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Joan Didion

Joan Didion

December 5, 1934 - December 23, 2021

The writing of Joan Didion, who has died 87, was mantra-like, mannered, even “set in its own modulations” (that was Martin Amis’s snipe). It was also unique and remarkable. Even the shape of her books was uncommon, the sentences spaced on pages as tall and narrow as king-sized cigarette packets.

She had practiced that incantatory style since her mother had presented her, aged five, with a notebook and a suggestion that she calm her anxious self by writing. Her family had long been settled in California, then chiefly an agricultural state, a location that mattered to Didion’s story, and to her story-telling.

She was born in Sacramento, the daughter of Eduene (nee Jerrett) and Frank Didion, a finance officer with the US army, poker player, and, after the second world war, a real estate dealer. Joan was an army brat on her father’s stations, and her juvenile fantasies set out in that notebook were doomy – death in the desert, suicide in the surf.

The only printed influence on her work she ever cited was Ernest Hemingway, as she had typed out his prose in order to master the keyboard and his syntax: the exact placement of words was the basis of her style as it had been of his. “Grammar is a piano I play by ear,” she claimed. Studying English literature at the University of California, Berkeley, taught her to audit meaning, dissect language and triangulate evidence, and modified her original ambition, acting, into writing as performance.

Didion won Vogue’s Prix de Paris contest in 1956, and was rewarded with a copywriter’s job, dogsbodying with proximity to glamour, in New York, rising to associate features editor over eight years at Condé Nast. She said later that she had been in love with the city’s promise, excited by meeting whoever was in town — models, millionaires, magnates — but had remained an exiled westerner not at home in New York. With a portable typewriter perched on a chair in her almost empty apartment, she wrote a novel about the Californian rivers she so missed.

Those waterways are the real lead in her first novel, Run River (1963). John Gregory Dunne, a staffer on Time magazine and also a self-declared outsider, edited it. They married in 1964, and moved to Los Angeles temporarily, sure that his older brother, the producer Dominick Dunne, would be their entree to screenwriting. That scenario did not quite play out, and both had to turn to magazine journalism for an income.

Didion categorized some of her essays, with their first-person viewpoint and fiction-like fine detail, as “Personals”, but in fact they were about the world as seen by a social and political conservative from the last American generation to identify with adults. A tiny, unnerved and unnerving figure behind vast dark glasses, she was derisive of lax language and dismissive of unformed thought on both the left and right. She did not care to negotiate interviews with stars via their press agents.

She believed she could pass unnoticed anywhere: among the residue of the Hollywood studios and the creatives of the new music business; in arid valley towns and LA’s dustier districts; around the coagulating hippy counterculture in San Francisco. Her descriptions of her crippling social anxiety, her inability to make a phone call to get an assignment under way, did not accord with others’ memories of her taking laps of the room at swelegant parties.

Didion’s first book of collected journalism, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, published in 1968, the year in which she had a breakdown, established her reputation for cool and very slowly became a cult: as the writer Caitlin Flanagan remembered, Didion “had fans – not the way writers have fans, but the way musicians and actors have fans – and almost all of them were female”. That coolness was confirmed by her second novel, Play It As It Lays (1970), with its zomboid leading woman on Hollywood’s perimeter, so chilled a fiction that Didion’s editor, Henry Robbins, called her to ask if she was all right.

Possibly not, but she was getting by. The next year the couple had their first script onscreen, The Panic in Needle Park, and then their 1972 adaptation of Play It As It Lays flopped. Didion’s literary identity became clearer than that of her husband, with whom she shared preoccupations and phrasing, which added edge to their joint 1976 refettling of A Star Is Born to Barbra Streisand’s specifications.

Didion continued the essays, more personal yet, collected in 1979 as The White Album, and developed an idea she had had when trapped by paratyphoid in a hotel room during a Colombian film festival into A Book of Common Prayer (1977), her first fictional engagement with the role and image of the US in Central and Latin America.

At that point all the elements were in play that recurred in her fact and fiction. There was her concentration on the Americas – she had visited Europe and Israel, but disclaimed interest in them – and on the Hispanic influx into the US, which, as a Californian, she was aware of very early. Her books of reportage, El Salvador (1982) - “One morning at the breakfast table I was reading the newspaper and it just didn’t make sense,” she wrote of US press coverage of Salvador’s internal war, and immediately flew there to inspect the body dumps – and Miami (1987), were descriptions of equal and opposite cultural misunderstandings.

