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Home Obituaries


Another from our flock has passed.  A note from Stuart today: "I am sorry to say that Muriel Polikoff passed away yesterday.  For those of you that can attend, there will be a memorial service for her on Tuesday, September 5th at 2:00 at Keneseth Isreal Reform Congregation in Elkins Park, PA.  Please spread the word among the Wedgwood community."

POLIKOFF MURIEL Age 92, of Elkins Park, passed away on August 31. Her husband, Dr. Victor Polikoff, preceded her in death and she is survived by their 3 children, Barbara Polikoff, Marjory Albee (Lawrence), James Polikoff and granddaughter Rachel Albee. Muriel was a graduate of Temple University. While raising her family, she held leadership positions in B'nai Brith, International ORT and the Sisterhood of Congregation Keneseth Israel, where she was a long-time member. Muriel was a volunteer curator and board member at the former Buten Museum of Wedgwood and was a past president and board member of both the Philadel-phia English Ceramics Study Group and the International Wedgwood Seminar. She lec-tured and authored several scholarly articles on ceramics. A Memorial Service will be held at Keneseth Israel on Tuesday, September 5 at 2:00 P.M. Contributions may be made to the Sisterhood Fund at Keneseth Israel or to the Foxchase Cancer Center.

Earl Buckman compoesd this eulogy for his friend Robin Rielly:

Robin Reilly - A Very Fond Remembrance

A few days ago I lost someone very close....mentor, confidant and friend for some 36 years:  historian, researcher, author and without question the world’s greatest authority on the life and works of Josiah Wedgwood I, F.R.S. and the great ceramics manufactory that he established in 1759.  I speak of my friend, Robin Reilly.

The news came not as a great shock.  At age 88, these things are never completely unexpected, but it makes for emptiness in one’s life that can never be filled, and a lingering depression over a joyous part of one’s life that will not be experienced again.  In recent years, Robin’s angina had become much worse and his hearing had become quite bad (in spite of deaf aids), and the legs were prone to cease their intended function at the most unexpected times.  (“I’m always falling into the laps of strangers!”)  


Jim Burnham



A Sad Note from Earl:

Hello folks,
Margaret has asked me to tell you that Jim died peacefully this morning.  She says:

I am so thankful that it didn’t linger, because he had been in pain for quite a while, wandering the house at night to try to get comfortable.

Now my healing begins, but I have a good friend support network here….for now Heather and I just need to get some rest.

We will not have a service, per se, but will all go to Maine to place his ashes off of the bridge in Milbridge, Maine this summer.

FYI - If you do not have Margaret's address for some reason, just let me  know.

Kind best wishes,
Earl (and Margaret)




A Sad Note from Lynn Miller:

This email is to let you know that our great friend and colleague Sharon Gater, passed away peacefully at home this morning. Her daughters Josie and Hattie said that Sharon was surrounded by her family, and have asked to be left alone to grieve in private for a time.

Sharon had taken the brave decision to cease all conventional medication and had asked to go home and receive palliative care only.

Anyone who knew Sharon will never forget her unique sense of humour, and her vast amount of knowledge and her amazing original research - and more importantly her willingness to share it. I can't believe that she has gone, but at least I was able to visit her in hospital and at her daughter's house when she was not quite so poorly, and we managed to have several walks down 'memory lane' over the last few months. She will be hugely missed.






It is with great sadness that I report that Paul Lauer, a long time Wedgwood Collector and WIS Board Member passed away Saturday morning April 2nd 2016.  Graveside funeral services and burial will take place on Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 1 p.m. in Mt. Lebanon Cemetery, Iselin,(Middlesex Co.) NJ.  We want to keep Elizabeth and the family in our thoughts and prayers.
Mickey Hightower
Wedgwood International Seminar




With sadness, we report the passing of Daisy Wade Bridges last October at her home in Charlotte, N.C. at the age of 83.  She was a life member of the Wedgwood International Seminar, serving on the Board of Governors and as President in 1978 and 1979.  At the time of her death she was a Hororary Member of the Board in recognition of her service to our organization and her contributions in the field of ceramic research and study through the decades.

She began collecting Wedgwood Queen's Ware, an interest sparked by her position in 1955 as assistant Manager of Josiah Wedgwood & Sons, Ltd. in New York City.  When she moved to Charlotte in 1960 she founded the Ceramic Circle of Charlotte, and helped bring the Delhom Collection to the Mint Museum.  Her interest in ceramics expanded to include Chinese wares, especially teapots, Native american pottery and North Carolina pottery, which became her greatest interest.  Much of her collections were gifted to the Mint Museum through the years.  Her experience and knowledge of the production and manufacture of many different types of ceramics was awe inspiring, and her kindness and gentle spirit will be missed by many.




