Georgia Ann Machemer, 72, passed away peacefully on March 30 at her home in Fearrington Village. Born in Norristown, PA, she was a graduate of Wellesley College, where she studied science and classics, taking honors in Greek. She earned her Ph.D. in Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and also studied at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece, and in Rome and Munich. In 1977, she and her husband, J. Douglas Minyard, whom she had met in graduate school, moved to Greensboro, NC, where he headed the Classics Department at UNC-Greensboro. He was a Latinist and she a Hellenist.Two years after her husband passed away in 1990, she moved to Chapel Hill, and later to Fearrington Village, and taught in the Classics and History Departments at UNC-Chapel Hill and the Department of Classical Studies at Duke. She was a dedicated scholar who devoted her life to teaching, research and writing in the areas of Greek tragedy and philosophy. Her intellectual prowess and passion for all things Greek, especially Aristotle, is best manifested in the fact that Friedrich Solmsen invited her to read with him: they labored together over the inscrutable Plotinus for years. She was a supportive colleague and a generous mentor to students at every level. In addition to her scholarly publications, she wrote a notable introduction to Euripides’ "Medea" in the Oxford Greek Tragedies in New Translations series. Her ongoing research was on Genesis in Empedocles, which colleagues plan to present for her in the near future.A talented amateur photographer and an elegant writer with a passion for nature, she enjoyed long walks during which she endeavored to capture with her camera moments of beauty in the modern world; through these photographs and the poems they inspired her to write, she sought parallels between what she observed and the ideas of form and beauty in the ancient texts she studied so fervently. In addition to her poetry and the many beautifully crafted letters she sent to relatives and friends, she wrote and performed in amateur theatricals and participated in drama-reading groups. Her love for the arts—not only for the theater, but for classical ballet and music, in particular music from the Baroque period, especially Bach—made her a devoted, though not uncritical, supporter of local performing arts groups and museums, not least the North Carolina Zoo, whose artful re-creations of diverse natural habitats she admired greatly. A dedicated singer, she participated in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Community Chorus, the Fearrington Village Voices and the Fearrington Village Singers, where she sang with the sopranos and served as the publicity chair for several years. She is survived by her loving son, Joshua Minyard, of Los Angeles; her sister, Corona Machemer, of New York City; her brother, Paul Machemer, of Yardley, PA; and a large circle of close friends, ranging from college classmates to colleagues in academe, from students she taught to the small group she regularly joined for coffee at the Goat after her morning walks, from fellow participants in weekly Jazzercize classes to the two girlfriends she met regularly for tea. By all those who loved her, she will be greatly missed. A memorial service will be held on a date to be announced.
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