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Georgia Wright

1937 - 2020
Georgia Wright Obituary
Georgia Sommers Wright

Jan 23, 1937 - Dec 20, 2019

Georgia Wright died at home on December 20. Preceded in death by her husband, David, she is survived by her daughter, Beth (Anne Graham); siblings Edward Sommers (Jane), Crosby Sommers (Barbara), and Anne Louise Micena (John); nieces, nephews, and other extended family members; and many good friends.

Born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, Georgia earned her BA from Swarthmore College, her PhD in art history from Columbia University, and her MBA from the University of California, Berkeley. She taught at Stanford University, UC Davis, Mills College, and UC Berkeley, among others. She combined her expertise in medieval art with her business degree through her company Video Monuments, which produced the award-winning educational films "Light on the Stone: The Medieval Church at Vezelay" and "Three English Cathedrals: Norwich, Lincoln, Wells."

Since the 1980s Georgia was active in the Bay Area-based Institute for Historical Study, serving as newsletter editor for many years and president for several terms. She was also cofounder of the National Coalition for Independent Scholars. Through newsletter articles, conference presentations, and homemade T-shirts and buttons proclaiming, "I'm not a bum; I'm an independent scholar," she advocated for broader respect for the work done by scholars outside of academic settings.

After the 1991 Oakland fire, she became more active in her Claremont Hills neighborhood, joining the Vicente Canyon Hillside Foundation board and advocating for land preservation to slow development.

For as long as she was able, Georgia walked her dog on the Jordan fire trail in Strawberry Canyon, making many friends and appreciating the beauty of the Oakland hills. She was an active member of Save Strawberry Canyon and Claremont Preservation Coalition. She used her background in video production to educate the local community about environmental threats and the importance of biodiversity.

Georgia supported many progressive causes, including abortion access, gun control, and LGBTQ rights. She made friends from all walks of life. She believed in justice and equality, and she treated everyone she met as a human being deserving respect and dignity.

A celebration of Georgia's life is being planned. Contact [email protected] for details.

Memorials are preferred to the Institute for Historical Study, Milo Foundation, or Planned Parenthood.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Jan. 5, 2020
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