The Memorial Wall

Alex Flynn

Alex Flynn

January 14, 1972 - November 15, 2021

Wantage adventurer Alex Flynn was set to be the first man with Parkinson’s to climb Mount Everest. However, he passed away in Nepal ahead of his planned trip to scale the world’s highest mountain.

The 49-year-old was just 36 when he was diagnosed in 2008 and dedicated his life to completing adventures.

An explorer who took part in a series of daunting challenges to highlight the impact of Parkinson's disease has died.

Alex Flynn was in Nepal as he sought to become the first person with the condition to climb Mount Everest.

Mr Flynn, from Oxfordshire, was 36 when he was diagnosed in 2008 and completed adventures including a 3,256 mile (5,240km) voyage across the US on foot, bike and kayak.

His family said they had been left with "broken hearts" following his death.

In a statement on Mr. Flynn's website, his family added: "He went out exactly how he would have wanted to, off the high of having completed another adventure on top of the world about to step into a helicopter ready to take on the next challenge."

Mr. Flynn's previous challenges included a 160-mile (257km) run in the Bavarian Alps, an ultra-marathon in the Sahara desert and a 279-mile (450km) expedition in the Swedish Arctic.

Last year, during lockdown, he climbed the equivalent of 2.3 times the height of Mount Everest by walking up and down the stairs in his home in Wantage, over seven and a half days.

Lord Mayor of Oxford Mark Lygo said Mr Flynn was "a superhuman who never gave up", who "will be missed by everyone" he met.

Mike Ayre, the chairman of trustees of Wantage-based Parkinsons.Me charity, said Mr. Flynn's death had been a "terrible shock" and added it had been "humbled" to receive donations in his memory.

Remembering Alex Flynn

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Judith A. Danca

Judith A. Danca

June 4, 1940 - November 13, 2021

Judith Ann (Dornfeld) Danca passed away Saturday, November 13, 2021, at Fairhaven Christian Retirement Center.

Judy was born June 4, 1940, in Madison, Wisconsin, the daughter of Elmer and Gertrude (Heyde) Dornfeld. She graduated from Madison West High School in 1958 and the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1962 where she began her lifetime involvement with Alpha Phi Sorority. Judy met Vincent Danca at a party when her roommate encouraged her to attend saying, “You might meet your Prince Charming”. They married on August 25, 1962 and shared 52 years together until Vince passed away in 2014. After moving to Rockford in 1963, when Vince was hired by the Rockford Board of Education as a teacher, Judy became very active in her new community. She enjoyed the involvement and leadership of several organizations: Rockford Junior League, St. James Head Start, Holy Family Catholic Church, Sara Ingrassia-Jackie Confer Dictionary Fund, U W Alumni Club and Alpha Phi Alumna. In 1989 the University of Wisconsin Alumni awarded her the “Spark Plug” Award for her involvement and leadership to the University. Judy taught elementary school in the Rockford Public School District for nearly twenty years, retiring in 1998. Vince and Judy traveled extensively for over a decade. Although Judy was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2005, she continued enjoying her family and friends, painting, reading, knitting, genealogy and classes at CLR.

Judy is survived by her children: daughter, Mary Ellen (Mike) Strandquist of Cumming, GA, son James Danca of Rockford, and daughter Nancy Danca-Alt (John Cacciapaglia), of Fairhope, AL. She is also survived by her six grandchildren: Nolan, Graham and Emery Alt, and Natalie, Christian and Adam Strandquist along with several nieces and nephews. Judy was predeceased by her husband, and also her parents, brother and sister. The family thanks Fairhaven’s 2nd floor Health Center for their loving care the last three years, especially Debbie, Kim and Jazmin. We also deeply appreciate the care provided by Northern Illinois Hospice especially Robin, Pamela, Keldon, and Sharon and her dog, Maddie.

Remembering Judith A. Danca

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Arlen R. Gunner

Arlen R. Gunner

January 1, 1949 - November 9, 2021

Former Valensi Rose Managing Partner Arlen Ross Gunner died unexpectedly on November 9, 2021.

Arlen retired from the practice of law at the end of February 2015, after 42 years as a business, real estate, and transactional lawyer. He joined Valensi Rose in 1997, and for the last 10 of his tenure here was our Managing Partner. He was beloved by all at our firm.

Arlen was a superb lawyer who advised clients on real estate development law, corporate finance law, and tax-exempt bond financing, as well as partnership, commercial, and business issues.

Arlen fostered a positive and collegial working environment during his tenure. Under his leadership, Valensi Rose responded to the recession of 2008 without layoffs and thrived when the economy bounced back.

In an interview, he told a journalist, “I have come to believe that the success of our firm is based upon the fact that we really value human capital, not only our clients, but also our employees.”

