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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Hotchener, Marie Barnard Russak

(1865- 1945). Noted American theosophical worker who joined the Theosophical Society (TS) in 1906. She was born on October 7, 1865 (the 1938 TS Yearbook states 1867). She was the daughter of Judge Allyn M. Barnard. She married Frank Russak in 1899, but was widowed in 1915. She abandoned an outstanding operatic career and a Wagnerian engagement at Bayeuth in order to become Honorary Private Secretary to Henry S. OLCOTT, accompanying him on some of his tours. She was with him at his death in 1907. After Olcott’s death, she became secretary to Annie BESANT and was appointed by her in 1909 as an International Lecturer for the TS. She was Associate Editor of The Theosophist when that journal was published in the U.S. for a time. In 1912, she returned to the U.S. to tour that Section as a representative of Annie Besant, providing, for members of that Section, a link with Col. Olcott and his Adept Teachers whom she had seen visit him on his deathbed. In 1916, she married Henry Hotchener, a prominent U.S. member of the TS. In 1923, they donated to the American Section a home on a hill at Ojai, built by Grace Duff and which they had lived in, for use by the Esoteric Section of the TS in America. It continues to be used for that purpose to this date.

She died on March 4, 1945, in Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California.

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