A

Ralph Abascal
One of three lawyers who went to Washington with the Section 504 contingent, Ralph was general counsel of the San Francisco based California Rural Legal Assistance when he died. He was a champion of the rights of poor people, farmworkers, welfare recipients, elderly and people with disabilities. Most notable of his over 200 cases were the 1969 suit that led to the ban on the pesticide DDT, a 1975 suit that banned the use of the short handled hoe in California fields, and the recent challenge to Proposition 187 which prompted a judge to block the exclusion of illegal immigrants from public colleges. In the 1970's, he working against Governor Ronald Reagan's attempt to cut in half the state's allowance for attendant care. Passage of Section 504 and the ultimate passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act are part of his legacy of citizen empowerment and advocacy. [Ken Stein]
Edna Adler
Edna Adler, the Deaf Woman of the Century, as cited by the Silent News, passed away on February 20, 2000. She was a long time associate of Boyce Williams at the old HEW - and while Boyce got much of the credit for sweeping social gains in the deaf community, Edna was the quiet one behind the scenes, working with him in unison. [Barry Strassler, Editor, DeafDigest]
Mildred Albronda
A biographer who specialized in recounting the lives of California artists and a pioneer in making art and art history more accessible to the deaf. As a docent at the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco she understood the difficulties for the deaf in participating in the museum"s guided tours and lectures. So she learned sign language and became a charter member of Docents of the Deaf. While working with the deaf, she became inspired to write about artists who had attended the California School for the Deaf in Berkeley. Her biography of the deaf photographer, Theophilus Hope d"Estrella - "The Magic Lantern Man" - was printed as a commemorative edition for the celebration of the 125th anniversary of the founding of the California School for the Deaf. She is especially remembered for authoring the definitive biography of the great deaf Berkeley sculptor, Douglas Tilden. [Ken Stein]
Cynthia Anderson
I did not know Cynthia, but I know she and her brother Karl both lived in Berkeley. Karl had (he may still have -- I've lost track of him) Friedrich's Ataxia, and Cynthia may have had the same. [Jonathan Gold, Berkeley, CA]
Sara Attimere
Hartford, CT
Tom Avila
Tom Avila lived in Berkeley since the early 1970s. He was active in the community and was one of the people who started the sailing program for people with disabilities at Lake Merritt in Oakland. During the 504 sit-in he did a variety of jobs from serving food, feeding people, and making phone calls. Whatever needed to be done, Tom was always ready to lend a helping hand. He stayed in the building for the entire 25 day sit-in. [Ken Stein]

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B

Elizabeth (Betty) Bacon

One of the most influential and dynamic advocates for the rights of people with disabilities in San Diego and California for more than 30 years, passed away unexpectedly due to illness Sunday, February 24, 2008, in San Diego. She was 61. Before her retirement in 2004, Betty worked for 29 years at San Diego State University, serving as Director of Disabled Student Services (DSS) for 25 years and for four years in the Office of Diversity and Equity, demonstrating leadership in the formulation of policies that affect SDSU employees and visitors to the campus. Betty became involved with disability issues after she sustained a spinal cord injury in 1968 as the result of a sporting accident. She used a wheelchair for the rest of her life. She subsequently completed a B.A. and Masters Degree in counseling at San Jose State University. She became interested in the development of the support services program for disabled students at San Jose State University.

That involvement marked the beginning of a professional career for this petite, passionate, effective advocate for the rights of people with disabilities. Soon after in 1975, Betty moved to San Diego to direct the DSS program at San Diego State University. She took over a fledgling program serving about 100 students with disabilities. The office was in the old Campus Laboratory School, in space that had formerly housed the kitchen for the school cafeteria. Under her direction, the program grew from a staff of two to 15 full-time employees and numerous part-time staff which now serves over 1,100 students annually. Betty's on-campus responsibilities also included consulting with staff in Facilities Planning and Physical Plant on architectural accessibility to ensure compliance with state and federal codes and regulations. When the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990, Betty coordinated the required campus self-evaluation. The SDSU program, which she directed, became a model for many others and she was often called upon as a mentor and guide to other Directors of programs for students with disabilities in higher education. In her campus work, she was a tireless advocate for an accessible campus and for equal access for students with disabilities to all university programs. In addition to developing the DSS program at SDSU, Betty was involved at the system-wide and state level. She served as the chair of the California State University DSS Directors, as a member of the CSU Chancellors Office Advisory Committee on Services for Students with Disabilities, and on a similar committee on Services for Faculty and Staff with Disabilities. Some of her additional accomplishments include: -- Serving on a variety of local boards and advisory committees to the City and County addressing such issues as architectural accessibility, access to public transportation and employment. -- Serving as an elected delegate to the 1977 National White House Conference on Handicapped Individuals. -- Founding Board Member of Community Service Center for the Disabled, now Access to Independence, in San Diego, one of the largest independent living centers in the country. Betty was appointed by Governor Wilson to the California Department of Rehabilitation Advisory Committee, and served as an advisor to the Office of the State Architect on code revisions. She also served as an executive committee member of the California Association for Postsecondary Education and Disability. In addition, she served on the Citizens Review Committee on ADA for the City of San Diego, as a member of the Accessibility Advisory Committee to the Port of San Diego, as a program evaluator at San Diego City College and several other community colleges. Betty went toe-to-toe with the oil industry to make gas pumps accessible, the housing industry over universal design, MTS on making the trolleys accessible, and the Mayor's Office on creating and sustaining a disability services position at City Hall.