Arlen was named a “Super Lawyer” several times in the area of real estate law and recognized as a top lawyer in his field by Law and Politics Magazine and by the publishers of Los Angeles Magazine.

For 22 years he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Century City Chamber of Commerce, and for several years during that time he served as the organization’s chair. Deeply committed to philanthropic causes, he was a member of several nonprofit boards and supported other nonprofit organizations.

A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, he received his law degree from St. John’s University School of Law. He was admitted to the New York and California bars.

Arlen is survived by his wife, Toni Stone, and an extended family.


Remembering Arlen R. Gunner

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Aaron T. Beck

Aaron T. Beck

July 18, 1921 - November 1, 2021

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

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

"He truly transformed the field of mental health."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Published in Medical XPress

Remembering Aaron T. Beck

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Mary Carol Louise (Lechner) Clarke

Mary Carol Louise (Lechner) Clarke

September 4, 1952 - October 22, 2021

Clarke, Mary Carol Louise Lechner, MD age 69, of Fargo, ND passed peacefully in her sleep next to her husband David Clarke at their home in Northfield, MN after struggling with Parkinson's Disease and Parkinson's Dementia. A beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, colleague, and friend, she is preceded in death by her parents William and Geraldine Lechner, and grandson Benjamin Lukaska. She is survived by her husband David Clarke, children Jennifer (David) Lukaska, Adam (Stephanie) Clarke, Claire (Andrew Lewis) Presthus, Helen (Eric Ebert) Clarke, and Anna Presthus; grandchildren Cameron and Evie Clarke, August and Holden Ebert, Hendrik Presthus, Nathan and Matthew Lukaska; and brothers John (Larry Drumm) Lechner, Thomas (Chala) Lechner, MD, and Susan (Tom) Gray. Mary Carol was born and raised in Fargo, ND where she fostered her nurturing nature as the eldest of four siblings. After graduating from Fargo South High School, she went on to attain her undergrad degree and medical degree at the University of North Dakota Grand Forks. After completing her medical residency in radiology at the University of Minnesota, she went on to specialize in diagnostic radiology. She later co-founded the Jane Brattain Breast Center in St. Louis Park, MN where she served as the medical director. Along with her many achievements in woman's health, she was most recognized for her commitment and compassion to patients and colleagues alike. Her many passions included singing and traveling with the Normandale Choir, hosting and entertaining loved ones, and traveling the globe with family and friends. Her love and warmth were inspiring to many and will continue to blossom through family and friends. A memorial service will be held at Normandale Lutheran Church, 6100 Normandale Road, Edina, MN on Saturday, November 20th at 11:00 am (Livestream available at Visitation one hour prior to service with lunch following the service at the church. Masks required.

Remembering Mary Carol Louise (Lechner) Clarke

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Joseph Cutuli

Joseph Cutuli

May 21, 1939 - October 20, 2021

Joseph "Joe" Cutuli, 82, passed away on October 20, 2021 in Palm Desert, CA. Joseph was born on May 21, 1939 in Catania, Sicily to the late Rosaria and Santo Cutuli. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 37 years Barbara and brothers Angelo and Alfred. He is survived by his loving and devoted children, Rose Marie, Josephine, Joseph Cutuli, Jr, stepdaughters, Elizabeth & Christine and stepson/godson, Michael. He leaves behind his grandchildren, Krysten, Charles III, Alyssa, Jessica, Joseph, step-grandchildren, Michael, Steven, Michael and Kristina and great grandchildren Banks, Jennings and Audrey, as well as his sister-in-law, Grace Cutuli and nephews Joseph and John. Joe also held a special place for his two longtime close friends Tony and Chat and his caregiver Vanessa.

Joe came to the United States at the age of thirteen as his family settled in Astoria, New York. By age 16, Joe found work with a local family-owned business and was soon hired as their first full-time employee. He enjoyed a successful 40+ year career with Interstate Cigar Company, the last 25 years as Vice-President of Operations.

Joe and Barbara relocated to Westlake Village, CA in 1985 and soon thereafter they formed a new company. Joe successfully ran LIRA International until it was sold upon his retirement in the early 2000's.

Throughout his life and into his retirement, Joe was passionate about thoroughbred horses. He and his partners owned and raced horses at many of the major parks in Southern California. Along with horses, Joe also loved his African Grey parrot, Portia, who kept him entertained and laughing for many years.

Joe enjoyed his retirement years in Palm Desert, CA. He stayed active with his many friends thru their weekly poker games, rounds of golf and golf putting league. He also looked forward to the many yearly family visits from his children throughout his retirement.

Remembering Joseph Cutuli

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Colin Powell

Colin Powell

April 5, 1937 - October 18, 2021

Powell, who was being treated for multiple myeloma, a cancer of plasma cells that suppresses the body's immune response, as well as Parkinson's, died from complications of COVID-19 on October 18, 2021.

