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Old 04-24-2007, 08:45 PM   #101
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Dad leaves 'Sweet Pea' letters for her future


Drew Squires, 36, leaves behind wife Liz and daughter Abby after battling ALS.


GREENSBORO — At first glance, it looked like a wedding.

Thirtysomethings, dressed in their best, crowded the sanctuary. They came from as far away as London and Los Angeles to spend a Sunday afternoon inside Grace United Methodist Church.

But then you saw their faces, as stiff as stone, and heard a deafening silence, broken occasionally by a symphony of sniffs. The guests, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder, all came to say goodbye to Drew Squires, a neighbor, colleague and friend.

He died Thursday after a 22-month battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis , better known as its dreaded acronym: ALS. He was 36.

You may remember Drew. I wrote about him in this space last fall. He was the father, husband and attorney who became the local face of ALS, a disease that took baseball legend Lou Gehrig.

Last week, the disease took Drew, a Wake Forest grad who loved movies, music, ACC basketball and his wife, Liz, the woman he called his "little red-headed girl.''

During a moving eulogy Sunday, Drew's longtime friend, John Meroney , talked about that love story, sharing an

e-mail Drew sent his wife on the eve of her 32nd birthday. It's an e-mail Meroney still keeps on his computer.

"You get better looking every year and every year I fall deeper and deeper in love with you,'' Drew wrote. "However long the Lord allows me to stay with you, rest assured that I will cherish every single second of it.''

I met Drew and Liz last fall at their home in Greensboro's Kirkwood neighborhood after hearing their neighbors had organized a run in his name to raise money for the ALS Foundation.

His daughter, Abby, then 2, played around his feet. His wife sat beside him. He sat in a mechanized wheelchair and talked about his family, his friends and his will to live.

He told me about his quick deterioration and his appreciation for the little things, like the ringing wind chimes and slight breeze that tickled his cheek. Then, he told me about the letters.

He wrote them to Abby, the little girl he called "Sweet Pea," so she could open them when she turned 3, 4, 5, 15 and 20, as well as when she celebrated her wedding day. He worried he wouldn't be there.

When he mentioned the letters, his voice buckled. But always, he recovered and mentioned the support that enveloped him like a well-worn quilt.

"To receive all this love and support confirms your faith in man,'' Drew told me, wrestling with every word. "There's truth to what you hear, that people are at their best when times are at their worst.''

You heard about that on Sunday. Neighbors and friends spent months coordinating every aspect of the Squires' life. They called themselves The Squires Squad.

Eighty-six members strong, connected through a Web site, they cooked, mowed the lawn, scheduled play dates for Abby, took Liz out to dinner and hung out with Drew to watch ACC basketball.

The tasks helped The Squires Squad deal with their own anguish. They were young, many at the same station in life: caring for young kids, climbing the professional ladder, creating memories.

Just like Liz and Drew.

On Sunday, Liz's college friends came from near and far to support the girl they remembered from Clewell , a dorm at Salem College.

Those friends remembered Drew as the fun-loving man who charmed Liz and loved "those Ziggy's bands.''

They remembered that when they watched the minister push the play button on a boom box perched on the pulpit and heard a Drew favorite, one of "those Ziggy's bands,'' fill the sanctuary.

It was the alt-country band Uncle Tupelo. And it was beautiful. It turned a somber wake into a cathartic celebration, as people walked out of the church and heard a nasal-toned vocalist sing these words:

I'm going where there's no depression
To a better land that's free from care
I'll leave this world of toil and trouble
My home's in heaven
I'm going there.
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Old 04-25-2007, 03:51 PM   #102
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Claudia R. Long


Claudia R. Long, 78, of Chillicothe, went to be with the Lord at 4:35 p.m. Monday, April 23, 2007, in Adena Regional Medical Center following an extended battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease).

Funeral services will be held 2:00 p.m. Friday, April 27, at the Glorious Church of God, 123 W. Main St., with Bishop Melvin Maughmer officiating. Burial will follow in Greenlawn Cemetery. Friends may call Thursday from 6-8 p.m. at Haller Funeral Home.



She was born April 27, 1928, in Dayton, OH to the late Rev. William and Mary (Luckadoo) Cotton.

