The Memorial Wall

Stephen J. Atkins

Stephen J. Atkins

July 12, 1945 - August 1, 2023

Stephen J. Atkins, 78, passed away on August 1, 2023, ending his battle with Parkinson’s disease.


Steve was born July 12, 1945, in Dayton, Ohio, the son of Harry and Adamae (Rice) Atkins. In high school, he was an avid baseball player and dreamed of being in the big leagues. He performed in school plays, learning skills that would serve him well in his later “performances” in public life. He received his bachelor’s (1969) and master’s degrees (1974) from the University of Dayton. It was a combination of working in city hall in the mailroom while in college, and watching his fireman father, that inspired Steve to turn to public service and pursue his Masters in Public Administration.


Steve held city management roles in Escondido, CA, West Hartford, CN, Norton Shores, MI, Eau Claire, WI and Schaumberg, IL before coming to Iowa City in 1986 and becoming the City Manager there for the next 21 years, a tenure unheard of for many managers especially in an intellectually involved community like Iowa City. Steve oversaw numerous large projects—new sewer and water plants, the transformation of downtown, and many others—and managed the public response to a tornado, a flood, and acts of violence. He was beloved by city staff (at least most of them) for his ability to listen, consider new ideas, and be decisive when needed. Steve knew the names of all 500+ employees and was known for his philosophy of “management by walking around”; his door was always open.


Steve was a mentor to many, from job advice to how to tie a tie. Former Mayor Matt Hayek said of Steve: “He was a good man and a mentor to me. I remember meeting him not quite 40 years ago. Our families went out for dinner. Little did I know that at the end of his career, he would teach me a thing or two about local government. What a legacy he left his community.”


When not dealing with public issues, Steve loved raising his daughter, April, and seeing her become a young woman and have a family of her own. His granddaughter, Olivia, is Papa’s treasure. He consumed his quiet moments with painting and reading American history. And then there was baseball. Steve played on the City baseball team as a catcher. Though not his dream of the MLB, he enjoyed games played at the North Side diamond and at the ball field on Mormon Trek. Other spare time activities included serving on the Board of the Johnson County Community Foundation and the United Way of Johnson and Washington Counties.


Stephen is survived by his daughter, April; his son-in-law Rod Neuzil of Iowa City; April’s mother, Judy Atkins; his granddaughter, Olivia; his sister, Susan Atkins Dlouhy of Rockville, MD; his life partner, Karin Franklin of Iowa City; and nieces, nephews, and cousins.


He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Michael, and his very special grandfather, Mark Rice.


Remembering Stephen J. Atkins

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Roger Thibault

Roger Thibault

January 1, 1946 - July 31, 2023

Roger Thibault, who was legally joined with Theo Wouters in Quebec’s first same-sex civil union, has died.

He passed away at their home in Pointe-Claire in Wouters’s arms. They had been together for 50 years.

Thibault was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease six years ago. Wouters cared for him at their home until the end. He died from complications from the disease. He was 77 years old.

“He was the kindest man, and he loved me to bits,” Wouters said. “Even in his last moments, he really loved me, and I loved him.

“I have so much to treasure in my memories with him.”

On July 18, 2002, Wouters and Thibault became the first same-sex couple to be legally joined by civil union in Quebec, two years before the province would legalize same-sex marriage.

In an interview with the Montreal Gazette on the 20th anniversary of their union, the couple said they had no idea what a momentous occasion it would turn out to be until they arrived at the Montreal courthouse, greeted by a throng of photographers and reporters. Strangers rushed across the street to bring them a bottle of wine. Lawyers and clerks lined the upper levels of the courthouse to get a glimpse of the historic moment.

After years of advocacy, the civil union had been established by the Quebec government a month earlier. Since same-sex couples still couldn’t legally wed, it worked as an option that would give them many of the same legal benefits as married couples.

The civil union would soon be overtaken in popularity by same-sex marriage, but it was hailed at the time as a progressive step forward for the province.

“(Quebec) became one of the first places in the world to put forward that two people of the same sex could legally unite together, sharing the same rights and obligations,” said Patrick Desmarais, president of Montreal’s Fondation Émergence, which specializes in fighting homophobia and transphobia, on the 20th anniversary of the union. “And it brought on this push for equality between all people.

“I think it did a lot to educate and sensitize the general public in Quebec and Canada,” Desmarais added. “It really opened the public’s eyes to the fact that it could be possible, and could be legal, and that two people of the same sex uniting didn’t change anything in anyone else’s lives.”

