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Rae Tufts

Dear friends:  I am saddened to share the news that our dear friend Rae Tufts passed away last Thursday at her home at Horizon House.  Over many decades, Rae was a passionate leader in Seattle civic and cultural life, serving on boards that included MOHAI, Allied Arts Foundation, Northwest Chamber Orchestra, the UW Rome Center and others, often presiding as an officer and just as often serving as majordomo of fundraising events known for equal parts glamour and fun.  Rae will be remembered by her friends as boundlessly energetic and creative, wickedly smart and sometimes acerbic, and always unwavering in support of arts and culture.  Born in remote Two Dot, Montana, Rae traveled far in her lifetime, earning numerous degrees in subjects spanning English literature to urban planning,  and she was justly proud of her time as a fellow at Harvard.  Her professional roles ranged from Seattle parks planner to lecturer at the UW Department of Architecture to writer for the Seattle Times (where she authored nearly 100 articles, mostly on public art)—many times the only, or one of the few, women among her colleagues.  Rae seemingly knew everyone and was interested in everything, and counted many artists and architects among her friends (one of whom painted the portrait above).  But her true passions were tennis, classical music, Broadway and West End theater, and travel to points far and wide with her life partner David Skellenger, who predeceased her 14 years ago.  Rae will be remembered at a memorial gathering at MOHAI in the New Year, but her legacy will continue to be felt in the many civic endeavors that benefitted from her devoted commitment.  –Leonard Garfield


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