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Don Dietrich

Don Dietrich

April 5, 1961 - February 16, 2021

Don Dietrich, a former Brandon Wheat Kings defenceman and longtime supporter of the game in his hometown of Deloraine, has died.

He was 59.

Dietrich, who played 28 games in the National Hockey League, battled Parkinson’s disease and cancer.

On his Facebook tribute page, which was active in the weeks before his death, his son Tristan posted the news on Tuesday morning.

"We are sad to announce that Don, Dad, Dins, Beaker passed away this morning peacefully," Tristan wrote. "He fought hard till the end. The ‘I can’ in him stayed true right till the end."

Don’s immediate family also includes his wife Nadine and sons Jacob and Nick.

Dietrich, who was profiled in the Brandon Sun’s Wheat Kings alumni series in 2016, said at the time that hockey played an instrumental role in his ability to fight the health issues that plagued him in his later years.

"The game is the main reason I’m here today for sure," Dietrich said. "If I could give back a tenth of what the game’s given me … I don’t think I’ve done that. There’s a saying that you’re only as good as your last shift and a lot of those things I take with me in life. And a lot of them I learned right here in Brandon."

He skated with the Wheat Kings for three seasons from 1978 to 1981 before embarking on a 10-year pro career that included stints with the Chicago Black Hawks and New Jersey Devils.

He retired after the 1990-91 season, and the family moved back to Deloraine in 1994. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a year later.

His health took another turn for the worse in 1999 when doctors found an aggressive type of cancer called leiomyosarcoma. He was given six months to live, but took an experimental drug for six months and then returned to work with Canada Customs.

Two years later the cancer was back, this time in his liver, but again an experimental treatment worked.

Despite his health issues, he never stopped giving back to the game of hockey.

He worked with the Deloraine Royals senior team and the Southwest Midget AAA Cougars. And as a member of Canada’s national coach mentorship program, he developed a breakfast club that allowed young players to come out twice a week to work on skill development.

He was elected to the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame with the 1978-79 Wheat Kings in 2007, and Dietrich was inducted in the builders’ category in 2011.

His story was told in a 2007 book called No Guarantees, a collection of Dietrich’s memories assembled by Nadine and freelance writer Brad Bird.

Dietrich said he made $365,000 in 10 pro seasons, but the experiences his time in the game provided are priceless.

"I made a living at it, I didn’t make a fortune," Dietrich said. "But I wouldn’t change that for anything. That’s part of looking at that man in the mirror. Are you satisfied with him? Can you honestly look at him and say you did your best?

"I’d say I did."

Remembering Don Dietrich

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Bernard Cohen

Bernard Cohen

January 17, 1934 - October 12, 2020

Bernard S. Cohen, who won a landmark case that led to the U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection of laws forbidding interracial marriage and later went on to a successful political career as a state legislator, has died. He was 86. Cohen and legal colleague Phil Hirschkop represented Richard and Mildred Loving, a white man and Black woman who were convicted in Virginia in 1959 of illegally cohabiting as man and wife and ordered to leave the state for 25 years. It resulted in the Supreme Court's unanimous 1967 Loving v. Virginia ruling, which declared anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional.

Cohen died Monday of complications from Parkinson's disease at his home in Fredericksburg, said his son, Bennett Cohen.

Bernard Cohen had a great sense of humor and liked to ride motorcycles and fly planes, his son said. “He was a bit of a risk taker, and I guess that's in line with the risks he took in his younger professional life,” Bennett Cohen said.

Bernard Cohen and Hirschkop were ACLU volunteer attorneys only a few years out of law school when they took on the case. Mildred Loving was referred to the ACLU by then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy, to whom she had written seeking assistance. “We would pinch ourselves and say, ‘Do we realize what we’re doing?' We're handling one of the most important constitutional law cases ever to come before the court," Cohen said in a documentary about the case that aired on HBO in 2012.

Before arguing the case before the Supreme Court, Cohen said he tried to explain to Richard Loving the legal doctrines he would use. “He was very country, sort of rough,” Cohen told the Associated Press in 1992. “He just said, ’Tell them I don’t understand why if a man loves a woman he can’t marry her no matter what her color.'”