She felt that the US political process had become self-contained, exclusive of the electorate and, from the presidency of Ronald Reagan onwards, of reality itself – as depicted in the essays anthologised in After Henry (1992) and Political Fictions (2001) and her occasional 21st century pieces. This perception also fed into her best and most successful novel, Democracy (1984), which could be read as a romance, or – as was also true of her 1996 novel The Last Thing He Wanted – as an exploration of private connections to public power. The political could not have been made more personal.

The greater constant in Didion’s work, though, was the intersection of public and private mood with place – Hawaii febrile in tropical rain, Los Angeles fractious as the Santa Ana winds blew through. Readers came to know the homes she had passed through – the Malibu beach premises on the edge of the fire season burn zone, the “house in a part of Hollywood that had once been expensive and was now described as a ‘senseless killing neighbourhood’”, the Manhattan apartment with the Cy Twombly artwork, plus a travel itinerary of grand hotels.

They became even more familiar with the older California that she kept recalling all the way up to her memoir Where I Was From (2003), in which she finally admitted that her apprehension of her native state had been a misapprehension, an “enchantment under which I lived my life”. It was not the place she had thought it, and it never had been, all the way back to the settlers’ wagon trains and their encounters with rattlesnakes.

By then, she seemed to feel that reality was dispelling all enchantments from her life. The lives of Didion and Dunne had been mostly funded by their remunerative rewrites for the screen, although their joint “implied promise of quality” had been delivered in the adaption of Dunne’s novel True Confessions (1981), and rather less so in a prolonged project, Up Close and Personal, filmed in 1996 as a vehicle for Robert Redford.

They supported each other in public over their career compromises, but there had been fights and near-splits in the marriage. They once holidayed in the Royal Hawaian hotel “in lieu of filing for divorce”, and Dunne left to live alone in Vegas for a while when it was his turn for a breakdown. But it had survived, stronger than a mutual defence pact. Dunne died of a heart attack at their dinner table in Manhattan in 2003, a sudden exit that Didion described in The Year of Magical Thinking (2005), her book of grief and disbelief. It was critically admired for its honesty and clarity, and adapted for the stage.

Didion delayed Dunne’s funeral until their daughter Quintana had recovered from the pneumonia and septic shock that had put her into hospital intensive care. But her recovery was brief and Quintana died just before the book’s publication. Didion and Dunne had adopted the baby on the day of her birth in 1966, and called her after a Mexican state. She became a familiar player in their pieces, often quoted, described as an insouciant user of hotel room service when accompanying her mother on book tours.

In Blue Nights (2011), Didion suggested quite another story of Quintana as a Hollywood child who feared abandonment, was suicidal, diagnosed as manic depressive, and in adulthood had had difficult encounters with her birth family. However, the true subject of Blue Nights was Didion, alone and a long way from California; there could be no going back to places so changed. Her last works, South and West (2017) and Let Me Tell You What I Mean (2021) collected her “field notes” and early writing.

Veronica Horwell

The Guardian 


Remembering Joan Didion

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Dr. David Patrick Liebel

Dr. David Patrick Liebel

November 9, 1950 - December 21, 2021

Missed by everyone who knew him.

Remembering Dr. David Patrick Liebel

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John Emory Ferrebee

John Emory Ferrebee

April 19, 1943 - December 19, 2021

John Emory Ferrebee, of Kapaa, Kauai, Hawaii, died peacefully in his sleep at home on Sunday, December 19, 2021. His son, Samuda, was at his side. The cause of death was Parkinson’s Disease, which had long affected him.

A son of Dr. Joseph Wiley and Juanita Sault Ferrebee, known to all as Salty, he was born in Boston, MA, on April 19, 1943. In 1948 he moved with his parents, brother, sister, horses and dogs to Cooperstown, where his father worked at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital, researching and later developing the now universally used bone marrow transplant. John attended the Cooperstown Central School, and matriculated to the Fay School in Southborough, MA, and then to Millbrook School in Millbrook, NY, where he was captain of both the soccer and the tennis teams. He graduated in 1962 and went on to attend the University of Colorado, Boulder, during which time he opened a motorcycle shop and taught skiing at a local ski area.

