The Memorial Wall

David Shapiro

David Shapiro

January 2, 1947 - May 4, 2024

 

David Shapiro, a cerebral yet deeply personal poet aligned with the so-called New York School, whose highly lyrical work balanced copious literary allusions with dreamlike imagery and intimate reflections drawn from family life, died on Saturday in the Bronx. He was 77.

His wife, Lindsay Stamm Shapiro, said the cause of his death, in a hospice facility, was Parkinson’s disease.

Mr. Shapiro published 11 volumes of poetry during his six-decade career. His book “You Are The You: Writings and Interviews on Poetry, Art and the New York School” is scheduled to be published this fall. His 1971 collection, “A Man Holding an Acoustic Panel,” was nominated for a National Book Award.

He was also an art historian, producing monographs on Piet Mondrian, Jasper Johns, Jim Dine and other painters. And he maintained a career in academia that included decades as an art history professor at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J. In the 1970s, he taught English and comparative literature at his alma mater, Columbia University.

It was there as an undergraduate that he first tasted fame, albeit unwittingly, during the landmark student uprising in the spring of 1968, which was sparked by outrage over the university’s ties to research for the Pentagon, its plans to build a gym on nearby public land and other issues.

Mr. Shapiro was just weeks from graduating when another student photographed him when the office of the university’s president, Grayson Kirk, in Low Library was occupied.

Shown seated in a high-backed chair behind the administrator’s paper-strewn desk, Mr. Shapiro captured the spirit of a moment, casually smoking one of Mr. Kirk’s cigars while wearing sunglasses and a defiant smirk.

The photograph ultimately ran in Life magazine and publications around the world. Although it became an enduring symbol of the student protests that roiled universities across the nation in the late 1960s, Mr. Shapiro preferred over the years to focus on his literary achievements, not his cameo as a campus rebel.

Mr. Shapiro was a nimble-minded, voluble and gregarious polymath who demonstrated, in both his life and his work, an almost gymnastic ability to bound between intellectual topics, the writer Lucy Sante, a friend and a former student of Mr. Shapiro’s at Columbia, said in an interview.

“David just thought about 15 times as fast as the average person, and he talked that fast as well,” Ms. Sante said. “Any conversation with David, in or out of the classroom, was a dense weave of references to art and literature and music and science, emitted directly from his subconscious, swerving this way and that and spinning out into epic digressions.”

A literary prodigy, Mr. Shapiro was already publishing poems in European and South African journals by the age of 10. At 14, he published a poem in The Antioch Review, his first in the United States. As a freshman at Columbia in 1965, he published his first poetry collection, “January.”

He was often categorized as part of what became known, starting in the 1950s, as the New York School — an experimental vanguard of visual artists, dancers and poets including John Ashbery, Frank O’Hara and Kenneth Koch, who was also a Columbia professor and mentored Mr. Shapiro as a student.

Mr. Shapiro was considered part of the second generation of the New York School, along with Ted Berrigan, Alice Notley, Ron Padgett and others.

“Although often described as a member of the New York School of poets, David Shapiro wrote poems that sound like no one else’s,” Mr. Padgett wrote in an email, “poems full of mystery, lyricism, and agile leaps of an eternally fresh spirit, with surprising humor in the music of his unearthly melancholy.”

It is snowing on the kindergarten
It is snowing on your eyelids
Love’s dice
Are manias and fights
Anacreon writes
You are standing on my eyelids

And your hair
Is in my hair
As Paul Eluard
Says elsewhere
And what do you say? I say

Stay stay
stay stay
streak intrinsicality

His work also drew from surrealism and the avant-garde; he employed dramatic shifts in level of diction, or even in subject, within a single poem, as well as taking a literary collage approach, which he discussed in a 1990 interview with Pataphysics magazine.

“I’ve transformed grammar and physics textbooks and played with their degraded diction,” he said. “I’ve taken Heidegger and changed all his words for being into snow.”

In his 1979 poem “A Song,” he added, he took snippets of the 1966 Percy Sledge song “When a Man Loves a Woman” and transformed them into “a disco cascade with elements of the Encyclopaedia Britannica.”