For Wouters and Thibault, the union was largely symbolic after nearly three decades together, beginning when the two met at a gay bar on Mackay St. in Montreal. But they felt it had to be done as part of the greater good, and to send a message.

“At first we said we don’t really need to get married,” Wouters said. “We were already committed in life. But then we thought it over because we were so well known.”

Once it was done, Wouters said, they were also happy to be protected by the same laws that applied to other couples, “because we had been hearing so many horror stories when families get involved when one partner dies.”

Ironically, the couple’s historic union was born partly of hatred. They had been the subject of homophobic slurs, insults, and threats for over a decade, which ultimately spurred a march outside their Pointe-Claire home that drew thousands who showed their support of the couple. That would lead to the creation of the International Day Against Homophobia, and their civil union.

“We were sort of forced to do so because of the situation here,” Wouters said. “It lasted for 10 years, this horrible, horrible hatred — I still cannot believe that people can hate for absolutely nothing.”

While the union brought them fame and accolades, Wouters noted that the hatred continued, and still does to this day. The current political climate, particularly in the United States, means that “we have to be very vigilant that this doesn’t slip into Canada,” he said.

When they first met, Wouters, who is of Dutch heritage, didn’t speak a word of French, and Thibault couldn’t speak any English. So they communicated by sign language, and a relationship that would last half a century was born. Wouters was a fashion designer, creating clothes and hats for Canada’s rich and famous. Thibault was a photographer, working in the department of industrial design and architecture at the Université de Montréal.

“We were quite committed from Day One,” Wouters said. “We were very much aware that we were blessed because, in the gay community, it is not a usual thing for people to stay together for so long.”

The union stayed strong in part because they shared many projects together, including collecting more than 140 tons of rock “from everywhere” to create their elaborate garden in Pointe-Claire.

“When you do projects together in everything, as part of your daily activities, then you have a much better chance to really stay a lifetime together,” Wouters said.

Another project became battling homophobia, which would cost them countless hours, over $240,000 in legal fees, and the loathing of people they had never met.

“It was difficult sometimes to scrape the funds together to pay the lawyers, but we managed,” Wouters said.

In May of this year, Thibault and Wouters were made honorary citizens of Montreal in recognition of their decades-long fight to advance LGBTQ2+ rights.

“We’re very happy that it inspired so many people. We never thought that that would be the case,” Wouters said. “But it was the case.”


Remembering Roger Thibault

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David Marshall

David Marshall

February 18, 1942 - July 29, 2023

Tributes have been paid following the death of a long-serving County Durham councilor.

David, who was 81, lived in Craghead, near Stanley, and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease a few years ago, but died from cancer on July 29.

North Durham MP Kevan Jones said: “David was a dedicated, hard-working man who spent his life helping other people.

“He was a warm person with a mischievous sense of humor.

“He will be sadly missed by his family, friends, and the local community which he served so well.”

David is survived by his loving wife Linda who he met while serving as a councillor at Chester-le-Street District Council.

They met when Linda joined the Labour Party and married on June 16, 1979, at Pelton Fell Chapel.

Linda too would go on to form her own political career, serving as a division councillor in Chester-le-Street and going on to chair Durham County Council.

Together they started something of a political dynasty and their eldest son, Carl, born in 1980, is now the leader of the County Durham Labour Group.

They also had Adam, born in 1982, and Sally-Beth in 1986, who, along with Carl, would provide David and Linda with nine adoring grandchildren.

The funeral represented a celebration of David’s life, which took David from a lad in Chester-le-Street to a respected pillar of the community in Stanley and Craghead via Zambia, Kenya, Libya, and many other far-flung countries.

David was born in Chester-le-Street on February 18, 1942, to John and Elsa. Educated at Red Rose Infants and Juniors, and then Chester-le-Street Secondary Modern.

David began his working life as a TV engineer for Howard Laburnum Stores before joining the Army.

As part of the Royal Engineers based in Kent, he joined a specialist unit with a focus on explosives, heavy lifting, road-making, and bridge building.

During his time in the service, he won a skiing medal while serving in Norway, and traveled to France, Kenya, Libya, and Zambia during his six years of service.

On returning home, David became an ambulanceman, rising through the ranks to Chief Ambulance Officer over 22 years of service, during which he introduced the paramedic scheme in County Durham.

David also helped run the family printing works business during this time, putting in long hours and tough shifts to provide for his family.

