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The Daily Goodbye

Patricia Sullivan

Good morning.

Canadian singer-songwriter Kate McGarrigle, matriarch of the musical Wainwright family, has died of cancer. She and her sister Anna recorded 10 albums. She was 63.

I usually eschew journalists in this space, but Steven Lovelady was singular; one of the masterminds behind the Philadelphia Inquirer's 17 Pulitzer Prizes, he worked closely with Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele, the newspaper's legendary investigative team. The pair credit him with shaping their two Pulitzer Prize-winning series on the inequities of the tax system, as well as two National Magazine Awards that the pair later won at Time, where Mr. Lovelady was also their editor.

Robert Strube, a gruff produce salesman, helped start the Greater Chicago Food Depository in 1979. The first year, the depository supplied about 40 food pantries with about a half-million pounds of food. He died without achieving his dream, to end hunger in the U.S. by the millennium, but he made a good start.

Frank Base, one of the few remaining survivors of the Bataan Death March during World War II, had died in Florida. A decorated military medic, he risked infection by caring for the sick without supplies during his long incarceration.

David Franks was the sort of poet/artist whose work makes good stories to tell in bars. There was the time Franks conducted a musical composition played by tugboat whistles, or the time he commandeered a Xerox machine at Social Security headquarters, undressed, mounted the machine and photocopied his body. He was found dead at his Baltimore home last week.

Sandy Hartman, a pistol-packing landlord who tried to create decent housing for the working poor while holding off drug dealers in her Atlanta apartments, died Dec. 31. She kept the drug dealers out, but lost the housing to the bank; she picked herself up and started again.

By Patricia Sullivan  |  January 19, 2010; 8:22 AM ET
Categories:  Patricia Sullivan , The Daily Goodbye  
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