Betty was always positive and respectful as well as tireless, knowledgeable, and tenacious in her dedication to an accessible community that is welcoming to everyone. In her own words, "I believe that we must work toward a world and a community that includes us all and values our differences." Predeceased by her parents, Dr. Alfons R. and Dorothy Bacon, she is survived by her twin sister Ellen (and Scott) Guthrie of Tallahassee, Florida, brother Chuck (and Caroline) Bacon of Falmouth, Massachusetts, sister Nancy (and David) Rothel of Dahlonega, Georgia, brother Frank (and AnnLiv) Bacon of Edina, Minnesota, brother Jim (and Jane) Chandler of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and niece Laura Wiley of Raleigh, North Carolina as well as numerous close friends and colleagues in San Diego, California, and nationwide who will all miss her wisdom, positive spirit, dedication, friendship and love. Betty loved nature, and felt strongly that the Earth must be cared for and protected so that all persons, including people with disabilities, might enjoy and thrive on our planet. As a result, she expressed a desire that in lieu of flowers any donations in her name be sent to the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy, or the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. A Celebration of Betty's Life will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 20, 2008 at the Town and County Resort & Convention Center, 500 Hotel Circle North (at Fashion Valley Road) in Mission Valley.Please sign the guest book at obituaries.uniontrib.com [Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune from 3/8/2008 - 3/11/2008]

Mark Bail
Phoenix, AZ
Lillian Baker
Chicago, IL
Jan Balter
A wonderful, beautiful, vivacious woman, Jan Balter had no tolerance for people who had little or no disability sensitivity. She was aware, involved in community activities, and a militant member when it was necessary to make political change. A life-long friend of Judy Heumann and Nancy D'Angelo, Jan definitely brought her East Coast attitude with her to Berkeley. She brought her assertiveness to the 504 demonstration where she was an active participant who occupied the Federal Building. Her loss to the community and to the disability movement cannot be measured. [Ken Stein]
Lyle Bald Eagle

A light has gone out in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Lyle Bald Eagle died yesterday [this was written April 8, 2000]. I have fallen on a stone. The wind has been knocked out of me. Lyle was a Lakota Sioux warrior who walked in two worlds. I know only what he told me of his life on the Pine Ridge reservation. It was always a plan to go there during the summer. It seemed that there was too much on my plate to get away - busy with a work and life in DC that suddenly doesn't seem near important enough to have missed those invitations.

He practiced traditional Sioux ways. He started the "Quad Squad," which was a group of wheelchair riders that advocated for independent living. He was utterly committed to building an independent living and rehabilitation center there. He worked for Vocational Rehabilitation and it was often hard for him to have patience with that bureaucracy while people with disabilities lived in remote areas with less than nothing. Material poverty is overwhelming on Pine Ridge and I cannot begin to grasp what it is like for those with significant disabilities. It must seem pretty bleak. There were over 200 using the services of the vocational rehabilitation office in Kyle, South Dakota. Kyle is only one small part of the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Lyle often spoke about being in the Color Guard as a Vietnam War veteran. It was an important aspect of his life, a way of manifesting the warrior role. With an ever encroaching white world, it is probably one of the few warrior images left.

We finally met at the five day ADAPT action in Washington, DC. ADAPT is the activist arm of the disability rights movement. When you move among "ADAPTERs", you are with the poorest, most excluded part of the disability rights movement. You are also with a delicious, diverse mix in terms of race, sex, sexual orientation, and age. Lyle was pretty comfortable with us.

He was sitting on the stairs off the hotel lobby. I realized who he was and sat right next to him. He mentioned prison and I said, "I've done that." He said, "I know." We'd both been political prisoners. Lyle as a displaced veteran sent back reeling from the war to the reservation with great rage and despair and no place to put it except a bottle and me a refugee urban guerilla leftist from the 70's. Doing time. Quite a bond. A veritable brother and sister super glue... Lyle's father was a Pipe Carrier and a Medicine man. Clearly those genes were passed down. One evening Lyle held a sacred pipe ceremony for a small group of us. The strength of Spirit was palpable.

After the ADAPT action, Lyle was stayed with my roommate Tom Olin and me for a week while he lobbied Congress and bureaucrats for funds for a planned Independent Living Center with living space.. People with disabilities are spread over the thousands of acres of the Pine Ridge reservation. There is no public transportation. He wanted a center that took account of these realities of reservation life. Where participants would have a place to stay while they got the independent living skills training they needed.

Given the twists, turns, brutality and suffering Lyle Bald Eagle encountered, it is remarkable that he lived his life with an open heart and absolute compassion. Counselor, father, husband, teacher, activist, friend. The loss of Lyle Bald Eagle will be felt by many.

"May Wakan-Tanka hold you on your journey to the light, Lyle. -- Mitakuye oyasin." [Janine Bertram Kemp, extracted from "Ode to Lyle Bald Eagle," as it appeared in Justice For All]

