Reception to follow
Evergreen Museum & Library
Specific location: Carriage House
4545 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21210
Located just north of Loyola University campus on North Charles St.
(For information on the mansion house and grounds, please visit www.museums.jhu.edu)
Elizabeth Bliss Randolph was born on January 18, 1965 in Cleveland, Ohio, to Andrew B. Randolph and Deborah B. Randolph. Her family moved a few times in her early childhood, eventually settling in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1974. She attended The Blake School for middle school and ninth grade. She petitioned her parents to attend boarding school for the remaining three years of high school. She won and went to Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. She always considered this one of the best decisions she ever made. She thrived at Exeter - the academic challenge, the dialogue, the exposure, the secret parties and the life long friends she made. She wrote an essay in her senior year titled, "E. Bliss and Me", which can be found under Title Track, in the reference section on this blog.
After Exeter, she went off to a humanities honors program at Stanford University, her father's alma mater. It was another good choice, allowing her to embrace the west coast, and all ways it differs from other places. Majoring in English, and loving poetry, she found time to play ultimate frisbee, attend many Dead shows and other concerts, study in Paris for a year, enjoy communal living at Phi Psi, protest the expansion of nuclear arms and expand her circle of life long friends.
After graduation in 1987, it was off to an apartment in San Francisco. This was a time when a humanities major could find a roommate and live in that special city. She landed a sales job for a small publishing company. Her territory included the Pacific northwest and east to Colorado. This afforded opportunities to hone her downhill ski skills, back country hiking, see even more live music, continue her personal writing projects and make yet more friends.
On a Sunday morning in 1991, in a sunny apartment in Noe Valley, Elizabeth decided to accept a promotion to become an editor at Williams and Wilkens, which is now part of the Wolters Kluwer publishing congolmerate. This is what brought her to Baltimore, Maryland. She worked for a wonderful mentor, and professionally it was a very good move. Her first year in Baltimore was hard, as it often is in any new place.
Elizabeth threw herself into her new city. She was an early member of the Fed Hill Tuesday Night Dinner Group, took mandolin and aikido lessons and found an ultimate club, the Baltimore Banshees. Elizabeth and I were team mates, which is how we met in 1993. We started dating in the spring of 1994. The beginning of joint friendships
By 1996 she started imagining new professional possibilities, which meant creating an opportunity to head back to school for a Master's degree. Seeing how much she LOVED learning, I cannot believe she ever left the academic environment in the first place. The Publication Design program at the University of Baltimore provided a nice balance of writing and design, focusing on the then still newish "world wide web."
Her new degree in hand and a wish to change professions, created a nice jumping off spot for a 9 month "walk about." With the support of our friends, at home and abroad, we left in September 1997 for a backpacking adventure through New Zealand, Australia, Asia, and Europe.
We were lucky to return when the US economy was booming. Elizabeth was hired by a local start-up, GR8, as a Information Architect. She was one of the first anywhere in this new field of web user experience and design. She gathered enough experience and contacts that when GR8 became a casualty of the dot com bust in early 2000, she had options. She did some consulting work and quickly realized there were plenty of organizations that could use her assistance. She founded BetterExperience.com out of an office in Woodberry. She was so busy with clients she didn't even put up her own website until 2007.
During this period, a few other important events occurred. We moved to Alonsoville. I'm not sure we would be in Baltimore today, if it wasn't for our uniquely wonderful neighborhood, especially our immediate neighbors. Lyla Bliss was born on August 25, 2002 and Finn Hogan was born January 5, 2005. Elizabeth also became a regular attender at Stony Run Quaker Meeting during this time. Somehow she also found time to complete the Baltimore City Community Mediation training and provide service as volunteer mediator. Each Monday night during all these summers she was off to play ultimate in the co-ed Monday night league in Catonsville.
In January 2012, she accepted a position as an Information Architect with M&T Bank. She was looking forward to working with a team to see a web redesign through to completion. As a consultant her work was focused on the front-end of the project and generally she was on other projects when the site finally launched.
We finally got around to getting legally married on January 18, 2014.
I miss her.
Most of you who know Elizabeth, know of her deep love for the Adirondack Mountains, especially the high peaks area. She spent time almost every summer since she was 3 in those mountains and on the lakes. In childhood, she was there for several weeks. Her blog post from last August speaks of this deep connection. Her remains will eventually rest in a small cemetery in Keene, NY. Her spirit is already in those mountains and now, in all of us.
By Louisa A. Peartree
By Louisa A. Peartree