It is with great sadness that Vernon and I share the passing of my father, Bernie Starr on February 6th after a long and valiant battle with Alzheimer's.

Services will be held Thursday, Feb.8, 12 noon at Riverside Memorial Chapel, 55 North Station Plaza, Great Neck.

Donations to Alzheimer's Foundation of America or Birthright Israel Foundation.

Joanne Wolfe

We at WIS are all saddened by the news that Dorothy Levy has died.

From www.legacy.com:

Dorothy Levy


November 16, 2015. Wife of the late S. Arthur Levy, Esq. Mother of the late William N. Levy, Esq. Mother-in-law of Marlene Levy. Grandmother of Jason Levy. Sister of S. Bernard Garbose. Graveside services will be Friday at 10:30am at Crescent Memorial Park, (Sec. J) Pennsauken, NJ. Shiva will be observed at Lions Gate on Friday from 2:00pm to 3:30pm. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/courierpostonline/obituary.aspx?n=dorothy-levy&pid=176542860&fhid=4350#sthash.cwqNYYaP.dpuf


By JOE SIMNACHER This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Staff Writer

Published: 23 July 2015 10:05 PM

Updated: 25 July 2015 02:36 PM
Barbara Lee Boyd Wedgwood was an author and playwright whose works ranged from a true-crime book about minister Walker Railey to a play about poet Robert Browning.

Wedgwood, 85, died Monday of pneumonia at Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake.

A celebration of her life will be at noon Monday at Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home.

Wedgwood was born in Dallas and grew up in Highland Park. She earned a bachelor's degree from Southern Methodist University and a master's degree from the University of Texas.

She was a wedding gift buyer for Neiman Marcus when she met her husband-to-be, Hensleigh Wedgwood, president of the North American division of Josiah Wedgwood & Sons Ltd. He was a direct descendant of Josiah Wedgwood, founder of the china business.

The couple married in 1958 and lived in New York, where she was a freelance writer when she happened into a book-writing assignment. It happened at a dinner party, said Suzanne Frank, director of Southern Methodist University's The Writer's Path program.

"She ended up sitting next to Amy Vanderbilt," Frank said. The etiquette authority complimented the former Dallas debutante's manners.

"Amy Vanderbilt said, 'I'm looking for someone to ghostwrite my book; would you do it?'" Frank said. As a result, Wedgwood wrote Vanderbilt's 1965 book, How to Be a More Interesting Woman.

In 1970, the Wedgwoods moved to London, where she earned a doctorate in Victorian literature from the University of London. While going through a Wedgwood family scrapbook, she discovered her husband's great aunt, novelist-philosopher Julia Wedgwood, had had a relationship with Browning.

"I was stunned and didn't realize how intimate they were with Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, George Eliot," Wedgwood said in 1986. "The first letter that fell onto my lap was from Thomas Carlyle telling Julia's mother that he was sorry he couldn't come to tea on such-and-such date."

In 1980, Wedgwood's play Browning's Other Romance was staged in London. She adapted the play for the BBC.

In 1984, the couple moved to Dallas, where she became a leader of SMU's noncredit creative writing program.

Wedgwood changed the lives of thousands of aspiring writers through the program now known as The Writer's Path, said Frank, a former student.

"She believed in me," Frank said.

Wedgwood established a biennial New York book seminar for the young Dallas writers.

"She had an editor's eye for social situations and could see how to fill the gap, how to draw somebody out," Frank said. "She had that kind of graciousness to her."

In 1993, Wedgwood published Demon Inside: The Walker Railey Story, the first book about the 1987 choking of the minister's wife, Peggy Railey, that left her in a vegetative state. The former Methodist minister was acquitted of the crime.

Wedgwood retired from the SMU program in 2003.

"She was funny; she had a wonderful sense of humor," said Colleen Flowers, Wedgwood's friend since childhood. "She was really, really smart. She cared a lot about a lot of people. She had a lot of friends."

Michael Smith reports the loss of another long time WIS member and former WIS Treasurer Robert Mitchell.

Robert Mitchell

On May 13, 2015, we lost a wonderful husband, father, and friend. Robert (Bob) R. Mitchell, age 86, of Temecula, California passed away after valiantly fighting Parkinson's disease for over a decade. Robert was born in Emporia, Kansas and graduated with dual degrees from the University of Kansas. After college, Robert served his country as a Sergeant in the Army, Counter Intelligence Service Unit. Following military service he began his career in Public Administration as a City Manager. His life-long dedication to civic development left enduring accomplishments still seen today in many cities and public administrators whom he helped educate and mentor. Robert had many hobbies and interests. He was an avid collector of Wedgwood, loved orchids, Packards, Studebakers, art and history. He was a member of the International City Management Association (ICMA), the Wedgwood Society of Southern California (WSSC), Rotary International, and a 33rd degree Mason.