David Joel Shapiro was born on Jan. 2, 1947, in Newark, N.J., the third of four children of Dr. Irving Shapiro, a dermatologist, and Fraida (Chagy) Shapiro, a schoolteacher. He spent summers in Deal, a breezy seaside borough on the Jersey Shore near Asbury Park, which he later invoked in his lauded 1969 collection, “Poems From Deal.”

He left Weequahic High School in Newark after his junior year to enroll in Columbia in 1964, graduating in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in English and comparative literature. He later received a master’s degree from the University of Cambridge and a doctorate in English from Columbia.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his sisters, Judith Silverman, Naomi Shapiro and Debra Shapiro, and his son, Daniel Shapiro.

A product of a staunchly left-wing household, Mr. Shapiro at times wove themes of political liberation into his work.

His 1971 poem “The Funeral of Jan Palach” was written from the ghostly perspective of a Czech student who died three days after setting himself on fire in Prague in January 1969, in the turbulent protests against the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia the previous summer:

When I entered the first meditation
I escaped the gravity of the object, I experienced the emptiness,
And I have been dead a long time.

The poem was later inscribed on a haunting memorial to the martyred student in the city by the artist and architect John Hejduk.

But it was a very different political statement that brought Mr. Shapiro international attention: his occupation photo. Mr. Shapiro came to regret the shot, in part because it made him seem like a leader of the protests although he was only a participant.

The photograph also caused him plenty of other problems. “He was clubbed by police and suspended by Columbia — he almost didn’t graduate,” his wife said in an interview. “He had been given a five-year fellowship to Harvard, and that was rescinded. Even going through customs, he was on the F.B.I. lookout list.”

In a 2018 interview with the New Jersey newspaper The Record, Mr. Shapiro issued a mea culpa of sorts. “I’d like to apologize for the rudeness of my youth,” he said. “That’s not a picture. That’s a parody.”

Remembering David Shapiro

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Father Neil Sharp

Father Neil Sharp

January 1, 1945 - May 3, 2024

Hundreds of people gathered for a special service to celebrate the life of a much-loved Greenock priest who was devoted to his parishioners both at home and in his adopted country of Chile.

Tributes have flooded in for Father Neil Sharp, who grew up in Greenock's east end, following his death last week after a long battle with Parkinson's disease.

Bishop John Keenan led a moving Requiem Mass in St Ninian's Gourock, delivering a beautiful homily that spoke to all those who loved Father Neil.

Attendees were joined by priests as well as family, friends and those who remembered him from his time at St Mungo's and St Patrick's in Greenock.

His beloved brother Father Jim Sharp and hundreds more joined the mass via a livestream in Arica in Chile, where the Greenock man passed away at the age of 78.

Father Neil travelled with his brother to serve in Chile 45 years ago, during the military dictatorship of Pinochet, finding ways to help the people, and he remained there for the rest of his life.

Bishop John Keenan said: "In life and ministry, Neil was known for his love of life and sense of fun, with an infectious laugh that could reach to the uproarious when the three Sharp brothers got together.   

"And yet countless, too, are the stories of how he turned lives around by sharing his joy of life and revealing to lost souls their wealth of talent even in their direst straits.

"A true man of God, evident in all that he said and did.  The world over is a better place because Father Neil Sharp lived in it."

In 1979 Father Neil and his brother Father Jim went together to Chile, where they found people to be living in fear of Pinochet and his regime.

Bishop Keenan said: "This was during the Pinochet dictatorship in which the Church was the only place you could speak even mild criticism. 

"To say the poor had rights was to be a communist. But the bishops were strong, and the Sharp brothers found that a wee bit of persecution did the Church no harm and focussed attention on basics.  

"Throughout it all the ups and downs, Neil remained contented in his priesthood and peaceful in his ministry.  

"Schooled in the Saint Mungo experience of authentic religion, Father Neil saw Arica as the Gibshill of his altar boy years and tried to build it up with real religion and no frills. "

In Aria, Father Neil took his love of God and his ministry into the prisons and hospitals.

Bishop John added: "He was well received by the people and formed a rapport with them; they took to him and liked him, feeling he was interested in them, and he responded to that."

