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Old 12-12-2006, 11:45 AM   #11
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Default Bluegrass legend Homer Ledford dies at 79

Tuesday December 12, 2006

Homer Ledford dies at 79

By Mike Wynn

His instruments have graced the halls of the Smithsonian Institute and sold for more than $1,000 on eBay. The renowned bluegrass musician and craftsman won local immortality with many Winchester residents who couldn’t even play — they would buy his instruments simply because they wanted a “true Homer Ledford.”

But “a pretty instrument is worthless unless it plays pretty,” Ledford told the Sun in 1978.

After more than a half century of celebrated craft and showmanship, Ledford, 79, died Monday at his Winchester home, leaving behind a legacy that included more than 6,000 dulcimers and international acclaim as a bluegrass musician with his band, Homer Ledford and the Cabin Creek Band.

“I think he is best known as an instrument maker,” said Colista Ledford, his wife of 53 years.

Doctors could never say for certain whether he had Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Colista said he had been sick for three years, his condition worsening in the final six months of his life. In the end, he may have suffered from a stroke, she said.

Friends and family remember him as a gentle husband and father.

“They all gathered around him and held his hand and told him how much they loved him as he died,” said Colista.

According to his band’s Web site, Ledford was born in the Appalachian Mountain region of Tennessee, where he constructed his first fiddle at an early age in 1941. He later received a scholarship to attend the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, N.C., in 1946, and constructed his first dulcimer there while recuperating from rheumatic fever.

“As far as I can remember, I have always been interested in playing instruments. My uncle had a guitar I always wanted to just sit and strum,” he once said.

He attended Berea College and later received a Bachelor of Science degree in l954 from Eastern Kentucky University. He set up a woodworking shop in the basement of his Winchester home on Sunset Heights in 1955. For 10 years, he taught high school industrial arts in Jefferson and Clark counties, but resigned in 1963 to pursue a a full-time career as an instrument maker, according to the Web site.

Early in his career, Ledford was known for producing a dulcimer a day and was still creating about 50 instruments per year in 2005.

Ron Pen, a University of Kentucky associate professor of musicology and director of the John Jacob Niles Center for Appalachian Music, said in 2005 that Ledford’s life-long output was unparalleled.

“He’s something of an Edison,” Pen said. “It reflects a time in craftsmanship in which beauty and function were absolutely intertwined.”

Ledford’s proficiency in woodworking led him to invent the dulcitar, which is registered in the U.S. patent office and displayed in the Smithsonian along with two more of his creations, a fretless banjo and an Appalachian dulcimer.

By the time of his death, Ledford had completed 6014 dulcimers, 476 banjos, 27 mandolins, 26 guitars, 18 ukuleles, 13 dulcitars, 3 dulcijos, 3 dulcibros, 4 violins and one bowed dulcimer.

Many of the instruments were displayed on stage as he played to local and international audiences with his band, which was formed in 1976 and has still remained active. The group toured as far as Ireland and Ecuador, but performed mostly in Kentucky for the last few years.

Ledford also played solo concerts in Japan, opened for Alison Krauss, shared the stage with bluegrass legend Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys and entertained five Kentucky governors. He played 13 instruments and his ability to perform complex tunes with a saw was often a crowd favorite.

“Music is something for the soul,” Ledford said in 2005. “It will keep you sane in an otherwise insane world.”

His band maintained the longest-running radio show will all the same members for ten years and the city of Winchester held the Homer Ledford Bluegrass Festival in his honor for three years starting in 1986.

Among the honors he received are the 75th annual Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern Highland Craft Guild and the 1996 Milner Award from the Governor’s Awards for the Arts. He also was nominated for the National Heritage Award and was named a “Star of Kentucky” in 2002.

In 2004, Ledford also released “See Ya’ Further Up The Creek,” an autobiographical book of short stories and poems. His craft also became fodder for other writers and filmmakers, who made Ledford the center subject in several documentaries, including the recent KET production, “The Dulcimer Maker.”

Ledford was a founder of the Bluegrass Heritage Committee and remained involved in numerous community events over the years.

“He was a very fortune man, a very hard worker,” Colista said.

WUKY 91.3 F.M. is producing a one-hour show on the musician tonight on “Curtains @ 8” with guest Michael Jonathan, who will recount some of Ledford’s life.

