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Rosemary Matson and catRosemary Matson (1917-2014)
Written and Compiled by Elizabeth Fisher


Rosemary Matson was a champion of many causes including: women and religion, world peace, international human rights, and putting a face on the enemy to reduce threats of nuclear war.

She lived in many places during her life – Iowa, Chicago, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Boston, Berkeley, and Carmel Valley, Ca where she resided for the last thirty-five years.

“Rosemary was a force of nature!” ~
Bill Monning, California State Senator and friend of Rosemary Matson.

Rosemary Matson organized and networked with Unitarian Universalist ministers and active laity as well as many progressive organizations. She was a tireless producer of cutting edge programming about important social, ethical and political issues. A visionary and implementor both, she often impersonated Eleanor Roosevelt in dramatic presentations. Married to a Unitarian Universalist minister, Howard Matson (who was also a lifelong activist for social justice for farmer workers, African Americans in the south and Native Americans as well as a parish minister), Howard and Rosemary lived the egalitarian partnership second wave feminism introduced.

This 56 page booklet is a collection of facts about her life, including testimony from both ground-breaking activists and inventive institutionalists. Photos, newspaper articles, and essays she wrote round out this tribute to Rosemary’s fascinating and eclectic career which continued into her 90s.

Elizabeth Fisher, author, activist and archivist of the UU Women and Religion Movement is the author of UU courses Rise Up & Call Her Name and Gender Justice: Women’s Rights are Human Rights. She worked closely with Rosemary, compiling her memories and organizing her papers which reside in the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.


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