Following the landmark case, Cohen continued a legal career, but also veered into politics. He was elected to the House of Delegates in Virginia in 1979 representing the Alexandria area, and served eight terms. During a 16-year career in the state House of Delegates, Cohen ran as “an unabashed liberal” and reveled in introducing controversial legislation. In 1983, he sponsored a resolution in favor of a nuclear freeze that won passage in the House but stalled in the Senate after a Reagan administration official testified against it. Cohen blamed the defeat on “kooks in the defense Department.” He successfully advocated legislation banning smoking in public places in an era when the tobacco industry was a political powerhouse in Richmond.

Brian Moran, who succeeded Cohen in the legislature and is now Virginia's secretary of public safety and homeland security, said Cohen opted to retire in 1995 because he had grown weary of campaigning — arthritis made shaking hands painful, and he'd come to loath door-knocking after getting attacked by a dog.

Bennett Cohen said his sense was that the civil rights cases of the 1960s weren’t on people’s immediate minds in the ’80s and ’90s, when his father was active in politics. The Loving case, though, had a huge resurgence in public interest in the last decade, in part driven by the documentary and the 2016 Hollywood feature film “Loving,” but even more so by the parallels people saw between the Loving case and the debate over same-sex marriages.

Bennett Cohen noted that on Monday, the day his dad died, vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris talked about the Loving case during the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett.

Remembering Bernard Cohen

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Joel Dwight Janzen

Joel Dwight Janzen

April 22, 1938 - October 7, 2021

Joel Dwight Janzen passed away peacefully in his home on Thursday, October 7 with his wife Lucille by his side. Joel was born to Frank and Marian (Regier) Janzen in Hillsboro, Kansas on April 22, 1938. He lived in Hillsboro until he went to college. He received his degree in Mathematics at Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas. He received his Masters degree in Guidance Counseling at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas.

On August 25, 1959, he married Lucille Klaassen, also of Hillsboro, Kansas. They were married for 62 happy and adventurous years. In 1961, Joel and Lucille moved to Lawrence Kansas, where he taught math at West Junior High.

In 1966, Joel answered the call to teach in Africa. Joel, Luci and children Julie and Greg left Lawrence and Joel spent the next 4 years teaching and counseling in the Congo at The American School of Kinshasa. Daughter Jane was born in Kinshasa before they returned to the United States, this time to settle in Tacoma, Washington. Their fourth child, Emily, was born in Tacoma.

Joel was hired as a counselor at Hunt Junior High in Tacoma in 1970. Joel had caught the Travel Bug, for which there was no vaccine. In 1974, the family headed to Lagos, Nigeria with the opportunity to teach at the American International School in Lagos. After three years, Joel was hired as guidance counselor at the International School of Kenya. The family lived in Nairobi for four years.

Joel took his family back to Tacoma in 1981, where he continued as a school counselor. Still afflicted with the Travel Bug, Joel and Luci went back to the international school in Lagos in 1993, where Joel was counselor and Luci taught 2nd grade until 1997. He retired in 2002 after serving as a high school counselor in Tacoma Public Schools. Joel and Luci have been living on Anderson Island since 2013.

Joel enjoyed a variety of hobbies. We remember him most for his love of singing and listening to music. He was known for his beautiful tenor voice. He loved Africa and took his family on many safaris. He especially enjoyed bird watching. The Travel Bug was still very active after retirement, so Joel and Luci traveled to Europe, Asia, and South America.

He is survived by the love of his life Lucille and four children: Julie Janzen Shires (Paul Shires) of Arroyo Grande CA; Greg Janzen (Doris Acosta) Fox Island, WA; Jane Ellen Kramer (David Kramer) Grass Valley, CA; Emily Janzen Reimer (Troy Reimer) Lawrence Kansas. He is also survived by his brother Don Janzen (Irene) of Newton, Kansas, and Ruby Derksen (Carl) of La Canada, CA. His brother John Janzen (Shirley) preceded him in death. He took great joy in his 10 grandchildren: William Shirefley (Tess Shirefley), Addison Kramer, Adam Shires, Benjamin Reimer, Elliott Kramer (Sam Kramer), Jonathan Reimer, Greta Kramer, Griffin Janzen, Lucy Reimer, and Matthew Reimer.

Joel's last words were, "I have a song in my heart." A memorial service will be held on July 16, 2022.