Father Neil set up a monthly magazine and embraced technology and was popular on the radio.

But he never lost touch or his love of home and remained very much part of the Paisley Diocese.

Father Neil Sharp, or Padre Andrés Sharp Langan, to give him his Arican title, was born in the east end of Greenock in November 1945, the third child of six to Ellen and Neily Sharp, and was baptised and raised in the St Mungo’s parish.

His life of service began as an altar boy and culminated in his ordination to the priesthood at his church in 1970 after studying at St Peter's Seminary in Cardross.

Father Neil was then Curate at St Margaret’s in Johnstone from 1970 to 1974, then in St Patrick’s in Greenock from 1974 to 1978.

Father Neil is remembered for his love of life, his love of football and as a life long supporter of Greenock Morton.

At school his family recall he was a champion bogie maker and used to love the rough and tumble of life in the east end. 

In 2010, he developed Parkinson’s which remained manageable until 2017 when, after a knee operation, he felt a gradual slide. 

At the beginning of the year, the disease finally took its toll and he died peacefully in the home of the Little Sisters in Arica on May 3 with his funeral a day later in St Mark's Cathedral in Arica, Chile.

Following his death many people who remembered his time in local parishes, friends and family paid tribute to him, calling him an 'inspiration' in their own lives.

At his Requiem Mass in St Ninian's Gourock, his sister Betty gave a greeting in Spanish at the end of Mass, which was then played on the morning programme on Radio Montecarmelo de Arica.

Afterwards she said: "I would really like to say is thank you to Bishop John and Bishop Moses of the Arican diocese, all the clergy and friends who have expressed their sympathy. 

"He was a wonderful priest and man and it was a privilege to be his sister."

Remembering Father Neil Sharp

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Willard Kinney, Jr

Willard Kinney, Jr

November 11, 1937 - May 2, 2024

Will Kinney, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and brother, died in San Diego of complications due to Parkinson’s at the age of 86. Will was born to Willard and Elvira Kinney in Sacramento in 1937. He graduated from Sacramento High School in 1955 and Sacramento State University in 1960. He later earned a master’s degree in management from the University of Redlands.

Will worked odd jobs in Sacramento, from cannery and field work to designing and painting the art for shop windows. At the age of 17, he joined the Marine Corps reserve unit in Sacramento. Upon graduation from college in 1960, he was commissioned as a Marine Corps officer.

Will met his wife, Hannah Armanino, at Sac State where he pitched for the Hornets, and she was the sports editor for the yearbook. The couple married in 1963 and had four children. The family lived in various places in California and Hawaii while Will served in the Marines, including Escondido, 29 Palms, Stockton, Oceanside, Pearl City, and San Diego. Will served three tours overseas, and he was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat V for service during the Vietnam War.

Will attained the rank of major and retired from the military in 1980. Then the family settled in San Diego, and Will worked in planning and logistics for aerospace companies for another 20 years. He loved to spend time with his family and especially enjoyed taking his grandkids to the track at Del Mar. Last year, Will and Hannah celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

Will was a lifelong fan of baseball. He played baseball in high school, college, semi pro, and American Legion. Will coached little league, softball, and all stars. Will could recite stats from the Baseball Encyclopedia, and he visited Cooperstown with Hannah in his later years. The couple loved to root for the Padres and attended the local World Series games in 1984.

Will is survived by his wife Hannah, children Shannon Rouiller (Michael), Erin Machado, Kerry Hornby (Russ), and Bill Kinney (Rebecca), sister Diane Basler Leflang and her family, and his eight grandchildren: Laura and Brent Rouiller, Katie and Sarah Machado, Tommy and Jacob Hornby, and Samantha and Tyler Kinney.

Will’s family would like to thank the many caregivers, neighbors, and friends who supported him through his illness. We are especially grateful to Otto Zambrano.

Remembering Willard Kinney, Jr

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Bruce R. McGrath

Bruce R. McGrath

December 21, 1952 - May 1, 2024

Bruce Richard McGrath, 71, died Wednesday, May 1, 2024, at his Denver home with his family by his side after a 13-year battle with Parkinson’s.

