January 21, 1950 - June 21, 2018
Barbara Scott Winkler passed away in her sleep in the early morning hours of Thursday, June 21, following a long illness. She was 68. Barbara had been a professor at Southern Oregon University until her retirement in 2012. She joined the SOU faculty in 2000 as director of the Women’s Studies Program (now Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies).
Barbara was born in New York City to a working-class Jewish family. She grew up in Marble Hill, a neighborhood at the far northern tip of the Borough of Manhattan. She graduated from the Bronx High School of Science, and in 1974 from Barnard College. In 1992, she received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and was almost immediately hired by West Virginia University in Morgantown as a visiting professor in Women’s Studies. She taught at WVU until 2000. She received recognition as an outstanding teacher at both WVU and SOU, and was promoted to full professor at SOU in 2010. During her career, she held several leadership posts in the National Women’s Studies Association.
Barbara was part of the women’s movement in New York from its very earliest days. She was at Barnard in 1968 during the Columbia University student uprising, in which she participated. She was a member of the Democratic Socialists of America from its founding until her death, and served on its national board 1985-1987. While in Ann Arbor, she was an active member of New Jewish Agenda. Although she affirmed her Jewish identity throughout her life, she was also a founding member of the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation in Ann Arbor, a church dedicated to social justice. In Morgantown, she joined the Tree of Life, a Jewish congregation, and was later active in the United Church of Christ (UCC) in Ashland. Barbara was also devoted to Quan Yin, the bodhisattva who is called the Goddess of Mercy. Shortly before her retirement, she joined the Rogue Valley Peace Choir, and was on its board for the 2017-2018 season.
Barbara met her husband, Gregory Scott at Columbia. In 1996, she and Gregory traveled to Nanning, China to adopt Anya Qingxin Scott, now a student at the University of Oregon. In addition to her husband and daughter, she is survived by her mother, Elaine Winkler; her sister, Helene Elek; and her nephew, Gregory Elek, all of whom live in the New York/New Jersey area.
A memorial service will take place Saturday, June 30 at 1 p.m. at the Ashland UCC, 717 Siskiyou Boulevard. All are welcome.