Memorials · Parkinson's Resource Organization

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Dr. Richard (Dick) B. Stein

Dr. Richard (Dick) B. Stein

June 14, 1940 - November 3, 2020

A life well lived.

Dr. Richard (Dick) B. Stein. Dick is remembered by friends, family, and colleagues as a decent man who treated everyone with respect, fairness, and kindness. He attended MIT and Oxford University both on full scholarship. In 1968 he moved to Edmonton with his wife Sue and young children Ellie and Eric. Once there, Dick helped build the department of physiology at the University of Alberta. He was a professor at U of A for 50 years before retiring in June 2018. Papers from his final projects on Parkinson's Disease are still winding their way to publication.

Dick was proud of his mentorship of generations of neuroscientists. Dick had the vision that multidisciplinary research was needed to answer difficult questions. He co-founded the Neuroscience group now the Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute at the University of Alberta which supports over 150 researchers. His research and inventions have helped thousands with neurologic and mobility challenges.

Dick was also proud of his family. Losing his own parents at age 16, he threw himself into parenting and his family doing fun activities every weekend. As well, he enjoyed ballroom dancing with Sue and wildflower photography. He jogged, rode, or walked to work almost every day of his career. He enjoyed cross country skiing and introduced it to many of the foreign students working with him. Dick and Sue traveled to almost 100 countries and Dick said recently that he had had a good and interesting life.

During the past 2 years, Dick has been limited by Parkinson's Disease and associated conditions. As a resident of the Edmonton General Continuing Care Centre, he has received love and care from the staff on 5AB. They have become our extended family and we thank them for their kindness and devotion. During COVID they have gone over and above risking their own safety to keep our family connected.

An amazing group of former students worked as a team to support Dick and the family over the past 2 ½ years. They enabled Dick to keep walking including outside walks and brought him homemade gluten-free cookies. They helped Sue and Dick create a ballroom dance routine which was presented at the Edmonton General in March 2019. You can watch this inspiring performance at

The "Dream Team" as we call them have supported our family until Dick's last day and beyond. Thank you to Dirk Everaert, Su Ling Chong, Jaynie Yang, Jacques Bobet, and Kelvin Jones.

When COVID entered the Edmonton General, Dick was isolated from friends and family for 3 months. We wondered if he would survive. But he did survive, never complaining. He relished his phone as a connection to the outside world. The lockdown lifted on July 23 and we had three months together again taking Dick outside for visits. When COVID again hit the EGCCC, Dick became ill within days and tested positive for COVID. He fought for several days longer than expected but succumbed on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

We look forward to having a ceremony to celebrate his life sometime in the future and will announce closer to the time.

Thinking of others until the end, Dick's wish in recent years was to create a bursary to support future neuroscientists. Donations may be made to the "University of Alberta" noting your donation is made in memory of Dr. Richard Stein to support the Richard B Stein Neuroscience Graduate Student Fund.

Remembering Dr. Richard (Dick) B. Stein

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Emery Elmer Jones, Jr.

Emery Elmer Jones, Jr.

October 6, 1936 - November 1, 2020

Emery Elmer Jones, Jr. Born October 6, 1936, at home in Victor, CO. Emery unexpectedly passed peacefully on November 1, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. after a lengthy battle with Atypical Parkinson's complications. Emery worked on ranches and later became a land surveyor in Colorado through 1959. In 1960 Emery and his first wife, Ruth (passed in 1999), moved to California and eventually to Novato, CA. Emery was employed as a hydro surveyor for the Army Corps of Engineers for 23 years. In 1982, he and Ruth opened the Oliva Loma 40 Horse Boarding Stable, which closed in 1996. Emery is survived by his wife, Nancy; and Nancy's daughter, Wendy Albrecht; brothers: Howard (passed in 2016), James (Nancy), and Robert (JoAnne); sisters: Betty Waits, Patricia Radman, and Janie Anderson; also, many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews. Emery will be greatly missed by family and friends. At Emery's request, there will be no service and no memorial.

Remembering Emery Elmer Jones, Jr.