Bruce was born December 21, 1952, in Portsmouth, Virginia to Forrest and Patricia McGrath. His family moved to Denver in 1954. Bruce loved spending his life in Denver and Vail. He was an avid skier and car enthusiast who enjoyed racing cars. He was also passionate about biking and playing golf at Cherry Hills Country Club.

In 1976, Bruce graduated from the University of Denver with a degree in Business. Prior to that, Bruce graduated in 1972 from Kent Denver School / Denver Country Day. Bruce was a member of several organizations including Young Presidents Organization and YPO Gold Rocky Mountain. Bruce bought Elder Equipment in 1986 and started Canyon State Bus Sales in 2004, which he owned and operated until 2020.

Bruce was a longstanding philanthropist in his community. Bruce was passionate about supporting education with generous support to Kent Denver School and UC Health Anschutz. Bruce proudly served cumulatively 18 years on the Board of Trustees at Kent Denver School. He also loved animals and supported the Denver Zoo and the Dumb Friends League.

Bruce is survived by his son, Michael (Hadley) McGrath and grandsons, Grayson McGrath and Conrad McGrath; sisters Ann Peña, Lindsey (Tom) McGrath and Tracey McGrath.

Bruce will be remembered for his larger-than-life personality, his love for his family and friends, and his endless generosity.

Remembering Bruce R. McGrath

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Judith Oppenheimer

Judith Oppenheimer

January 20, 1942 - May 1, 2024

Judith Oppenheimer, an award-winning author, journalist, teacher and great wit, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Wednesday, May 1, in Northwest Baltimore. She was 82.

Judy was born to Jeanne and Ralph Altman at Columbia Women’s Hospital in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20, 1942. She lived on Simms Place in Northeast D.C., a diverse and lively neighborhood, until she was 9, when her parents moved the family to the Northern Virginia suburbs.

In 1959, Judy graduated from Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia, and majored in American Studies at George Washington University, graduating in 1963.

She then began a long career in journalism, landing a job at The Washington Post as a “copy girl” that led to a Post internship, both positions that generally went in those days to white male graduates of Ivy League schools.

Judy became a reporter at the Post before taking a job at the Philadelphia Daily News in 1966. There, she worked as a film critic and was one of only two women reporters on staff.

Judy met and married Jerry Oppenheimer, an investigative reporter at the Daily News. After their first son, Jesse, was born in 1969, they moved to Washington, D.C., where Jerry got a job with the Evening Star.

Over the years, Judy’s writing for the Village Voice, Washingtonian, the Washington Post Magazine, Salon, The ForwardMoment and other publications earned numerous awards.

As a reporter and senior editor for the Baltimore Jewish Times, she traveled to Argentina to cover the aftermath of the 1994 terrorist attack on a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. She also wrote a cover story about Henrietta Szold when the Jewish Museum of Maryland presented an exhibition of the pioneering Zionist leader’s life and work in April of 1995, as well as a profile of Holocaust survivor, author and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel.

“Judy was truly a journalist’s journalist and a one-of-a-kind human being,” said Jmore Editor-in-Chief Alan Feiler, who worked closely with Oppenheimer at the Jewish Times. “She didn’t mince words and called it like she saw it, but she was a person with a big heart and a love of life and family and people. She also was hysterical and loved to laugh. So many people loved her.”

Judy could turn the most mundane assignment into a lively read. As editor of the Montgomery County Advertiser, she brought sharp and amusing writing to a free suburban newspaper.

Judy’s writing also reflected her profound emotional intelligence. In a tribute to her late cousin, feminist and cultural critic Ellen Willis that appeared on the First of the Month website, she wrote about how important it was for the two of them to sit close to one another:  “I guess it was a way of saying without words, You know how much I’ve always loved you, don’t you? You know how important you’ve always been to me, right? How much I’ll miss you, forever.”

In 1989, Judy’s first book, “Private Demons” (Ballantine), a literary biography of writer Shirley Jackson, received a glowing review in the New York Times Book Review. More than the acclaim, though, Judy said her biggest thrill came from researching and writing the book.

Her second book, “Dreams of Glory” (Summit Books), published in 1991, chronicled a season in her son Toby’s high school football team.