In the early 1970s he and his partner, Marcia Hileman, moved to South America, where their son, Samuda John Hileman Ferrebee, was born on October 15, 1972. For several years John owned a sailboat and cruised the coasts of California and Mexico. He then moved to Rancho Santa Fe, CA, to care for his ailing father, who died November 14, 2001, and mother, who died January 22, 2004. He worked at the Santa Anita race track for several years, and at the same time became an avid and very successful day trader. He later moved to Hawaii to wind surf, meditate and continue his trading.

John Ferrebee is survived by his son, Samuda of Mckinleyville, CA, his sister, Anne Ferrebee Keith of Cooperstown, his brother, Peter Wiley Ferrebee of Old Lyme, CT, and his nieces, Alexandra Ferrebee Gehring of Spokane, WA, and Samantha Sault Gehring of Boulder, CO. His brother, sister and nieces will always be grateful to their brother and uncle for taking such exceptional care of Dr. and Mrs. Ferrebee until the day they died.


Remembering John Emory Ferrebee

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Johnny Isakson

Johnny Isakson

December 28, 1944 - December 19, 2021

Georgia’s Republican amiable politician Johnny Isakson died on Sunday after being promoted from a legislature to become a US Senator known as an effective behind-the-scenes consensus maker. He was 76 years old.

Isakson’s son, John Isaksson, told The Associated Press that his father fell asleep at his home in Atlanta before dawn. John Isakson said his father had Parkinson’s disease, but the cause of death was not immediately apparent. “He was a wonderful person. I miss him,” said John Isakson.

Johnny Isakson, a millionaire in the real estate industry, spent more than 40 years in Georgia’s political life. In the Senate, he was a tax-deductible architect popular with first-time homebuyers, who said he would help revitalize the struggling home market. As Chairman of the Senate Veterans Commission, he worked to expand the program to provide veterans with more folk medicine options.

Isakson’s famous motto was, “There are two kinds of people in this world, friends and future friends.” Due to that approach, he was very popular among his colleagues.

“Johnny was one of my best friends in the Senate,” Kentucky Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell said on Sunday. “But what’s amazing about him is that about 98 other Senators always felt the same. With his infectious warmth, charisma, generosity, and honesty, Johnny Became one of the most admired and beloved people in the House of Parliament. “

In 2015, Isakson announced that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease while preparing for his third term in the Senate. Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, progressive movement disorder that significantly slows walking. Immediately after winning the reelection in 2016, he underwent scheduled surgery on his back to deal with the deterioration of his spine. He often relied on wands and wheelchairs in later years.

In August 2019, Isakson announced that he would retire at the end of the year shortly after falling in his Washington apartment and breaking his four ribs, leaving him with a two-year term.

In a farewell speech in the Senate, he begged for bipartisanism during a fierce division between Republicans and Democrats. He cites a long friendship with Atlanta Democrat and civil rights hero John Lewis as an example of two men who are willing to set aside the party to tackle common problems. 

“Let’s solve the problem and see what happens,” Isakson said. “Most of the people who call a person’s name and point their finger are those who don’t have a solution on their own.”

Lewis, who died last year, paid tribute to Isakson on the house floor in 2019, saying, “We have always found a way to get along and do the right job for people.”

After the speech, Lewis said, “Brother, I’m coming to see you,” and walked to hug Isakson.

From Atlanta, Isakson failed in 1974 with his first bid for an elected position, a seat on the Cobb County Commission. Two years later, he was elected to the Georgia State Representatives and became the only Republican to defeat the incumbent Democratic Party of Georgia. That same year, Jimmy Carter was elected president. Isakson served in the State Capitol and the Senate for 17 years. Always a minority in Georgia’s parliament, boosted by the Atlanta suburban boom, he helped pave the way for Republican dominance in the 2000s. By the end of Isakson’s career, some of those same suburbs were looking back towards the Democrats.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said in a statement, “As a businessman and talented retail politician, Johnny paved the way for Georgia’s modern Republican Party, but partisan politics do the right thing. Never disturbed me. “

Isakson suffered a humble setback before being sent to the Senate. In 1990, he lost to Democrat Zelmirer in the governor’s race. In 1996, Guy Milner defeated Milner in the Senate Republican primary before he lost to Democratic Max Cleland.

Many observers chalked the loss to Isakson, who was not tough enough with regard to abortion. In the Primary, Isakson advertised on television and said he would “not vote to amend the constitution to create criminals for women and their doctors” while opposed to government funding and the promotion of abortion.

“I trust my wife, daughter, and Georgian woman to make the right choice,” he said.

He changed his mind about the issues that later became controversial.