Remembering Joel Dwight Janzen

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Aaron T. Beck

Aaron T. Beck

July 18, 1921 - November 1, 2021

Aaron T. Beck, the American psychiatrist, considered the father of cognitive therapy—an approach developed in the 1960s that revolutionized the field of psychotherapy died, at the age of 100, at his home in Philadelphia, according to a statement from his daughter Judith Beck, the president of the Beck Institute, an organization of thousands of professionals practicing cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT.

"My father dedicated his life to the development and testing of treatments to improve the lives of countless people throughout the world facing health and mental health challenges," she said.

"He truly transformed the field of mental health."

Contrary to the psychoanalysis developed by Sigmund Freud—which emphasized the role of the subconscious and encouraged patients to delve into their memories—cognitive therapy is concerned with the present.

Throughout his early years as a psychiatrist, Beck noticed that his patients frequently expressed negative thoughts, such as "I am incapable of...", which he called "automatic thoughts."

Cognitive therapy directs patients to change the way they look at certain situations and to identify those "automatic thoughts" in order to overcome them. They are then invited to test out those modified beliefs in everyday life.

That approach is now the most widely practiced therapy method around the world, used to treat depression, anxiety, eating disorders, personality disorders, and other psychiatric problems.

"The idea was that if you sat back and listened and said 'Ah-hah,' somehow secrets would come out," Beck told the New York Times in 2000, speaking about earlier psychotherapy methods.

"And you would get exhausted just from the helplessness of it."

"I think I am ultimately a pragmatist," he said during the same interview. "And if it doesn't work, I don't do it."

Beck was born in July 1921 in Providence, Rhode Island. He graduated from Brown University and Yale University, and wrote or co-wrote some 20 books.

He and his daughter Judith Beck founded the Beck Institute in 1994, which has since trained more than 25,000 mental health professionals in 130 countries in cognitive behavioral therapy.

More than 2,000 studies have demonstrated the efficacy of CBT, according to the institute.

Published in Medical XPress

Remembering Aaron T. Beck

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DR. ROBERT GROSSMAN

DR. ROBERT GROSSMAN

January 24, 1933 - October 7, 2021

With profound sadness, we announce the passing of Dr. Robert George Grossman. As the most loving husband, father, father-in-law and grandfather in the universe, he was our North Star, our compass forward. We are grieving deeply as a family. We are also filled with gratitude for the life he led and the legacy he leaves.

Born on January 24, 1933, in The Bronx, New York, Dr. Grossman is preceded in death by his parents, Dr. Ferenc Grossman and Vivian Eisenberg Grossman. Dr. Grossman was an only child and was adored by his parents who were both immigrants to the United States. Ferenc, who was born in Hungary, was a family practice doctor, and Vivian, who was born in Lithuania, was a grade schoolteacher. Together, they believed that hard work and caring for others were traits to live by and they were successful in their new country. Ferenc and Vivian's greatest love was for their son, and they nurtured Dr. Grossman's interests in science, math, poetry, literature, philosophy and classical music. Ferenc never refused a patient and would treat patients even if they could not afford to pay. In return, grateful families would leave baskets of eggs or bottles of milk on their doorstep. That legacy of caring for others made an indelible mark on Dr. Grossman, who made that a cornerstone of his life's work. Dr. Grossman would treat his patients with compassion and dignity, no matter who they were. He would also make house calls, taking his old school black doctor's bag to the homes of patients who needed help. He was a listener and had a calm and kind manner and would take the time to really hear what his patients were saying and then proceed to help them.

Dr. Grossman honored both his mother and father by becoming a practicing neurosurgeon and a professor. Dr. Grossman had a memorable and loving childhood in New York City and graduated from the Horace Mann School in 1949. He would recall many happy times growing up -- from once getting locked in the Bronx Zoo with a group of friends after dark to his Bar Mitzvah at age 13 and meeting his future wife, Ellin, when he was 16 years old, and she was just 15. It was absolute love at first sight and they were together from that moment on. They were married in 1955 at Ellin's parent's apartment on the Upper East Side and celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary this past June.

Dr. Grossman attended Swarthmore College and graduated in 1953 with a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors in the Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Always intellectually curious, Dr. Grossman was just 16 years old when he started Swarthmore. Swarthmore held some of Dr. Grossman's fondest memories and he spent the rest of his life remarking on the positive impact the college had on him from best friends to a top-notch education.

