Index of Posts: Slices of Shona's Life
Memories of Shona

Thank you so much for all your memories and thoughts. If you have something to post, or you have photos to post, you can get to me via the "Contact" page. - Maggi, Shona's sister.

Entries in Posts with Pictures (6)


From Ruth Senturia

As a little kid, Shona loved all things British. Or so it seemed back then. Her favourite music: The Beatles.

Shona and Ruth: Woolsey St.We shared some very good years. Our three families lived just a couple houses apart—the Kellys, the Alexanders, and the Senturias. We three older girls—Shona, Leslye, and I—played and played. Our younger sisters Maggi, Megan, and Martha—played and played. Our parents parented us all and became friends in their own right. The day the Kellys moved away was a loss.

Back in those early years, Shona and I used to go to Sheila Keppel for pottery classes. At one point Shona decided an Egyptian Pharaoh was going to be her project with clay. Which was beyond me—young kids didn’t ordinarily take to ancient civilizations. Later in high school we shared four exceptional years of Latin classes with Mr Mulholland and Mrs Small. Shona’s love of modern dance was perhaps her antidote to all things old.

Shona knew what she liked. And there was always something that she was enthusiastic about. When we’d get together, sure enough, she’d be brimming with excitement about her latest new found passion. Shona never worried what anyone else thought. She had no need to impress. Or question herself. She was comfortable in her skin, and knew what made her happy. Early on she knew she wanted to be a professor. Academics were her love, but she was refreshingly unacademic in her enthusiasm for life beyond academia.

We kept in touch after high school, though only minimally since I wasn’t in the US much after that.. I visited her at UC Davis, and later passed through Denver enroute to India. I’d drop a line every so often, and she made sure I received a copy of her  annual letter.  These past couple years I tried to get to Red Hook and she tried to meet me in western NY—to no avail.

I first met Randy when Shona brought him to my Dad’s in Berkeley/Oakland. Randy was in my good books for figuring out that Shona was a good catch. I knew he was an economics professor in those years, but only of late have I come across his articles with Bill Black, and then come to appreciate that he’d studied under Hyman Minsky. (I was rather excited to stumble upon “Randall Wray’s” articles on the internet this past year, and was planning to write Shona about this.)

The quality in Shona that stood out for me over the years—even when she was a kid: she never could speak ill of anyone. When she didn’t like something, at most one might detect some frustration. But she could only get so far in expressing herself and then she’d stop, because she was simply unable to cross that line of actually criticizing a person or saying something bad of them. To this day I find this to be truly exceptional.

Over the years I’d hoped that my husband could meet her, and that I could meet her kids. And I became more determined that we should get together latest by next year when we’d turn 50.

Maggi, thank you for making this blog possible. My heart goes out to you, and Jim & Celia, and Randy and the kids.  In particular, I hope the kids will have had enough years with Shona to have inherited all that she wanted for them to be able to stand on their feet. And yes, Randy, you have big shoes to fill. To your credit.

Ruth Senturia


From Pavlina Tcherneva

Memory of Shona

It was 1996. Having just completed my junior year in college, I took a summer internship that would eventually change my own personal and professional life in important ways, take me to the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and lay the grounds for a cherished friendship with the Wray family.

Pavlina and the Wrays in NY, 2006The first time I met both Shona and Randy was during that same 1996 internship at an economics conference.  As a college student I had read Randy’s book and articles and was very surprised when I met him. He was a young economist with an even younger wife (for some reason I imagined all respected economists to be aging and with thick reading glasses).  Shona was lovely—beautiful, charming, with that unforgettable smile everyone talks about, and also very VERY pregnant.  With one baby in the stroller (Shane) and another one on the way, she was radiant. I vividly remember her wearing a blue dress with white polka dots and a white head band.  I was immediately impressed during our first introduction when I watched her speak to Shane in Italian. Then Alina was born and over the years, I marveled at this beautiful family and the sweet, fun, and smart children they raised.

Alina, Pavlina, and Shona, Florence 2011Over the last few months, my husband and I got to see the Wrays in Florence and ring in the New Year together at our NY home.  Always generous and thoughtful, Shona brought lentils to the party, which is apparently an old Italian tradition that brings health and prosperity during the new year to those who share in it. How very sad and unfair it is that she did not live long enough to enjoy her own health and prosperity. And though her life was cut short, it was by all indications a rich one. And we are all richer for knowing her—as she left an indelible mark on every person who came in contact with her.  There are far too many memories to recount but my family and I grew to love the Wrays and will remember Shona for her charisma, intelligence, kindness, and generosity.  As for me, she will always be that radiant and charming pregnant young woman in the blue polka dot dress from the first time I met her 16 years ago.


From Leah Dark-Fleury

I am so sad to say that over the last couple of years, I had lost touch with Shona.  We didn't have a falling out we just got busy with our lives.  It is only when something like this happens that one realizes how important it is too keep in touch with those wonderful people you meet in your life.

I met Shona in the fall of 1983.  Shona, Jane and Marianne and I spent a year studying at the University of Padova. Marianne and I ended up living in an apartment together.  As you can see from the pictures, we had absolutely no fun at all!  I remember the first day we rented the apartment we promised the owner that we would absolutely not have any parties.  So, of course, we had a huge party the day we moved in which ended up with the police at our door.   Then, we had to convince the landlord we wouldn’t do it again.  I believe it was Shona who finally won him over. Now that I have a son the same age we were then, I think it is a miracle we didn't get into more trouble.

That year was one of the best years of my life and I believe that for all of us, Jane, Marianne and Shona it was a formative year of our lives.  Shona  was such a free spirit she just shined in Italy.   I don’t think she had any Italian in her but you could just see that when she was there, she was at home.  Always that huge smile and always ready to meet someone new, cook up an incredible meal and take on some new challenge.    I will always treasure her wonderful energy and joy of life.


From Maria Jose Del Rio-Barredo

From the start at I Tatti Shona was affectionate and welcoming. In the library, noticing I was a little disoriented, Shona came over to show me how the photocopier worked. From then on we had many opportunities to talk about archives, about having coincided unwittingly in Bologna in 1994-95, and about her family, especially the rewarding year her daughter was having in Florence. In all of our conversations I admired the energy and warmth that she radiated. As my stay at the center came to an end, again it was Shona, as if by chance, who marked my departure with her great capacity for affection. We coincided in the garden, where she was walking with friends from New York when I was trying to sneak some last minute pictures. There could be no better gift than the photos we had taken of us together. When she wrote at Christmas from the United States, I wondered whether we’d ever see each other again. I know that the generous warmth she offered from our first to our last encounter will always remain with me.

Maria Jose Del Rio-Barredo
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid


From Margaret Cooper

Kerikeri, Bay of Islands, New ZealandEaster New Zealand 1972

I have a black and white photograph of Shona, Maggi and my two boys sitting in a row boat high and dry on our beach in Kerikeri, Bay of Islands, New Zealand munching on Easter eggs! My sons remember the occasion very fondly as do I. It was a great occasion!