Isakson’s jump to Congress took place in 1998 when US House Speaker Newt Gingrich decided not to seek reelection. Isaksson won a special election in 1999 to fill a seat in the suburbs of Atlanta.

He finally arrived in the US Senate in 2004 when he defeated Democratic Denise Madget with 58% of the votes. He served Georgia’s senior senator Saxby Chambris, a close friend and classmate at the University of Georgia.

Isakson was considered an exorbitant early favorite to take over Republican Sonny Perdue at the Governor’s mansion in 2010. But he instead chose to seek a second term in the Senate. While there, he built a reputation as a moderate, but rarely split up with the party in major votes.

He was a major negotiator on immigration law endorsed by President George W. Bush in 2007, but was eventually abandoned after encountering strong resistance from the right. Chambris and Isaksson were booed over their immigrant stance at the Georgia Republican Convention that year.

Isakson supported limited school vouchers and played a major role in developing Bush’s signature education plan, the No Child Left Behind Act. He would also push for a compromise on the politically prosecuted issue of stem cell research, which would also expand research funding, ensuring that human embryos would not be harmed.

The approach to doing that deal is no longer endorsed by many voters, but Isaksson’s pedigree continues to exist in Georgian politics. State Attorney General Chris Kerr was the former Senator Chief of Staff. “When I was young when I was just starting politics, I wanted to be like Johnny Isakson,” Kerr said on Sunday.

Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock said “everything in Georgia” was saddened by Isakson’s death. After defeating Republican Kelly Loeffler in the January final vote, Warnock, who took over Isakson’s old seat, pays homage to the late Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Evernizer Baptist Church in Atlanta. I had a special relationship with Isakson who attended. The pulpit of the church belonged to King and later to Warnock. Warnock also continues Isakson’s tradition of offering an annual barbecue lunch for all Senators.

“The model of public services sets an example for the next generation of leaders in how to make progress on the principle while governing with compassion and compromise,” Warnock said on Sunday.

Isakson graduated from the University of Georgia in 1966 and joined the family-owned company Northside Realty in Cobb County a year later. With over 20 years of command, it has grown to be one of the largest independent residential real estate brokerage companies in the country. Isakson also served in the Georgia Air National Guard from 1966 to 1972.

He was survived by his wife, Diane, who married in 1968, three children, and nine grandchildren.

Remembering Johnny Isakson

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Robert Cumming

Robert Cumming

October 7, 1943 - December 16, 2021

Robert Cumming, an artist of exceptional versatility who could work in several media simultaneously and was a leading proponent of conceptual photography in the 1970s, has died at age 78. The cause of death reported by his partner of 33 years Margaret Irwin-Brandon was complications of Parkinson's disease.

Cumming left his mark on modern art as a multidisciplined contrarian, who viewed life with an eye for the quixotic, absurd, mind-expanding, and amusing, translating his observations through painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and photography into engaging visual essays touched with Surrealism and always tugging at the boundaries of what is real and what is artifice. A brilliant draftsman, he started making art at age 5 with small, precise renderings of different scenes that sometimes won prizes awarded by his local newspaper-- precision and clarity of line remained a hallmark of his graphic work for the rest of his life. His paintings, always representational and often large in scale, probed the perplexities of life and art and such complex themes as the interweaving of vision and imagination.

It is Cumming's photography from the 1970s and 80s, however, that constitutes his greatest legacy. Black and white prints distinguished by acute detail made possible by large negatives were his stock in trade, and he was at his best as a provocateur in scenes he constructed himself with an intention to tease, trick, or stimulate the mind. Crazy quilts of patterns, a slice of bread embedded in a watermelon, movie sets as uncanny stand-ins for reality, and plays on negative and positive relationships are just some of the head-scratching tableaux that populate his work with both wit and philosophy.