He was forced to retire after a road traffic accident, which destroyed most of the right side of his body saving the lives of his children.

At the time, he was not expected to survive, but eventually, he returned home. For five years, David had to use a wheelchair, but through fantastic medical support and his own determination, he learned to walk again.

David was “Sunderland till he died”, a season ticket holder through the years, but it is fair to say he was equally passionate about the Labour Party, of which he was a lifelong member, serving as councilor of Chester-le-Street District Council, Durham County Council and Stanley Town Council, where he was also Deputy Mayor.

Linda said: “David was a one-off. It was family over everything, but he would do anything for his friends, colleagues, his fellow councilors, and his community.

“His passing leaves a huge hole in all our lives, but rather than mourn his passing, we celebrate his life and we’re so thankful to have shared it with him.”

Paying tribute to his father, David’s eldest son, Durham County Councillor Carl Marshall said: “I owe my dad a huge debt of gratitude – he gave our family many great times and happy memories and made sure we all shared the values he held so dearly, helping set all of us up for happy and fulfilled lives.

“He believed strongly in fairness, that everyone should be treated equally.

“He believed people should tell the truth, something he drummed into us from a young age; and he always tried to help other people.

“When my dad felt strongly about something, he’d dig his heels in and fight for what he believed was right, often to his detriment.

“There were so many great stories about my dad, from incredible professional achievements to his political passions, but for us, the best memories are times spent as a family.

To many, he was a serious, passionate, but always friendly politician, but to us, he was mischievous and hilarious and kept our family going with humor and quick wit.”


Remembering David Marshall

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Roger Dorchy

Roger Dorchy

September 15, 1944 - July 26, 2023

Roger Dorchy was a fixture on the Le Mans 24 Hours grid for much of the 1970s and ‘80s, though in 13 starts he made the finish only three times.

Yet his place in the history of the French enduro was sealed when he hit more than 250mph on the Mulsanne Straight at the wheel of a Peugeot-powered WM Group C car during the race in 1988.

Or rather it was assured two years later when the four-mile drag of public road that is correctly called the Ligne droite des Hunaudieres was split into three with the construction of the pair of chicanes we know today. Never again would the kind of speeds hit by Dorchy, who has died aged 78 after a battle with Parkinson’s disease, be attained around the eight and half miles of the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Dorchy’s record aboard the WM-Peugeot P88 stands at 405km/h or 251mph, though he actually went faster than that: a shade faster in 1988, and probably significantly quicker the year before.

It is a fact that Dorchy was clocked through the speed trap on the Mulsanne in ’88 at 407km/h (253mph), but WM and race organizer the Automobile Club de l’Ouest decided to declare the new record at 405km/h. The reason was that the team was largely made up of Peugeot employees working in their spare time and 1988 was the launch year of the French manufacturer's new 405 four-door saloon.

But key players involved in the team named after Gerard Welter, a stylist at Peugeot whose credits include the 205 hatch-back, and Michel Meunier believed Dorchy might have gone perhaps as much as 10 or 12km/h faster in 1987. Their calculations suggested the terminal velocity was knocking on the door of 420km/h, the discrepancy down to the inadequacies of the measuring equipment supplied by the police.

WM had been racing at the Le Mans 24 Hours since 1976, but as the Group C category really took off in the mid-1980s it realised that as part-timers it couldn’t compete with Porsche, Jaguar, Sauber-Mercedes et al. So it changed tack and proposed the idea of trying to break the 400km/h barrier under the ‘Projet 400’ banner.

The P87 was the result, a low downforce special that had a rear wing only to balance the car. It had hit 416km/h in a TV stunt on an unopened section of French autoroute a few days before Le Mans in ’87 with Francois Migault driving. Come the race, however, the car never came close to the kind of speeds the team was sure it was capable of achieving.

It was subsequently found out that the radar system used to measure terminal velocity on the Mulsanne couldn’t cope with the kind of speeds that WM was hitting. It was the same during qualifying in 1988, before a prototype of a more advanced system was brought in for the race and the record duly taken by Dorchy.

Dorchy had first raced in one of WM’s prototypes in 1977 and would remain part of the team’s Le Mans assault until it closed its doors after the ’89 race. Ten of his 13 Le Mans starts came with Welter and Meunier’s happy band of volunteers.

Only twice did he see the finish, however. Sharing a P79/80 with rally star Guy Frequelin, he came home fourth and second in the GTP class in 1980, though admittedly 20 laps behind the winning Rondeau.

