In Memoriam: Mary Lee Enfield

On September 30, 2017, the IDA community lost a pioneer in the field, Mary Lee Enfield, Ph.D., who passed away at the age of 85 in Fargo, North DakotaDr. Enfield, a native of Minnesota, was a branch president of the IDA Upper Midwest and served on the IDA board of directors when it was the Orton Society. She was also one of the first lifetime members and a frequent presenter.

Dr. Enfield was perhaps best known as a co-creator of Project Read, a language arts program designed to teach students of all learning profiles to read. Project Read strategies formed the basis of Dr. Enfield’s dissertation in 1978, and the program continues to be used in classrooms today.

Dr. Enfield received her doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota, where she later became an instructor. She taught in the Bloomington, Minnesota school system where she was a coordinator of learning disabilities programs. Among other accomplishments, she was named Minnesota Special Educator of the Year for 1972. Dr. Enfield was also an author or co-author of many publications on learning disabilities, dyslexia, and reading instruction for the Orton Society, Project Read, and others. 

IDA is grateful for Dr. Enfield’s contributions to the organization’s history and her commitment while living to helping everyone who struggles to read.