Robert Cumming was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1943. Always interested in art and especially draftsmanship, he earned his BA in 1965 at the Massachusetts College of Art and his MFA in 1967 at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, with a concentration on painting, drawing, and printmaking. After graduation he taught studio art at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where he began working with conceptual art of different forms including mail art, illogical sculptures, and performance skits. In 1970 Cumming took a teaching position at California State University, Fullerton, and occasionally taught at other colleges around Los Angeles. Surrounded by a creative arts community in Southern California with a trend toward conceptual work, and influenced by Hollywood set photography, he developed his own strain of conceptual photography, with a sensibility reminiscent of the satire, irony, and linguistic play of Marcel Duchamp. He first exhibited his photography in 1973 at California State College, Long Beach, and group shows followed at such prestigious institutions as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

By the end of the 1970s, Cumming's interests began to shift again toward painting and drawing, and while he continued his photography, it was mostly of a documentary nature. In 1978 he moved back to New England with a teaching job at the Hartford Art School in Connecticut, and he later established a studio in Whately, Massachusetts. In the later 1980s he met Irwin- Brandon, who was teaching at Mount Holyoke College in the music department, and they became life partners. Her specialty is Baroque music, and after having founded Arcadia Players, a period instrument orchestra based in Northampton, Mass., she decided to move back to her home state of California in 2013, where she purchased a house in Desert Hot Springs, California, near Palm Springs. Before long, Cumming joined her, and he happily lived out his life with her in that desert community in pleasant seclusion.

Cumming's work is included in many art museum collections across the country, and it appeared in numerous group exhibitions as well as solo shows at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and others in the United States and abroad. He was the recipient of three National Endowment for the Arts grants (1972,1975,1979) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (1981). 


Remembering Robert Cumming

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Mark Beck

Mark Beck

January 1, 1933 - December 16, 2021

On December 16, 2021, Mark H. Beck passed away peacefully at his home in Easton, MD. He was 88. He is survived by his loving partner Cassandra Kabler, children Guy Beck, Eric Beck (Marion), Lynne Beck, Gail Boren (Kurt), grandchildren Taylor, Julia, Rachael, Laura, and his beloved bulldog, Wally. He was predeceased by his sister, Dorothy Lepire.


Mark H. Beck, an architect who designed the Lexington Market Arcade during his lengthy professional career, died of Parkinson’s disease complications Dec. 16 at his home in Royal Oak in Talbot County. The former Towson and Columbia resident was 88.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Hamilton, he was the son of Harry Beck, a jazz clarinet player and Bendix radio worker, and his wife, Clara Brostrom, a homemaker.

Mark was president and owner of Mark Beck Associates, Architects and formerly founder & owner of Beck, Powell & Parsons, Inc., a prominent Architectural firm based out of Towson, Columbia, and Baltimore. He was a graduate of Poly High School and received his Bachelor of Architecture from The University of Cincinnati. He received his Masters degree in Urban Architecture and City & Regional Planning from Catholic University and his Masters degree in business administration from Loyola University. He received many awards during his career including a 25-year award from the American Institute of Architecture (AIA) for his design of the Silber residence in Roland Park as well as an AIA award for an artist studio and guest house in Monkton. He was well-know in the field for his custom-designed contemporary homes and was recognized in the Baltimore Sun Newspaper for Who's Who in Residential Architecture.

In the early 90's he moved to Easton, MD where he worked remotely from his home as well as continuing to practice at his firm in Baltimore.

He served as a member of Third Haven Friends Meeting, the Easton Historic District Commission, Maryland Center for Character Education, Talbot Mentors, and Evergreen Cove. He was beloved by many in his community of Easton, Maryland.

Remembering Mark Beck

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Manuel Santana

Manuel Santana

May 10, 1938 - December 11, 2021

Tennis player who transformed the appeal of the sport in Spain by winning Wimbledon
Manuel Santana playing Owen Davidson in the semi-final at Wimbledon in 1966. He went on beat Dennis Ralston in the final.

Manuel Santana playing Owen Davidson in the semi-finals at Wimbledon in 1966. He went on beat Dennis Ralston in the final. Photograph: Hulton Deutsch/Corbis/Getty Images
Richard Evans

Few people played tennis as beautifully as Manuel Santana. And few have played a greater role in popularising their sport in a major nation. It is not an exaggeration to say that millions of people play tennis in Spain today because Santana, who has died aged 83, won Wimbledon in 1966.

It was not just that a Spaniard won Wimbledon, although he was the first to do so, but that he was the son of a groundskeeper at a tennis club in Madrid. He was a ball boy. He came from the working classes who, in the days of the dictator Francisco Franco, were not supposed to play rich men’s sports.

And tennis in Spain, right up to the 1960s, was a sport reserved for those who could afford to belong to a country club. More so than in most European nations, you had to be almost connected to the aristocracy to wield a racket. The immensity of Santana’s achievement was enhanced by the fact that he ended up being the frequent squash partner of the former king, Juan Carlos. And, for that, the beguiling, delightful Manolo could thank his charm as much as his talent.