Dave Barr
Dave, my 1st Berkeley rooommate, was an ex-Illinoisan & Marine who survived 3 tours of duty in Vietnam only to become a quad by diving into an Illinois farm-pond 4 days after returning to civilian life. He came to Berkeley ca. 1973 and died in his chair of too much drink & too little human respect in 1980. Semper fi, Dave. ["CapnCrip"]
Arnold Beisser
Los Angeles, CA
Danielle Berrien
Danielle died as a result of nursing home abuse. Details will follow. [Rhonda Ferrero]
Sheldon Berrol, MD
A man of impeccable integrity both in his personal and professional life, Shelly was at once a visionary and an activist. As an early advocate in the Independent Living Movement, he participated fully in the civil rights struggle for individuals with disabilities. A notable figure in the development of CIL, he was an active board member, a frequent lecturer in the CIL education series, the primary medical consultant, a mentor, and a friend. During the 1970's newsworthy San Francisco sit-ins at the Federal HEW office-to prod the implementation of Section 504 regulations-he was on 24-hour call. Unfailingly available, Shelly was loved, respected and trusted by all those who knew and worked with him. Professionally he was most widely recognized and honored for his contributions to the field of traumatic brain injury. The recipient of many awards, Shelly wore many hats, juggled many roles-e.g., leader, department head (rehabilitation, SF General Hospital), founding editor of the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, author, national and international consultant, conference organizer, board member of professional and community groups, chair of numerous committees. He made the difficult appear easy and the improbable a possibility. The multifaceted positions he filled with such apparent ease are now divided among many. Shelly's legacy lives on. [Ken Stein]
Adam Michael Bertaina
(1972-1992)-Without saying a word or walking a step, Adam helped us find the strength in difference, the joy of risk and the love in our hearts.-- So read Adam's obituary. Adam died in his sleep at his home in Santa Rosa which he shared with five other young adults with disabilities and a very caring and exuberant staff. When Adam died, his housemates and staff planted a rose tree and placed a monument to him in their garden. When Adam was four years old, he and his mother Beverly joined the 504 sit-in early on and stayed for a week. Adam's parents write: His sweet demeanor and total passivity inspired and allowed those that cared for him to be risk taking, demanding, non-compromising, and occasionally tyrannical with the world around him. Adam went places and did things just like any other member of the family-Yosemite; Orcas Island; Grand Canyon; camping every summer, places accessible and some not. Regional center counselors, teachers and administrators reacted with unfounded fear when they heard Adam was to be in their program. When he arrived the status quo was going to be challenged and conditions would improve for Adam and others that they served. His impact continues to be felt. [Ken Stein]
Terrence Bidelle
1947-1995 Born in Watertown, N.Y. Terry became a paraplegic in a motorcycle accident in up-state New York in the mid-'70s. He lived in South Berkeley for nearly twenty years, and along with his little dog, "BB", was quite a familar sight in this neighborhood. He was a "bro" and I miss him. [Blane Beckwith]
Wade Blank
From Denver, CO, Wade was the founder and central leader of ADAPT, starting with the successful demonstrations against public transit agencies and forcing the national acceptance of the need for accessible public transit. Going on from there, to start up the current movement against incarceration of our fellow PWDs in nursing homes. [J. Nandi]
Jenna Blue
Jenna Blue died on July 2, 1999, of cancer. Jenna was involved with the CNMHC (California InterNetwork of Mental Health Clients) off and on for many years, producing the newsletter until 1995 (I believe) and coordinating the Self-Help Committee for many years. Jenna was the person who facilitated the statewide self-help groups' teleconferences that the CNMHC sponsored in year's past. I first met her by another name, Lani Plaster. She lived in Riverside, and was also very active in our cause there. [Sally Zinman, via the ADAPT LA mailing list.]
David Bodenstein
Washington, D.C.
Sue Bowls
Portland, OR
George Breyno
Pittsburgh, PA
Gaby Brimmer
Gaby Brimmer from Mexico passed January 3, 2000 of a stroke. She was a mother, writer, poet and activist. Her most visible role was that portrayed in a film about her life -- growing up with cerebral palsy in Mexico. She founded an organization in Mexico called Adepam for disabled children. ... among many other things.... She also attended the D.C. women's conference in -- i think it was 1997 - in Bethesda MD. [Suzanne Levine]
Phyllis Burkhead
November 05, 1999--"Advocate For Disabled Is Found Dead In Hotel." From Louisville, KY, Burkhead had joined the ADAPT action in Columbus, OH. Stephanie Thomas, another ADAPT member in town, said most of the members had left Columbus by the time Burkhead was discovered. "It's a real tragedy. She was a longtime dedicated member," Thomas said. "She had gotten out of a nursing home years ago and didn't want to go back, so it meant a lot to her to fight for those with disabilities to live in their own homes." The group had rallied at two state buildings to support House Bill 215 -- legislation that would give people with disabilities more independent-living options--and later many were arrested for occupying lobbies of the Riffe Center and of Rhodes Tower. [Columbus Dispatch]
Byron B. Burnes

Byron B. Burnes passed away recently. The DEAFDIGEST wishes to honor his memory by dedicating the August 29, 1999 issue to him. He served for many years as the president of the National Association of the Deaf in the days when the NAD was a struggling West Coast-based national organization. It was a full time part time job with him as his real job in every day life was a teacher at the California School for the Deaf at Berkeley.

A tale about BBB, as he was known, merits mention. One of the NAD officers suddenly passed away in the late sixties. The widow refused to relinquish office his papers to the NAD, spurning continued requests from the NAD to do so. After eleven years of stalemate, BBB stepped in and interceded on behalf of the NAD. Not only he drove across the nation to the widow's house, but he also packed the papers into boxes, and stashed these in his car. And then he drove all the way to Silver Spring to personally deliver these boxes. Once that was done, he then drove back home, across the country. He didn't have to do it - the NAD didn't ask him to do it, but he volunteered - and without fanfare he got the job done! [Barry Strassler, Editor, DEAFDIGEST]

Congressman Phillip Burton
During his tenure in politics from 1964 to 1983, Burton was influential in passing legislation for miners who contracted black lung disease, passing Supplemental Security Income for seniors and people with disabilities, and expanding the federal park and wildlands system. He served in the California legislature before going to the U.S. Congress. He supported the demonstrator's demands for the signing of Section 504. During the sit-in on April 15, 1977, Representative Burton, along with Representative George Miller, held an ad hoc hearing at the sit-in site of the House Education and Labor Committee to hear testimony from the demonstrators and a representative of HEW from Washington. After five hours of testimony, Burton said "I only wish all of my colleagues had heard this. I don't think there is a human being in this country who isn't standing taller because of the protest." In a biography of Burton, John Jacobs writes that "many were drawn to him by his utter incorruptibility and by his passion for the causes to which he devoted himself. " [Ken Stein]

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C

Cindy Callis-Oberg
Portland, OR

I worked for the Easter Seal Society in Oregon from 1964 to 1967 helping to run their summer camp. Cindy came to camp as a young student and quickly won a special place in everyones heart. We recently held a reunion of sorts and started looking to include Cindy. What we found was a lonely listing here For Cindy Callis-Oberg. I felt it necessary to tell the world I knew her as just Cindy Callis from Corvallis.

