Memorials · Parkinson's Resource Organization

The Memorial Wall

Walter R. Klostermeier

Walter R. Klostermeier

May 14, 1919 - March 3, 2000

Remembering Walter R. Klostermeier

Use the form below to make your memorial contribution. PRO will send a handwritten card to the family with your tribute or message included. The information you provide enables us to apply your remembrance gift exactly as you wish.

In Memoriam
Frank Kowalski
In Memoriam

Frank Kowalski

May 2, 1926 - June 3, 1999

Frank Kowalski, an industry veteran who began as a child actor and later served as a script supervisor and screenwriter, died June 3, 1999, in Panorama City, following a lengthy battle with Parkinson's disease. He was 73.

As a youngster, Kowalski acted in several Warner Bros. films including "Angels With Dirty Faces" in 1938.

Following his acting career, Kowalski worked in the film industry in various capacities including as a script supervisor; he also wrote several screenplays.

Survivors include his wife, Emma; a daughter, a granddaughter; two brothers, and a sister.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Parkinson's Resource Organization in the name of the Frank Kowalski Memorial Respite Fund, 73-700 El Paseo, Suite no.2, Palm Desert 92260.


Remembering Frank Kowalski

Use the form below to make your memorial contribution. PRO will send a handwritten card to the family with your tribute or message included. The information you provide enables us to apply your remembrance gift exactly as you wish.

David Dunay

David Dunay

December 10, 1923 - March 20, 1999

DUNAY-David. Passed away March 20, 1999. Educated at the George Washington High School in New York City, he served in the U.S. Army during World War II. His career began as Visual Presentation Manager at Lord and Taylor in New York. He proceeded to Neiman Marcus, Rich's, and the Hecht Co. He was President of Creative Services at the May Company in Los Angeles. He is survived by his wife Patricia Hunter Dunay of Los Angeles, two daughters, Alexia Dunay of New York and Nicole Dunay Calloway of Trumbull, CT, and two grandsons Max Dunay Calloway and Lucas Dunay Calloway. Memorial services will be held at Temple Kol Tikvah, 20400 Ventura Boulevard, Woodland Hills, CA at 3:00 pm on March 23, 1999. Donations may be sent to the Children of Parkinsonians, now Parkinson's Resource Organization 74-090 El Paseo, Suite 104, Palm Desert, CA 92260

Remembering David Dunay

Use the form below to make your memorial contribution. PRO will send a handwritten card to the family with your tribute or message included. The information you provide enables us to apply your remembrance gift exactly as you wish.

In Memoriam
Leonard Altman
In Memoriam

Leonard Altman

January 1, 1920 - December 31, 1996

Defender Of Carnegie Hall and Old Met, Leonard Altman, a musician, teacher, writer and arts administrator who played an important role in the preservation of Carnegie Hall and was director of the music division of the New York State Council of the Arts, died on Tuesday at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 76 years old and lived in Santa Monica.

Tim Page, a friend of Mr. Altman, said Mr. Altman had committed suicide by taking an overdose of pills. He had been rendered virtually immobile by Parkinson's disease in recent years.

Mr. Altman was born in Boston in 1920. He attended the Boston Latin School and completed a bachelor's degree in music at Harvard University and a master's degree at New York University. In the 1950's and 60's, he contributed articles about music to Stereo Review, The American Record Guide and Musical America and was the editor and publisher of Listen: A Music Monthly from 1963 to 1965.

In the late 1960's and early 70's, he produced more than 200 music programs for WNYC-TV, as well as hundreds of radio programs for stations in New York, Boston and Los Angeles.

Mr. Altman was also editor in chief of the Leeds Music Corporation, a music publisher, from 1960 to 1963, and the chief executive officer of the Concert Artists Guild -- an organization that supports young musicians early in their careers -- from 1969 to 1973.