Manuel Santana playing his Wimbledon final against Dennis Ralston
The moment Franco reacted to the national outpouring of happiness for their new humble hero by clutching Santana to his chest when he returned from Wimbledon, the class wall that separated the game from the masses came down. Santana had been honoured by Franco before because Wimbledon was not the first of Santana’s grand slam triumphs. He had won the French title in 1961 and 1964, and the US in 1965. But Wimbledon stood head and shoulders above every other tennis tournament in public awareness at that time, and his victory over Dennis Ralston in the final flipped a switch with sports fans in Spain.

Tennis was suddenly a sport everyone wanted to play. The children who used to grab 10 minutes to hit leftover balls with dilapidated rackets were given proper opportunities to play.

Almost immediately the next generation started to come through, led by the talented Manuel Orantes, a Catalan from a poor family, and soon after that José Higueras, a ballboy at the upper-crust Real Club de Barcelona, who eventually settled in California because he still found it difficult to mingle with the members when he became No 1 in Spain. “We owe everything to Manolo,” said Higueras, referring to Santana: “He opened the door.”

For Spain, Manuel Santana became one of the most successful Davis Cup players of all time. Born in Madrid, to Mercedes Martínez and Braulio Santana, an electrician, Manolo (Manuel) left school when he was 10, and began working as a ballboy at Club Tenis de Velázquez. At the age of 13, he won the club’s ball boys’ tournament. After Braulio died when Manolo was 16, he was supported by Gloria Giron and her family. “By then I was beginning to play a little but I could only continue to do so because a family who were members of the club helped my mother with expenses, not just for my tennis but for my education,” he explained.

His natural ability, highlighted by exquisite touch, quickly became obvious and by the time he played at Roland Garros, reaching the quarter-finals in 1960, he was developing a first serve of considerable power and a forehand that was becoming one of the game’s great strokes. The following year he announced his arrival at the top of the game in tremendous style, beating Roy Emerson and Rod Laver on the way to the final, where the reigning champion, Nicola Pietrangeli awaited him.

“Nicola had been my idol growing up,” said Santana. “To play him in the final of the French and then to beat him in five sets was very emotional for me. I wanted to jump the net but I was scared so I climbed under the net as I had always done as a ball boy and there was Nicola with his arms wide open. I fell on his shoulder crying.”

For this reporter it remains one of the great sights of sport – the new champion being consoled in the arms of the champion he had just defeated. They would remain lifelong friends.

After winning Roland Garros for the second time in 1964, Santana made a brave, career-changing decision. “Tennis in those days was dominated by the Anglo-Saxon world and their preferred surface – grass,” Santana recounted when we spoke in Madrid several years ago. “Three of the grand slams were played on grass in those days and I knew I had to win on the surface to be taken seriously. So, in 1965, I decided not to play in Paris so that I could tune my game to the faster courts.”

At Forest Hills that year, he claimed the US title by beating Cliff Drysdale in the final and was carried to the clubhouse on the shoulders of his cheering supporters.

At Wimbledon, Emerson, the champion for two years and hot favorite to win again in 1966, crashed into the umpire’s chair after chasing a shot that hurt his shoulder. The Australian struggled on but could not serve and was beaten by the left-handed Owen Davidson, a great doubles player with a modest singles record. Nevertheless, Davidson nearly made the most of his own good fortune by taking Santana to 7-5 in the fifth in the semi-final.

Meanwhile, Santana had been busy becoming one of the most successful Davis Cup players of all time. With 92 singles and doubles victories in 46 ties, he cemented a position at No 3 behind Pietrangeli (120 wins) and Ilie Nastase of Romania (109) as the player with the most wins in the history of the competition. Largely as a result of his efforts, frequently supported by Juan Gisbert, Orantes and the Arilla brothers, Spain reached the Davis Cup Challenge Round twice, in Sydney in 1965 and Brisbane in 1967. But on grass Australia was virtually invincible in those days and the likes of Emerson, Laver, and John Newcombe ensured easy victories.

Retiring from the game in 1970 without the fortune now accrued by top stars, Santana, who spoke excellent English, was hired as a public relations officer by Philip Morris in Madrid and worked for the company for many years.

He became Davis Cup captain for a spell in the late 90s, but had been replaced by the time Spain finally won the cup against Australia in Barcelona in 2000.

