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Alison Howard (born Seelye)


Gender: Female

Date of Birth: January 30, 1939

Date of Death: August 6, 2010

Birth Place: Worcester, MA

Death Place: Berkeley, CA

Alison Seelye Howard

Peter Brigham Howard & Alison Seelye Howard
Peter, Jul. 1, 1938 – Mar. 31,2011
Alison, Jan. 30, 1939 – Aug. 16, 2010

Founder and proprietor of Serendipity Books, Peter was one of the greatest antiquarian booksellers of his time. Alison was an accomplished librarian, cook, quilter, singer and solver of impossible crosswords. Peter was born in Harrisburg, PA and spent his early childhood as an army brat in Alabama, post-war Japan and Shanghai. He graduated from Haverford College with a BA in English lit.

Alison was born in Worcester, MA and grew up mostly in New England. She graduated from Swarthmore College with a BA in biology. They met in Alaska in the summer of 1958 on a Friend’s service project building log cabins. To return home, they built a moss-covered raft and floated down the Yukon. Two years later they were married on their graduation weekend. After college, Peter taught Subject A at UC Berkeley and earned his Masters degree in English lit. Alison received her Masters of Library Science and worked at the UC School of Optometry for over 20 years. In 1968, starting with a single DH Lawrence collection, Peter founded Serendipity Books. He served for two years as president of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America. Alison sang for many years with the women’s choir, Voci. They celebrated their golden wedding anniversary last June 4th. Peter was fortunate enough to attend every 2010 post-season home game and watch his beloved Giants win the World Series.

Alison is survived by her sister, Anne Barrows; Peter by his brother, Donald Kimm Howard. They leave two daughters (Keridwen Jean Dahm and Esme Joy Howard), one niece-like-a-daughter (Sasha Crehan) and three grandsons (Quincy, Cyrus and Pablo). The family wishes to thank especially nurse Clare & the Kaiser Hospice team for their invaluable care over the last year. Memorial to be held at Serendipity Books in Berkeley, May 7th Noon-5PM.

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on April 24, 2011

[Great-great-granddaughter of SGS # 2056 – Alison; Edwin Barrows; Walter Clark; Laurenus Clark; Seth (# 2056); Nathan; Seth; Nathan; James; Nathaniel; Nathaniel; Robert

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