Ledford is survived by his wife, four children and five grandchildren.

“He was a wonderful man, and I was very blessed to have him for almost 54 years,” Colista said.

Copyright:The Winchester Sun 2006



Bluegrass legend Homer Ledford dies at 79





http://members.aol.com/hlccb/

Homer Ledford and the Cabin Creek Band






Dec 12, 2006 : 10:28 am ET

WINCHESTER, Ky. -- Bluegrass legend Homer Ledford, an Appalachian band leader who crafted hundreds of banjos and guitars, has died from an apparent stroke. He was 79.

Ledford died Monday evening at his home in Winchester after battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, his wife, Colista Ledford, said on Tuesday. The disease causes progressive paralysis.

However, he wanted to string a fiddle up to his last day, his wife said.

"He was best known for the musical instruments he made," she said. "I'll miss his music."

The Tennessee native started making musical instruments as a youngster and earned a scholarship at 18 to attend John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, N.C.

He later attended Berea College, where he met his wife. The two would have celebrated their 54th anniversary on Dec. 20.

Ledford graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in 1954 and taught industrial arts in Jefferson and Clark counties for the next 10 years, Colista Ledford said.

Eventually he devoted his career to instrument-making and the Cabin Creek Band, which performed for 20 years and recorded a half-dozen albums.

He completed an estimated 5,776 dulcimers, 475 banjos, 26 mandolins, 26 guitars, 18 ukuleles, and four violins, among other instruments, according to the band's Web site.

The Smithsonian Institution also houses a sample of his collection, including a fretless banjo, an Appalachian dulcimer, and a dulcitar -- an instrument of his own invention, which he patented.

The Homer Ledford Bluegrass Festival in Winchester was named after him in 1986 and he was one of the original inductees in the Kentucky Stars. A sidewalk plaque honoring him is in front of the Downtown Arts Center on Main Street in Lexington.
http://members.aol.com/hlccb/
The Rowlan Taylor Funeral Home in Winchester was handling funeral arrangements, which were tentatively scheduled for Thursday.
http://www.heraldsun.com/state/6-798565.cfm
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Nancy Dee (Croninger) Fegenbush
Nancy Dee (Croninger) Fegenbush, died peacefully on Saturday, December 2, 2006 after a courageous and well fought eleven year battle with Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS).

On September 13, 1951 in Wauseon, Ohio, Nancy was born to N.D. and Phyllis (Jo) Croninger. When she was 10, her family moved to Gila Bend, Arizona, where they lived until 1964 and the family moved on to Yuma. Nancy graduated from Yuma High School in 1969. During high school she was active in the theater and the Choralairs. At the age of 15, Nancy’s singing talent was discovered and nurtured by local Yuma entertainer and musician Joe Wehrle Sr. She and Joe performed together at the Yuma County Fair and other functions. At the age of 16, Nancy was performing on weekends at the Holiday Inn. She won various talent shows and in 1969 was crowned Miss Yuma County. In 1970, she was a runner up in the Miss Arizona Pageant. Nancy attended Arizona Western College for two years before transferring to Northern Arizona University (NAU) in Flagstaff, Arizona. In 1974, she graduated from NAU with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. She continued to live in Flagstaff and worked as a deputy clerk for the Coconino County Clerk of the Superior Court. Upon returning to Yuma, she worked for Kammann/Johnson Mortuaries for 15 years and then was an Administrative Secretary to Chief Robby Robinson of the Yuma Police Department. Well known for her singing talent, Nancy continued to entertain at various functions around the city. But her most favorite engagements were for her beloved Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

In 1992, Nancy met and married her one true love Doug Fegenbush. Doug, also a terrific singer, performed with Nancy on many occasions. In 1994, for the second time in her life, Nancy moved away from Yuma to live on Coronado Island in San Diego while Doug was stationed there with the U.S. Marine Corps. It was there in April of 1996 that she was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) a terminal illness. In 1997, she and Doug returned home to Yuma to live until 2000 when they moved once again to Newport, Rhode Island. In 2004, Nancy and Doug moved to Ford Island in the middle of Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu in Hawaii where she lived until she quietly passed away at home, with Doug at her bedside. Now, Nancy is making her final trip home to Yuma, her favorite place on earth.