Later, he established himself with his third wife, Otti Glanzelius, a Swede, as owner of the Manolo Santana Racquet Club in Marbella after several years as director of tennis at the nearby Puente Romano hotel. After testing the water by running a Europe v Latin America team match in Madrid in the 70s, Santana assumed the role of tournament director of the ATP Masters Series event in Madrid (2002) and the WTA Championships at the same venue (2006-08). He was latterly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Santana’s first three marriages ended in divorce. In 1962 he married Maria Fernanda González-Dopeso, with whom he had a daughter and two sons. He also had a daughter with his second wife, Mila Ximenez, a journalist, and another from a relationship with Bárbara Oltra. In 2013 he married his fourth wife, Claudia Rodríguez.

Remembering Manuel Santana

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Robert Hatoff

Robert Hatoff

August 9, 1936 - December 10, 2021

Robert Hatoff Sr., a retired Baltimore City firefighter whose career spanned nearly four decades and who was also an Air Force veteran, died of Parkinson’s disease Dec. 10 at a daughter’s home in New Park, Pennsylvania. The White Marsh resident was 85.

Robert Hatoff Sr., son of Samuel Barton Hatoff, a graphic designer, and his wife, Naomi Rueben Hatoff, a Baltimore Sun employee, was born in Baltimore and raised in Northeast Baltimore.

He attended Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and then enlisted in the Air Force where he served in the Philippines and earned his GED diploma. After being discharged from the service‚ he joined the Baltimore City Fire Department in 1957, eventually becoming an arson investigator in the department’s Fire Investigation Bureau.

Mr. Hatoff enjoyed playing Sparky, the fire dog, in parades and going to area schools to educate children about fire prevention. At the time of his retirement in 1995, he had attained the rank of captain.

He had been an active member of Christian Firefighters.

A longtime resident of Pembroke Avenue in Gardenville, he considered family the “center of his life,” relatives said. He was active in the Hamilton Little League, where he had served as an umpire, coach, and league president. He was also a past PTA president.

Known for his humor, he was a huge fan of “The Three Stooges,” family members said.

Mr. Hatoff, who later moved to Rosedale and finally White Marsh, was a longtime member of Hamilton Presbyterian Church where he was active in church activities and had served as an elder.

Mr. Hatoff is survived by a son, Robert Hatoff Jr. of York, Pennsylvania; two daughters, Debra Susan DiCarlo of Bel-Air and Anita Janice Hatoff of New Park, Pennsylvania; two sisters, Barbara King of Cockeysville and Doreen Gantz of Great Mills; eight grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Remembering Robert Hatoff

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Dr. Carl Grote, Jr.

Dr. Carl Grote, Jr.

October 19, 1928 - December 5, 2021

The city of Huntsville has lost a beloved doctor, a humanitarian, and a philanthropist; and Huntsville Hospital lost one of its biggest cheerleaders.

Dr. Carl Grote, Jr. has died at the age of 93 from Parkinson’s disease.

Dr. Grote practiced medicine in Huntsville for over 40 years, passed away on December 5 in Huntsville. He was 93. Born and raised in Huntsville, Dr. Grote graduated from Columbia Military Academy and earned undergraduate and medical degrees from Vanderbilt University. After his medical internship at Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he served in Germany as a Captain in the United States Army Medical Corp. He returned to Huntsville in 1958 where he entered private medical practice with his father.

Dr. Grote dedicated his adult life to the service of others, and he was tireless in his devotion and service to the healthcare and wellbeing of his many patients. Throughout his career, Dr. Grote committed himself to the betterment of healthcare at the local, state, and national levels.

In addition to his large medical practice, Dr. Grote was President and Chairman of the Madison County Medical Society, Associate Professor at UAH School of Primary Medical Care, President of the Medical Association of the State Alabama, Chairman of Alabama State Board of Medical Examiners, Chairman of Medical Association of the State of Alabama Board of Censors, and Alabama's delegate to American Medical Association. In recognition of his service and numerous accomplishments, Dr. Grote was inducted into the Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame and was awarded the Samuel Buford Word Award, the highest honor given by the state medical association. Dr. Grote's father, also a physician and who is considered the patriarch of Huntsville Hospital, was fond of saying that he practiced medicine for fun and Huntsville Hospital was his hobby.

