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The Daily Goodbye

Patricia Sullivan

Good morning; seems like awhile since we've done this, doesn't it? On to the interesting lives that have gone on before us.

No relation, but Anne Sullivan had the kind of drive we all admire. She had a full-time legal career and raised eight children, often crediting Fannie May chocolates with giving her the energy to get through law school while working for the phone company at night.

Others might disagree, but as the generation that fought World War II dies, their descendants seem to me to be those who fought for civil rights in this country, which could be dangerous as well. Zev Aelony was one. Arrested several times as a Freedom Rider, in 1963 1963, he and three other men were arrested in Americus, Ga., on charges of insurrection and attempting to register black voters, a charge that carried the death penalty. He was also beaten and jailed in Alabama when he was part of a group that protested the murder of a postal worker.

Jane Black didn't put her life on the line, but she too stood up for equal rights -- in her case for women in the Episcopal Church. She was among 29 women officially seated as delegates to the 1970 General Convention.

Dr. Cynthia Ayers
became a physician with the encouragement of her mother, a nurse, who each night would place a small tape recorder under Cynthia's pillow that played her mother's words of reassurance that her dream was attainable. The internist died of a stroke last week.

Any Amelia Earhart fans might want to take a look at Ida Mae Hampton's obit. She was one of the Ninety-Nines, which Earhart led, and during World War II, Mrs. Wassell piloted courier flights for the Civil Air Patrol between Philadelphia and Washington.

Sigrid Ueblacker saved more than 10,000 birds of prey since 1982 with an organization she founded and ran in Colorado. Her group concentrates on owls, falcons, eagles and hawks and treats more than 450 birds a year, with a 70 percent release rate -- pretty impressive for a wildlife treatment center.

All the soldiers being killed in Afghanistan are not just American; the British lost Staff Sgt. Olaf Schmid, a bomb disposal specialist whose commanding officer said "He was simply the bravest and most courageous man I have ever met."

Vitaly Ginzburg, who won the 2003 Nobel Prize for developing the theory behind superconductors, may have been the only scientist whose life was saved by the atomic bomb. The work allowed him to survive Stalin's purges.

There's no reason you can't (in fact, you CAN!) offer suggestions or commentary on these or other obits. I welcome it, encourage it and solicit it. Our log files show you're out there -- make yourself heard!

By Patricia Sullivan  |  November 9, 2009; 8:10 AM ET
Categories:  Patricia Sullivan , The Daily Goodbye  
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You notice my "user ID" -- we oldsters tend to read the obituaries rather carefully. The quickies you place on this blog fascinate me. So many people to know, so little time. Everyone has a story. You're good at telling them.

Posted by: OldLady1 | November 10, 2009 6:53 AM | Report abuse

Thanks! This blog series is a quirky addition to my bigger job as a Washington Post reporter and writer, as you probably know. Thanks for reading, in any medium.

Posted by: Patricia Sullivan | November 10, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

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