Dorchy’s Le Mans debut came in 1974, the second of two years in which he raced Formula Renault single-seaters. It would be the first of four appearances - including one failure to qualify — at the French enduro driving Porsche 911 Carrera RSRs.

What was most remarkable about Dorchy’s exploits on the Muslanne was perhaps that he was not a professional racing driver: he ran a garage in Beauvais to the north of Paris and Le Mans was often his only race appearance of the season.


Remembering Roger Dorchy

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Lew Perkins

Lew Perkins

March 24, 1945 - July 18, 2023

Lew Perkins, former athletic director at the University of Kansas and Wichita State University, died Tuesday morning in Lawrence at the age of 78. Perkins’ passing was the result of side effects from Parkinson’s Disease, a family member told The Star. A former college basketball player who graduated from the University of Iowa in 1967, Perkins was Athletic Director (AD) at Wichita State from 1983-87 and KU’s AD from 2003-10. He also served as AD at UConn (1990-2003,) Maryland (1987-90) and South Carolina-Aiken (1969-80). He was associate AD at Penn from 1980-83.

Perkins was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Trustees in 2005. He served on the NCAA Championships & Competition Cabinet and the NCAA Bowl Certification Committee. Perkins was athletic director at KU in 2008 when the Jayhawks won the NCAA men’s basketball title and the Orange Bowl. The Orange Bowl victory capped a school-record 12-win season. KU also won the 2008 Insight Bowl — marking the first time in school history that KU played in bowl games in back-to-back seasons.

“Lew was first and foremost an advocate for student-athletes and coaches,” former KU associate athletic director Jim Marchiony told The Star. “He expected 100% effort and strove for excellence with every fiber of his being. Those expectations rubbed off on an impressive number of people who worked for him and went on to enjoy very successful careers in college athletics.” Marchiony, who worked with Perkins at UConn and KU, added: “Lew spoke often and fondly about his days at both KU and Wichita State. The fact that they (Perkins and wife Gwen) stayed and lived in Kansas after his tenure at KU speaks volumes about what he thought of the state of Kansas and the Midwest.”

After retiring from his post at KU in September 2010, Perkins and his wife moved to New Orleans for a brief period of time before returning to Lawrence. There were many facility upgrades during Perkins’ KU tenure, including $10 million worth of renovations to Allen Fieldhouse completed in 2005-06. At the time, another $15 million was approved for fieldhouse upgrades. Also, the Booth Family Hall of Athletics was added to the fieldhouse at a cost of $5 million. The Anderson Family Football Complex officially opened on July 30, 2008, adjacent to the football field at Memorial Stadium, at a cost of $31 million.

In 2009, $42 million in improvements for a new basketball practice and training facility, locker rooms, donor atrium, concourses and other upgrades to Allen Fieldhouse were completed. Another $8 million was spent for improvement of KU’s student-athlete housing. Other projects during Perkins’ tenure included new baseball and softball facilities and a boathouse for the rowing team. In 2008, TIME magazine named Perkins one of the top 35 sports executives in the world. He was the only college administrator on the list.

“Lew did a lot of good things in his time here at KU,” KU basketball coach Bill Self said. “He was a big contributor in us changing the mindset of the athletic department and also competing for championships on a more consistent level. Our hearts go out to Gwen and the family. The one thing I will remember most about Lew was he always put the student-athletes first, and the student-athletes that got to know him well all loved him.” Current AD Travis Goff said: ““Lew made an indelible impact on Kansas Athletics and served his role at KU with passion and vigor on a daily basis. We will forever be grateful for his dedication to this university and athletic department. We are thinking of Lew’s amazing family during this time and sending our deepest thoughts and sympathies.”

Perkins’ tenure at KU also included a scandal involving the KU athletic department ticket office. Federal charges were filed by the FBI and IRS against five employees of the athletic department, as well as one consultant. Perkins was not implicated in the scandal but some of the employees charged with crimes were either hired by Perkins or promoted during his years at KU. Of the scandal, he said in May 2010: “We had the wrong people hired for the wrong jobs.” Of being an AD, he told The Star’s Vahe Gregorian: “Being an athletic director, I don’t care where, it’s not easy. People think it’s just fun and games. It’s a hard job.”