Cindy had a rapier wit and was able to dish it out as well as take it. She was a grand conversationalist. She had a graceful and aristocratic manner of speech. Anyone who knew her would know what I meant when I say she reminds me of a young Audrey Hepburn. From what I understand, she went on to do many good things.

I am profoundly saddened that she didn't make it to the reunion. I loved her and hadn't seen her in 40 years and needless to say, I also shed a tear for every one of those years. [Mike Croft]

Corinne Camp

On Wednesday, August 25, 1999, Corinne Camp of Petaluma died. She was a dear friend to me, a Visionary and sufferer of cruel childhood abuse, and an Accountability Caucus member. A Nurse Practitioner for 22 years, with a specialty in reproductive health care, giving unstintingly to all who needed her help. She met her husband Gary Bruton, while a public health nurse in rural Colorado. Gary was a loving husband who stood by Corinne and supported her through several lengthy hospitalizations over the years. They had two children, Charlie, now deceased, and Claire, who is currently in High School in Petaluma. Charlie's death a year and a half ago at the age of 18, from an asthma condition, was devastating for Corinne and her family.

One of the great heroes of the California clients movement, Corinne's incredible bravery and leadership exposed organized staff rape and sexual abuse of clients at the County hospital in Santa Rosa (1987-90). For two years, she took every sort of social abuse imaginable, and stood alone against a county-wide effort to cover up this situation. In the end the Mental Health Advisory Board Chair was forced to resign, and the County M.H. Director was forced to resign although he only received a 'rap on the knuckles' by the Board of Governors for his transgression of professional ethics.

Corinne was always involved with people, always caring, always giving of herself to the last full level of devotion. As a medically trained person she never denied the importance of medications, but she had an unparalleled insight into the fraudulence of the 'medical model' and the essential role of trauma in mental health etiology. Some people move the world by their moral example. Corinne was one of these, and we will miss her beyond all measure. [Andrew Phelps]

Leonard Cannady
Denver, CO
Ed Carney

The DEAFDIGEST dedicates the August 6, 2000, edition to Ed Carney, Fenwick Island, Delaware who passed away earlier in the week. ECC, as many of us know him, served for many years as a leader and a crusader for the rights of the deaf. Here are few tales we should know about ECC:

== was Gallaudet's first "returning war veteran." Him, a deaf man fighting in World War II? Yes, but not in combat but behind factory production lines in Akron, Ohio. He left Gallaudet to take a high paying war plant job. At that time Gallaudet had a policy of permanently barring dropouts from returning to school. ECC fought tooth and nail to get re-admitted - hence the status as Gallaudet's first "war veteran."

== was so thrilled about the war ending that he immediately left Akron to seek fortunes elsewhere, even to the point of abandoning his own tools at the factory!

== served as the first editor of The NAD Broadcaster when this newspaper was launched in 1979.

== held many positions of high responsibility in the deaf community but his last position before he retired was with the National Captioning Institute. Serving as the NCI liaison with the deaf community, he listened to our closed captioning concerns during these early days and prevailed on NCI to act in our best interests. Needless to say when he retired we have lost the best liaison NCI has ever had!

He will never be forgotten by all of us. Thank you, Ed. [Barry Strassler]

John Chewski
[Jonathan Gold]
Ila May Cohen-Kemper
1950 - 1980, Simi Valley, CA. She is the mother of our child. She is responsible for all my good points, and all my bad points are in spite of her. She taught me how to love and how to fight for what is right. She is proud of our daughter Erica. I miss her so . . . We will see each other again at the Rainbow Bridge. [Edward L. Kemper, D.C. & Delores]
John D. Collins III
Alexandria, VA
Kathy Salemi Condon
Chicago, IL
Hon Silvio Conte
MA
Tim Cook
Philadelphia, PA
Willie Cornelison
Denver, CO
Martha Courtot

It is with deep sorrow that I report the death of Martha Courtot, this morning, April 25, 2000 after a long illness. Martha was a fat, lesbian poet and writer of huge talent and great heart. She left the completion of the gathering of her life's writing to a few friends and her literary power of attorney to her daughter Cynthia who will finish the task she was unable to complete.

Martha published two books of poetry (Tribe and Journey) in 1977. Both are out of print. She was a member of Fat Chance, a fat women's dance/performance troupe which performed in the San Francisco/BayArea and Sonoma County between 1979 and 1981. She was denied a transplant cuz she was fat and disabled. [Mary Frances Platt]

Vernon Cox

When you are born with a disability and Afro-American some might say that you are born with a double whammy...not true for Vernon Cox. Vernon had a innate ability to put life and all it has to offer in to the broadest spectrum of reality. He opted to keep his eye on the long-range goal, know his opponents strongest and weakest points and define the steps to arrive at the heart of every matter.

One could always depend on Vernon. A commitment was a commitment. He shone best when he was mentoring a new advocate as he patiently took the willing subject through the paces. He believed in teaching the elements of working with the key players, each requiring a simplistic approach. He *allowed* people to shine in their own right...he seldom fell prey to the ego bashing--he just would not participate. The older Vernon grew the quieter he became.

All of us who spent any time with Vernon knew that everyone and everything around Vernon had to be exact. Yes, he was a perfectionist however, his perfectionism was in-part how he achieved so much during his lifetime. I remember one particularly frustrating time...I was approaching an advocacy issue with a group of people--it was a year into my introduction into activism--I was leery of approaching the powers that be, City of Pittsburg and Tri-Delta Transit with our Community College's Independence Club project to get the bus stop across the street put onto campus.

