Remembering Alice Marill Kobayashi

1138756299Former Southeast Conference Minister Rev. Dr. Tim Downs’ mother-in-law, Alice Marill Kobayashi, 93, died January 22 in Atlanta, GA. She was born in 1922 in Vienna, Austria to Dr. Alfred Marill and his wife Klara (Rubin) Marill and immigrated as a refugee to the US in 1938 after Hitler’s Nazi regime annexed Austria. She was a life-long advocate for refugees, grateful for her own good fortune and for that of her family, all of whom escaped the holocaust.

She was the widow of Professor Fritz Kobayashi who taught at Lowell Technological Institute (later UMass Lowell) from 1957 to 1977. She resided in Lowell and later in nearby Woburn from 1948 to 2008, when she moved to Atlanta. She was active in Christ Church United in Lowell (UCC), served on the Committee for Social Action of the church, taught English as a second language at the Lowell International Institute, and worked at Wyman Elementary School in Woburn, MA to provide support to ESL children. In her 80s she established a Project Linus group to create and deliver hand-made blankets to seriously ill children in Boston-area hospitals. She was a graduate of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, VA.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Carol Kobayashi and Rev. Timothy Downs of Atlanta and son and daughter-in-law Richard and Susan Kobayashi of Belmont, MA; her sister, Gertrude Stanchfield of Washington, DC; four grandchildren: Chris (Jenn) Downs, Andrew Kobayashi of Atlanta, Samuel (Dianna) Kobayashi of West Roxbury, MA and Daniel (Emily) Kobayashi of Maseru, Lesotho; three great grandchildren: Julia Kobayashi and Matthew Kobayashi of West Roxbury, MA and Watson Kobayashi Mendoza of Atlanta. She was deeply proud of her children, and a devoted and loving grandmother and great-grandmother.

A memorial service will be held at the Julia Thompson Smith Chapel on the campus of Agnes Scott College on February 15th at 11:00 am; Rev. Timothy Downs and Rev. Susannah Davis officiating.

Memorial donations can be made to Kirkwood United Church of Christ, Atlanta, GA ( Online condolences can be made at