Nancy is survived by her husband Colonel Doug Fegenbush, USMC; her mother Phyllis (Jo) Croninger of Yuma, her sisters, Sue Stallworth and Joni (Steve) Meinhardt of Yuma; her stepchildren, Brandon Fegenbush (currently serving an LDS Mission in the Kenya-Nairobi mission), Amy and Nicky Fegenbush of Portland Oregon, and Chad Schreiber of San Diego. She is also survived by her nephews, Toby (Carli) Myers and Steven Seale of Yuma, Ryan Seale of Chandler, Arizona, two great-nephews, Trace Myers and Jace Seale; and great niece, Macy Myers. Nancy was preceded in death by her father, N.D. Croninger; and brother-in-law Richard Stallworth.

There will be a visitation from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, December 15, 2006 at Johnson Mortuary and memorial services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, December 16, 2006 at the Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 4300 West 16th Street, Yuma. Gravesite services will follow at Desert Lawn Cemetery Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Nancy’s memory may be made to the LDS Missionary Fund (c/o LDS Stake Center, 4300 W. 16th Street, Yuma, AZ 85364), the ALS Association (27001 Agoura Road, Suite 150, Calabasas Hills, CA 91301-5104) or the Miss Yuma County Scholarship Pageant (c/o 770 S. 8th Avenue, Yuma, AZ 85364).
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Old 12-16-2006, 11:35 AM   #12
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Robert V. Cordle





Feb. 22, 1952 — Dec. 12, 2006

Robert V. Cordle, 54, of Hillsboro died Tuesday at Tuality Community Hospital.

He was born in Albany, the son of Francis and Letta Mae (Stanley) Cordle.

He married Sherry Huggard on March 9, 1991, at Spring, Texas.

Survivors include wife Sherry; children Jennifer Thomas of Kirkland, Wash., Norma Cook of Beaverton, and Andrew Cordle of Silverdale, Wash.; sister Evelyn Rake of Albany; and grandchildren Gabriel, Sophie, Robbin, Cameron and Hailey.

Private interment will be held.

Remembrances can be made to the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association, Oregon and S.W. Washington Chapter, 310 S.W. Fourth Ave. #630, Portland, OR 97204, or www.alsa-or.org.

Tualatin Valley Funeral Alternatives is handling arrangements, (503) 693-7965.
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Old 12-18-2006, 04:26 PM   #13
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Bo Busby passes away
Austin Business Journal - 3:03 PM CST Monday


Bo Busby, the chairman of Hill Partners Corporate Services Inc., passed away on Sunday evening after a long battle with Lou Gehrig's disease. He was 40.

Busby founded Hill Partners Corporate Services, a division of the company now known as HPI Real Estate Services & Investments Inc., in 2000. That same year he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. ALS destroys the body's neuromuscular system over time resulting in paralysis.


"Bo built up Corporate Services to what it is today, and it remains an evergreen operation," says Richard Hill, partner and co-founder of HPI. "Bo was a great partner and a great friend as well. He had a lot of loyalty around the community and the office as well."

"If I were cured tomorrow, I don't think I would change the way I approach life--as a precious gift," Busby said in a June 2005 interview. "Every day isn't earned, it's a gift."

"I'm dealing with the frustrations of not being able to do things I used to be able to do," Busby said. "I gave up golf, fishing, riding bikes with the kids, snow skiing..." He added that the diagnosis had led him to take stock of what matters most. "Today, I'm content with today."

Busby is survived by his wife, Kerri, and daughters, Madeline and Abigail.

"Bo faced his illness with a courage and selflessness I have never encountered elsewhere in my life," says Volney Campbell, co-managing partner of corporate services. "The example he put before us facing death is the example all of us should use to live our lives going forward. He did not let adversity weigh him down, and his charity towards others has inspired many, including me, to strive to emulate those qualities."

In April 2005 employees with Hill Partners launched The Busby Foundation, in honor of their colleague. The foundation held biannual crawfish boils to raise money for Central Texans coping with ALS and their families.

"Obviously, it's very flattering to have your peers and friends step up and form this in your name and carry forward my legacy, whatever that may be," Busby said in an interview at the time. "But even before this, the last five years, they've been behind me the whole way."