I gave Vernon the background...students well into their 70's, the blind, wheelchair users like myself...all public transit dependent traveled to/from college classes. We took our lives in our hands crossing the street to return home from class. Traffic whizzed up/down E. Leland Rd. We talked about it in club meetings twice. Finally, one of our members who was liked by everyone on campus had a near-miss sustaining a brush with a car travelling the usual 40 mph or more. Our club member's wheel on her chair was literally bent as a result of the incident. We were incensed to learn that the driver never slowed down...they must have known that what transpired was a hit-and-run. This incident gave our club the boost it needed to get the job done.

No one had any experience in working with the necessary entities--including moi! I'd seen Vernon in action and decided to give him a call. His suggestions included--visit the Board of Directors, but get on their agenda. Just inform them of what happened and tell them that the club will come back with a plan--"you are just there to tell them what occurred and may need their help." At that point, the General Manager said after the Board meeting that we did not stand a chance of getting the bus stop on campus and we might as well forget it because she would not allow it.

We also appeared at the Pittsburg City Council in the same manner. They just scoffed.

Vernon said that I was in an ideal position being in the Journalism class. I took my appeal to the school newspaper. The editor spent an hour with a few of the Independence Club members as they boarded the buses to return home. The next issue a story was done. It was picked up by the local newspaper under the Byline of the student as a "guest" reporter. From there the issue grew. The Independence Club cut the ribbon for the new bus stop *on campus* after we paid a few more visits to Tri-Delta Transit, the City of Pittsburg did a traffic count and speed assessment. Not only did we visit the City Council as a club but we took our classmates, family and friends to the Council meeting. The newspaper was wonderful in working the story.

I had called Vernon the evening that the Tri-Delta General Manager said no-way/won't happen...I was shaking I was so angry! Vernon listened until I took a breath...I was wondering how much Vernon picked up. Not only did he pick up *everything* I relayed to him...but the nuances by which the information was given. He said...and I shall remember this for years to come...

"Take a breath Maggie. I want you to call me tomorrow when I can get someone to take a few notes. Will you do that?" I did on the minute he asked me to call him again. I also called him on ribbon cutting day to thank Vernon for his steadfast help through every stage of the process."

Vernon and I openly and totally disagreed on one issue which is no longer important...for Vernon because he has gone onto greener pastures and for me because one of our community members who I treasured over the years for his wisdom...his light has passed from us. The beauty of friendship however is that light will be forever remembered. One of the things I most remembered about Vernon and his role as an advocate is he seldom got lost in his accomplishment...NEVER tooted his own horn about his accomplishment NEVER NEVER did I hear him boast of what he managed to get done. You could see Vernon react ... almost pull away when...it was repugnant to him. When he was able to achieve a goal he simply moved on quietly to the next project--maybe several projects.

Vernon, I learned so much from you. I know that you are not far from us--and that we will meet again. Rest in peace. [ Maggie Dee ]

Ken Crow

Kenny died on Sunday morning, August 8, 1999, at his home in Berkeley. Kenneth Littleton Crow was best known in disability circles as an actor, musician, great story-teller and "sit-down-stand-up" comic; he appeared in several videos on disability community comedy. We will greatly miss his wry and witty humor, his vast knowledge of film and theater, and his friendship. [Marsha Saxton]

Ken was a trained actor, solo performer, comic and singer with a dazzlingly pure voice. He could be wry, crass, charming and poignant. A talented man with a big, tender heart and a warm smile. [Cheryl Marie Wade]

Robert Cummings
Another leader in the disability community died yesterday, [January 6, 2000], as many of you know already. For those of you who might not have known Bob Cummings personally, he was a member of the California State Independent Living Council since its inception, and one of the founders of the Dayle McIntosh Center for the Disabled in Anaheim. The Dayle McIntosh Center is one of the country's largest Independent Living Centers. He has been extremely active in the disability movement nationally, and a member of the National Council on Independent Living for many years. [Alfred D. Chichester]

Here is the obituary for Robert Cummings as it appeared in the Orange County Register.

Cummings, champion of the disabled, dies at 51. Blinded by diabetes, he helped found the independent living movement.

Robert Cummings, co-founder and executive director of the Dayle McIntosh Center for the Disabled, and a pioneer of the independent living movement, died at his home Thursday of complications of diabetes. He was 51. Along with Brenda Premo, whom he met while a student at California State University, Long Beach, Cummings opened the Dayle McIntosh Center in Anaheim in 1977. He became its first program manager before being named assistant director in 1981. Premo, who left the center in 1991, now works for Western State University College in Pomona. The center, one of the largest in the country, provides support, education and referral services to help people with disabilities live on their own.

Diagnosed with diabetes at age 7, Cummings was legally blind by age 22 and became totally blind 12 years ago. He spent his entire adult life as a fierce and knowledgable advocate for people with disabilities, unafraid to speak his mind wherever he went. He was considered an expert in self-advocacy and in the Americans With Disabilities Act. Born in Santa Monica, he grew up in Orange County, graduating in the first class of Foothill High School in 1966. He had a penchant for fast cars (although he couldn't drive them), lively music and a good prime rib roast, which he usually cooked himself. [article by Robin Hinch]

