Elizabeth Wendy Gardiner Wisner

BRUNSWICK – Born Elizabeth Gardiner Wisner in New York City, June 5, 1947, Wendy (as she was known to all) was exuberant, playful, combative, smart, curious, generous to a fault. She had a keen sense of social justice, and she played a mean game of tennis.Wendy was the daughter of Frank G. Wisner, one of the founders of the Central Intelligence Agency, and Mary Knowles “Polly” Wisner (later Fritchey).Wendy attended the Potomoc School and St Timothy’s School in Maryland. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1969, and years later earned a PhD from Boston University in American History. Her doctoral thesis was published as “Cold War Crucible” in 1996.In 1970, Wendy married Charles Bruce Hazard of Norwich, Vt., both then teaching in New York’s public school system. In 1971, they moved to Maine, bought a farm and soon had two children, Isaac Peace Hazard and Phoebe Somerset Hazard (now Backler).In early years in Maine, Wendy taught at the New Day School in Mount Vernon, co-owned and ran Slate’s Restaurant in Hallowell, and published the Maine Progressive and the Dissident Magazine. Wendy would later teach at both the University of Southern Maine and the University of Maine at Augusta, where she counted inmates at the Maine State Prison among her most conscientious students. Additionally, she taught at the Johns Hopkins Center at the University of Nanjing, China, and at the University of the East in Manila as a Fulbright Scholar.Wendy was a fervent supporter of progressive political causes. She picked cotton with the Sandinistas and was proud of her arrest record as an anti-war protester. She was also a proponent of cooperative action and negotiated settlements, serving for several years on the board of the United Nations Association of Maine.Wendy greatly enjoyed life on her farm in Belgrade which she considered her home. An excellent horsewoman, she raised cows, sheep, and pigs, maintaining abundant and beautiful flower and vegetable gardens. Arranging fun escapades for children was another farm passion.Off Off to Boston contests, Fox and Hounds games, and endless treasure hunts were regular features of farm life. Family gatherings at the farm always centered around Wendy’s kitchen where she would carry on two or three hot conversations while simultaneously preparing varied, elegant and delicious meals. That kitchen with Wendy in it was a magical place.Wendy died on May 28, 2020 of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. She is survived by Bruce, her husband of nearly 50 years; Isaac and Angie Bengzon Hazard of Arlington, Mass. and their children Kai and Oliver; Phoebe and David Backler of Milan, N.H. and their children Abraham, Silas, and Henry; her brothers, Frank Wisner of New York, Ellis Wisner of Bethesda, Md., and Graham Wisner of Washington, D.C.Wendy will be deeply missed and warmly remembered by her family, by her many friends, and by students far and wide who benefited from her spirited and trenchant engagement in their educations.

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