In the late 1990s, Judy entered a master’s program designed for journalists interested in teaching at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she taught four classes per semester while carrying a full course load and earning a 4.0 grade point average. She was a natural teacher who loved working with students.

Judy loved good writing of all kinds and was an ardent advocate of  direct, economic, un-showy prose. With her sharp insights and sharper wit, she was an engaging conversationalist who listened carefully and lived for laughter.

She was devoted to being an extraordinary writer, but more importantly, a wonderful mother, daughter, sister and friend.

Apart from some short interludes in Philadelphia and Baltimore, she lived her entire life in the D.C. area.

Judy is survived by her sons, Jesse and Toby; her grandchildren, Max, Louise and Julien; her sister, Ida; her nephew, Koby; her daughter-in-law, Josee; and a handful of loyal, amazing friends who stuck by her side until the end. 

Judy was predeceased by her parents and sister, Deborah Altman. She will be laid to rest next to Deborah at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.

Remembering Judith Oppenheimer

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In Memoriam
Charles W. Lamb
In Memoriam

Charles W. Lamb

March 29, 1938 - April 29, 2024

Charles William Lamb, PhD, whose career as a clinical psychologist in Cooperstown spanned over five decades, passed away following a long battle with Parkinson’s disease in the early-morning hours of Monday, April 29, 2024 at Woodside Hall in Cooperstown with family by his side. He was 86.

Born March 29, 1938 in Englewood, New Jersey, Charlie was a son of Charles Lamb and Justine (Clay) Lamb. He spent his early years in Englewood and later in West Winfield, New York, where he learned to love basketball, golf, and the outdoors. Charlie enjoyed spending his summers working as a camp counselor and vacationing in Lake Placid. The family moved to Fremont, Ohio, where he met Lois Ann Deppen. They married in 1957 and together, they started their family. Charlie graduated from Oberlin College in 1963. After earning his PhD in clinical psychology from The Ohio State University in 1966, Charlie became the director of psychology at Columbus State Hospital. From 1968-69, he was an assistant professor of psychology at SUNY Buffalo. In 1969, the family moved to Cooperstown when Charlie became the chief psychologist at Bassett Hospital.

In 1978, Charlie married Barbara Jorgensen. Theirs was a love story for the ages, and he remained devoted to Barbara through his final days. He was an avid boater, and meticulously cared for their wooden boat, Lambcruiser. Together, Barbara and Charlie cruised Otsego Lake, enjoying sunsets, nature, and all creatures great and small. Charlie was passionate about golf and was a regular at Leatherstocking Golf Course, where he took great pleasure in walking the course while joking with his friends. He loved folk music, and enjoyed the sing-alongs at Woodside Hall with Barbara by his side.

After 29 years, Charlie retired from Bassett in 1997 and opened an independent practice in clinical psychology. Charlie retired again in 2018 at the age of 80. An avid reader and writer, Charlie published numerous articles in professional journals. From 1997-2000, he also wrote a weekly column, “Lamb’s Tales,” for “The Freeman’s Journal.”

Charlie is survived by his wife of 45 years, Barbara, of Cooperstown; daughter Susan Lamb and husband Clif Buell of Apalachicola, Florida; son William Lamb and wife Laura Bliss Lamb of Cooperstown; a brother, David (Vickie) Lamb; nieces Tricia (Michael) McElfresh and Lisa (Scott) Stuart; great-nephew Casey McElfresh; and great-nieces Ivy McElfresh, Anya Stuart, and Brynn Stuart, all of Clyde, Ohio. He was predeceased by his parents.

Charlie often spoke of one’s ability to raise or lower the temperature in a room simply by entering it. To all those who lowered the temperature—the expert caregivers at Bassett, the compassionate team at Woodside Hall, the helping hands from Helios Care, and loving family and friends who supported us over the last three months—we are forever grateful.

Remembering Charles W. Lamb

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Gary Concoff

Gary Concoff

June 28, 1936 - April 28, 2024

 

June 28, 1936 - April 28, 2024 Gary O. Concoff, 87, of Los Angeles, California, passed away on April 28, 2024, after a prolonged illness.
Born June 28, 1936, to Evelyn and Nathan Concoff, Gary played centerfield at Los Angeles High School and went on to study Accounting at UCLA and received a JD from Harvard Law School.