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Richard "Dick" James Heckmann

Richard "Dick" James Heckmann

December 8, 1943 - October 31, 2020

Richard "Dick" James Heckmann, the former CEO of United States Filter, passed away from complications of multiple system atrophy, a Parkinsonism, at the age of 76 on October 31, 2020, in his home in Rancho Mirage, California.  

Dick is survived by his wife, Wendy Heckmann, and their daughters Mia and Madison. He also leaves behind his ex-wife Mary and their children Tom, Scott, Brock, Todd and Jessica and his nine grandchildren. He is also survived by his son Greg from a prior marriage.

Dick was born in St. Louis, Missouri on December 8, 1943 to Phil and Ruth Heckmann. Dick was a serial entrepreneur even as a child, working to plow snow off driveways in the winter and as a golf caddy in the summer. He planned to be a priest until a jet flew over his head and he felt he was destined to be a pilot instead. He joined the United States Air Force and fought bravely in the Vietnam War in 1965 and then attended the University of Hawaii and completed the Small Business Management Program at Harvard Business School.

He moved to Washington, D.C. where he worked as Associate Administrator for Finance and Investment of the Small Business Administration (SBA), where he was responsible for

small business lending and venture capital investments made by the United States government. He also served as the White House liaison for the SBA under the Carter Administration and was a former director of the Advisory Board of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Dick was the Founder of Tower Scientific Corporation, a prosthetics company, which he sold in 1977. He retired to Sun Valley, Idaho, to ski, and was elected the Mayor of Sun Valley in 1979.

Dick and his family moved to the Palm Springs area and he became a stockbroker. He set the record for highest trade volume in a single day in 1987. He was also Chairman of the Listed Company Advisory Committee of the New York StockExchange and a member of the Exchange's Special Governance Committee.

He founded US Filter Corporation, a water filtration company,in 1990 and embarked on a series of 260 acquisitions aimed at building the world's largest water treatment company. Nine years later, US Filter was acquired by Vivendi SA, an international water products group, for $6.2 billion.

He served as Executive Chairman of K2, Inc., a sporting good company, which he sold for $1.2 billion in 2007. He was Director and owner of Smith Goggles and a founding shareholder of Callaway Golf, Inc. He was the Chairman of Nuverra Environmental Solutions, Inc. He also founded the Heckmann International Center for Entrepreneurial Management, at UC Riverside's Palm Desert Campus.

Dick was also an owner of the NBA Phoenix Suns basketball team. During his first year as a partner, the Suns acquired Steve Nash, and the team shot to the top of the Western Conference standings. Attending the games court side was a great joy to Dick and his family (but sometimes not the referees).

Dick would say his greatest achievement was the close-knit family that he leaves behind. A perfect Saturday afternoon for him would be hanging out with his children, with the grandchildren bopping around, watching a Notre Dame football game. He never missed a t-ball game, soccer game, wrestling match or football game for any of his children and was a great coach himself.

While being a great father, husband, and businessman, Dick also found time to mentor many high school children and young adults. He was very giving with his time and always ready for an in-depth conversation about how to succeed in life. His simple wisdom for teenagers embarking on a college career was to learn how to write effectively, communicate with anyone, read extensively and be comfortable speaking to a large group. His advice for starting a family was just as simple; it will be the best thing you ever did and appreciate every second of it.

Dick will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery next year.

Remembering Richard "Dick" James Heckmann

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Ricardo Blume

Ricardo Blume

August 16, 1933 - October 30, 2020

The actor who is remembered for his participation in various Mexican soap operas suffered from some illnesses such as Parkinson’s and pneumonia

This October 30, the entertainment world is in mourning, since actor Ricardo Blume passed away at the age of 87.

The native of Lima, Peru, whose career took place mainly in Mexico, is remembered for his participation in various soap operas, including ‘Simply María’, ‘Carrusel de las Américas’ and ‘Care with the Angel’, as well as ‘Marimar’ and ‘María la del Barrio’, where he shared the screen with Thalía; as well as more than 60 plays in Peru, Mexico and Spain.

