My nomination for someone who made a difference but passed away is Dave Cockrum, creator or co-creator of many of the X-Men. My favorite is Nightcrawler... Dave’s character of Nightcrawler was a happy-go-lucky misfit, and like many of the X-Men, he struggled to fit in with a world that didn’t understand him. As a teenager, it was HUGE to me to be able to identify with characters who didn’t fit in, and I would like to see Dave recognized for making the world easier for a lot of teens.
-- Rob Shofner, Denver, CO
We recently lost our friend, master technician Barry Pepsin, a month before his 50th birthday. Barry was our trusted car mechanic for 20 years and we always felt honored to be counted amongst his loyal customers, and more importantly we were proud to be his friend.... Like so many who saw and knew his work, we were always in awe of his skills, not only at the Nissan, Volvo and BMW dealerships where he worked and won accolades, but also when he was at his hobby, working on the weekends on a self-replenishing collection of Jeeps that were always in his driveway and garage under various dramatic stages of restoration and repair.... Now, we can only be comforted imagining that Barry is happily tooling around in God's magnificent fleet of white Jeeps that we are sure are kept there for all the Angels in Heaven. And maybe even every now and then, Barry will be seen making sure they all have their timely tune-ups.
-- Arch Angelus and Laura Sturaitis, Fort Lauderdale, FL
I wanted to add my cousin, retired Major General Kathryn Frost (my father’s first cousin) to your discussion of people that we lost in 2006. Kathy was the highest ranking female in the US Army when she stepped down due to illness. She was a two-star general and her family is tremendously proud of her 31-year career in the Army. Smart, funny, ambitious, lovely, gracious, and the pride of Latta, South Carolina. Her contribution to her country and to the perception of women’s roles in the military are worthy of recognition. She was buried at Arlington Cemetery with full honors.
-- Christina George Roberts
Ploughshares Fund Founder, Activist
The community of people, organizations and nations that work for peace and nuclear disarmament lost an angel and a hugely important figure this year when Sally Lilienthal died in October at the age of 87. When she was already in her 60s, Sally founded the Ploughshares Fund as a way to provide support to efforts anywhere in the world to build peace and security. At the time of her death, twenty-five years later, Ploughshares Fund had invested over fifty million dollars in these efforts and had become the leading grantmaking foundation in the U.S. focusing exclusively on peace and security.
Sally wasn't just a funder, she was actively engaged and a major force in campaigns to stop nuclear proliferation, ban landmines, prevent armed conflict...the list goes on. Thank you for the opportunity to remember Sally.
-- Deborah Bain, San Francisco, CA
Rufus Harley, jazz musician-"world's first jazz bagpiper"- died August 1, 2006 in Philadelphia at age 70- played tenor sax and flute with the likes of Coltrane, Gillespie, Dexter Gordon and many others- inspired in 1963 while watching Kennedy's funeral and seeing the Blackwatch Bagpipe Band- opened a lot of minds! Fantastic musician.
-- Suzanne Weiss, Arroyo Seco, NM
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