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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: December 30, 2018 12:54PM

She died of thyroid cancer. I knew her, although I was never introduced to her famous father, and we lost touch over the years. She was roughly my age (early 60s.) She was very bright and artistically gifted, having been extensively trained in classical ballet. She left high school early to go to Harvard, worked in the financial sector in NYC, and finally, as a second career, went into urban teaching, as did I. She married outside of the Mormon church, and I'm not sure about her activity level.

https://www.mskcc.org/videos/clarissa-bushman-s-story-it-s-wonderful-life?fbclid=IwAR0MoLow1LKKPt5d3_J63zeXwgwI8nagZAcZew17dIGFSOWKlvFS85nVjcI

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: December 30, 2018 01:10PM

That is a wonderful tribute to her life.

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Posted by: kathleen ( )
Date: December 30, 2018 08:57PM

What a scary disease. Poor woman.

:(

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Posted by: smirkorama ( )
Date: December 30, 2018 09:04PM

Hopefully she was a much more genuine person than her ultra phony totally full of crap disgusting sell out sperm donor LD$ Inc apologist male parent, but that would not be hard to do. In fact it would be difficult to be that phony.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: December 31, 2018 01:15AM

I can tell you that she was well regarded by people in many different walks of life. I think the fact that she gave up a lucrative Wall Street job for teaching in NYC public schools speaks for itself, but she also has a transgendered child whom she fully supported (Sloane Ortel, documented in the linked article below. Scroll down:)

https://www.institutionalinvestor.com/article/b15yww7r3f1jpm/gay-on-wall-street

Clarissa's ex-husband is investor and conservative columnist Charles Ortel.

You are entitled to your feelings about her dad, and I think we can agree that his ability to rationalize Mormon history is Olympic in scope, but I must say that his book Rough Stone Rolling can serve as a bridge out for the faithful, and he does cite Fawn Brodie's work in his footnotes.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: December 31, 2018 09:10AM

Did she leave the Mormon church?

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: December 31, 2018 10:21AM

I don't know. All I know for certain is that she married a nevermo in a mainstream Protestant church.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: December 31, 2018 10:54AM

The fact she married a never Mo kind of speaks for itself, in my mind anyway.

:)

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: December 31, 2018 11:18AM

Same here. I never saw anything to indicate that she was an active Mormon in her adult life. She may have been, but I never saw it. It would be understandable if she remained on the books for her parents' sake.

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Posted by: smirkorama ( )
Date: December 31, 2018 10:16AM

Grant Palmer told me that he thought more people by far were leaving THE (MORmON) church over Bushman's book than they were over his (Palmer's) book.

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Posted by: 3X ( )
Date: January 02, 2019 02:20PM

While sniffing around the Web for news of Clarissa, I stumbled upon:



https://www.institutionalinvestor.com/article/b15yww7r3f1jpm/gay-on-wall-street


which describes Sloane Ortel as a transgender woman, child of Clarissa Bushman.


Hard to imagine daughter or mother having even tenuous connections with the mormon "church".



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/02/2019 02:21PM by 3X.

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Posted by: Sloane Ortel ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 01:38PM

It's probably a bit late to add a comment, but my mom would have wanted me to thank you all for thinking of her. She was indeed wonderful, and I've been continuously surprised at how many others loved her as I did.

Since her relationship to the faith and family has come up, she would want me add clarification.

My mother was not doctrinaire in any respect. But that said, her funeral was held at the Manhattan temple and she had been re-baptized about a year before her death. She was Mormon in her own way, which meant going to church for music and meditation more than scripture, and in effect practicing a sui generis spirituality. For instance, my sister and I were not raised in the church, and her final Christmas gift to us was a matching tattoo for all three of us. The line "believe in Orion" from the poem I've linked below is a linchpin of it. I hope it can be meaningful to you in the same way it has long been to us.

She also lived with my Grandparents for more than a decade, and loved them very much. I do too. They are tremendous supporters of mine, and gave me a proper blessing (you know the kind) immediately after I shared my gender news with them. I am lucky to have them both in my life, and wish we lived in a world where the love they greeted me with could be assumed. Their wisdom has been particularly helpful as I navigate the political eroticization of trans bodies, which has some very interesting intersection with early mormon history. I link to a fabulous book about it below.

Mom's papers are headed to the BYU Archives before too long, and include her voluminous, candid diaries. I hope they'll allow any future interest in her complicated life to be met with her own words. In the meantime, the last link below is what I said at her memorial.

Wishing you all well.

Sloane Ortel

Poem ==> https://motherbird.com/dec18.htm

Book ==> https://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/C/bo24836940.html

Comments at her memorial ==> http://srvo.org/clarissa-bushman-10-slash-3-slash-1956-12-slash-15-slash-2018

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 02:05PM

Sloane, lovely to hear from you. I am so sorry for your loss. I knew your mom in her younger days -- I wish you could have seen her then, but at that point you were but a twinkle in her eye. ;) I'm glad that your grandparents have supported you.

Since this is a support board for those who have left the LDS church, I'm sure you will understand that feelings about the faith are often complicated for board members here. I am a longtime nevermo friend of the board. I understand how your mom would have had a complicated relationship with the church as well.

She was lucky to have you and your sister in her life. I wish you both peace and love moving forward.

Sloane -- one additional thing that you might want to consider. We have had accounts from board members in the past that valuable family pioneer journals they donated to the BYU library disappeared, never to be seen again, evidently because not all aspects of them were faith promoting. I would strongly urge you and your sister to consider retaining your mom's journals and keeping them within the family instead.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2019 02:10PM by summer.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 03:18PM

Thanks for visiting, Sloane. I suspect your grandfather's relationship with Mormonism is complex as well. In any case, people have to find their own ways in life and it sounds like your mother did so thoughtfully.

I'd agree with what summer says. The church buries diaries and other documents, particularly when they come from prominent people or families. I wouldn't trust the church or BYU with anytime.

Best wishes.

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Posted by: Sloane Ortel ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 02:28PM

Summer -

Thank you! I really do appreciate the thread here, and am glad there's a forum like this around. Transitions of any kind are tough. A community of fellow travelers is priceless in such times.

From what I've read of mom's early diaries, I wish I could have seen her then too. You raise a great point about the archives. I've heard lots of stories along those lines but none about recent purges. We'll retain copies in any case, but also be sure to talk it over.

Glad to connect - wish you all the best.

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