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Longtime Quaker Peace Activist Dies


Longtime Quaker peace activist, theater supporter, and mental health advocate Gene Knudsen Hoffman died last week at the age of 91. Hoffman, part of the Knudsen dairy family, moved to Santa Barbara in 1959 with her second husband and their seven kids. She threw herself into the life of the community, appearing in plays, underwriting the Peace Resource Center, and helping the Night Counseling Center get off the ground. She traveled to Israel and Palestine to document the mutual fears, hopes, and concerns of people living in both places. Hoffman resisted the Cold War in the 1950s by campaigning against loyalty oaths, which were then required. In the 1980s, she led trips of peaceniks to what was then still the Soviet Union, planting sunflower gardens in the shadow of KGB headquarters.

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