Perkins served on the Big 12’s Basketball Issues Committee and was chair of the Big 12 Board of Athletics Directors. He was a member of the Big 12 Television Committee and the Gatorade Board of Directors. After Perkins announced his retirement in September 2010 at age 65, then-KU chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said: “There is no question that Kansas athletics has benefited from Lew Perkins’ leadership. One need only look at the academic success of our student-athletes, at KU’s trophy cases and at our state-of-the-art athletic facilities to see those benefits. I appreciate his service and understand his decision (to retire).” At the time, Perkins said: “I am grateful that Chancellor (Robert) Hemenway allowed Gwen and me to come to Lawrence to be part of the great university. We love this community. We consider it home. This decision will give us a chance to stay involved in the community in different ways. It will also allow me to explore other professional opportunities.”

He was honored in 2000 as the National Athletic Director of the Year, as selected by Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). At Perkins’ urging, the Connecticut state legislature funded a $90 million, 40,000-seat stadium for UConn in Hartford, Conn. It opened in August 2003. A native of Chelsea, Mass., Perkins was inducted into his high school Hall of Fame in 1989. He played basketball at Iowa (1965-67) for KU graduate Ralph Miller, a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Perkins earned his undergraduate degree at Iowa in 1967. Perkins served as athletic director (1969-80) and head basketball coach (1969-79) at the University of South Carolina Aiken. He received his masters degree in education (1975) from the University of South Carolina. Perkins delivered the commencement address and received an honorary Doctor of Education degree at USC-Aiken in May 2005. 


Remembering Lew Perkins

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Chris Garland

Chris Garland

April 24, 1949 - July 13, 2023

Former Bristol City striker Chris Garland - one of the Ashton Gate Eight - has passed away aged 74.

Garland was an English footballer who played in all four divisions of the Football League. He was capped once by England at under-23 level.

His death was announced by the Bristol City FC Former Players Association.

Garland was regarded as a club legend by Bristol City supporters and helped save the club from going bust.

He was one of the Ashton Gate Eight who, on 3 February 1982, tore up their contracts to save the club from financial ruin.

Bristol-born Garland, who was living in Nailsea, was suffering from Parkinson's Disease.

Bristol City FC Former Players said: "It's with great sadness that we here at the FPA have to report the passing of the great Chris Garland.

"A true legend of the club, our thoughts are with the Garland family.

"It's a dark day for Ashton Gate."

Garland made 248 appearances for Bristol City, scoring more than 54 goals, in two spells.

He signed his first deal with the Robins in 1966, staying until he moved to Chelsea for a record £100,000 fee in 1971.

He returned to his hometown club five years later from Leicester City, where he remained until his contract was cancelled in 1982. He played on a match-by-match basis the following season while the club was in the Fourth Division.

In a statement, Bristol City club president, Marina Dolman MBE said: "We are all heartbroken. Chris was a wonderful player and a person. He was a Bristol boy through and through and we all loved him very much."

Remembering Chris Garland

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Terrence Brennen Byrne

Terrence Brennen Byrne

May 4, 1944 - July 13, 2023

Terrence B. “Terry” Byrne, 79, passed away on July 13, 2023; beloved husband for 48 years to Kathy Byrne (nee Perret); loving father of Jennifer Byrne Zaher, Michael Patrick Byrne and his wife Laura; dear brother of Dennis B. Byrne, Virginia “Gin” Hines and the late Michael B. and Kevin K. Byrne; adoring grandfather of Laila Zaher, Corbin, Nolan and Cooper Byrne.

Born in Scottdale, Pennsylvania, he was the son of Frank Byrne, an industrialist, and Helen Brennen, a homemaker.

He was a 1962 graduate of the old Immaculate Conception High School in Connellsville, Pennsylvania. He earned a degree at West Virginia University and, after moving to Baltimore, was a graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law.

He joined the Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. as an insurance adjuster and later became a loan officer at the old Commercial Credit Corp.

He met his future wife, Kathlyne “Kathy” Perret, while she was working at Commercial Credit as a summer replacement secretary. Their first date was to the Wishing Well Lounge in Parkville and later they went to a steak and egg restaurant.

“We talked until four in the morning,” his wife said. “He was bright and kind and most known for his sense of humor.”

They married on August 11, 1974 at her home parish, the Church of the Nativity in Timonium. They settled in Rodgers Forge.

Mr. Byrne started his law career with attorney Ron Levasseur in Towson. He then joined John Dilli and Seymour R. Goldstein’s firm in Mount Vernon, which became Goldstein and Byrne.

In 2001, he established the law office of Terrence B. Byrne on Chesapeake Avenue in Towson, specializing in workers’ compensation and personal injury. In 2019 he became of counsel to the law offices of William O’Brien Finch Jr.