Surviving are her son and daughter-in-law Bruce E. (Lanita) Bunch, Columbus; daughter Mary F. Hill, Conyers, GA; grandchildren: Abdu Bunch, Jehan Bunch, Jamila Bunch, Maren (Anthony) Pope, and Matthew Hill; and a great-grandchild Israel Pope.
Mrs. Long was a member of the Glorious Church of God and retired from the former Wear-Ever Aluminum.

Her online guestbook is available at www.HallerFuneralHome.com




Originally published April 25, 2007
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Old 04-27-2007, 03:42 PM   #103
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Michael Lawrence Knotts
Published: April 26. 2007 5:00AM PST
Feb. 9, 1950 - April 20, 2007

Michael Lawrence Knotts, of Cottage Grove, died Friday of Lou Gehrig's disease. He was 57.

A funeral service will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Smith-Lunds-Mills Chapel in Cottage Grove.

Mr. Knotts was born Feb. 9, 1950, in Doniphan, Mo., to Everett and Hester (Forsyth) Knotts. He married Lynda Knotts in 1994.

Mr. Knotts served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1968 to 1972 in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. He worked as a heavy-equipment operator, retiring in 2006. He also was an artist.

He was a member of the Bend Church of Christ and the Church of Christ in Eugene. He enjoyed biking, bow hunting and basketball. He previously had lived in Gilchrist.

Survivors include his wife; four daughters, Anna Evans, Sarah Welden, Diane Vaught and Joanne Franklin; a brother, Hershal; a sister, Pam Blackwood; and six grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Sacred Heart in Eugene or Church of Christ in Eugene.

Smith-Lund-Mills Funeral Chapel in Cottage Grove is in charge of arrangements.
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Old 04-28-2007, 08:24 AM   #104
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Veteran newsman Keith Bradbury succumbs to Lou Gehrig's disease

2007-04-27 22:02:00






VANCOUVER (CP) - Keith Bradbury, a former lawyer and then longtime newsman at BCTV, died Friday morning at his home on the Sunshine Coast north of Vancouver.

He was considered one of the mainstays at BCTV, which is now known as Global TV, and was one of the reasons the station grew from third place in B.C. to one of the most watched stations in the country.

In a report aired Friday, Global TV reviewed his career and aired tributes from many of the people who worked with him.

He earned a bachelor's degree at the University of B.C. and then went to study law. He practised law for a time before the journalism bug caught him.

"Keith was responsible, virtually every day for determining the nature and direction of most of the editorial flow," former BCTV news boss Cameron Bell said in the Global TV report.

In his student days, he was once editor of the UBC newspaper, The Ubyssey, which was chosen the best student newsaper in Canada that year.

He and Bell believed in letting pictures tell the story and together they and their reporters broke many stories over the years.

He died of ALS - Lou Gehrig's disease.

He was named a lifetime achievement award winner in 2004 by the Radio-Television News Directors Association of Canada.

In 1999, Bradbury and former BCTV News boss Cameron Bell were jointly awarded the Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jack Webster Foundation.
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Old 04-28-2007, 08:27 AM   #105
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EMS pioneer Marilyn Crook dies
By Gerald Ensley


Marilyn Crook, a Tallahassee paramedic who became the first female director of an ambulance service in the nation, has died.

Crook, 78, died Monday in Raleigh, N.C., from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a degenerative neurological condition known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Crook had spent most of her life in Tallahassee before moving to Raleigh two years ago.


In 1972, Crook became one of the first 18 emergency medical technicians — and the only female EMT — hired by Tallahassee Memorial Hospital when it assumed control of the ambulance service. Until then, local funeral homes provided ambulance service.

Crook was believed to be the first paid, female EMT in the state. Three years later, TMH promoted her to director of the ambulance service — making her the first female emergency-medical-services director in the nation. She remained in that role until her retirement in 1987.

She oversaw TMH's growth to 60 EMTs and paramedics and 10 state-of-the-art ambulances. She also helped found the TMH Life Flight helicopter service in 1982.

TMH operated the ambulance service until December 2003, when Leon County government assumed control.

"Marilyn was a pioneer — and just a wonderful person," said Bobby Bailey, a retired director of the TMH's ambulance service who joined the department in 1975 under Crook. "She was very caring, very committed to the job we did. She did so many wonderful things for so many people and touched so many lives."

For more on this story, read Saturday's Tallahassee Democrat.
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Old 05-03-2007, 03:37 PM   #106
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4 WILSON, Helen Mary - With heartbreaking sorrow the family . . .


