Laurie Turner Dewey, a long-time member of the Board of Directors of the Council for a Livable World and former Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation board member, passed away peacefully at her home on May 19th, 2017.
Laurie was a long time activist and devotee of world peace. Shortly after graduating from Conneticut College in 1948, she volunteered with the Unitarian Service Committee to rebuild an orphanage in Normandy, France in the post-World War II rebuilding.
Later, her involvement with the Peace Development Fund led her to protest the Iran-Contra scandal outside CIA headquarters during the presidency of President Ronald Reagan, which landed her in jail with hundreds of others.
She was deeply committed to nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, and served on the boards of both the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and the Council for a Livable World. Laurie was an active participant in the boards almost to the end, and participated by phone in a Council board meeting with Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico a week before her death. She was particularly interested in and engaged on the issues of the military budget and the Council’s endorsement of political candidates.
Robert K. Musil, the Council’s president, declared “We shall not see her likes again. Activist with civility, generous without ego, and deeply committed to a peaceful world, she provides not only fond memories, but a role model that we can at least strive to follow.”
John Tierney, executive director of the Council and Center, said of Laurie, “Although I have only known Laurie since I came on in March of last year, she quickly had my respect and admiration – a reaction experienced by everyone who met her, as those who knew her would certainly expect and appreciate. Laurie’s children made clear that Laurie treasured those relationships with board members and her service on the Board. We all know that she sustained the Boards, especially during trying times.”
John Isaacs, senior fellow at the organization, added “Laurie was always engaged with the organization and our key issues. She was frequently on the phone both for board meetings and with suggestions of issues we should take up or providing interesting articles about nuclear weapons and mlitary budget issues.”
Priscilla McMillan, a longtime friend of Laurie’s and a fellow board member, joined in, “When Laurie came on the board, her principal interest had been the De Cordova Museum. She quickly proved very knowledgeable about arms control and very loyal to the Council. Many times she attended a board meeting not feeling very well, but toward the end she would speak out with great clarity and decisiveness, making a point that needed to be made. How she found strength to prepare so well I never knew. I think it was a matter of dedication and her superb character.”
Laurie also served on the National Advisory Board of the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Board of Trustees of the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, and was a member of the Lincoln Town Democratic Committee.
A celebration of her life is planned for June 9, 2017 at 11 A.M. at the First Parish in Lincoln, Massachusetts.
Although certainly no further evidence of Laurie’s dedication to the cause for non-proliferation and peace was necessary, Laurie’s family graciously recommended that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the Council and Center.