“He was a dedicated and zealous advocate for his clients and had an unmatched work ethic,” said his son, Michael Bryne. “I don’t know where he got the energy.”

As a child he spent summers at Chautauqua Institution, a resort in New York, and sailed on his father’s classic Chris-Craft, the Tingy Pete on Chautauqua Lake.

“His childhood years created an impression on him and he loved being on a boat,” said his wife.

In 1997 he bought a home at Sherwood Forest Club on the Severn River.

“He loved operating a ski boat, the Irish Wake,” said his wife. “Then came Hurricane Isabel [in 2003]. He had pulled the boat out of the water and put it on land only to have a tree fall on it. He was devastated.”

He later bought a Cobalt boat for trips in the Severn River, but never named it.

He and his family traveled to Arizona, New Mexico and later expanded their destinations to Europe, Argentina and Uruguay.

Mr. Byrne cultivated a wide social circle in and around Towson. He and his friends gathered for dinners and planned trips together. They began with cruises and created their own excursions to China, Scandinavia and along the Rhine River.

Mr. Byrne owned a series of classic cars: a Mustang, Jaguar XKE, Austin Healy and a Crossfire.

His Austin Healy became his personal restoration project.

“He had the energy to work on it — he took it apart and put it back together. And after all that labor, he did not drive it much,” said his son, Michael. “He also decided to put central air conditioning in the house. He went to the supply house and loaded a station wagon with ductwork. His system worked and took a few months to install.

“A legal client helped him with that job. Terry developed strong friends among his clients,” said his son.

When he lived in Rodgers Forge before moving to Stoneleigh, he built bookcases, a sectional sofa, fences and decks. They later settled in Stevenson Mews.

“We learned together, building things,” said his wife.

Mr. Byrne also enjoyed reading works of history, newspapers and following world issues.

A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday at the Lemmon Funeral Home of Dulaney Valley, 10 West Padonia Road.

Survivors include his wife of nearly 49 years, Kathlyne “Kathy” Perret Byrne, a Good Shepherd School preschool teacher and Annie E. Casey Foundation library consultant; a son, Michael P. Byrne of Chagrin Falls, Ohio; a daughter, Jennifer Byrne Zaher of Loch Raven Village; a sister, Virginia “Gin” Hines of Dumfries, Virginia; a brother, Dennis B. Byrne of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania; and four grandchildren.


Remembering Terrence Brennen Byrne

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Sita Dahal

Sita Dahal

January 1, 1954 - July 12, 2023

The wife of Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal popular as “Prachanda” passed away on Wednesday.

Prachanda’s wife Sita Dahal died after suffering from a rare neurological condition for a long time.

She was 69-years-old.

“Sita, who has been ill for a long time passed away Wednesday at Norvic International Hospital in Kathmandu. She was undergoing treatment at the hospital, where the doctors confirmed her death at 8.33 am,” the report said.

It mentioned that the deceased was suffering from Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), Parkinson, diabetes and hypertension diseases.

Progressive supranuclear palsy is a rare neurological condition that can cause problems with balance, movement, vision, speech, and swallowing.

She was taken to the hospital on Wednesday after her health condition turned serious, it said.

Prachanda and his wife Sita had three daughters and one son. Their eldest daughter Gyanu Dahal and son Prakash Dahal have already passed away.

She is survived by Prime Minister Prachanda and two daughters, Renu and Ganga. Renu Dahal is currently serving as Mayor of Bharatpur Metropolitan City.

Remembering Sita Dahal

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Mark Seiler

Mark Seiler

January 1, 1950 - July 7, 2023

Actress Morgan Fairchild made the sad announcement that her partner of almost 40 years, Mark Seiler, has died.

Fairchild took to her popular Twitter account late Thursday to break the news, writing, "I’m so sorry to let you know that my life partner (36 years together) & fiancé, Mark Seiler, passed away last Friday night [July 7]."

She went on, "He’d had Parkinson’s for several years, but it seems to be Long Covid that took his life after his 3rd infection. Hold your loved ones close."

She adorned the post with a glamorous photo of the couple taken around 1990.

Fairchild had just recently voiced support for comic Richard Lewis, who told fans he was battling Parkinson's in an April post. On June 28, Fairchild commented, “My fiancé also has Parkinson’s, and we are all on this journey together! Sending you love.”