(May 3, 2007) -- 4 WILSON, Helen Mary - With heartbreaking sorrow the family announces the passing at her residence, on Monday April 30, 2007. Helen M. (Smida) Wilson, in her 70th year, much loved wife and best friend of Tommy. Loving mother of Leanne and her husband Terry Gregory and Joey. Devoted grandmother of Matthew and Mark Gregory. Dear sister of Margaret and her husband Frank Shutsa and sister-in-law of Verne Contini (Joe), Diane Godfrey (late Ray), Carol Horner (Mike), Jill Pembleton (John), Ted Wilson (Patti) and the late Jack Wilson. Favourite aunt to many nieces and nephews. Helen will be missed by her friends from the University of Guelph and the infamous "S & B Club" and the girls of the Guelph Curling Club. Resting at the Gilbert MacIntyre and Son Funeral Home, DUBLIN CHAPEL, 252 Dublin Street North, Guelph, (Thursday 2-4 and 7-9 p.m.) Funeral on Friday morning, May 4, to St. Joseph's Church for Funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Interment Marymount Cemetery. Vigil for Helen on Thursday evening at 8:45 p.m. As expressions of sympathy, donations to A.L.S. (Lou Gehrig's Disease) or the charity of one's choice would be appreciated by the family (cards available at the funeral home 519-822-4731 or send condolences at www.gilbertmacintyreandson.com).
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Old 05-04-2007, 03:52 PM   #107
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Earl H. Graffam, 79, a retired Navy captain who was chief of staff and commander of the Middle East Force, died April 10 at his home in Arlington. He had complications of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Capt. Graffam was a native of Winnipeg, Alberta, and a graduate of Drake University in Iowa. He served as a White House military aide and a temporary aide to Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz early in his career.

He was the first executive officer of the destroyer McMorris and commanding officer of the minesweeper Persistent. After graduating from the Naval War College, he was an aide to the chief of naval personnel in Washington. He then was the first executive officer of the guided missile cruiser Fox and the first commanding officer of the frigate Schofield.

Capt. Graffam also studied at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and served in the office of the chief of naval operations. From 1972 to 1974, he was chief of staff and commander of the Middle East Force in Bahrain. He then returned to the United States as commanding officer of the Recruit Training Command in Orlando, a post from which he retired.


He was a member of Rock Spring Congregational Church in Arlington, the Arlington Kiwanis, the Military Officers Association of America, the American Bahraini Friendship Society and the Society of White House Military Aides.

Survivors include his wife of 47 years, Olive Blair Graffam of Arlington; a son, Earl H. Graffam Jr. of Fort Washington, Pa.; a sister; and a grandson.
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Old 05-11-2007, 05:39 PM   #108
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Sherwood V. Cohen | Ophthalmologist, 71
Rev. Robert J. Conner Sherwood V. Cohen, 71, of Elkins Park, a retired ophthalmologist, died Wednesday of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) at home.
A native of Hudson, N.Y., Dr. Cohen earned a bachelor's degree from Columbia University and a medical degree from State University of New York in Syracuse. He interned at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and completed an ophthalmology residency at Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia.

He established a practice in Northeast Philadelphia in 1965, shortly before he was drafted during the Vietnam War. From 1966 to 1968, he served in Army hospitals in the States.

After his discharge he returned to his practice and treated generations of patients before retiring at the end of 1999. He was on the staffs of Graduate Hospital, Holy Redeemer Hospital, and Rolling Hill Hospital.

Dr. Cohen wrote medical columns for the Jewish Exponent and the Northeast Jewish Times. His letters to the editor appeared in the Exponent and in The Inquirer. He had strong opinions about certain subjects, including medical ethics and the Middle East, said his wife, Judith Silver Cohen.

He was a member of Beth Sholom Congregation in Elkins Park and conducted the summer services. He was an avid traveler and a longtime Philadelphia Orchestra subscriber.

In addition to his wife of 43 years, Dr. Cohen is survived by sons Stephen and David; two sisters; and two grandsons.

The funeral will be at 12:30 p.m. today at Goldsteins' Rosenberg's Raphael-Sacks Memorial Chapel, 310 S. Second Street Pike, Southampton. Burial will be in Roosevelt Memorial Park, Trevose.
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Old 05-12-2007, 08:56 AM   #109
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Famed veterinarian leaves behind stories and memories

By MICHAEL BECKER Chronicle Staff Writer

John A. McIlhattan, veterinarian, horse driver, outdoorsman and author, died last week at his home in Bozeman. He was 61.