Colin Luther Powell was an American politician, diplomat, statesman, and four-star general who served as the 65th United States Secretary of State from 2001 to 2005. He was the first African American Secretary of State. Prior to the election of Barack Obama as president in 2008, he and his successor, Condoleezza Rice, were the highest-ranking African Americans in federal executive branch history (by virtue of the Secretary of State standing fourth in the presidential line of succession). He served as the 16th United States National Security Advisor from 1987 to 1989 and as the 12th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989 to 1993.

Powell was born in New York City in 1937 and was raised in the South Bronx. His parents, Luther and Maud Powell, immigrated to the United States from Jamaica. He was educated in the New York City public schools, graduating from the City College of New York (CCNY), where he earned a bachelor's degree in geology. He also participated in ROTC at CCNY and received a commission as an Army second lieutenant upon graduation in June 1958. He was a professional soldier for 35 years, during which time he held many command and staff positions and rose to the rank of four-star general. He was Commander of the U.S. Army Forces Command in 1989.

Powell's last assignment, from October 1989 to September 1993, was as the 12th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest military position in the Department of Defense. During this time, he oversaw 28 crises, including the invasion of Panama in 1989 and Operation Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf War against Iraq in 1990–1991. He formulated the Powell Doctrine which limits American military action unless it satisfies criteria regarding American national security interests, overwhelming force, and widespread public support.  He was the 65th United States Secretary of State, serving under Republican President George W. Bush. His term was highly controversial regarding his inaccurate justification for America's Iraq War in 2003. He was forced to resign after Bush was reelected in 2004.

In 1995, Powell wrote his autobiography, My American Journey, and then in retirement another book, It Worked for Me, Lessons in Life and Leadership (2012). He pursued a career as a public speaker, addressing audiences across the country and abroad. Prior to his appointment as Secretary of State, Powell was the chairman of America's Promise – The Alliance for Youth, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to mobilizing people from every sector of American life to build the character and competence of young people. He won numerous U.S. and foreign military awards and decorations. His civilian awards included the Presidential Medal of Freedom (twice), the Congressional Gold Medal, the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Secretary of State Distinguished Service Medal, and the Secretary of Energy Distinguished Service Medal. Several schools and other institutions were named in his honor, and he held honorary degrees from universities and colleges across the country. In 2016, while not a candidate for that year's election, he received three electoral votes from Washington for the office of President of the United States.

While in the service, Mr. Powell met Alma Vivian Johnson on a blind date, and they married in August 1962. In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Linda Powell and Anne Powell Lyons; a son, Michael, who served as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission; and four grandchildren. He lived in McLean, Va.

Remembering Colin Powell

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Myrna A. Binderman

Myrna A. Binderman

September 21, 1941 - October 18, 2021

Myrna Ann Binderman passed away peacefully of Parkinson's Disease. At her side were her husband of 57 yrs. Philip Binderman and daughter Rachel McCutchen. Myrna is survived by 2 grandchildren, Nathan and Charlotte and son-in-law, Thomas McCutchen. Myrna was born in Nashville, TN. She received a BA and teaching credential from San Diego State University. She and Phil were married in 1964. Myrna was a teacher with Saugus Unified District for 34 yrs. until her retirement in 2004. Funeral services will be on Oct. 21st, 3 Mt. Sinai Park, Simi, Valley CA, 93063

Remembering Myrna A. Binderman

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August 4, 1941 - October 17, 2021

Margaret "Peggy" York, whose law enforcement career spanned 44 years and made her once the highest ranking woman in the Los Angeles Police Department, was born in August 1941 to Ralph and Hazel Mandley of Minerva, Ohio, where she enjoyed the benefits of living in farm country. She slipped into the loving arms of Jesus on October 17, 2021 at the age of 80 in Los Angeles.

At the age of 13 her family moved to the greater Los Angeles area where she would attend Lynwood High School and find employment as the Easter Bunny at the May Company downtown. Her marriage to Donald York yielded her three treasured children: David, Dennis and Cynthia. Upon her divorce Peggy sought work to support her family and was hired as a civilian Radio Telephone Operator with the LAPD in 1965 and in 1968 began her police career as a Policewoman, working her way thru the ranks and in 2000 becoming the first woman Deputy Chief in the history of the LAPD, responsible for police operations in the heart of the city including five police stations, a traffic division and 2000 employees. She was part of the first ever all woman homicide detective team in 1979, partnering with Det. Helen Kidder. The groundbreaking TV series "Cagney & Lacey" was influenced by their stellar work.

Peggy was proud to be one of the pioneering women who changed the face of law enforcement. While women once served only in limited roles, all ranks and assignments are open to women today.