The news was confirmed by the journalist Patricia del Río in the newspaper El Comercio, where he assured that the actor suffered from some diseases such as Parkinson’s and pneumonia.

“ Yes, he passed away. He was very sick, he was 87 years old with Parkinson’s and pneumonia. It was already wrong. We knew it was a matter of hours, and they told us that he had no quality of life, “said Patricia, noting that the actor died in a hospital and was accompanied in his last minutes by his daughter and wife. “He was in the hospital, with his daughter and wife .”

While the National Association of Interpreters of Mexico also shared the news through a message on their Twitter account.

“The #Directive Council and the #Vigilance Committee of @ANDIMexico, communicate the sensitive death of the partner and interpreter Ricardo Blume. Our deepest condolences to his family and friends ”

For his part, Cecilia Blume, the interpreter’s niece, released a message on Twitter.

”My uncle Negro, the last of the Blume Traverso, the one who appeared on TV and was” famous “! a nice family, happy and very united. Today my uncle Freddy, Eddy, Jackie, and my dad met! they will be playing guitar, Cajon, maracas and even spoons, until very late today!“, wrote.

Remembering Ricardo Blume

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Percy Schmeiser

Percy Schmeiser

January 5, 1931 - October 13, 2020

Percy Schmeiser, farmer known for fight against Monsanto, dead at 89. Schmeiser is remembered by his son as a dedicated father who loved taking his grandchildren fishing. Schmeiser, who had Parkinson's disease, is survived by his wife, Louise Schmeiser. 

John Schmeiser told CBC News his father died peacefully in his sleep Tuesday afternoon at the age of 89. Schmeiser had Parkinson's disease.

The Saskatchewan farmer became famous in the late 1990s after agrochemical giant Monsanto took him to court. The company had found its genetically modified canola in Schmeiser's field, but he had never paid for the right to grow it. Schmeiser insisted the seeds had blown onto his field in the wind and that he owned them. Monsanto sued him, and in the end, the case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled that the farmer had knowingly violated Monsanto's patent. 

As the world media descends on Percy Schmeiser and his battle with Monsanto, neighbours and scientists question the validity of his defence. Schmeiser's son John said the court case was only one part of his life, as it happened when Schmeiser was getting ready to retire. John said he'll remember Percy as a dedicated father, grandfather and businessman. 

"I am privileged to this day to be his son," John said. "Growing up, it was very, very evident right from the beginning about how concerned he was about his community and his family." Schmeiser served on town council in Bruno, Sask., for several years, both as mayor and as a councillor. He also ran a couple of businesses and ran a farm, John said. "We were always busy," John said. "And he always made time to be with family. And when grandchildren started to rise, it just took it to another level for him because he had more children to be around."

Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser’s battle with Monsanto, which went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, has been turned into a Hollywood movie called Percy. Although the movie is endorsed by Schmeiser’s family, there are concerns about its accuracy. Zakreski saw the movie at the Calgary Film Festival with Schmeiser's son, John, and said it was a strange and surreal experience. Though he said the film got more things right than wrong, there were some aspects where the director took artistic license. "The trial was a lot more intense and a lot more dramatic than it was portrayed," he said. "It took place in Saskatoon on a larger scale and it drew an incredible amount of interest. There were media scrums going into and out of court. It was a very high pressure situation."

"He was just an extraordinary person. I haven't met someone like him … an example for us all."

John said memories about his father that stand out are his passion for fishing and sharing his skills. "He would go to great lengths to take his grandchildren, when they were four, five, six years old, he would take them fishing. And he just loved doing that," John said. "For all of us, that was a very, very special thing and it was so important to him." Schmeiser would be filled with pride when he saw his grandchildren catch their first fish, John said. "I don't know who had a bigger smile, [Schmeiser] or one of his grandchildren," John said. "For him, that was just an incredible sense of accomplishment, to see them catch fish."

John said he hopes his father is remembered as that dedicated grandfather, passionate fisher and someone who would do anything to see his community succeed. Schmeiser would be there for his customers at the farm equipment dealership at any time, and even in retirement watched the weather to make sure they had a good harvest, John said. 