According to a Web site on ALS, about 13 cases of the disease are diagnosed each day nationwide. Most of those who develop the disease are between 40 and 70 years of age. The average expected survival time for those suffering from ALS is three to five years. At any given time, approximately 30,000 people in the United States are living with the disease.
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Old 12-19-2006, 07:06 PM   #14
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Jail liaison, public housing advocate dies
By SETH SLABAUGH
seths@muncie.gannett.com


MUNCIE -- Longtime public servant Jerry Thornburg, 71, who had been suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease, died Sunday.

He was a union, neighborhood and Democratic activist, a three-term county auditor and a pipe fitter at Delco Battery, finishing his career as Community Development director for the city of Muncie until the disease forced him out of city hall several months ago. He lived in the historic East Central neighborhood.



As auditor in the late 1980s, he spearheaded efforts to build a new county jail after Democratic County Commissioners Doyle Bell and Lawrence (Sparky) Walsh and Republican Commissioner Ronald Quakenbush gave up responsibility.

"He kept the project on its feet after I resigned as liaison," Quakenbush recalled Monday. "I couldn't handle it. I couldn't get anywhere in the minority. Jerry picked it up and carried the ball."

Former Special Master Lee McNeely, who was appointed by U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker to complete the jail project, on Monday said of Thornburg, "He was a dedicated public servant who we found, in very difficult times, was a man of integrity and strength. I know the court appreciated his candor. Jerry could be pretty blunt at times. You didn't always like what he said, but you knew what he told you was from the heart and that it was the truth."

Kaye Nelson, the widow of former Democratic Party Chairman Ira (Rip) Nelson, recalled that when Thornburg was auditor, he removed the door to his office and had it stored in the basement of the county building because he believed in open government.

Thornburg's three siblings were all teachers, Nelson said. "Jerry didn't go to college, but he was smarter than all of them," she said. "He could've been anything he wanted."

Thornburg's involvement in the jail fiasco probably is what cost him a fourth term as auditor when he sought re-election in 1990.

But he became a public servant again in 1998 when Republican Mayor Dan Canan appointed him as CD director.

His legacy in that position includes Millennium Place, which replaces the barracks-style Munsyana Homes, the oldest public housing project in the state, with colorful Craftsman-style, New Urbanist public homes with gables, dormers, covered front porches, brick facades and old-fashioned street lights.

"As CD director, he was a real advocate for people in need," Canan said. "Millennium Place is a direct result of his perseverance and tenacity in sticking with that project."

Bill Smith, a city sanitary district commissioner, said, "Jerry probably bent a lot of rules, but he wanted to get a lot of things done. If anybody wants to see the true story of Jerry Thornburg, look at Munsyana Homes and what's happened down there and the improvement he made."

Last month, U.S. Rep. Mike Pence presented the ailing Thornburg with a Sagamore of the Wabash award from Gov. Mitch Daniels. That coincided with the dedication of a linear park at Millennium Place as "Jerry L. Thornburg Park."

Just because Thornburg went to work for a Republican mayor doesn't mean he quit being a Democrat.

"Absolutely not," Canan said. "I didn't make him a Republican. He was a very proud Democrat."

Reporters remember a sign that Thornburg used to have in his office when he was auditor. It read: "Democrat born, Democrat bred, and when they bury me I'll be Democrat dead."
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Old 12-24-2006, 10:30 AM   #15
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'Sullivans' son loses disease fightFioana Byrne

December 24, 2006 12:00am



ACTOR Richard Morgan, who found fame as a youngster as Terry Sullivan on the much loved Australia drama series The Sullivans, has lost his battle with motor neurone disease.

Morgan, 48, died in Melbourne yesterday. He leaves his wife, Lisa, and two daughters, Ella and Zoe.
Morgan's last acting role was that of detective Reg Masters in the undercover cop drama Stingers in 2004.

He was diagnosed with motor neurone disease last June.

Morgan revealed his condition in an emotional radio interview a year later, stating that he knew his time was limited.

"The attitude I had to take was that tragedies occur everywhere, all the time," Morgan said.

"For a lot of people, the tragedy is sudden. My life hasn't stopped instantaneously.

"I may as well enjoy each day I have, because that's all I have.

"I have feeling in my legs but I have no control over them. The muscle has wasted.

"It's started moving to my chest, which is why my breathing sounds laboured, and it's moving to my arms."

Motor neurone disease is the name given to a group of diseases in which the nerve cells controlling the muscles that enable us to move, speak, breathe and swallow do not work normally.

