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Edwina Tarry Dies at Age 94

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May 3, 2006

Philanthropist Edwina S. Tarry, nee Snyder, 94, of Chicago died May 1 at her home after a recent illness.

Mrs. Tarry and her husband, the late George W. Tarry, M.D., were major benefactors of the Feinberg School of Medicine and School of Education and Social Policy.

The Tarrys made the leadership gift for the construction of the Tarry Research and Education Building on Northwestern's Chicago campus. The 16-story building, which houses faculty research scientists and clinicians at the Feinberg School of Medicine, opened in 1990.

Gifts from the Tarrys also endowed the George and Edwina Tarry Professorship in Ophthalmology at Feinberg.

“The gifts from the Tarrys have provided a living legacy for Northwestern's medical students and faculty. The Tarrys recognized the importance of supporting scientific research and providing an environment in which that research will thrive,” said Lewis Landsberg, M.D., Dean and Vice President for Medical Affairs.

The Tarrys also endowed the Edwina S. Tarry Professorship in Education Studies at the School of Education and Social Policy.

In addition, Mrs. Tarry donated funds for the School of Education and Social Policy's Tarry Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning, which opened in 2003. Occupying the entire third floor of Annenberg Hall on Northwestern's Evanston campus, the Tarry Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning includes two 1,500 square-foot classrooms equipped with extensive multimedia software systems. The facility serves as a laboratory to invent new teaching methodologies and educational technologies to improve the learning of children, youth and adults.

A native of the Chicago area, Mrs. Tarry graduated from Lyons Township High School in LaGrange, Ill., and from Lyons Township Junior College. She received a teaching diploma from Pestalozzi-Froebel Teachers College in Chicago in 1933 and was selected to teach at a lab school under the direction of the college that was sponsored by Marshall Field for residents of the Marshall Field Garden Apartments in Chicago.

She continued to teach there while receiving a bachelor of arts degree from Pestalozzi-Froebel in 1935, the same year she married George Tarry. Dr. Tarry had joined the Feinberg School that same year as a clinical assistant in surgery and remained on the faculty until his retirement in 1972.

Mrs. Tarry received a graduate degree in education in 1938 from Northwestern University. She continued to teach at the Pestalozzi-Froebel Teachers College demonstration school until it closed in 1948. She also volunteered for the Red Cross during World War II. 

Mrs. Tarry then taught at the Chicago Latin School from 1951 to 1953. She retired from teaching in 1955, but returned to teaching positions and as a librarian at the Latin School from 1969 to 1972 when the Tarrys moved to Oceanside, Cal. Mrs. Tarry returned to the Chicago area in 1998.

Her husband preceded her in death in 1997. She is survived by her niece, Carol Larsen, and a cousin, Alice Ippen.

Memorial services are pending.