Mary Catherine Bateson: “We are not what we know but what we are willing to learn.”

A death notice in the Washington Post:

Dr. Mary Catherine Bateson, died peacefully on January 2, 2021 holding her daughter’s hand.

Dr. Bateson was a best-selling author, a linguist, and a cultural anthropologist. Among her many books, With A Daughter’s Eye: A Memoir of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, was the New York Times Best of the Year list in 1984. Her New York Times best-selling Composing A Life was published in 1991.

Her literary legacy will be cataloged at the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.

In the later part of her life, she was dedicated to preserving our natural world and addressing the social and environmental impacts of climate change and the dire need for inter-generational communication, increased focus on the changing life cycle and encouraging older adults to claim a voice for the future. At the time of her death, she was working on a book based on six lectures she gave at Boston College entitled “Love Across Difference.” This book will be published posthumously.

She is survived by her husband of 60 years, J. Barkev Kassarjian, her only child, daughter Sevanne Margaret Kassarjian, son-in-law, Paul Griffin, grandsons, Cyrus James and Anton Gregory Griffin, and her half-sister, Nora Bateson.

“We are not what we know but what we are willing to learn.”—Mary Catherine Bateson.

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