Several times he took up the causes of historic halls that were in danger of being destroyed. Soon after he moved to New York from Boston in 1958, he helped Isaac Stern start the Citizens Committee to Save Carnegie Hall. When that effort succeeded, Mr. Altman joined the hall's board, remaining a member until 1974.

n 1965, he became the executive chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Preservation of the Old Metropolitan Opera House, which was to be torn down after the Met moved to Lincoln Center. As in the Carnegie project, he recruited celebrities to the cause, including Leopold Stokowski, Marian Anderson, Licia Albanese and Tony Randall, but this time he was unable to stop the wrecker's ball. The Old Met came down in 1967.

Mr. Altman was the director of the music division of the New York State Council on the Arts from 1973 to 1979. He was also a lecturer at New York University and taught at the New School for Social Research; Queens College, where he was chairman of the music department from 1962 to 1965, and the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood in Lenox, Mass., where he was the artistic and administrative coordinator of the opera program for several years.

Soon after he moved to California in 1979, Mr. Altman was appointed executive director of the Los Angeles County Music and Performing Arts Commission. He was also an adviser on music and dance to the California Arts Council, and from the late 1980's he was director of the Maestro Foundation, which presented private concerts in California homes.

Mr. Altman is survived by Neal Sideman, his companion, and by a sister, Natalie Rosenblatt of Louisville, Ky.

Remembering Leonard Altman

Use the form below to make your memorial contribution. PRO will send a handwritten card to the family with your tribute or message included. The information you provide enables us to apply your remembrance gift exactly as you wish.

Bjorn Kjellstrom

Bjorn Kjellstrom

September 9, 1910 - August 26, 1995

Bjorn Kjellstrom, who founded the company that makes the most popular compass in the world and later introduced the sport of orienteering to North America, died Saturday in a hospital in Stockholm.

He was 84 years old. His family said he died of complications of Parkinson's disease.

Mr. Kjellstrom (pronounced SHELL-strum) was born in Sweden and became a national champion there in ski orienteering. The low-cost sport involves the use of a map and a compass to move quickly over unknown forest terrain from one control point to another. Competition is on foot in warmer weather, on skis in the winter.

When he began, compasses had no restraints to keep the needle from swinging. In 1932, he, his brothers Alvar and Alvid, and Gunnar Tillander invented the Silva System (Silva is the Latin word for forest). It combined a compass with a protractor built into the base.

Their invention made it faster and easier to use and read the compass. The protractor baseplate allowed users to take more accurate bearings from maps. The brittle magnetic needle stopped moving in the compass liquid within four seconds as opposed to up to 30 seconds in older compasses.

In 1946, Mr. Kjellstrom came to the United States and started the Silva Compass Company in LaPorte, Ind. In 1948, he founded Silva Ltd., in Toronto. Johnson Wax bought the American company in 1973 and the Canadian company in 1985.

A spokesman for the Johnson Worldwide Associates in Racine, Wis., said more than a half-million Silva compasses were sold in the United States annually, making it the industry leader. The compass is made in 50 models. More than 25 million have been sold, mostly to hunters, campers and the military, helped by such marketing slogans as "Read this or get lost."

Mr. Kjellstrom's 1955 book, "Be Expert With Map and Compass" (MacMillan, revised 1994), has sold more than 500,000 copies in English-language editions. It has also been published in French, Italian and Chinese.

He was a shrewd businessman. Just after World War II, he started selling Silva compasses to Canadian stores for $3, with the stores to re-sell them for $5. When he arrived at the Eatons department store in Winnipeg, he learned the 100 compasses they bought were selling slowly, so they had put the 80 remaining compasses on sale for $2 each.

"Without identifying myself at that stage," he recalled, "I offered to buy their entire stock for $1.50 a compass. Then I went more or less around the corner to a couple of sporting-goods stores, not customers as yet, and sold the compasses to them for $3 net."

He introduced orienteering to the United States in 1946 and co-founded the United States Orienteering Federation in 1971. He later became the organization's president emeritus. He helped bring the 1993 orienteering world championships to Harriman State Park near West Point, N.Y. He was vice president of the International Ski Federation from 1951 to 1979.