With no nerves to activate them, muscles gradually weaken and waste.

Morgan followed his stint in The Sullivans with roles in the hit film Phar Lap and TV series Home and Away, A Country Practice and Sons and Daughters.

Despite his obvious talent and ready work opportunities, Morgan dropped out of acting for a decade during which he built a profitable computer business.

He sold the business and returned to acting, landing roles in quality shows including MDA, Blue Heelers and Something in the Air.
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Old 12-27-2006, 07:19 PM   #16
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Businessman cruised Route 66 despite illness
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
By Kym Reinstadler
The Grand Rapids Press


GRAND RAPIDS -- A Grand Rapids businessman, who in May parlayed his dream of cruising U.S. Route 66 in a red Corvette into a benefit for Lou Gehrig's disease, died at home Friday of the disease.

Funeral services for John "JJ" Bouma Jr., 54, chairman of the board for Bouma Corp., are 11 a.m. Friday at Calvary Church, 707 East Beltline Ave. NE, with Jim Samra and the Rev. Edward Dobson officiating.

Dobson was Mr. Bouma's pastor at Calvary Church. The two became friends in September 2005, the month the disease forced Dobson to step down from the pulpit.

That was the same month Mr. Bouma was diagnosed with bulbar, an aggressive form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative condition commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

"JJ wanted to share his faith with PALS (persons with ALS) who came out to meet our group in eight states along Route 66," said Doug Bouma, JJ's brother.

"By then, his voice was weak, but Pastor Dobson was there to help when he couldn't get the words out."

With organizational help from longtime friend Ross Luurtsema of ALTL Inc., a local trucking company, the entourage grew to include 42 friends in 13 Corvettes -- many bought specifically to make the trip -- and two motor homes.

The caravan's weeklong, 2,800-mile journey from Chicago to Los Angeles raised $318,000 for ALS research and was photographed for an exhibit and videographed for a documentary about the disease.

"The trip was both exhausting and exhilarating for him," said Pam Bouma, JJ's wife. "It was indicative of how he liked to do things. Nothing was ever just about him."

The couple spent their 1994 honeymoon in Albania, helping to build an orphanage for Bethany Christian Services.

He raised money and helped construct two orphanages in Albania in the 1990s, said JJ's father, John Bouma Sr.

"My brother was like a cheerleader without pompons," Doug Bouma said.

To keep alive his passion to make the world a better place, the Bouma family is setting up a JJ Bouma ALS Clinic Fund at Fifth Third Bank. Memorial contributions will be used to establish a clinic associated with a Grand Rapids hospital to treat West Michigan ALS patients.


Currently, all ALS patients in state go to the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor for treatment, family members said.

About 125 people in West Michigan are known to have ALS, but that's probably a third of the actual number, said Tom Farley, executive director of the ALS Association's West Michigan chapter.

ALS Association has named its cross-country cruise in May 2007 from Los Angeles to Washington in Bouma's honor, Bouma said.

Mr. Bouma graduated in 1970 from East Christian High School and worked in the family business 35 years, including 12 as president and chief executive officer. He was designated chairman of the board a year ago.

The company has two divisions and employs 250 people building commercial interiors and schools in several states, he said.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Bouma is survived by his children and their spouses, Aimee and Ian Mortensen, of Rockford, Jessica Carpenter, of Grand Rapids, Tyler and Melinda Carpenter, of Texas, Scott and Angie Bouma, of Marquette; parents John and Sharon Bouma of Holland and Betty Hall, of Grand Rapids; three grandchildren; and brothers and sisters, Pam and Bob Molenhouse, of Holland, Doug and Trish Bouma, of Ada, and Susan and Timothy Small, of Lancaster, S.C.