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D

Dale Dahl
Dale was born deaf in Chicago, Illinois in 1947, and attended the California School for the Deaf in Berkeley. At the age of 24 Dale was in a car accident which left him a quadriplegic. Dale participated in the 504 sit-in and rallied the Deaf community to support the demonstration. As a deaf and physically disabled man, Dale was able to forge a link between the two communities. He helped to establish Deaf Services at CIL in 1976 and became a beloved staff member and peer counselor. He had a unique ability to communicate with people at all language levels and was known for encouraging people who might not otherwise seek services. His community involvement included: CIL Board of Directors; President of Deaf Students' Club, Laney College; City of Berkeley Task Force; BART/AC Task Force on Accessibility; testimony at Congressional Hearings on the needs of disabled citizens. [Ken Stein]
Bob Davis
Bob went everywhere with his AB wife, Sharon. They had known each other most of their lives, even before Bob's SCI. Bob was disabled playing football, but I don't know whether it was at the high school or college level. Bob and Sharon were both from Southern California. When they walked together, one of them was usually about twenty feet in front of or behind the other. This was always their pattern and may help people remember them. I did not see Sharon after Bob passed; I would guess she returned to Southern California [Jonathan Gold, Berkeley, CA]
Patti Deak aka "yellowbandit"

May 19, 1958 - March 10, 1999, born in Waterbury, CT, Patti (Patricia Ann) Deak lived on this earth for 40 years. She, her sister Debbie, their mother and one maternal aunt had Friedreich's Ataxia. At age 4, Patti had rheumatic fever, but wasn't taken to the hospital until all of her hair fell out and her finger nails & toenails had turned black. Her hair never really came back, leaving her with Alopecia universalis. Bald. Imagine little Patti, trying to make her way in regular school. Mean kids would snatch off her wig or her hat and run away taunting her. She couldn't run after them. Such cruelty helped to create a fiesty, spunky, bold & daring spirit, determined to "party hearty" and launch out into the wide world of adventure. But at 13, she had to spend almost a year in a body cast at Newington Children's Hospital, and only a few months after she got back home, her mother died.

Education was important to Patti, and she attended Mattatuck Community College and Southern Connecticut State University, where she worked in the Office for Students with Disabilities. She was active in women's issues and counseled women in crisis. She was enormously proud of serving as the founding President of the Greater New Haven Disability Rights Activists, first organized on June 18, 1987. She was instrumental in the creation of the Center for Independence & Access (now called the Center for Disability Rights). A grassroots organizer at her core, Patti was proud of her participation in ADAPT, and identified her first ADAPT action as a real turning point in her life.

We found each other and fell in love in San Francisco in September, 1987. By the summer of '88, I was moving to Connecticut and we were becoming known as "Patti & Elaine" (one word). Eleven and a half years together. Precious memories. . . how they linger. Pictures in newspapers of us holding hands down Fifth Avenue at a Gay Pride Parade, again, at Disability Independence Day March (DIDM), ADAPT demonstrations in DC, Baltimore, Orlando, & back to where we found our hearts in San Francisco, Camp Harkness twice a year. Patti was always organizing social events, parties, and happenings. We loved outdoor concerts & festivals.

As the years passed, her multiple disabilities became even more complicated. Several major surgeries. Bouts of pneumonia. So deaf that you could run the vacuum cleaner right next to her bed and she wouldn't wake up. Loss after loss. Hospital bed. Hoyer lift. Never enough home heath aid service. Always the threat of a nursing home. Patti was called "the Comeback Kid". She was amazingly resilient, creative, willing to try, persistant, and resourceful. In later years, when Patti was less able to get around, Webtv and the Internet became her lifeline. Her web pages grew to link people with disabilities together. Those pages became a lifeline for others. Known as "yellowbandit"...she said that she was a "wonderful combination of boldness & cowardly tendencies." A very beautiful, passionate, powerful presence. "Yellowbandit" rides--her legacy in us is LOVE. [Elaine M. Kolb, edited by JN]

LEGACY
by Elaine Marie Kolb

There are some I have known
I may never see again
In this wild, crazy world
And, yet, they live within me
And they smile through the smiles
That burst forth from my heart
So, I'll never forget
What they did with me
As I go through my time
I remember that I'm
Just a small passing spark
Of the LIGHT that we know
Helps us LOVE, helps us grow
Even when it's lonely and dark.

Will the babies I hold
In the ways I was held
Full of wonder and peace
Will they learn of LOVING from me
Will they learn how to live
What to take, how to give
So that when they are grown
They can still respect me
To the old ones I know
Do I faithfully show
I'm so glad they're around
Do I try every day
To find some little way
Just to share what I've found.

And, yes, some now are gone
To the great, far beyond
Yet, they live in the memories
Of our earlier days
Where we dance and we sing
And we cry from the pain
Then, we laugh once again
And, yes, sometimes we pray
When my time here is done
Who will think of me then
Will they feel joyful & free
What of me will survive
In the ones still alive
What of Patti survives...

Patti's time here is done
When we think of her now
We know she is joyful and free
What of her will survive
In the ones still alive
yellowbandit still rides
And, yes, it is LOVE
As her LEGACY.
See http://home.talkcity.com/KarmaWay/yellowbandit/index.html
George Dempsey
Chicago, IL
Kurt Dessauer

This morning (Sept. 29, 1999) our community has lost a dedicated advocate for persons with disabilities. Kurt Dessaur passed away at Mt. Baker Care Center, Bellingham, Washington. Kurt's thorough knowledge and expertise about the ADA and his adamant insistence of enforcing compliance has resulted in major changes, and yet so much more needs to be done. "A 'bulldog' who imbedded the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into the psyche of local public officials as well as private business owners, lobbying passionately for accessibility for all ... He was founder and former president of the Community Action for the Disabled and ... was pretty much known from Olympia to Washington D.C." --[Beth Marsau, Mark Porter]

He truly was phenomenal. He and I were both affiliated through our nonprofit groups with the Health Support Center. Our major fundraiser last year was challenged by Mr. Dessauer because the building in which the event was held was not 100% compliant with 1998 state and federal regulations. He was willing to jeopardize funds for his own organization rather than compromise a letter of the law. He met with the Health Support Center Board in a meeting at St. Joseph Hospital and he even mentioned at that meeting that the hospital meeting place was not totally up to code. Accessible bathrooms were not marked and even the ventilation in the room made it difficult for him to breathe.