In 1962, Gary returned to Los Angeles where he began a successful career in Entertainment Law which remained his passion for the next five decades. His broad knowledge spanned topics including litigation, corporate law, bankruptcy, intellectual property, accounting, and personal service agreements. He adeptly guided his clients through the risks inherent to their business and creative endeavors. He was among the first to recognize and develop the field of international co-production. Gary was generous in sharing his time and knowledge with subsequent generations of Entertainment Attorneys including his instrumental roles in founding and nurturing the growth of the UCLA Entertainment Symposium. He took particular pride in the many successes of those he mentored.

Also in 1962, Gary met the love of his life, Jean Fogelman. They were married the following year, a loving union that lasted the 62 years until his death. They had two children, Cory and Andy. Gary valued love for his family above all else. First as a son and brother, and later as a husband, father, and grandfather, Gary delighted in spending time with his family, reminiscing at Sunday gatherings, and providing earnest and sage guidance and encouragement. Those of us lucky enough to benefit from Gary's love felt cherished, supported, and empowered.

He loved supporting the interests of his sons and grandchildren, attending their games, recitals, and other performances. With the family home aptly situated beyond the centerfield fence, he was a prominent contributor to the Golden Age of Rustic Canyon Park Sports. Gary was an avid supporter of UCLA athletics and an ardent fan of the San Francisco Giants.

Gary is survived by Jean, sons Cory and Andy, Andy's wife Simone, grandchildren Eden, Sydney, and Quintin, as well as his sisters Laurie and Robbi and their families.

Remembering Gary Concoff

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In Memoriam
Patricia Davis
In Memoriam

Patricia Davis

November 8, 1939 - April 27, 2024

Patricia Curry Davis, of Atlanta, and Highlands, NC, and known to her friends as Pat, died on April 27, 2024, from the long-term effects of Parkinson's Disease. She had lived with Parkinson's for more than 12 years, valiantly dealing with the symptoms and moving forward with her life with courage. She was born on November 8, 1939, to Clarence Ellie and Annabel Dees Curry in Reidsville, Georgia. She was an excellent student and left Reidsville High School after her junior year to matriculate at Mars Hills, then a junior college. She completed her degree at Emory University, graduating in 1960 with a degree in accounting. The Big 8 accounting firms at the time were not hiring women on the professional staff, so she joined Sowell and Harden, a local Atlanta firm. When she was awarded her CPA certificate in 1966, she was the only woman in Georgia to receive one that year. She was always a woman ahead of her time.

She married Charlton Lee Davis, her Mars Hill classmate, in 1960, and they had a long and happy partnership, both in life and in business. After a move to Valdosta, she and Charlie had their own CPA practice which served much of the area. She was and remained on technology's cutting edge. An early adapter of computers in the office, she was tapped by IBM to speak nationally on the value of computers for small businesses and travelled the country to do so. She carried her Palm Pilot with her at all times, long before the rest of us used hand-held technology. That comfort with tech continued to the end with her use of her Apple watch.

While raising her children and practicing accounting, she was also deeply involved in the Valdosta community, serving on the board of the Valwood School which her children attended, and as a board member of the Georgia Conservancy. Pat was a serious gardener and proponent of native plants. At Canterbury Court, where she spent the last 12 years of her life, she was a leader of a group of resident gardeners who built a bog garden on the property and was always consulted for her gardening expertise. She and Charlie were also expert birders and travelled the country to see birds in their native habitat or to see extraordinary migrations, such as the Sandhill cranes on the Platte River in Nebraska.

She was predeceased by Charlie, who died in 2012, as well as by her parents, and a younger sister, Mary Ann, who died in childhood. She is survived by her two children Charlton Lee Davis, Jr. of Marietta, GA, and Holly Schmidt-Davis (Jon) of Pine Lake, GA; and one grandchild, Audrey Schmidt-Davis, whom she loved dearly. She is also survived by her brother, James L. Curry of Atlanta; his wife, Ann; and their children and grandchildren, all of whom loved Aunt Pat.
 

