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Maryalls Gail Bedford

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.

Maryalls graduated 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. 

Maryalls was 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. 

Maryalls was 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. 

Maryalls 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.

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