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Obituary: Edith Whitfield Seashore ’50

Edith Whitfield Seashore, 84, died on Saturday, February 23, 2013, in the hours following the memorial service for her late husband, Charles N. Seashore, with her daughters by her side. She was the first child of Nathan and Florence Whitfield of Montclair, NJ and was born on March 8, 1928, fittingly on International Women's Day as she would become a pioneer in a male-dominated field and an agent of change with regard to women's rights. She earned a BA in sociology from Antioch College, where she was community manager and worked with Douglas McGregor. She earned an MA in social-psychology from Columbia University. In 1950, Edie went to Bethel, Maine to learn from and work with National Training Laboratories (NTL) in Applied Behavioral Science. She met Charlie Seashore there when he was a participant in a group she was training. They became collaborators and married, celebrating 52 years together before Charles' death in January. While at NTL, Edie became increasing connected to the field of group dynamics. She became first female president of NTL at a critical time in the organization. She was a consultant in organization development (OD) with clients including Bell Telephone Systems, Walter Reed Hospital, the Defense Mapping Agency, and the U.S. Naval Academy. She co-founded the Lewin Institute for Social Change, Action and Research and was the board co-chair for many years. With the late Morley Segal, she co-founded the American University/NTL Masters Program in OD. She taught at numerous other universities including Johns Hopkins, University of Massachusetts, Pepperdine, and Concordia and in many countries. In 2001, she was recognized by the OD Network with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Edie was a true optimist and could weave a great story out of any situation. Recently she wrote a six-word memoir of her life: "Marriage, Family, Career - had it all!" She not only saw the good in others, she brought it out. Edie is survived by her daughters, Becky and Kim and her sons-in-law, C.J. and Jeff; her brother and sister-in-law, Alan and Diane; siblings-in-law, Marjorie and Dick Seashore; and grandchildren, Benjamin, Natalie, Nathan, Nick, and Ella. She is lovingly remembered and missed by her family, and her many colleagues, students and friends around the world. Memorial services will be held March 9, at the Sheraton Columbia Town Center in Columbia, MD and on July 21 in Bethel, ME. Donations in Edie's memory can be made to Seashore Memorial Fund at NTL Institute for Applied Behavioral Science (www.ntl.org) and to Antioch College at donate.antiochcollege.org.