you ever come out near-ish to New Paltz, NY might be fun to get the kids together once in a while. xoxoxo ~ Erica Chase-Salerno
Erica Chase-Salerno
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