A fourth-generation resident of the Gallatin Valley, McIlhattan was the son of Alton and Katherine (Bohart) McIlhattan. Three decades ago, after veterinary school, he opened the well-known Valley View Veterinary Hospital.

In the last few years of his life, McIlhattan was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, which robbed the strength from his arms and took him away from many of the activities he loved.

Despite his weakness, he spent much of the past two years writing the stories of his life in longhand. McIlhattan self-published the stories in his book “Montana-Born Luck” earlier this year.

Nick Shrauger, chairman of the Draft Horse Teamster Hall of Fame, to which McIlhattan was inducted in 2006, said Friday that the book reveals the humor and warmth behind the doctor's quiet personality.

"He did such a service to us all by his book because it gives us a characterization of this warm and funny person," Shrauger said.

McIlhattan had a passion for draft horses and volunteered where he could. Gene Surber worked with McIlhattan on various 4-H programs and said McIlhattan loved teaching children about the animals.

"From a standpoint of helping out youth, John was there," Surber said. "He thought youth ought to have a nice start and there should be somebody there to help."

McIlhattan and his wife, Eileen Wallin, had one son, John.

At the veterinary hospital -- on McIlhattan Road -- farrier Larry Grantier said McIlhattan held on to traditional values.

"He was an old-fashioned kind of guy, where a handshake meant something," he said.

Grantier recalled the stories McIlhattan told, many of which are recorded in the book.

One tells how his father, while training dairymen in Cuba, barely escaped a violent revolution in the 1930s. Another tells the secrets of keeping buffalo happy -- McIlhattan raised buffalo on his farm since 1981.

"The way he tells it, you're laughing so hard," Grantier said. "You can picture every single moment."

Chris Nielsen, a family friend who helped care for McIlhattan in the last months of his life, said he always lived for the present, reveling in having too many irons in the fire.

Even after his ALS diagnosis, McIlhattan told her, "I feel more like myself than I did before."

Friends say reading the book is knowing the man.

"You read the book and you feel like you get to know the man," Nielsen said. "His whole life is that book."

Family and friends will gather Sunday, May 13, at the Springhill Community Pavillion north of Bozeman. All are welcome to share stories and memories.

McIlhattan's book can be purchased at the Valley View Veterinary Hospital.

Michael Becker is at mbecker@dailychronicle.com
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Old 05-17-2007, 07:12 AM   #110
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Ex-Indian 'Gomer' Hodge dies
Tuesday, May 15, 2007Dennis ManoloffPlain Dealer Reporter
Harold "Gomer" Hodge played just one major-league season, but he was around long enough to utter one line that left an indelible impression.

After notching his fourth hit in four official at-bats for the Indians in April 1971, Hodge said, "Golly, fellas, I'm hitting 4.000."

The quote captured the essence of the easygoing Hodge, who died Sunday in Rutherfordton, N.C. He was 63. Hodge had suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease.


"Fans loved him," said Russell Schneider, who covered the Indians for The Plain Dealer in 1971. "Everybody loved being around him."

Schneider devoted a chapter to Hodge in his latest book, "Whatever Happened to Super Joe'? Catching up with 45 Good Old Guys from the Bad Old Days of the Cleveland Indians."

Hodge finished the 1971 season with a .205 average in 83 at-bats in 80 games. The reserve infielder had one homer -- over Fenway Park's Green Monster -- and nine RBI.

The Indians demoted Hodge, then 27, to Class AAA and he never made it back. Hodge was a minor-league player/coach or manager in the Indians' system through 1976, Schneider wrote. Hodge held various jobs in the systems of other clubs, and coached in Australia and Mexico before retiring in 2001.

"Gomer would be the first to tell you he wasn't blessed with an abundance of talent," Schneider said. "He was a solid, hard-working country boy who played the game for the sheer love of it."

Hodge was nicknamed Gomer by teammates in the minors because they thought he sounded like Gomer Pyle, the TV character played by Jim Nabors.

The funeral is at 11 a.m. today at McMahan's Funeral Home, 249 S. Main St., Rutherfordton. The family will receive friends after the service.

Donations can be made to Hospice of the Carolina Foothills Inc., 130 Forest Glen Drive, Columbus, N.C., 28722.

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:

dmanoloff@plaind.com, 216-999-4664
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