Since the 1950's, he had lived in Pound Ridge, N.Y., where he helped develop the trail system in the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.

He is survived by his wife, Kathi Kjellstrom of Pound Ridge; five children, Dr. Bjorn Kjellstrom Jr. of Trosa, Sweden; Dr. Tord Kjellstrom of Geneva, Laila Kjellstrom of Edinburgh, Rolf Kjellstrom of Stockholm and Carina Elgin of The Plains, Va., and eight grandchildren.

Remembering Bjorn Kjellstrom

Use the form below to make your memorial contribution. PRO will send a handwritten card to the family with your tribute or message included. The information you provide enables us to apply your remembrance gift exactly as you wish.

Vincent Leonard Price Jr

Vincent Leonard Price Jr

May 27, 1911 - October 25, 1993

An American actor best known for his performances in horror films, although his career spanned other genres. He appeared on stage, television, and radio, and in more than 100 films. He has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for motion pictures and one for television.[1]

His first film role was as a leading man in the 1938 comedy Service de Luxe. Price became well known as a character actor, appearing in films such as The Song of Bernadette (1943), Laura (1944), The Keys of the Kingdom (1944), Leave Her to Heaven (1945), Dragonwyck (1946), and The Ten Commandments (1956). He established himself as a recognizable horror movie star after his leading role in House of Wax (1953). He subsequently starred in other successful or cult horror films, including The Fly (1958), House on Haunted Hill (1959), The Tingler (1959), The Last Man on Earth (1964), Witchfinder General (1968), The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971), and Theatre of Blood (1973). He was particularly known for his collaborations with Roger Corman on Edgar Allan Poe adaptations such as House of Usher (1960), The Pit and the Pendulum (1961), and The Masque of the Red Death (1964). Price occasionally appeared on television series, such as in Batman as Egghead.

In his later years, he voiced the villainous Professor Ratigan in Disney's classic animated film The Great Mouse Detective (1986), and appeared in the drama The Whales of August (1987), which earned him an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male nomination and Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands (1990), his last theatrical release. For his contributions to cinema, especially to genre films, he has received lifetime achievement or special tribute awards from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, Fantasporto, Bram Stoker Awards, and Los Angeles Film Critics Association.[citation needed] Known for his iconic voice, Price narrated several animation films, radio dramas, and documentaries, as well as the monologue on Michael Jackson's song "Thriller". For his voice work in Great American Speeches (1959), he was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album.

Price was also an art collector and arts consultant, with a degree in art history, and he lectured and wrote books on the subject. The Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College is named in his honor.[2] He was also a noted gourmet cook.[3]

Price married three times. His first marriage was in 1938 to former actress Edith Barrett; they had one son, poet, and columnist Vincent Barrett Price. Edith and Price divorced in 1948. Price married Mary Grant in 1949, and they had a daughter, inspirational speaker Victoria Price on April 27, 1962,[40] naming her after Price's first major success in the play Victoria Regina.[41] The marriage lasted until 1973. He married Australian actress Coral Browne in 1974; she had appeared as one of his victims in Theatre of Blood (1973). The marriage lasted until her death in 1991.

His daughter's biography Vincent Price: A Daughter's Biography (1999) details Price's early antisemitism[42] and initial admiration for Adolf Hitler. According to his daughter: "When he went to Germany and Austria as a young man, he was struck by a lot of things going on during the Weimar Republic and the disillusion of the empire... So when Hitler came into power, instead of seeing him as a dangerous force, he was sort of swept up in this whole idea that Hitler was going to bring German pride back."[43] However, Price became a liberal after becoming friends with New York intellectuals such as Dorothy Parker and Lillian Hellman in the 1930s,[43] so much so that he was "greylisted" under McCarthyism in the 1950s, for having been a prewar "premature anti-Nazi", and after being unable to find work for a year, agreed to requests by the FBI that he sign a "secret oath" to save his career.[44][45] His daughter said that her father became so liberal that "one of my brother's earliest memories is when Franklin Roosevelt's death was announced, my father fell backward off the sofa sobbing."[43]