These words are equally true of Dr. Grote. Following in his father's footsteps, Dr. Grote's love and commitment to Huntsville Hospital was life-long and boundless. He was a board member of the Health Care Authority of the City of Huntsville, the governing board for Huntsville Hospital, for almost 20 years and served as its Chairman from 1990 to 1992. He was also President of the Huntsville Hospital Medical Staff and a longtime member of the Huntsville Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees. In appreciation of his many years of service and dedication to the hospital, in 2007, the Hospital Foundation established The Carl A. Grote, Jr., M.D. Outstanding Physician Advocate Award in his honor.

Each year, this award is presented to an outstanding physician philanthropist. He was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Carole Grote; his parents, Dr. Carl August Grote, Sr. and Willie Barrier Grote; and his sister, Jane Grote Roberts. He is survived by his children, Mary Eleanor McKenzie (Wade), Carl August Grote, III (Leslie), Jane Hipp (Van), and Charles Grote. He is also survived by eight grandchildren, Camille Chaffin (Davis), Elizabeth Frist (Bryan), Carl August Grote, IV (Fran), Rachael Nusbaum (Michael), Ann Randolph McKenzie, Trey Hipp, Sarah Camille Godfrey (Will), and Jackson Hipp; and his eight great-grandchildren, Bo, Oliver, and Mary Farris Chaffin; Amelia Fearn, Ward, and Jack Frist; Liam Godfrey, and Emerson Grote. A visitation will be from noon to 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 9 at Trinity United Methodist Church in Huntsville, where Dr. Grote was an active member. A memorial service at the church will follow at 1:00 p.m. 

Remembering Dr. Carl Grote, Jr.

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Bruce Jeffrey McDermott

Bruce Jeffrey McDermott

April 18, 1951 - December 3, 2021

Bruce Jeffrey McDermott, former Visalia Police Chief, went home peacefully to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on December 3, 2021.

Bruce McDermott was born in Visalia to Noel and Dorothy McDermott on April 18, 1951. He attended George McCann School and graduated from Redwood High School in 1969. He moved to the central coast where he attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and received his Bachelor's Degree in Political Science in 1973. Shortly after graduating, Bruce applied for a job at the Visalia Police Department on a whim upon encouragement from a friend. He was a natural and quickly rose through the ranks to the positions of sergeant, lieutenant and police chief in 1992. He was not your ordinary chief, as he would be seen walking down Main Street in uniform, talking to citizens and business owners seeking input to improve the community he loved. Under his leadership, he oversaw the implementation of the Chaplain's Program, the Citizen's Police Academy, the Gang Suppression Unit and many other programs. Known for his adventurous ride-alongs, he gave people the opportunity to see an officer's job from the lens of a patrol car. Bruce retired in 1997, after being diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, leaving behind a legacy of innovative approaches to improving both the Visalia Police Department and the community he loved.

In retirement, Bruce maintained an active commitment to the community serving on numerous charities, boards, and philanthropic efforts including: Visalia Rotary Club, Friends of the Fox, City of Visalia Parks and Recreation Foundation, Foodlink, Visalia Emergency Aid, Boys and Girls Club, Salvation Army, and the Creative Center. He became actively involved in fundraising to increase awareness and research for Parkinson's. Gifted with quick wit and charisma he was a masterful fundraiser who could not be refused.

Bruce led a rich personal life. He was the fourth of six children: Shari Akkerman (Joe), Denni Pearson, Mike McDermott (Deborah), Christine Fischer (Pat), and Brian McDermott (Debbie). All six siblings remained close into adulthood making annual gatherings a priority. He raised four daughters with their mother Toni Northrop. Bruce beamed with pride when he spoke of his children: Cambria Panuwat (Matthew), Shevonne Swanson (Matthew), Elizabeth Anders (Joe), and Danyelle Quitazol (Reylee), who provided him with eleven grandchildren.

In 2002, Bruce married Veronica Jimenez. They enjoyed spending time with family and friends. They traveled frequently in the United States and abroad experiencing many boxcar adventures. Their favorite pastimes were at the family beach house in Cayucos.

Bruce had a real zest for life and was truly a unique individual. He was always approachable and eager to help anyone in need. As an eternal optimist, his love for people led him to develop long-lasting friendships.

Bruce continues to give by donating his earthly body to science to help find a cure for Parkinson's Disease and other medical research. While Bruce's absence is felt, we are comforted knowing he is now with his Heavenly Father. End of Watch, Car 54.

Remembering Bruce Jeffrey McDermott

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Contact Us

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

Local Phone
(760) 773-5628

Toll-Free Phone
(877) 775-4111

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Updated: August 16, 2017