You are here

Obituary: Elizabeth (Libby) Kresky, taught at Antioch College

Elizabeth Kresky, known to everyone as Libby, was a woman of many talents and great influence. She will be honored and missed by many.

In her lifetime of 88 years, she was a mother, a grandmother, a great-grandmother, a wife, an astrologer, a college professor, a linguist, a Russian language translator, a professional folk singer, a recording artist, a composer, a consummate gardener, a line dancer, an excellent cook, a writer, a councilor, a friend, a spiritual guide, an active community member and a profound inspiration to many.

Libby always loved to sing and had a beautiful, strong voice. From 1950-1958 she performed folk music in New York City during those heady days of political and cultural renaissance. She was a member of The Skifflers, a singing group similar to The Weavers, and recorded several albums.

In 1950, Libby was one of the first women to receive a PhD (from Charles University in Prague, Czechoslovakia) in Slavic Languages. After working as a translator she went on to teach Russian at C.W. Post College, New York University, Antioch College and Ohio State University between the years of 1950 and 1970. She was one of a few Americans to go behind the iron curtain in the 1960s when she took her college students on study tours of the Soviet Union.

Exemplifying her credo of always being true to oneself, she dropped out of the academic world in 1970 and moved from Ohio back to her home state of Washington. From 1972 to 1976, Libby was director of the newly formed Strawberry Hill Alternative High School on Bainbridge Island, WA. From 1976 until her recent death she has been an esteemed professional astrologer on Bainbridge Island as well as a teacher of meditation and metaphysics. She has counseled thousands of people in her kind, personable, intelligent and patient manner. She also taught public classes on astrology and inspired many to embrace the wisdom of the stars.

When people reflect on Libby's presence and influence in their lives, they remark at her deep compassion and sensitivity combined with her keen intelligence and astute awareness of the human condition. She took the zeal and the dedication of the church to redefine her life in her own bold way. Libby was a self-made woman, one of the first. She did what she needed to do to find her own fulfillment, and she succeeded. It is our great fortune to have known her, to be touched by her fire of self-confidence, her fundamental faith in humanity, her allegiance to all things spiritual and her passionate love of life. We will greatly miss her. And at the same time, we must all be careful not to dip into any self-pity for our loss, that is one thing she would never approve of.

Libby is survived by her two children, Dan and Rachel, and her two grandchildren, Atalie and Sadie and her great-grandson, Austin. She died on Bainbridge Island with a smile on her face. In lieu of flowers, Libby has requested donations to be made to the Bainbridge Island Fireman's Association, 8895 Madison Avenue, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110