Obituary : Barbara Bick
After a five-year battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Barbara Bick died peacefully on Friday, April 3, in her son Robert Bick's house in Vineyard Haven, surrounded by family, including all three of her children. She had summered on the Island for 25 years.
A peace activist and early feminist, she was born on April 25,1925, to Samuel and Lillian Lichtenstein, in Washington, D.C., where she lived most of her life. A graduate of Antioch College, Barbara married Leon Bick after WWII. They had three children together, and were divorced in 1966.
In the 1960s, Barbara was a co-founder of Women Strike for Peace, and served as director of its Washington office as well as editor of its publication, The Memo. She was also involved in the civil rights struggle, both nationally and in Washington.
Barbara was a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in the 70s, and served on the board of Institute for Women's Policy Research for over a decade. In 1972 Barbara and several other fellows left IPS to found a more activist think tank - the Public Policy Resource Center. She was also co-director of the National Conference of State and Local Public Policies, an organization of progressive elected officials from around the United States. Her work for peace, civil rights, and women's rights was unending.
In 1985, as Founding President of Friends of St. Elizabeth's, the only Federal psychiatric hospital, she became an advocate for the mentally ill. She was appointed to the D.C. State Mental Health Planning Council by three different mayors.
She has been published in MS. Magazine and in the New York Times magazine.
Barbara spent much of the 90s working on behalf of the women of Afghanistan in association with NEGAR and other organizations. In 2001, she was visiting Afghanistan to report on the status of women in the territories held by the Northern Alliance when their leader, Ahmed Shah Massoud was murdered two days before 9/11. This was one of several trips chronicled in her recently published book "Walking The Precipice."
Barbara is survived by her brother Larry; her daughter, Katherine Bick, who resides in Washington; her son David Randy Bick and his wife, Susan, and their two boys, Nathan and David, of Chevy-Chase, Md.; and her son Robert Manuel and his wife, Jenni, and their three children, Rosie, Lily, and Rayne.
In accordance with Jewish tradition she was buried within three days at the Martha's Vineyard Hebrew Center Cemetery, W. Spring St., Vineyard Haven, following a service at The Martha's Vineyard Hebrew Center. Arrangements were under the care of the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road.
Memorial services will be held in both Washington and Vineyard Haven later this year. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to support Afghan women at womenforwomen.org. Condolences should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.