Robert is survived by Lois his wife of 61 years, his four children Janice (Rick) Ludwig, Julia (Les) Anderson, Brian (Jana) Mitchell and Edith (John) Vance, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A memorial farewell will be held at the England Family Mortuary in Temecula on May 30th at 2pm. - See more






Professor Emeritus, OISE, University of Toronto

Keith Alwyn McLeod of Toronto died suddenly on Thursday, December 4, 2014 at Sunnybrook Hospital at the age of 79. The youngest child of Malcolm Roderick Marshall McLeod and Elizabeth (Betty) Amphlett McLeod, he was born on February 15, 1935 in Marcelin, Saskatchewan. Keith was predeceased by his siblings Roderick, Derril, Doreen, Valerie, and Ian and is survived by his brother Gordon as well as 20 nieces and nephews and 35 great-nieces and nephews.

Keith completed his doctorate in the History of Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and joined the Faculty of Education at University of Toronto where he taught until his retirement in 1997. During his career, he was a leader in multicultural and intercultural teacher education, was the founding president of the Ontario Multicultural Association and a president of the Canadian Council for Multicultural and Intercultural Education. He chaired multiple conferences, published extensively in this field and founded the journal Multiculturalism/Multiculturalisme in 1977 for which he was editor until 1992.

Keith had a great interest in Wedgwood pottery, editing some ten years of proceedings of its Annual Seminars, writing many articles, and authoring several books as well as co-curating an exhibit at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in 1997.

As well, Keith was a member and school sponsor of the Project for the Advancement of Childhood Education (P.A.C.E.) Canada since its inception in 1987, and was awarded the Pacesetter Award for his contributions to the organization in 2003. In 2010 he was named a Patron of the organization.

Keith loved to see the world in all its diversity, travelling extensively to such places as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Ecuador, Egypt, Greece, Iceland, India, Kenya, Norway, Peru, Raasay, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, Turkey and Uganda, to name a few. He had a unique sense of humour and enjoyed a broad base of friends locally, nationally and internationally in his life. He will be greatly missed by all whose lives he touched, most especially by his family of friends in Toronto - Ralph, Susan, Jim, Mary, Vandra, Mavis, and the rest of the 'gang.'

An interment service will be held in the VISITATION CENTRE of MOUNT PLEASANT CEMETERY, 375 Mt. Pleasant Road at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 10, 2015. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to P.A.C.E. Canada at www.pacecanada.org, an organization whose work was close to his heart. Further information and an opportunity to share condolences, reminiscences, and photographs on his life can be found online at www.humphreymilesnewbigging.com - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/thestar/obituary.aspx?n=keith-mcleod-phd&pid=173456195&fhid=9911#sthash.aMsOyVyW.dpuf


(As found here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/thestar/obituary.aspx?n=keith-mcleod-phd&pid=173456195&fhid=9911 )


We at WIS are all saddened by the news that Lord Peirs Wedgwood has died.

From www.artfixdaily.com:

Piers Wedgwood, who devoted his working life to the ceramic and decorative arts of the Wedgwood Brand as its international ambassador and keeper of the legacy of his fifth great-grandfather, Josiah Wedgwood, died yesterday of cardiac failure at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.  He was 59 and a long time resident of the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia, PA.

In a career spanning four decades, Lord Wedgwood helped navigate the fortunes of a 255 year old luxury goods company in its struggles to remain viable amidst the changing life styles of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.  A veteran of two major reorganizations of the firm, Lord Wedgwood remained positive and excited as it grew in the modern age, with Wedgwood now opening major new markets in India, China and Russia as well as new product lines such as Wedgwood Tea.

Piers Anthony Weymouth Wedgwood, Fourth Baron Wedgwood was born September 20, 1954 in Nakuru, Kenya outside Nairobi on his family’s farm.  He assumed the Wedgwood peerage at age 16 upon the death of his father in 1970.  Educated in England at Marlborough and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Lord Wedgwood was commissioned in the Royal Scots Regiment in 1973 seeing action in Cypress and retiring as a captain in 1980.

Lord Wedgwood did not view his peerage as an honorific, instead acting as a working member of the House of Lords with more than 25 years service on the Defense and Heritage Parliamentary Groups.

An active sportsman, Lord Wedgwood was a member of the Royal Automobile Club of England, the London Racquet Club and the Philadelphia Club.

Above all however, the Wedgwood Brand was Lord Wedgwood’s passion, beginning in the business in his teens cleaning the pottery kilns and learning production methods.  It was soon clear, however, that his charm, speaking ability and uncanny resemblance to his ancestor Josiah made him the ideal and nearly irreplaceable spokesman for Wedgwood.  For many years, Lord Wedgwood was closely identified with Wedgwood museums in England and Birmingham, Alabama, which includes the Buten Collection, formerly of Philadelphia.