Schmeiser is survived by his wife Louise. The two had just had their 68th wedding anniversary on Oct. 2. John said they met at a dance in Bruno, Sask., and lived there their entire lives. Now, Bruno is home for him and his siblings forever, he said. 

In a video recorded in September 2020, the Schmeisers thanked people for their support through the legal battle and for the opportunity to have their story told in a recently released movie called Percy. (Mongrel Media/Vimeo)


Source: Saskatchewan

Remembering Percy Schmeiser

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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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Josephine 'Jo' Crack

Josephine 'Jo' Crack

December 31, 1969 - October 11, 2020

Josephine Crack, better known as ‘Jo’ was born in 1935 into a hard-working and highly respected family of grocers in the village of Lound, near Lowestoft. She had an older sister, Rosalie, who was disabled, and her life was centred at home and the small village school where she thrived.

Following her early education Jo went on to the grammar school in Lowestoft and it was a visit from the school’s headmaster which persuaded her parents that Jo had the potential to go to university. Jo headed to University College London where she studied German and earned her degree and certificate in education. She went on to spend a year in Germany and when she returned to England her first teaching post was in Rochester, Kent.

Then, in 1965, Jo moved to Maidenhead and started work at Maidenhead High School, now known as Newlands Girls’ School, as a German teacher. Jo stayed at the school for 27 years, seeing its gradual conversion to comprehensive schooling and its change of name to Newlands School in 1973. During this time she became deputy head, a post she later shared with joint deputy head Janet Longstaff. Janet said: “She was lovely to work with, really supportive, sympathetic, she was great.”

According to Janet, Jo was also an excellent teacher, producing ‘very successful’ exam results, as well as being principled. “She always claimed to be firm and fair, but she was always great fun and very sociable,” said Janet.

“She taught my sister an awfully long time ago, but when I told my sister she’d died, she said ‘Jo’s lessons were such fun’, she said ‘we would all end up giggling and Jo would be giggling too’.

Jo and Janet became good friends, and Celia Phillips, a fellow teacher, was another very good friend Jo met at school, the pair going on to share a flat and then a house together. Throughout her life Jo cherished friendships, and kept in touch with school friends, family friends, foreign friends, village friends and colleagues.

She also loved music and literature, and enjoyed sport, from playing hockey at school, to badminton in her thirties and short tennis following her retirement in 1990. As a spectator, eventing and horse riding came first for Jo, followed by football, golf and snooker. Although she liked to travel and explore different countries, in her retirement Jo was happy with spontaneous days out and short breaks in England.

Jo had Parkinson’s and moved to Boulters Lock Residential Care Home in Sheephouse Road in 2015.

She died at the home on Sunday, October 11.


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Jane Darrah Gates

Jane Darrah Gates

March 6, 1942 - October 3, 2020

Mercer Island, Washington - Jane Gates, age 78, passed on peacefully, surrounded by family, on October 3, 2020. Jane was known for her laugh, dry Midwestern one-liners, and her ability to make every moment a teaching moment.

Jane was born on March 4, 1942, in Wichita, Kansas, to John and Joanne Darrah, the second of five kids, sister to Tom, Cindy, Jody, and Bo. After graduating from Wichita High School in 1960, Jane got a degree in Education in 1964 from Kansas University. She also majored in having fun as a member of Pi Beta Phi.

Jane then headed to California to teach and met Navy man and future attorney, Mike Gates, at a party. Jane and Mike were married June 28, 1966, and shared a life of laughter, love and fun for nearly 55 years.

As mom to Kim and Adam, the kids remember mom as in charge of everything, the "mayor of Arden Park" and excessively generous. As Nana to Kim and Ron Thunen's children, Ella, Charlotte and Maddy and Adam and Silvia Gates' children, Zephyr and Colton, Jane found her true calling.
Jane taught first, second, and third graders for nearly 20 years. Described as a book-loving Mary Poppins, students continued to track down Mrs. Gates for many years.