Visitation is 5 to 9 p.m. today and 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Matthysse-Kuiper-DeGraaf Funeral Home,

4145 Chicago Drive, Grandville.

To contribute to the ALS fund in Bouma's memory, contact the ALS Association's West Michigan chapter,

731 Front St., at 459-1900 or at mail@alsa-westmichigan.org.

Send e-mail to the author: kreinstadler@grpress.com
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Old 12-28-2006, 12:49 PM   #17
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Investor-developer Zimet dies at 68
By Tony Davis
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 12.28.2006

Michael Zimet, an investor and developer who helped make peace between Tucson's development and conservation communities, died Tuesday.
Zimet, a property-rights activist whose views moved closer to those of environmentalists over time, died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, at a Northwest Side hospice. He was 68.
He had been active in the Tucson area from the late 1970s until he was stricken with the disease in spring 2006.
Over the years, Zimet and his Vanguard Companies, where he was a principal partner and investor, worked on projects across Arizona: in Marana and the Sahuarita area near Tucson, in the town of Quartzsite near the California line and in Pomerene in Cochise County.
A New York City native, he worked as a developer and investor in Southern California before moving here in 1978.
His most recent project, Ocotillo Ranch in the Santa Rita Mountains foothills, was the first development to seek approval under Pima County's conservation subdivision ordinance. The law tries to regulate the layouts of developments so the maximum number of homes allowed by their zoning can be built with the least possible effects on the desert.
Zimet sat on the county advisory committee that drafted that ordinance. He spent nine years securing a wide range of government approvals for his project of 42 four-acre lots on 174 acres at the extreme south end of South Houghton Road. Vanguard hopes to start formal land-clearing next year.
He was most publicly visible as one of a handful of property-rights activists who sat on a county advisory committee on the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, the proposed land preservation plan spanning more than 500,000 acres of environmentally valuable land.
He started as a strong skeptic if not outright opponent of the plan. Later, he negotiated closely with his philosophical opposites at the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection and became a strong although still skeptical supporter of Pima County's land-saving efforts.
"He was a hard-driving businessman but he knew that you had to look at it from all sides," said Dennis Melin, one of his two partners at Vanguard.
Zimet grew and wasn't afraid to learn something new, said Christina McVie, a Northwest Side environmental activist.
"Michael wasn't your average-looking enviro. People listened to him when he spoke to the property-rights groups. He was very helpful in building a sense of trust and consensus in the community," McVie said.
Zimet is survived by his wife, Mona Hart of Tucson; his mother, Charlotte Zimet, and a sister, Beverly Sachs, both of Beverly Hills, Calif.; four sons: Jeffrey and Kenny, both of Tucson, Marc of Miami Beach, Fla., and Lynne of Miami, Fla.; and four grandchildren.
Services are at 11 a.m. Friday at East Lawn Palms Cemetery, 5801 E. Grant Road.
Obituary
● Contact reporter Tony Davis at 806-7746 or tdavis@azstarnet.com.
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Old 12-30-2006, 10:20 AM   #18
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Ted Cron, 76; Editor, Public Affairs Executive, Koop Speechwriter
Saturday, December 30, 2006; Page B05


Theodore O. "Ted" Cron, 76, who created three magazines during a 25-year career as a public affairs executive at six federal agencies, died Dec. 20 at his home in Somerset. He had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Mr. Cron came to Washington from New York City in 1964 to join the public affairs staff of the office of education in what was then the Department of Health, Education and Welfare.



He started the magazine American Education and revamped an outdated agency photo file that included only white children. He ran the press office at the White House Conference on Education in 1965.

When James L. Goddard became Food and Drug Administration commissioner in 1966, Mr. Cron served as assistant commissioner for education and information and as Goddard's principal speechwriter. He also established a consumer education program that was extended nationwide by consumer specialists in each of FDA's 18 district offices.

He started the monthly magazine FDA Papers and published it in color to help readers recognize pharmaceutical products and see how contaminants might affect foods.

He also spearheaded an affirmative action program that made the FDA one of the first federal agencies to actively promote more job opportunities for minorities.

After leaving the FDA in 1968, Mr. Cron joined a public relations firm in Washington, testified before congressional committees on health and consumer legislation and sued HEW to contest an announced Medicare premium increase. He contended that the department failed to provide an actuarial basis for the proposed increase and did not invite public comment on the issue.

Three years later, he returned to the federal government as publications director of HEW's Social and Rehabilitation Service, where he started Human Needs, a national magazine with inserts for each of the agency's 10 regions.

He served for a time as director of information of the Federal Trade Commission during the Carter administration.

In 1981, Mr. Cron became speechwriter for Surgeon General C. Everett Koop.

During the next eight years, he wrote 350 speeches for Koop, tackling such issues as AIDS, alcoholism, smoking, domestic violence and sudden infant death syndrome.