Seiler's condition was so fragile that he was in a nursing home while COVID-19 first raged, leading Fairchild to write at the time, “They’re taking very good care of him there. I’m very grateful that they haven’t had any cases there… I’m just here. I get up every day, I do my housework, I do my chores and I just do my exercises. I go for a walk… I try to eat right… I watch the news.”

Fairchild, 73, is known for her work on the soaps "Search for Tomorrow," "General Hospital," "Flamingo Road," and "Falcon Crest." She has displayed her comedic side on "Murphy Brown," "Roseanne," and "Friends," and is a SAG-AFTRA board member.

Born on an unspecified date in 1950, in the United States of America, Mark Seiler is a 68/69-year-old movie producer, executive, technician, CEO and entrepreneur. He is best known as the producer of the 1997 Danish movie “The Island on Bird Street”, which won a total of nine awards in the year of its release. Mark has also gained some publicity for his relationship with Morgan Fairchild, a renowned actress and activist, but notably, he was the CEO of Capella Films, an important movie production venture during the 1990s.

Mark Seiler may be one of the most influential men in the movie industry, but he’s what people like to call – “the man hiding in the shadows”. He isn’t a movie star nor a high-profile socialite, so he’s able to keep his private life hidden from the media. Production doesn’t involve a lot of fanfare, so he doesn’t have much need to expose himself to the public. Little is known about his early life or family, and it’s also unclear whether Mark got acquainted with the world of cinematography through formal education, or if he’s a self-taught virtuoso. There is no record of him for pretty much the first 35 years of his life.

The first records of Mark’s involvement in the movie industry is his work on the 1985 American drama “Plenty”. Highly rated by both critics and fans, the movie has Meryl Streep playing the role of Susan Traherne, a woman who is struggling to find her way in life, in the tumultuous era of post-World War II England. She fought in the French Resistance, and in the heat of battle, there was a man who caught her eye. They made love and the evening forever stayed engraved in Susan’s mind. The story revolves around a loss of faith in oneself, after living an intense life for more than two decades. Seiler was the executive producer of the movie and working with director Fred Schepisi gave him an excellent starting point on which to build his career. The movie was nominated for two British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards and additionally won two more minor awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the National Society of Film Critics; both went to John Gielgud as Best Supporting Actor.

After the success of “Plenty”, Seiler didn’t need to wait much longer for his next work. The same year the movie “Mesmerized” was released, featuring a star-studded cast of Jodie Foster, Michael Murphy and John Lithgow. In a rather shocking manner, the movie has Jodie playing the role of a young woman who has to deal with the strange sexual fetishes of her older husband. She needed a way to get out of an orphanage, so she faked her love towards an aging businessman. When push came to shove, she had to kill him to save herself from the hell she was living in. Much of the movie revolves around her trial and the emotional toxicity surrounding all the characters. Despite the daring nature of the whole script, the movie was slammed by critics and viewers alike, mostly because of a multitude of plot holes and inconsistencies. Nevertheless, Mark was praised for his production, and so added another achievement to his growing resume.

Following the debacle of “Mesmerized”, Seiler seemingly dropped off the grid. It is suspected that he worked as a ghost-producer on several critically acclaimed Hollywood titles; in the movie world, a ghost producer is a person who produces a movie, while the credits go to someone else. Eventually, he resurfaced with a smash hit, the 1997 Danish drama – “The Island on Bird Street”. The story is based on the touching semi-autobiographical novel by Uri Orlev, an Israeli author who witnesses the horrors of war and Nazi crimes firsthand. In the movie, Patrick Bergin assumes the role of Stefan, while Jordan Kiziuk delivered a masterful performance while playing Alex. Unlike his previous two works, Seiler had a more “hands on” approach here, as he was producer, not executive producer.

In 1990, Capella Films was founded by Rolf Deyhle and Will Baer, with the idea of running an independent film production company which would control and occupy all the sites in the production chain of a movie. This would allow everyone involved with the film to co-operate with one another with greater ease, without the usual problems in communication and finances. Baer and Deyhle chose Mark Seiler to be the CEO, overseeing all processes and essentially controlling the entire company. Due to his efforts, Capella Films became a staple in the movie world, producing and financing movies such as Carlito’s Way (1993), The Mask (1994) and Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994). In 1997, the company was acquired by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer for a whopping $1.3 billion.

Mark Seiler is currently in a relationship with the controversial actress Morgan Fairchild. She is 69-years-old and rose to fame through her role in “Mr. Peppermint” on WFAA-TV. Interestingly, she was kidnapped and held for ransom not once, but twice, in the mid-1970s. She is also an AIDS and HIV activist, educating people and raising awareness about this dangerous condition. Morgan and Mark have been together for over 35 years. Even though they are both celebrities, there haven’t been any rumors or controversies surrounding their relationship.