Upon graduation, Dr. Grossman attended medical school in New York City and received his M.D., College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, in 1957. Next, Dr. Grossman completed his postgraduate training as an Intern in the surgical service at The University of Rochester, Strong Memorial in 1958.

Dr. Grossman then proudly served the United States of America as a Captain, Medical Corps, U.S.A.R., Department of Neurophysiology. For two years, from 1958 to 1960 Dr. Grossman worked at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, D.C. in the Laboratory of Robert Galambos, M.D.

From 1960 to 1962, Dr. Grossman was a Resident and in 1963, he was Chief Resident, Department of Neurological Surgery, Neurological Institute of New York, at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center.

Upon finishing his residency in 1963, Dr. Grossman moved to Texas and accepted his first neurosurgical position as Associate Professor, Division of Neurological Surgery, at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. Dr. Grossman stayed there until 1968, becoming an instructor and then Assistant Professor. It was while he was at work at Parkland Hospital on November 22, 1963 that Dr. Grossman received a phone call to rush to Trauma Room One. President John F. Kennedy had been shot and Dr. Grossman, as one of the two neurosurgeons on staff, was summoned to attend the president.

In 1969, Dr. Grossman and his family moved back to New York where he was appointed Associate Professor and then Professor of Neurological Surgery, Department of Neurological Surgery, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York. And, in 1973, Dr. Grossman returned to Texas -- this time to Galveston -- to be the Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Division of Neurological Surgery. It was his first Chairmanship and Dr. Grossman was proud of the work accomplished in Galveston.

In 1980, Dr. Grossman was appointed Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery, The Methodist Hospital, in Houston, Texas. Additionally, Dr. Grossman was appointed the Chairman of Neurosurgery at Baylor College of Medicine from 1980 to 2005. Dr. Grossman remained the Chairman of Neurosurgery at The Methodist Hospital from 1980 to 2013 and has continued to be a Professor of Neurosurgery since 2013. Dr. Grossman was also the Founder and First Director, Neurological Institute, The Methodist Hospital in 2005.

In 2004, Dr. Grossman founded North American Clinical Trials Network (NACTN) for Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). NACTN's mission is to continually advance the quality of care and the quality of life of people with spinal cord injury through clinical trials of new therapy that provide strong evidence of safety and effectiveness.

Not many people make it to age 88 and still work, but Dr. Grossman's passion for advancing medicine never stopped. He was very proud that he was able to work his entire life and never retired. He believed with 24 hours in a day, much could be accomplished. And so he did.

Dr. Grossman had a keen interest in helping patients with epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson's Disease, spinal cord injury and brain tumors. He made an impact in both helping patients as well as making scientific contributions in all of those neurological areas. From 1960 until 2012, Dr. Grossman performed more than 8,000 major neurosurgical operations.

It was common for Dr. Grossman to be at dinner or a grandchild's school event and have people walk over to say how much they appreciated his care for them or a family member. Those comments always brought him joy that he was able to help make a difference.

Dr. Grossman created his own filing system that became his signature: a stack of white index cards, wrapped in a green rubber band that he kept in the pocket of his white doctor's coat or the front of his button-down shirt. Dr. Grossman would keep detailed notes about his patients and would constantly add to the notes to ensure their care. And he also would keep notes on books he wanted to read, PBS shows to watch and notes about which friend was having a birthday, an anniversary, or a baby.

His dedication for training other doctors to become neurosurgeons was his calling. He was extremely proud of the fact that the neurosurgeons he trained and worked with are now among the leaders in the field in Houston and around the country. Dr. Grossman trained two percent of the neurosurgeons in the United States.

Additionally, Dr. Grossman had a keen interest in scientific research. He was a prolific writer, and wrote eight medical books, including Medical Neurobiology: Neuroanatomical and Neurophysiological Principles Basic to Clinical Neuroscience. Dr. Grossman also wrote 216 articles for scientific journals and chapters in 52 different medical textbooks.

Dr. Grossman served on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Neurosurgery, Neurosurgery and World Neurosurgery. Additionally, he served as Chair, American Board of Neurological Surgeons and President of the Society of Neurological Surgeons. He was a member of the Christopher Reeve Foundation International Research Consortium Advisory Panel and helped guide their research program. In Houston, Dr. Grossman helped found the Houston chapter of the Epilepsy Association Texas and was involved with TIRR and the Houston Area Parkinson's Society.