Mr. Cron left the Public Health Service in 1989 and joined the National Association of Elementary School Principals, where he set up pen-pal relationships between elementary schools in the United States and in Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

A prolific freelance writer and editor, he completed a novel, "Assignment: Istanbul" (2005), and was working on a second when he was stricken with ALS. Earlier, he co-authored a picture-and-text history, "Portrait of Carnegie Hall" (1966).

A native of Newton, Mass., Mr. Cron received a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in teaching in 1953 from Harvard University. He joined the Army that same year and married soon afterward. He was on active duty in Japan, then worked for the Army as a civilian for two years.

In 1957, he and his wife returned to the United States and settled in New York.

He worked for Scholastic for three years, serving as managing editor of its weekly classroom publication Practical English and then became editor of the trade periodical Overview, later renamed American School & University.

In Washington, Mr. Cron and his wife, Lee H. Cron, were among the founding members of Southwest Hebrew Congregation, which later became Temple Micah and relocated to Wisconsin Avenue NW. His wife died in 1998.

Mr. Cron was a founding member of the Temple Micah choir and sang with the group for 40 years. He also enjoyed creating pencil and ink sketches, watercolors and whimsical statuary.

Survivors include his wife, Suzanne Harris, whom he married last year, of Somerset; two children from his first marriage, Elizabeth D. Koozmin of Reston and Adam D. Cron of Allentown, Pa.; a sister; and three grandchildren.

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Martha Alexander

Dec. 12, 1938-Dec. 17, 2006

Former Troutdale resident Martha Alexander, 68, died of ALS, which is more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, Sunday, Dec. 17, at her home in Tomball, Texas.

A funeral was held Tuesday, Dec. 26, at First Baptist Church in Tomball.

Martha was born Dec. 12, 1938, in Travis County, Texas, to Robert Wilburn and Bessie Vivian (O’Brien) Turner. She was raised and educated in Smithville, Texas, where she graduated from high school.

Martha married James Alexander. They were married for 46 years and lived in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Troutdale, before returning to Texas, where they retired.

She taught piano lessons.

Survivors include her husband of Tomball; two daughters; two sons; and 11 grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the ALS Association, Greater Houston Chapter, P.O. Box 271561, Houston, TX 77277-1561, or the First Baptist Church “Because We Believe” fund, 411 Oxford St., Tomball, TX 77375.

Legacy Memorial Inc. in Houston is handling arrangements.
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JAMIE GOLD'S FATHER PASSES


2006 WSOP Champ Jamie Gold's father passed away recently. Jamie had just landed in Las Vegas to play in the $15,000 Bellagio 5 Diamond Poker Classic when he got the call, and got right back on a plane home. Gold's father, a doctor, suffered from Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS). WSOP viewers may remember tender moments during the ESPN telecast where Gold would talk to his father on the telephone, at a point when the disease had already taken many of his faculties away. Our condolences go out to the Gold family. Readers can find out more about ALS at alsa.org
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Old 12-31-2006, 02:04 PM   #19
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Chase Bruns
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Chase Lane Bruns, of Alexandria, Va., and Castine, Maine, died on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2006, after a long struggle with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis ) popularly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. At the time of her death, she was 73. She was one of the founders and a longtime member of the Hollin Hills Potters, an art-boutique /studio pottery, in the Old Towne, Alexandria, Va., Torpedo Factory Arts Center.

Mrs. Bruns was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Lane, of Lookout Mountain, Tenn.

She graduated in 1955 from Sweet Briar College, where she majored in psychology and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

In 1974, Chase joined with several artists to found Hollin Hills Pottery, one of first boutique workshops established in the revamped Torpedo Factory.

Throughout her life she supported a wide variety of artistic, social, political, medical and environmental social organizations, national as well as regional in scope, including service on the board of the United Community Ministries in Alexandria, as well as supporting, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Trinity Episcopal Church in Castine, the National Resources Defense Council of Maine, the ALS Society and the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance.

She is survived by her husband, Eugene; three children: a daughter, Jordan Richards; and two sons, Emerson and Lane; three grandchildren, Thorpe Richards and Gracie Lane and John Chase Bruns; and her brother, Joseph H. Lane, of Greeneville, Tenn.

Memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Alexandria.
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Old 01-01-2007, 05:55 PM   #20
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Glen Curtis, noted philanthropist and 2002 Citizen of Year, dies

BY JEFFREY GAUTREAUX, SUN STAFF WRITER
Dec 31, 2006, 6:51 pm


Glen G. Curtis, one of Yuma’s most successful and generous business leaders, died Saturday at his home in Yuma. The noted citrus farmer, developer and philanthropist was 85 years old.

Glen T. “Spike” Curtis said his father had been suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease for the past few years and passed away at 6:20 p.m. Saturday. The elder Curtis was with his wife, Annette, his 12 children and their families at the time of his death.

“He was just a real charitable and giving person,” Spike Curtis said. “He gave a lot of money to the Yuma Community Food Bank, the Catholic Church, the University of Arizona, the Catholic school. But he gave a lot of money anonymously, too. He was just a very charitable person. That’s what he liked doing.”

Spike Curtis said the family is planning a private burial Thursday with a memorial service at 2 p.m. Friday and a wake to follow that service. Spike Curtis said the family is “getting by.”

“We’re doing good,” he said.

In a life filled with accolades thanks to his generosity, Glen Curtis was chosen as The Sun’s 2002 Citizen of the Year and the Benefactor of the Year and Philanthropist of the Year at the 2004 Yuma Community Foundation Heart of Yuma Awards. He came to Yuma in 1950, helping to grow 20,000 acres of citrus as well as to develop residential and commercial areas throughout the county.

The final project Glen Curtis worked on is still ongoing — the ambitious Coyote Wash development in Wellton. The development, now selling in stages three and four, has plans to add a championship golf course and more homes in the future.

Dunbar Norton, who worked for many years on economic development in Yuma, said Glen Curtis was always very supportive of those endeavors. “I have a great deal of respect for the man,” he said.

When asked why the man gave so generously, Norton recalled being among a group having coffee who asked Glen Curtis just that question. “He said it was based on the premise that you pay back,” Norton said. “You have earned, you owe, you pay back. If you can’t give back dollars, you give back time.”

Glen Curtis’ commitment to Yuma was honored in April 2006 with the naming of the Glen G. Curtis Agricultural Research Building at the Yuma Valley Experiment Farm, 6425 W. 8th St. The Curtis family pledged $250,000 to kick off the fundraising campaign to develop the 20,000-square-foot building.

Glen G. Curtis was born June 5, 1921, in San Diego. He served as a U.S. Air Force pilot in World War II and retired from the service as a major to San Diego with his first wife, the late Elena Orendain Curtis. In 1949, they moved to the Baja peninsula to farm, and it was the farmers there who introduced the Curtises to Yuma.

In 1950, Glen Curtis moved here and opened a real estate brokerage office focusing on agriculture properties. He and Elena would raise 12 children together.

Glen Curtis developed the citrus business as Curtis, Woodman and Roach. The development side of the business grew as well. Today, Glen Curtis Inc. sells commercial and residential properties throughout the county, and its sister company, Glen Curtis Development Inc., plans and develops those properties.

Glen Curtis donated $2 million to Yuma Catholic High School to help build an athletic complex that is named in honor of Elena Orendain Curtis, who passed away in 1987. In 1990, Glen Curtis married Annette Lux Fitzgerald. Between them, they had 15 children, 42 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

Father John Friel, the founding president of Yuma Catholic, said Glen Curtis was excited that the school and the city of Yuma could both use the athletic fields at the complex, so he gave $1 million to the project. Friel said that when Glen Curtis heard that the fields would be done on time, but the school may not be, he gave another million to get the school done as well.

Friel said Glen Curtis was aware that people had helped him, so he wanted to help others. “Glen was a good, good soul,” he said.

According to a letter written by one of his daughters to nominate him as the Citizen of the Year, Glen Curtis in 2002 alone gave $2.5 million to local charities, such as the Yuma Community Food Bank, Assistance League of Yuma, Crossroads Mission, Hospice of Yuma and Yuma Catholic.

Rocky Curtis said his father was one of the "good old timers" and as generous as they come. He said his father supported all kinds of groups including little league baseball, girls softball and the Catholic Church. "He loved this community, and he loved his family and friends," Rocky Curtis said.

Jeffrey Gautreaux can be reached at jgautreaux@yumasun.com or 539-6858.
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