On November 4, 1977, Marcia Guttentag died of a heart attack in a hotel room in Chicago. She was in transit on one of the innumerable assignments that she undertook - evaluating projects, consulting, lecturing. We know the life she led. It was like the one many of us are leading; overcommitted, extended physically beyond the limits of human physiology at 45, she rarely said no to a request.
I knew her only casually, had seen her only once or twice since a memorable weekend at Wesleyan University in the fall of 1972, when she had introduced a group of women's studies practitioners to the tools of evaluation. I remember my first impression: she was a mother, I thought (and I was not being literal); she was talking with sweet seriousness and in language as comfortable to us as to her. She was clear, she separated the questions as though they were strands to be tidied. She encouraged us to ask more difficult questions. We laughed a lot, partly with the self-consciousness of adult learners, partly with the pleasure of understanding.