Ever the Midwesterner and a 30-year resident of Sacramento, Jane loved her retirement life split between Palm Dessert and Mercer Island, Washington.
Jane was a consummate do-er, effortless entertainer, gardener and gourmet cook. She enjoyed a strong cup of coffee, a Manhattan cocktail, and anything sweet. Jane loved playing games with friends, from tennis and golf to bridge and mahjong. Jane was famously the queen of the frugality and the thrifty bargain.

Jane and Mike were perhaps happiest when travelling the world. From Europe to China to Washington, DC, Jane's warm smile and engaging personality started many great conversations throughout the years. Jane was easy to be around.

Jane suffered and died from Multiple System Atrophy.

Remembering Jane Darrah Gates

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Michael Whishaw

Michael Whishaw

August 29, 1936 - September 27, 2020

Michael was born in England on August 29, 1936 and passed away at 84 peacefully in his sleep early September 27, 2020 in La Quinta, California due to Parkinson’s Disease.

He was a very gentle, kind, and humble Gentleman whose passion was sailing, fishing, garden design, cooking, ceramic repair and loved building Department 56 Christmas Villages. He was a great Host who loved entertaining family and friends. 

He is survived by his wife, Jan, his three children in England, Nick (Tania) Whishaw, Catherine Whishaw, James (Newby) Whishaw and his stepdaughter Jacquie McClure.  His 5 grandchildren Tim, Natasha, Telisa, Jack and William, who all live in England.

He was in sales all his life and loved public speaking.

Michael, you will be deeply missed but your legacy will continue through your loving wife, your children, and your grandchildren, and by all the people that your wonderful life has touched.

A Memorial Mass is scheduled for October 24, 2020 at Sacred Heart Church at noon.

In lieu of flowers, may we suggest donations be made in Michael’s memory to Parkinson’s Resource Organization,74-090 El Paseo #104, Palm Desert, CA 92260 www.parkinson’

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Reverend Robert Graetz

Reverend Robert Graetz

May 16, 1928 - September 20, 2020

The Rev. Robert Graetz, the only white minister to support the Montgomery bus boycott and who became the target of scorn and bombings for doing so, died Sunday at his home in Alabama. He was 92.

Graetz died from complications of Parkinson’s disease, said Kenneth Mullinax, a friend, and family spokesman.

Graetz was the minister of the majority-Black Trinity Lutheran Evangelical Church in Montgomery, Ala. He was the only local white clergyman to support the boycott. He and his wife, Jeannie, faced harassment, threats, and bombings as a result.

Sparked by the December 1955 arrest of Rosa Parks, the planned one-day boycott of Montgomery City Lines became a 381-day protest of the segregated bus system that ended with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that segregated public buses were unconstitutional.

The parsonage where the Graetzes lived was twice hit by bombs, once when they were away and again in 1957, not long after the boycott ended, in a wave of attacks by white supremacists on civil rights leaders and churches. Four Black churches and the home of the Rev. Ralph Abernathy were also bombed on Jan. 10, 1957. The Graetzes were at home with their children at the time, including their then-9-day-old baby.

One bomb blew out the windows of the home. A second bomb, a package of 11 sticks of dynamite wrapped around a small box of TNT, was at the parsonage earlier that night but failed to explode.

In his book, “A White Preacher’s Message on Race and Reconciliation,” Graetz described how during those years of danger he played a game with his children in which he encouraged them to duck behind the sofa if they were told to hide because of a strange noise outside.  

Despite the scorn, violence and threats he and his wife faced, Graetz wrote they would not change a thing if they were given the opportunity.

“The privilege of standing up for righteousness and justice and love is greater than any other reward we might have received,” Graetz wrote.

Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed said Graetz “lived what he preached.”

“Rev. Robert Graetz and his wife, Jeannie, stood against hate and put their lives in danger because the cause, of their all-Black congregation and the community itself, was just,” Reed said.

Tafeni English, the director of the Montgomery-based Southern Poverty Law Center, called Graetz a “remarkable civil rights and social justice leader.”

“Rev. Graetz was a kind and gentle soul, who along with his revered wife, Jeannie, dedicated his life to creating Dr. King’s vision of the Beloved Community,” English said.

Graetz is survived by his wife and several children.

Remembering Reverend Robert Graetz

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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