In a reprise of another Philadelphia fairy tale, Lord Wedgwood met his wife, the former Mary Regina Quinn of the Fairmount section of Philadelphia, when he was presenting Wedgwood at the Marshall Field Company in Chicago where she ran the store’s public relations.  The ‘old English lord’ she expected turned out to be both a dashing 26 year old and the start of a 34 year love affair.  Lady Wedgwood, and a daughter, The Hon. Alexandra Mary Kavanaugh Wedgwood and two sisters survive.

At this time, funeral arrangements have yet to be announced. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, charitable donations be made to the Lord Wedgwood Charity (www.lwcharity.com), a non-profit he founded following a heart attack in 2001 with the goal of placing automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) into high schools and communities.

Family Contact: Richard Snowden/267-977-6739

Can you please pass along to the WIS that Harry Root, who so graciously opened his house and collection to the WIS when we were in Chicago, passed away yesterday.  
Stuart Slavid
Vice President
Director of European Furniture,
Decorative Arts, Silver and
Fine Ceramics

A note from Lynn Miller:

Oh dear – so I too was the bearer of sad news. Audrey had a stroke just before last Christmas, and then (according to the information we received), experienced a short illness, only a few weeks ago, and died in hospital The funeral service was held in her local parish church. Audrey was both charming and scholarly – it was only her ongoing health problems that prevented her from attending Friends meetings here at the Museum. Sad days indeed.

Love from all, as ever



DUDSON (Audrey Margaret) NEE HAMILTON Peacefully after a short illness on Tuesday September 7th, 2010 at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, Audrey, aged 88 years, the devoted wife of the late Derek Dudson and dearly loved mother of Ian, Paul and Max. Audrey will be sadly missed by all her family and fondly remembered by her many friends. Funeral service at St Chad's Parish Church, Longsdon, nr Leek, ST9 9QF, on Monday September 20th, 2010 at 11am followed by cremation at Carmountside Crematorium. Will relatives please accept this intimation, friends kindly meet at the church and afterwards at the BPMF Club, Federation House, Station Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 2SA. Family flowers only please, donations if desired to Breath of Life c/o Tudor Davies Funeral Services. Inquiries to: Barry Davies Tudor Davies Independent Family Funeral Services, The Beeches, 142 Waterloo Road, Burslem. Telephone 01782 811411



Mr. Alton C. Powell of Geneva, passed away Thursday, September 30, 2010. He was 69. A memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, October 10, 2010 at First United Methodist Church with Rev. Bill Kidwell officiating. Interment will follow in Geneva City Cemetery with Pittman Funeral Home of Geneva directing. The family will receive friends at the church from 2:00 p.m. until time of funeral service. Mr. Powell was preceded in death by his parents, Clinton and Iona Powell; a brother, Jimmy Powell and his parents-in-law, Bill and Martha Steely. Survivors include his wife, Mary Ellen Powell of Geneva; a sister, Diane Harrison (Hoppi), Alamo, CA; a brother, Jerry Powell (Lyn), Daphne, AL; and an aunt, Louise Donaldson, Enterprise; and two nephews, Trip and Walt Knebel of California. Mr. Powell graduated from Samson High School in 1959. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama and advanced degrees from Troy State University. He was a teacher at Geneva High School for more than thirty-five years, and at the time of his retirement was Technology Co-coordinator for the Geneva City Schools. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Emma Knox Kenan Public Library in Geneva. He was an active member of the First United Methodist Church of Geneva and at the time of his death was chairman of the Board of Trustees. He was an avid admirer of English pottery and was known in both the national and international ceramic world for his scholarship on Wedgwood pottery. In 1994, he published "Wedgwood International Seminar: An index to the published proceedings 1956-1992." In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church, 304 S Academy St. Geneva, AL 36340 or the Geneva Public Library, 312 S Commerce St. Geneva, AL 36340. Pittman Funeral Home of Geneva, (334) 684-2600, is in charge of arrangements. Please sign the guest book at www.dothaneagle.com.


A sad note from Julian Wedgwood:

"Dear Lovely people;

Yesterday every early in the new day (0110hrs) my brother Martin died as a direct result of prostate cancer discovered a year ago. He was taken into the East Surrey Hospital last Wednesday when a very large cist/growth was discover beneath his lung. The cancer had progressed at great speed to his lungs. He died very peacefully in his sleep."...

"Please contact those who would like to know. Many thanks to all. 


Sir Martin's obituary from the Times can be found here.

Sign his guestbook here.