Price denounced racial and religious prejudice as a form of poison at the end of an episode of The Saint,[46] which aired on NBC Radio on July 30, 1950,[47] claiming that Americans must actively fight against it because racial and religious prejudice within the United States fuels supports for the nation's enemies.[48] He was later appointed to the Indian Arts and Crafts Board under the Dwight D. Eisenhower administration; he called the appointment "kind of a surprise since I am a Democrat".[49] He was supportive of his daughter when she came out as a lesbian, and he was critical of Anita Bryant's anti-gay-rights campaign in the 1970s.[50][51][52][53]

Price suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and Parkinson's disease. His symptoms were especially severe during the filming of Edward Scissorhands, making cutting his filming schedule short a necessity.

His illness also contributed to his retirement from Mystery! in 1989. He died at age 82 of lung cancer on October 25, 1993, at his home in Los Angeles.[2]

His remains were cremated and his ashes scattered off Point Dume in Malibu, California.

Remembering Vincent Leonard Price Jr

Use the form below to make your memorial contribution. PRO will send a handwritten card to the family with your tribute or message included. The information you provide enables us to apply your remembrance gift exactly as you wish.

Clyde R. King

Clyde R. King

January 1, 1923 - September 28, 1993

"Because of Jo and PRO, I was able to find additional treatments for my father who was diagnosed with Parkinson's/ShyDrager Syndrome and passed away 29 years ago. The Organization gave us hope, he died knowing the experimental treatment studies would help others like him in the future. I am so gratified the good work goes on. Curt and I have made a donation. Thank you, Jo, you are an inspiration, and a joy to know."

-Sharon KS 5/23/2022

Remembering Clyde R. King

Use the form below to make your memorial contribution. PRO will send a handwritten card to the family with your tribute or message included. The information you provide enables us to apply your remembrance gift exactly as you wish.

Amelia K Lenk Sobota

Amelia K Lenk Sobota

July 10, 1910 - January 12, 1992

On January 12, 1992, Amelia K. (Lenk) Sobota entered into eternal rest after an eight-year battle with a Parkinson’s-like disease called Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). Although she actually lived with the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, only after her death and through the donation of her brain to the Gift of Hope Program, did the family discover she didn’t have Parkinson’s disease, she had PSP.

Born in Staples, Minnesota to James and Barbara (Kveton) Lenk, on July 10, 1910, Em, as the family knew her, married the love of her life, Theodore A Sobota on June 12, 1934, and together they moved to their dairy farm, in Browerville, Minnesota a wedding present from their parents.  She was the mother of ten children, James, Ann Marie, Barbara, Theodore J., Carolyn, Mary, Joannie, Margaret, Michael & Patrick; She leaves 34 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren; She also leaves four of her ten siblings, Peter, Louis, Francis Motl, and Mary Brockhouse.

After the children were pretty well raised, Em took a job with Hart Press, a book publishing company in Long Prairie, where she was a proofreader. In 1969 they sold their Browerville farm and moved to St. Paul, Minnesota.

Visitation at Wulff Family Services Crestwood Park Mortuary, 1485 White Bear Ave., Rosary 7 PM Tuesday. Mass of Christian Burial from Presentation Of The Blessed Virgin Mary, 1725 Kennard St., Maplewood, 10:30 AM Wednesday. Interment Resurrection Cemetery.

Remembering Amelia K Lenk Sobota

Use the form below to make your memorial contribution. PRO will send a handwritten card to the family with your tribute or message included. The information you provide enables us to apply your remembrance gift exactly as you wish.

Samuel “Big Mike” Selfman

Samuel “Big Mike” Selfman

April 22, 1910 - April 12, 1987

Samuel Selfman, 76, who had a long career in the food industry, died April 12, 1987, at Santa Barbara Convalescent Hospital after a seven-year struggle with Parkinson’s Disease and the effects of two strokes.