...we must each carry torches. Each of us need to at least become more knowledgeable and do our part as advocates. Only as a collaborative community team can we begin to do what Kurt has done in assuring that public places are fully accessible. We have a long way to go. But we can do it. Kurt has shown us that one person can, indeed, make a difference. With each of us taking a piece of this spirit, this energy, this committment and responsibility, our communities can be fully accessible for all. [Beth Marsau]

Dave DeWeerd
I had the pleasure of being lovers with Dave for five years and it was the most creative time of my life. He was a brilliant artist who never made it to a high level of fame, but those who did get an opportunity to see his work or to know him, were greatly impacted by his art. He was handsome and walked with a cane most of the time, but used a power wheelchair often in the last few years of his life. He would usual wear a Fedora of one kind or another. He started doing animations in his basement with friends before the age of ten and he is the only person I know who actually did one of those artist correspondence courses that are advertised on matchbooks. Probably his most recognized work is "Phoenix Rising: A Celebration of Touch" - a 15 minute digitized and colorized video involving 3 naked people enjoying touching each other. He taught me to let myself be an artist. He also taught me how to love. [PK Walker]
Nancy DiAngelo
Appearing on the scene when both CIL and she were very young, Nancy both gave and derived a great deal of joy from being a part of the CIL family for many years. During the 504 demonstration she did double duty. As a marcher outside the federal building, she leant her voice to the cry for civil rights. And as a counselor at CIL, she was in the office, making sure that people could still get attendants. She was one of the folks who came out day after day to support the people on the inside of the building, and to be counted among her friends and co-workers who had the courage and persistence to continue speaking out, until finally heard. Deeply committed to CIL and its mission, Nancy gave her energy and heart to this and to the 504 effort and took from these a sense of empowerment and accomplishment. [Ken Stein]
'Chip' Dietro
often of Berkeley, CA [Jonathan Gold]
Rick Douglas

The disability community mourns the passing of a great American disability rights leader, Rick Douglas. On June 28, 1999, Mr. Douglas, former executive director of the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, died of cancer. He had an enormous impact on the lives of everyone he met. He was a true leader and visionary. We will all miss him. [NCD Bulletin, editor Mark S. Quigley, email: mquigley@ncd.gov]

"I have never, even in the movies, seen a person die with more courage. He fought for disability rights and for life to the last breath. He fought with profound dignity, love and consideration for everyone around him. He won the toughest battle - the battle that every human being has to fight alone, without benefit of money, title or influence."

"Rick Douglas has always been a winner. He was a winner as head of American advertising for British Airways. After contracting MS, he was a winner as Commissioner of Rehabilitation in Vermont - the first state commissioner to champion supported employment. He was a winner as Director of the Presidents Committee, leading that organization to the cutting edge of disability rights. He was a winner as a senior executive in the Labor Department, the author of numerous progressive initiatives. He worked on those initiatives into the last days of his life." [Justin Dart]

Tanis Doe

Dr. Tanis Doe, advocate and educator. Tanis passed away in her home in Victoria, British Columbia late Wednesday, August 4, 2004 due to a pulmonary embolism. Doe is survived by her daughter, Ann Marie, and a loving community of friends, colleagues, mentees, lovers, dance partners and family in every sense of the word.

As a Métis (Ojibway/French Canadian) Deaf woman with other disabilities who was active in disability, queer, and feminist movements internationally, she was widely respected as a disability rights advocate and as an educator. Doe began her teaching career in Jamaica while in her late teens. It was at that time she adopted her daughter, Ann Marie. Doe was a professor of sociology and disability studies at the University of Victoria, and in recent years also taught at Royal Roads College, Ryerson University and the University of Washington. In 2003 she was a Fullbright Scholar in Bioethics at the University of Washington. In addition to her teaching accomplishments, she has been the principal researcher in many projects including projects at the Canadian Association of Independent Living Centres, California Foundation for Independent Living Centers, Disabled Women's Alliance, University of Washington, and the World Institute of Disability. Doe was an innovative and influential researcher. She brought together diverse Deaf, disability, and people of color communities in research; conducted pioneering research with Dick Sobsey on violence against people with disabilities; and developed national and international peer training models for Deaf and disabled people. Her writing, training and research in areas such as gender equity, assistive technology, education, employment, parenting, bioethics, violence and sexual abuse, independent living, community organizing, and disability rights have created a legacy of work that will inform our community for generations. She was a prolific writer both under her given name and the pen name "Vicky D'aoust". In addition to her professional and personal accomplishments, Doe was a lover of ballroom dancing, and competed in competitions and exhibitions around the world.

A memorial webpage with a guestbook has been set up by DAWN. You can visit the page by pointing your browser to dawn.thot.net/tanis/ . In the meantime, drink a Snapple and plant a sunflower as you remember and honor Tanis's memory. [Dennis]

Phil Draper
Phil Draper was the Executive Director of CIL during the 504 Demonstration, and as such played a critical role. His leadership style was more about leading from behind rather than from in front. He was the provider of ongoing and steadfast support to the people both inside and outside of the federal building. While heart was inside that building sitting in, his body was outside keeping the vigil. All day, everyday, Phil marched resolutely in front of the federal buildingwith a picket sign firmly affixed to the back of his chair, sometimes poking out sideways from under a rain poncho. Late at night he'd again turn his attention to CIL and the task of taking care of business. His voice was seldom heard over a loud speaker, but it was always forcefully raised as part of the collective voice publicly crying out for civil rights and an end to injustice. In so many ways, Phil was the keeper of the faith. He is loved for all that he shared. He is deeply appreciated for all that he made possible by empowering others to act on their own behalf as well as on behalf of others. And he is very much missed for all he had yet to share and still to accomplish. [Ken Stein]
Cindy Duehring