Dr. Grossman was awarded many honors and some of his most cherished were accepting the Cushing Medal from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, 2007, for service to Neurosurgery; and the Albert and Ellen Grass Foundation Prize and Medal from the Society of Neurological Surgeons, 1988, for continuous commitment to research in the neurosciences.

Outside of work, Dr. Grossman had numerous interests: photography, sundials, astronomy, sailing and fly fishing. He was a prolific reader and read everything from Greek and Roman classics to English poetry and mystery novels. Dr. Grossman was perennially cheerful, upbeat and a joy to be around. People would always remark that Dr. Grossman was a true gentleman -- and his calm, reassuring demeanor are going to be missed.

And even though he was so proud of his professional accomplishments, Dr. Grossman was even more proud of his family. And it all started with Ellin. Theirs was a love story that knew no bounds. They were inseparable and devoted to one another.

Together, they traveled the world from France to Israel, Japan to Scotland, Egypt to Italy and beyond. They built a vacation home in Santa Fe, New Mexico that became their happy place, their true sanctuary. In Santa Fe, they would hike, birdwatch, eat, look at the stars, visit the library and the museums and enjoy friendships and camaraderie. At home in Houston, they and would attend productions of the Gilbert and Sullivan society, Alley Theater and the Houston Grand Opera among others. They would read books, exercise, and spend time with dear friends and family. They also had two wonderful Westie dogs that they loved and they also treasured their involvement with the West Highland White Terrier Club of Southeast Texas.

Dr. Grossman was always so proud of his family, who will forever love him. He is survived by the love of his life, Ellin and their children and grandchildren: Dr. Amy Coburn and husband Dr. Michael Coburn, along with their son Jeff Coburn and daughter Laura Coburn; daughter Kate Rose along with her son Joel Gottsegen and her daughter Claire Gottsegen; and daughter Jennifer Oakley and husband Bruce Oakley along with their children Jessica Sosa and her husband Jonathan Sosa, Sarah Oakley, Connor Albert, Paige Albert and William Robert Oakley, who was named after Dr. Grossman.

His nine grandchildren named him "Grumpy" -- which they all thought was funny because it was the furthest thing from the truth. He loved his grandchildren with all his heart and was always a source of information, someone to talk to and learn from and the creator of memorable times. The annual Grandchildren's New Year's Eve sleepovers are cherished memories. If a grandchild said they were interested in geology, a geode would be given to them. If they said they liked music, he would give them CDs of Mozart; if they were interested in geography, he would give them a globe. If they were interested in animals, he took them to the Galapagos Island. In truth, he was giving them the world. And they all knew it.

Dr. Grossman cared about people. He had the ability to make everyone feel special -- but that is because he really did think they were. For his family, he wasn't just working at his job, he was demonstrating how waking up early and going strong all day long allows you to get more out of each day; when he was given an award from TIRR just a few years ago, he accepted it with gratitude and then said "I still have much work to do." In his medical research, he was not just working to help try and find a cure for spinal cord paralysis but he was teaching his grandkids to think about others, to help those in need, to try and go further and search for solutions where none yet exist. When he used to go the grandchildren's schools to give a lecture about how the brain works, he was not talking about himself and his accomplishments, he was demonstrating how to be curious and to give back to others through selfless service. He believed helping and teaching others is a key to life. And, when he woke up every morning singing and telling Ellin that he loved her, he was teaching our family how to find joy and care for a spouse.

We don't know who revolves around whom in our family but we tend to think we all revolved around Dr. Grossman. It's no wonder that Dr. Grossman was fascinated by the cosmos, because in our family, simply put, he hung the moon.

As a family, we would like to thank Dr. Grossman's close friends and colleagues who helped care for him. It is a sad irony that a man whose life was devoted to the study of neurological diseases was confronted with Parkinson's Disease. Like everything else in his life, Dr. Grossman faced it bravely, squarely and gracefully. Dr. Grossman's medical team of Dr. Robert Jackson, Dr. Al Raizner and Dr. Eugene Lai were unparalleled in their expert care.

 

Remembering DR. ROBERT GROSSMAN

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Parkinson's Resource Organization
74785 Highway 111
Suite 208
Indian Wells, CA 92210

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Updated: August 16, 2017