Mildred George Goertzel died in a Seattle, Washington, nursing home on January 21, 2000, at the age of 94.  She had lost her memory several years before her death, and had no idea that she had entered the 21st century, or that her husband, Victor Goertzel, had died on May 23, 1999.  She is survived by three sons:  Ted, John and Penn;  by three grandchildren: Benjamin, Mario and Rebecca; and by six great-grandchildren.
    Born in Arcadia, Indiana, on June 30, 1905, Mildred was the only child of Bert and Jesse George, who made their living on an 80 acre farm.  She excelled in school, especially in English, and went off to Ball State Teacher's College in Muncie, Indiana, with her parents' best wishes but little financial support.  She financed her college education by writing for local newspapers and producing a weekly radio show, as well as other odd jobs.  She was acquainted with sociologists Robert and Helen Lynd, who were researching their classic book Middletown in Muncie at the time.  When she graduated, her mother admonished her "don't waste all that education by getting married!"  She took this advice, and settled into a career teaching in several public schools in southwestern Michigan.  She enjoyed poetry, particularly poets who wrote of life in rural Indiana, and theater.  She taught dramatic reading, and was often called upon to produce plays.  She also tried her hand at creative writing, but without much success in getting published.  The radical intellectual and political currents of the depression era excited her, and she became a supporter of the Socialist Party of Norman Thomas.
    Mildred sought relief from the tedium of life as an "old maid school teacher" by commuting into the University of Chicago to take courses for a Masters degree in English.  She never completed the degree because she couldn't motivate herself to get through the required course in Old English.  But she did meet the love of her life, a strikingly handsome and highly intelligent man nine years and two months her junior, Victor Goertzel.  Victor was the son of Jewish immigrants from Lithuania, and had spent most of his life with his father and step-mother in California.  He had graduated with a Masters in psychology from the University of California in Berkeley, and had come to Chicago to seek help with a severe stuttering problem.  He was earning his living working in a grocery store, and was active in Trotskyist politics.  At the time the Trotskyists were infiltrating the Socialist Party, forming what they called a "united front from below."  Victor and Mildred found they were voting on opposite sides of most issues in Party meetings.  Since their votes canceled each other out, they decided they might as well drop out of the Party and pursue a romance instead.
    Victor's stuttering was worse in stressful situations, and after meeting him Mildred's mother warned her:  "he'll never earn a living, if you marry him you'll have to support him."   After consultation with the expert Victor had come to Chicago to see (Edmond Jacobson, the author of Progressive Relaxation), and based on Victor's readings in psychology, they decided that his problem was rooted in unresolved childhood feelings of rejection by his mother, who had given him up after the divorce.  Mildred helped Victor work this through by holding his head on her lap and reading him stories.  The stuttering came under control, so they quit their jobs - in the middle of the depression - and took off on an extended vacation to Mexico.  Their leftist connections enabled them to meet Diego Rivera and Frieda Kahlo, and others in their circle.  More important for their lives, however, they met Babette Newton, the wife of the American Friends Peace Secretary Ray Newton.  They learned that the Quakers, a group that they had known of only in history books, still existed.  The Quaker values of nonviolence and absolute fidelity to one's beliefs were appealing after their disillusionment with socialist movements, and they became lifelong Quakers.  On their return to the United States, they joined the Berkeley Friends Meeting, where people assumed they were married.  Not wanting to draw attention to their unmarried relationship, they arranged to be married by a Unitarian Minister, not realizing that a marriage announcement would automatically appear in the Oakland newspaper.
    On their return to the United States, Victor went on to obtain a Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Michigan.  Despite Jessie's concerns, he proved able to earn a comfortable living, enabling Mildred to stay home and raise three sons - the first born when she was 36 years old.  Victor was a conscientious objector during World War II, and they lived for several years at a relocation center for Japanese Americans in Utah, where Victor worked as the high school guidance counselor.  After the war, they settled in the Detroit area where Mildred was active in the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, serving as President of the Detroit chapter for several years.  She continued this activity when they moved to Montclair, New Jersey in the 1950s.  Both Victor and Mildred were active in the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.  They were also active in founding the National Society for Gifted Children, of which Victor served as President for a year.
    Once her children were in school, Mildred took a job as Director of the Forum School for emotionally disturbed children.  The school was a parents' cooperative, which led to problems as the parents often conflicted with the teachers.  When the parents voted to deny the teachers access to the students' psychiatric records, Mildred resigned and decided to write a book.  The book was on the childhoods of famous people, based on information from published biographies.  Victor helped with the book, and Mildred insisted that he be the senior author because she thought it would sell better with a Ph.D. psychologist as author. Cradles of Eminence was published by Little, Brown in 1962, and sold well thanks to a favorable story in the New York Times.   It became a classic of the literature on childhood and creativity, and is still often cited.  A sequel, 300 Eminent Personalities, by Mildred, Victor and Ted Goertzel, was published in 1978.
    Mildred's other major literary project was a biography of Linus Pauling, the Nobel Prize winning chemical genius who received a second Nobel Prize for his activism against nuclear bomb testing.  Mildred knew Ava Helen Pauling, Linus' wife, through the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.  She and Victor interviewed relatives and teachers of Pauling in his childhood home towns in Oregon, and she wrote some excellent chapters on Pauling's childhood.  She also wrote well about his political struggles, particularly with the McCarthyists in the United States Senate.  She had a great deal of difficulty, however, writing about Pauling's work in chemistry.  Both she and Victor also had very mixed feelings about his advocacy of Vitamin C, which developed after they began their work.  They became friends with a young collaborator of Pauling's, Arthur Robinson, who was fired by Pauling because of various disagreements.  Victor and Mildred also disagreed in their evaluation of the importance of Pauling's contribution to chemistry, with Mildred believing that Pauling was little more than a popularizer of the work of others.  She refused to have her name on a young people's biography of Pauling, which was published with Florence White as the sole author, although it was based on Mildred's text.  She thought White had edited it to be too favorable to Pauling.
    Mildred and Victor's oldest son, Ted, got involved in trying to complete the biography, and an article critical of Pauling was published in The Antioch Review in 1980.  Both Victor and Ted found it impossible to continue working with Mildred on the project, however, and she continued to work on it on her own until her memory declined to the point that she forgot what she was writing about.  When Pauling became terminally ill, Ted recruited his son Ben to help in revising the manuscript.  Ben is a mathematician and was able to understand Pauling's very important chemical writings.  Linus Pauling:  A Life in Science and Medicine by Ted and Ben Goertzel, with the assistance of Mildred and Victor Goertzel, was published by Basic Books in 1995.  It contains several chapters that were much as they had been originally written by Mildred.  Sadly, by the time it appeared, Mildred had forgotten who Linus Pauling was.