IVY (BENNETT) GWYNNE-THOMAS
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aka IVY BENNETT, Ph.D. Ivy Gwynne-Thomas, aged 92, of Overland Park, Kansas, passed away just after midnight on December 2, 2011 at K.C. Hospice House. She was predeceased by her parents Ernest and Catherine (Bray) Bennett, all of her siblings, Ethel, Rita, Ralph, Lila, and Jack, all from Western Australia, and in 2008 by her dear husband, Dr. Eric H. Gwynne- Thomas. Left to mourn her are her devoted daughters Beth and Beth's life partner Kathy Gwynne-Thomas, both of whom Ivy called her "loving twin girls," and Ivy's beloved nieces and nephews in Australia, particularly Faye Mansfield and Rita McLean. Ivy also has many grand-nieces and nephews, and several "great-grandies" in Australia, which remained her cherished home. Ivy was born in Wagin, Western Australia, and grew up on a sheep ranch and farm named "Rhynie" in nearby Lake Grace. After her undergraduate work, Ivy studied at the University of Western Australia in Perth for a Master's Degree in English and French Poetry and Literature. She won a scholarship at the end of WWII to University College London where she obtained a Ph.D. in Psychology. She then went on to postgraduate studies at the Hampstead Child Therapy Center under the direction of Dr. Anna Freud, where she worked with orphans from the Theresianstadt concentration camp, and also published several research projects in child development. While in England, Ivy qualified as a member of the British Psychoanalytical Society. While studying at Oxford University, Ivy met fellow Londoner, Eric H. Gwynne-Thomas of Swansea, Wales. They were married in 1962 and lived in California for three years where Eric obtained a Doctor of Education degree at Stanford University. Along with their infant daughter Elizabeth, they moved to Kansas City in 1965 where Eric became Professor of Education at UMKC and taught the teachers of Missouri for over 30 years. After coming to Kansas City, Ivy continued to use her professional name of Dr. Ivy Bennett. She was a member of the Topeka Psycho-Analytical Society and became a Founding Member, along with four other psychoanalysts, of the Greater Kansas City Psychoanalytic Society, for which she was honored by her colleagues in 1990. She was also a Clinical Associate Professor in Psychiatry at UMKC Medical School from 1968 to 1980. She fully retired in 1993. Ivy was a longtime member of the UMKC Faculty Wives Club, St. David's Welsh Society and Leawood United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, friends are invited to contribute to a fund for the Leawood United Methodist Church Choir set up for the musical development of the young children of the church. A memorial service will be held at Leawood United Methodist Church, 2915 West 95th Street, Leawood, KS, on Monday December 12th at 7:00 PM. "Write me as one that loved his fellow men," (from the poem "Abou ben Adam" by Leigh Hunt)
Published in Kansas City Star on Dec. 8, 2011.
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