Remembering Mark Seiler

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James Dobbins

James Dobbins

May 31, 1942 - July 3, 2023

James Dobbins, a veteran diplomat called “one of the leading practitioners of the art” of nation-building by former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, and who directed RAND's International Security and Defense Policy Center for more than a decade, died July 3. He was 81.

“Ambassador Dobbins had decades of experience as a diplomatic troubleshooter that greatly benefited RAND and the institutions we serve,” said Jason Matheny, president and CEO of nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND. “He was a scholar of foreign affairs who wrote cogently about some of the most critical situations the world has faced in modern times. And he was tireless: Just last month he coauthored a new analysis of how to rebuild a post-war Ukraine.”

Indeed, Dobbins saw that Ukraine's post-war reform and reconstruction was part of the 75-year story of Europe's recovery and reintegration starting in western Europe after World War II, then central and eastern Europe after the Cold War, then the western Balkans after the Yugoslavia wars. “His was a life spent working to make the world a safer, more peaceful place,” his son Christian Dobbins said.

Dobbins took on difficult assignments managing international crises for four presidents.

After the September 11 terrorist attacks, he became the Bush administration's envoy to the Afghan opposition, played a key role at the 2001 Bonn conference from which Hamid Karzai emerged as the consensus candidate for Afghanistan's first president, and reopened the American embassy in Kabul on December 16, 2001.

Dobbins directed RAND's International Security and Defense Policy Center from 2002 to 2013, when he became President Obama's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. He spent a challenging year in the post, holding negotiations over such issues as whether to keep American troops in Afghanistan after 2014 and the controversial swap of five Taliban detainees for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Dobbins returned to RAND as a senior fellow and Distinguished Chair in Diplomacy and Security. His RAND books included 2007's The Beginner's Guide to Nation-Building, a handbook based on 24 case studies on rebuilding a nation after a conflict, coauthored with Seth G. Jones, Keith Crane and Beth Cole DeGrasse. In 2017 he published a memoir, Foreign Service: Five Decades on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy.

“Jim's role as a policymaker—and as a senior U.S. representative in societies in conflict—is worth special note,” Robert B. Zoellick, a former deputy secretary of state, wrote in the foreword to the memoir. “When Jim helped solve problems, he offered breadth and insight by analyzing and presenting issues within the context of history and wider considerations. A discussion with Jim was also seasoned with his sharp wit.”

Dobbins was born in New York City on May 31, 1942. He was 10 when his family moved to the Philippines for the work of his father, a lawyer with the Veterans Administration. They returned to the United States, and the Maryland suburbs, in time for Dobbins' senior year in high school.

He earned a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in 1963 and spent the next three years as a lieutenant in the Navy.

Dobbins then entered diplomatic work, including serving as a U.S. staff delegate at the Paris peace talks that opened in 1968. He worked in Paris, London, Bonn, and Brussels, and twice headed the State Department's European bureau.

His career took a different trajectory in 1993 with an assignment to manage the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Somalia. He was then given important roles as American troops went to Haiti in 1994, Bosnia in 1995 and Kosovo in 1999. “I became associated with each of these enterprises as the Washington-based troubleshooter responsible for overseeing these interventions' stabilization and reconstruction phases,” he wrote. By the end of the Clinton administration, Dobbins was assistant secretary of state for Europe.

Under the Bush administration, Dobbins became special envoy to the Afghan opposition and later wrote After the Taliban: Nation-Building in Afghanistan (2008), a book about helping the Afghans form a new government. Other RAND publications include America's Role in Nation-Building: From Germany to IraqEnding Afghanistan's Civil War and Choices for America in a Turbulent World.

After joining RAND, “I was occupied with an agreeable mix of thinking, reading, writing, and helping guide others' work on national security policy,” Dobbins wrote in his memoir. “RAND provided the opportunity for reflection and dozens of super smart colleagues to help.”

His wife, Toril, whom he married in 1969, died in 2012. Besides Christian Dobbins, he is survived by his sisters Victoria Dobbins and Elizabeth Fuller; his brothers Andrew Dobbins and Peter Dobbins; and his son Colin Dobbins, Colin's wife Elizabeth Dobbins, and their daughters Catherine and Evelyn.

Remembering James Dobbins

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Updated: August 16, 2017