In 2003 Peggy became Chief of the Los Angeles County Office of Public Safety, a specialized police agency responsible for County facilities, parks and hospitals. With 600 sworn officers and 750 contracted security guards it was the County's fourth largest police agency. She retired from that position in 2009

Peggy earned her BA in Management from the University of Redlands and her MA in Public Administration with Honors from USC. She was a graduate of the LAPD Academy and FBI National Academy Class 159.

Peggy's private life reflected her commitment to public service and her compassion for those less fortunate, serving more than two decades as a member and past chair of the Metro Los Angeles Advisory Board of the Salvation Army and the founder of Friends of Maneadero, a Salvation Army women's shelter in Baja California. She served as a director of the Rotary Club of Los Angeles and chaired the Childrens' Court Committee and served on the boards of Women Against Gun Violence, The Trusteeship and the Los Angeles Police Museum where she served as Chair of the Chief's Circle.

Peggy was grateful to have been raised in a family of believers. Her iPhone ringtone is the children's hymn "Jesus Loves Me." She approached her daily Bible reading joyously and was a long time member of Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena.

In 2018 Peggy became a published poet with three of her poems featured in ONTHEBUS, a popular literary journal. In her retirement she had two passions: her writing and her friends from her childhood in Ohio, high school in Lynwood, the LAPD, LA5 Rotary and her besties: The Pooligans.

Peggy was preceeded in death by father Ralph, mother Hazel, brother Lee and grandson Richard Rickords. She is survived by her heartbroken and lost husband of 40 years, Judge Lance Ito whom she met at 3 o'clock in the morning at a homicide crime scene and married 336 days later. She is also survived by brothers Gregory Mandley (Barbara) and Jeff Mandley (Corinne), sons David York (Maureen), Dennis York (Meeran) and daughter Cynthia York Shadian (Isaac), as well as treasured grandchildren Justin York, Dominique York, Jessica Shadian, Devin York, Abraham Shadian, Allison Shadian and Sean York, plus great grandchildren Ainsley Shadian-Smith and newly arrived Leilani Shadian.

The family thanks Dr. Cleo Williams, the doctors, nurses and staff at Methodist SoCal and Keck USC, LAPD Chief Michel Moore and Commander Ruby Flores, and our friends at PRG.

Peggy led and lived by example, always looking to transform lives. She did just that in the 22 years she served on the LA Metro Advisory Board for The Salvation Army.


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Peter Kugel

Peter Kugel

January 1, 1930 - October 11, 2021

Retired Professor Peter Kugel, a long-time member and former chair of the Computer Science Department who devoted much thought to the human dimension of computer technology, died on October 11, 2021. He was 91.

Befitting a scholar with a doctorate in philosophy from Harvard University who had worked in the software industry and at MIT before coming to Boston College in 1974, Dr. Kugel focused his research on the connections between human intelligence, logic, and computability. He summed up these interests in an abstract for a 2009 article: “I believe the human mind can evaluate functions so uncomputable that no machine, not even a hypercomputer, can compute them. But I believe that computers can evaluate such functions, too, because computers, like minds, have other ways to evaluate functions that go beyond computing. If we allow them to use these ways—or, as I shall put it, to uncompute—they may be able to do things that only minds can do well today.”

Earlier in his career, Dr. Kugel published an influential article on studying the process of induction—“by which we reason from the particular to the general”—using ideas from the theory of abstract machines and recursion theory. Another article offered suggestions on developing precise accounts of cognitive processes that could be modelled on computers.

He also was interested in how college teachers develop as teachers, and in 1989 published an op-ed piece in The New York Times that explained how bringing a cup of coffee to class helped him create a better rapport with his students.

“My pauses, as I sipped, not only gave my students time to think about what I had said, but gave me time to think about what I was going to say next,” he wrote. “I began to use my pauses to look around the room to see how my students were reacting to what I had just said. When I saw their attention wander, I tried to bring them back. When I saw them puzzled over some concept that I thought I had explained, I gave another example. My lectures became less organized and less brilliant, but my students seemed to understand me better. And my courses became more popular.”

Interviewed in 1989 by the Boston College Biweekly, Dr. Kugel—then the Computer Science chair—discussed how he and his colleagues made sure that the knowledge they passed along to their students was put to use.

“In computer science, you learn to do something by doing. We don’t simply lecture. We give students at least one assignment a week they must complete. And it’s not like doing an essay; a program has to work before your job is done.”

Dr. Kugel retired in 2005, but continued to write, teach, and learn. Among other activities, he took courses at the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement, where he taught a class titled “Vision and Art.”

A tribute posted on the Computer Science website recalled Dr. Kugel for “his wide-ranging interests and for his humor. He was an exceptional colleague and an especially generous mentor to both students and junior faculty colleagues.”

Dr. Kugel is survived by his wife, Judy, and sons Jeremy and Seth, who were all at his bedside when he died.

University Communications | January 2022

Remembering Peter Kugel

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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