Maryalls Gail Bedford
Maryalls Gail Bedford, whose gifts for organization and
advocacy led her to a career as a librarian and author of a book on library
services for the blind and physically disabled, passed away June 14 at her home
in Washington, D.C. She was 72.
from Fessenden High School in 1964 and went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts
degree from Jamestown College in 1968 and a Master of Science degree from the
University of North Dakota in 1970.
Maryalls had Achromatopsia (color blindness), a congenital
disability affecting her vision which she described as akin to watching a black
and white movie. She was a versatile expert in library science, working in
recent years as a library assistant for ABC News in Washington and as a
research librarian in Artificial Intelligence for the U.S. Naval Research
Laboratory. She performed library technical services and cataloging for
Southeastern University and Washington Theological Union, respectively, in
D.C., where she acquired expertise in rare books. She would become Associate
Professor and Catalog Librarian at the University of the District of Columbia
in 2006, a position from which she retired in 2016.
always bringing people together, whether it was Election Night or New Year’s
Eve, a Super Bowl get-together or something interesting on TV. At Maryalls’s
place the food was always good - from Thanksgiving buffets to BYOBs. She loved
all animals, especially her cats Woolette and Junior – who would use his paws
to shine visitors’ shoes as a greeting every time they came to the door – and
most recently, Donnie.
optimistic about life and its people, but also serendipitous. She found great
inspiration as a talented singer in church choirs, yet could be seen trying her
hand at casino jackpots until the wee hours of the morning.
continually sought to improve the lot of others, as well as herself. She
founded The New Dawn, a dating service and exchange for LGBT women, first as a
paper newsletter and later online. She was an honest person with a great sense
of humor and humility. Most of all, she was a trailblazer.
Maryalls was the daughter of Gordon
George Bedford and Marlyce Beatrice Bedford of Fessenden, N.D. She is survived by her brother Gary Bedford
and wife Karen O’Keefe of Sun City, Ariz.; nephew Jason Bedford of Moorhead,
Minn.; niece Susan Bronson and husband Ryan Bronson of Wahpeton, N.D.; cousins
Paulette Hollender and husband John Hollender of Conway, Ark., Gayle Anderson and
husband Ron Anderson of Pekin, N.D., Carolle Ditrich and husband Neil Ditrich of
Surprise, Ariz.; and dear friend, Bill Fleming of Washington, D.C. She was preceded in death by her parents and
brother Keith Bedford and wife Sandra Bedford of Wahpeton, N.D.