Remembering Patricia Davis

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Michael Harold Guth

Michael Harold Guth

February 6, 1943 - April 27, 2024

Michael Harold Guth (79) born February 6, 1943, in Manhattan, KS, United States, passed away April 27, 2022 due to complications of Parkinson's Disease. He resided in Indio, CA at the time of his passing. Arrangements are under the direction of Forest Lawn, Coachella, California. Michael served in the United States Navy for 20 years retiring as a Commander. After his military career he had many building interests which included building energy efficient homes, large motor yachts, motorhomes and an airplane. He was active in the following orgaizations: Bus N Bikers and FMCA 4-Wheelers. He is survived by two brothers, Steve (Eloy, AZ) and John (Alma, KS), a sister, Patty Stuewe (Alma, KS), wife, Marcia, and sons Michael J. Guth (Kimberly Guth) and Darren S. Guth. 

Remembering Michael Harold Guth

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Debra Helene Pressman

Debra Helene Pressman

September 19, 1953 - April 24, 2024

On the evening of April 24, 2024, Debra Helene Pressman peacefully passed away in her home, surrounded by loved ones. At age 70, after 20 years of managing Parkinson's Disease symptoms, Debra died from the natural progression of the disease. Through to the end of her life, Debra maintained her humor, grace, spunk, and loving, gracious heart. May we remember her timeless essence this way.

Debra is survived by her husband Daniel Shifflett, who has provided her with abundant love, care, and adventure since they met in 2003. Together, they enjoyed being outdoors, walking, kayaking, traveling, listening to music, cooking, gardening, and spending time with family and friends. They were married in 2010 and created a warm, welcoming, and colorful home in a forested neighborhood in Charlottesville. Daniel dedicated himself to ensuring Debbie had paramount love, care, and comfort throughout her illness.

Debra is deeply adored and missed by all who love her, especially her three grown children, Rachel, Sam, and Will Gimbel; their respective spouses, Graham "Ocean" Huff, Taylor Blakin, and Jenny Horn Gimbel; and her two grandchildren, Andros and Avishai. She is also survived and deeply missed by her sisters, Mindy and Lisa, her nephew Lucas, and her nieces Risa and Miriam.

Debra Pressman was born in Baltimore, Maryland on September 19, 1953, to her late parents, Stanley Pressman and Ritalee Woronoff. Her mother passed away when she was 8 years old and her father married Charlotte Bomstein, who raised her and her four siblings.

Debbie studied at the University of Virginia and received a degree in Speech Pathology. While living in Charlottesville, Debbie met Woodrow Gimbel. They moved to Baltimore to be close to the Pressman family, where they married and had three children. They later moved their young family back to Charlottesville and fostered their baby nephew Lucas after the tragic passing of Debbie's sister, Ilene. A dedicated and fiercely loving mother, Debbie raised four children with a commitment to health, education, social justice, loving-kindness, integrity, and unwavering heart-guided values. When the kids were older, she joined the team at ScholarOne, a local software company, and mastered many new skills working with editors and staff of scholarly journals. She retired in 2010 when her Parkinson's symptoms made it difficult to work.

Loved by many dear friends, they knew her to be caring and generous; down-to-earth and fun, with a playful and dry sense of humor; committed to justice and integrity; creative, with a keen eye for beauty and style; vastly intelligent and always seeking to learn new skills; and a voracious reader. Debbie enjoyed many rich years of gardening, making jewelry, pottery, photography, cooking, running long distances, hiking, traveling, and writing.

Providing service as a community leader and educator, Debbie was a founding member of Chevrei Tzedek, a Jewish congregation in Baltimore; founding organizer of a local Parkinson's support group; active member of the Parkinson's Action Network and Michael J. Fox Foundation; and a passionate natural childbirth education instructor.

Debra was an inspiration and support to those whose lives she touched. May her memory be a blessing. May the One who brings Peace and Love to the Universe bring Peace and Love to us all. Amen.

Remembering Debra Helene Pressman

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Contact Us

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

Local Phone
(760) 773-5628

Toll-Free Phone
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Updated: August 16, 2017