I learned from Cynthia Wilson late this morning (6/29/99) that Cindy Duehring had passed away. She had been very ill, but the trooper she was, she was working on her medical profiles and updating her resume just last week. I don't know anymore at this time, than we have all suffered a great loss. Cindy Duehring developed the Environmental Access Research Network [E.A.R.N.] and was its Executive Director. A five-part piece on toxic carpets by Cindy appears on its website. Ms. Duehring was awarded the 1997 International Right Livelihood Award for her research into the sources and effects of MCS. The Right Livelihood Award is known as the Alternative Nobel Prize and is awarded to people working toward a sustainable future. [Barb Wilkie]

For more on Cindy Duehring and her work with the Chemical Injury Information Network, see http://users.lanminds.com/~wilworks/ehnlinx/d.htm#Duehring

Yvonne Duffy

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Yvonne Duffy, a columnist on disabilities for the Detroit Free Press for six years, died [January 4, 2000] after her breathing tube became detached at her home. She was 60. Ms. Duffy phoned a neighbor in her apartment building Tuesday night, police said. The neighbor heard the ventilator alarm in the background, ran into Ms. Duffy's apartment and reattached the device. But she was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Childhood polio had left Ms. Duffy unable to use her legs and one arm.

Ms. Duffy's column, "Disabled in America," appeared on Sundays. "I'd like to educate the non-disabled world about what we are doing and are capable of doing," Ms. Duffy said when she began her column. "And I'd like to spotlight some interesting folks other than Helen Keller and Stephen Hawking. You'd think they're the only folks who accomplished anything. Frankly, I'm so sick of Helen Keller."

Assistant managing editor Dale Parry said Ms. Duffy "always tried to make her column reflect the everyday dreams and ambitions of people with disabilities." "When it came to advocacy, she was a giant. She was a champion of keeping people informed," said Marva Ways, organizer for the Detroit chapter of the disability rights group ADAPT.

Yvonne was a member of Not Dead Yet, and "We'll miss her..." [Robin Stephens, article "Detroit Disabilities Columnist Dies", copyright held by Associated Press]

Richard Dunne
New York, NY
Stephen Dunne
[requested by Devva Kasnitz, World Institute on Disability]

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Mark Eberhardt
[Teresa Carroll]
Edwin 'Buddy' Edleman
[Jonathan Gold]
Erik Ellentuck

Erik Ellentuck received a Ph. D. in math from UC, Berkeley, was at the Princeton Institute of Advanced Study, and on the faculty at Rutgers, New Jersey. He returned to Berkeley when muscular dystrophy forced him to leave Rutgers. He died in the 1980s in Berkeley. CLICK on this web site which has a reference to Erik Ellentuck.

Myhill was his PhD advisor at UC, Berkeley and my logic prof in the 1950s. [Mary Fowler]

Geri Esten
Geri Esten helped to establish the MS Society's peer counseling program and later went on to develop a system of using Morse code to allow her, as a woman with quadriplegia, to use a computer effectively. She eventually made presentations at several conferences to demonstrate the system she had invented. Geri died in January 1996. [Laura Remson Mitchell]
CLICK on this web site for Laura's Los Angeles Times story.

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Eunice Fiorito

"I, like many of you, were saddened by the news of the passing of Eunice Fiorito [November 22, 1999]. I had the privilege of knowing Eunice from the time she moved to New York City in the early 70's to become the Director of the Major's Office on the Handicapped. In her usual style she helped to pull this organization into one that was valued by those of us who were working as advocates to change many of the problems faced in large urban communities by disabled people.

Eunice's leadership was felt throughout the United States and for that matter around the world. She helped to bring the plight of disabled people to the forefront with her efforts to secure the passage of Title V of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. She along with others from New York helped or organize a march on Washington to bring attention to the need for the Congress to pass anti discrimination legislation to protect the rights of disabled people. Eunice's leadership catapulted her to the national arena. She helped to organize the American Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities (ACCD). As a founding board member later to serve as its president, she lead the ACCD through the fight to secure strong 504 regulations. This was a pivotal time for the Disability Rights Movement. Eunice's deep understanding of the needs of disabled people gave her a depth of understanding that few others had. She helped to organize demonstrations across the country which resulted not only in the signing of the 504 regulations, but in millions of disabled people here and abroad recognizing that we needed to speak out on behalf of ourselves - we all needed to fight for our civil rights. She led by example.

In 1980 she was a part of a group of US disabled people who went to Winnipeg, Canada and helped to organize Disabled People's International. Here too Eunice served on their board of directors fighting for the rights of disabled people around the world, with a deep concern for the needs of disabled women. Again, she showed the world what strength and commitment meant. Eunice Fiorito was a fighter for the civil rights of all people, she was a dynamic speaker, leader and a dear friend to many. [Judy Heumann]

Rudy Frank
Washington, D.C.
Molly Fredericks
Berkeley, CA
Adina Friedan
Adina Friedan was my best friend. She had a compassion for being with people that was infectious. She loved to plan parties with interesting games that made people interact with each other. Adina worked at the Center for Independent Living in Berkeley, California, running the Independent Skills Training program and the Peer Counseling program. She was small framed, with long, straight brown hair. I thought she was beautiful, though she thought she was plain. In her older years she had a tube taking oxygen to her nose and she carried a small container of oxygen. She was a perpetual hippie, a professional therapist, a loving wife, a published writer, a caring friend, and a spoiled brat. She was dearly loved and respected. [PK Walker]
Tim Furlong
Washington, D.C.

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