[sixties-l] OBIT: Rosemary W. Leary, 66; led fugitive life with LSD guru (fwd)

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Date: Sat Feb 16 2002 - 17:50:53 EST

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    Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 17:50:07 -0800
    From: radtimes <resist@best.com>
    Subject: OBIT: Rosemary W. Leary, 66; led fugitive life with LSD guru

    Rosemary W. Leary, 66; led fugitive life with LSD guru


    By Tom Long, Globe Staff, 2/12/2002

    Rosemary Woodruff Leary once quipped that she qualified for a "Stand by
    Your Man Award" for her long association with her husband, LSD guru Timothy
    Leary. And by all accounts she was right. After helping the psychedelic
    provocateur escape from a California prison in 1970, she fled the country
    and remained underground for 23 years. Timothy Leary was only underground
    for three years before he was captured.
    Mrs. Leary, 66, who was Timothy Leary's third wife, died of congestive
    heart failure Feb. 7 at her home in Aptos, Calif. Funeral arrangements are
    Born in St. Louis, she was a onetime flight attendant who was modeling when
    she met her future husband at an art exhibit in New York City in 1965. She
    accepted an invitation to join the former Harvard professor at the
    Millbrook Estate in Duchess County, N.Y., where he was conducting his
    unconventional drug research and advocating that the enlightened "turn on,
    tune in, and drop out."
    The Learys were married in 1967. The following year they were arrested for
    drug possession in Laguna Beach, Calif. Mrs. Leary was released on bail,
    but Mr. Leary was held in the state prison at San Louis Obispo.
    According to counterculture lore, Mrs. Leary, with the aid of the Weather
    Underground and other radical groups, helped Leary escape from prison by
    climbing a telephone line over the prison wall. The couple fled the country
    with forged passports and found refuge with the Black Panthers in Algeria,
    until international publicity led the Panthers to "detain" them.
    The couple then escaped to Switzerland. They separated in 1971. Two years
    later, Mr. Leary was apprehended while trying to enter Afghanistan and was
    returned to the United States. After serving three years in prison, he was
    released on parole in 1976. The couple divorced later that year.
    Mrs. Leary would remain underground for 20 more years, living in
    Afghanistan, Italy, and Central and South America. After assuming the name
    Sarah Woodruff, she returned to this country in 1980 and lived on Cape Cod
    before returning to California in 1993.
    Yesterday, her friend Denis Berry said, "She was in hiding for 23 years
    because she didn't want to be brought back to corroborate Timothy's
    testimony about the people who helped them escape."
    Joyce Johnson, a writer for the Cape Codder newspaper, was friendly with
    Mrs. Leary during the 1980s and '90s, when she lived in Provincetown and
    Truro and held administrative posts at the Provincetown Inn and
    Provincetown radio station WOMR-FM. She described Mrs. Leary as a "very
    sensitive and caring woman with a good sense of humor, who was always
    trying to quit smoking and worrying about her weight."
    "She had very little money and was always afraid that the feds would get
    her," Johnson said. "She had a very rough life."
    In 1993 Mrs. Leary returned to California, where she was cleared of bail
    jumping and fugitive charges with the help of a lawyer hired by her former
    In her final years, Mrs. Leary, who leaves a brother, Gary Woodruff of Long
    Beach, Calif., wrote freelance articles and managed the trust that
    administers Leary's archives.
    The couple renewed their acquaintanceship. In 1995, while Mr. Leary was
    conducting a very public fight against prostate cancer, she said, "I think
    there is an added sweetness to Tim now. In the past you could say he was
    brilliant, bigger than life, all those things, but not so much a sweet
    person. Now there is a gentleness about him."
    Every year since Mr. Leary's death in 1996, his friends held a memorial pot
    luck dinner in his honor. Last year, at what was billed as the fifth and
    final dinner, Mrs. Leary located some of Timothy's ashes that hadn't been
    lofted into space with the rest of his remains. She mixed the ashes with
    glitter and divided them into 75 thumb-sized plastic bags which were passed
    out as party favors.
    "She made sure that when they threw the ashes, he would go out in style,"
    Berry said.

    This story ran on page B7 of the Boston Globe on 2/12/2002.

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