Marida C. Hollos died on Tuesday, April 11, 2017, at the Philip Hulitar Hospice Center, Providence, peacefully, surrounded by her family.
She was born on February 9, 1940 in Budapest, Hungary. She escaped from Hungary after the failure of the 1956 Revolution. Her family stayed in a refugee camp in Austria for a few weeks and then went by ship to the United States. They initially stayed in Whittier, California. Soon afterwards they settled in San Francisco where they had nearby relatives. Marida was placed in an American high school, resulting in considerable culture shock. At first Marida did not know a word of English. English was not taught in high schools in Soviet Hungary. However, she was a fast learner and soon graduated from Abraham Lincoln high school in San Francisco in 1958.
After high school she went to the University of California, Berkeley for undergraduate school and graduate school in anthropology. In 1970 she received her PhD in Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley and in 1981 her Master of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health at Harvard University.
Marida joined the faculty at Brown University in 1974 and retired from the Department of Anthropology in 2015. She examined human development in its social and cultural contexts. Her dissertation was conducted among children living in an isolated farm area in rural Norway. Her next research projects were conducted in southern Nigeria.
In the 1990s, she added a new area of research: demographic anthropology. This shift in focus stemmed from her interest in how demographic processes affect children's welfare and behavior. Specifically, she began looking at the manner in which fertility outcomes influence the context in which children grow up. This research began in Nigeria and continued in northern Tanzania. In both cultures, infertility gave rise to serious social problems for women.
Throughout her entire period of study in Africa, she also conducted research in Hungary. This work focused on social and political developments spurred by the sudden changes in Eastern Europe. In addition to several books, Marida published over 50 articles and book chapters.
At Brown University, she served on many major committees and received the President's Award for Excellence. For all of us who knew Marida personally and professionally, we will miss her courage, her irreverence, her tenacity, her wit, and her sometimes-biting sense of humor – all combined with her deep loyalty and warm embrace of everyone and everything she cared about.
She is survived by her husband, James Anderson and her daughter, Nora Marton, both of Providence, and her brother, Steven Halvorson, of Berkeley, California.
Published in The Providence Journal on May 9, 2017.