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Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019
2:00 PM
St. John's Presbyterian Church
2727 College Avenue
Berkeley, CA
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Ardyce Worth


1920 - 2018 Obituary Condolences Flowers
Ardyce Worth Obituary
Ardyce Baxter Worth

August 29, 1920-November 20, 2018

Born on a farm outside of Dannebrog, Nebraska, Ardyce was fond of recalling how the women helping with her birth took turns leaving to vote. It was the first election in which women were allowed to vote (the 19th amendment stated that women could vote in all elections after August 26, 1920). She grew up on her parents' farm in the Turkey Creek neighborhood with her 2 brothers and 1 sister. She attended school in a 1 room school house before moving on to Dannebrog High School.

After graduating from high school as valedictorian, she attended teacher's college for a year and started teaching in a 1-room schoolhouse. She responded to calls for help with the war effort in Washington, D.C. She thought she was accepting a job in chemistry only to find out that the real job was topographical mapping with the Army Map Service. While in D.C., she lived with two cousins, but decided to try a different church than they attended, a Presbyterian church where she met Donald C. Worth. After finishing her undergraduate degree, she married him in Nebraska with a followup ceremony in Washington D.C.

After the war, the newlyweds moved to New Haven, Connecticut where Donald received his PhD in physics from Yale University. They both studied Chinese for two years to prepare to be missionaries in China. When that became impossible due to politics, they accepted a position at Berea College in Kentucky. They then moved to the University of Chicago for a year. They received word from the mission board that an assignment was available at a new university in Japan, International Christian University (ICU), and they signed up.

From 1954 until they retired in 1989, Donald taught physics and Ardyce welcomed students, faculty, and visitors into their home. Since 1954 was the second year of ICU's existence, they played a significant role in the development of the university, especially the natural science division. Ardyce was active in Fujinkai (a women's church group) and later taught English to classes of Japanese women.

Throughout her life, Ardyce was a community builder—kind, gracious, interested, and generous. Her deep commitment to her faith was shared by her late husband and demonstrated by their actions.

Ardyce is survived by 4 children; Donald and wife Dorothy, Carol (husband Dan, deceased), Ann and domestic partner Leslie, and David and wife Nancy; 8 grandchildren, Morgan, Chris, James, Louis, Maricela, Jonathan, Maggie, and Daniel; and 3 great-grandchildren, Tyler, Dylan, and Archie.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, January 19 at 2:00 PM at St. John's Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Avenue, Berkeley CA, where she was an active member.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Dec. 9, 2018
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