Born April 22, 1910, in the Ukraine, he emigrated with his parents and older brother to New York via Rumania in 1922. He began his career as a waiter, then chef, in the Catskills in New York. After a short stint as an airplane machinist at Curtiss-Wright in Columbus, Ohio, during World War II, he became the proprietor of a grocery store in Mansfield, Ohio, installing a deli counter to make “Big Mike’s” the town’s first delicatessen. He was an active member of B’nai Jacob Congregation in Mansfield. His family always said, “More people knew Daddy than knew the mayor.” 

He moved his family (wife, Zena, and two daughters) to Los Angeles in 1960 and became the owner/chef of Jordan’s Bar-B-Q in Santa Monica. Many of his customers were well-known entertainers and crews from foreign airlines who stayed at the Miramar Hotel (now Fairmont Miramar). Jordan’s and the Selfmans were written up frequently in the local papers; one called it the “Little U.N.” for the variety of its clientele. Later he became dietary supervisor for a chain of convalescent and acute care hospitals in the Los Angeles area, supervising not only a kosher kitchen but also learning to communicate with a staff who spoke several different languages. 

Mr. Selfman was also a vocational training teacher, for which he received numerous awards. He was a member of the local Parkinson’s associations in both Los Angeles (pre-PRO) and Santa Barbara. 

Mike was also an accomplished painter and sculptor who created ice statues and prepared culinary artworks for his many catered affairs from 1945-64.

He studied oil painting with the Impressionistic painter Samuel Markitante; his paintings were exhibited in both Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.

He was tall, handsome, quiet, moral, and unfailingly kind. He and his wife (also from Ukraine; they met in New York) were immensely grateful to live in America and passed that love of country on to their children. 

He is currently survived by his daughters, Flo Selfman of Los Angeles and Julia A. Stephen of Santa Barbara, son-in-law, two grandsons and a granddaughter, all of whom he knew, and four great-grandchildren, who came along well after his passing.

Remembering Samuel “Big Mike” Selfman

Use the form below to make your memorial contribution. PRO will send a handwritten card to the family with your tribute or message included. The information you provide enables us to apply your remembrance gift exactly as you wish.

In Memoriam
Johnny Caretto
In Memoriam

Johnny Caretto

September 27, 1894 - November 29, 1966

Closing up one night in 1961, workers at the Original Spanish Kitchen on Beverly Boulevard set out silverware, saltshakers and napkins at each table and neatly stacked the chairs.

And there the settings and chairs remained, unmoved for more than a quarter of a century.

A “Closed for Vacation” sign, hung outside that night, gave no clue that the restaurant would never reopen.

So what happened?

One rumor held that the owner had been shot to death inside and that his wife had wanted the place left undisturbed until the killer was caught.

Some believed the restaurant was haunted. There were stories of knives flying in the night.

The TV show “Lou Grant” set a murder mystery there.

But there was a quieter explanation.

“The truth is,” The Times reported in 1989, “that this decaying building has simply frozen in time a moment of happier days in a love story of an elderly woman who has shut herself off from the world . . . “

The woman was co-owner Pearl Caretto. She and her husband, Johnny, had opened the restaurant in 1932, and it became a favorite of stars such as Bob Hope, Linda Darnell and John Barrymore. Mary Pickford, who had a special booth near the door, would bring in recipes.

Then in 1961, the husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and Pearl closed the restaurant to take care of him in their residence on the second floor. He died a few years later, and she could never bring herself to reopen.

“Isn’t it sad how so many people never find their one true love?” she told writer Michael Szymanski, who tracked her down in 1989. At that time the restaurant was still closed, tables still set. “And always, always, it ends in heartbreak. You’ll see.”

Caretto, who has since died, was living in an apartment by then, having moved away from the restaurant after it was vandalized. The family sold the property in the late 1990s.

All of this was a long time ago, and yet the restaurant’s mystique lives on.

Its sign is still standing, though it’s partly covered so that only the “Spa” in “Spanish” can be seen. Perfect for the upstairs occupant, Ona Spa.

“The neighbors wanted it left up,” explained Fabienne Dufourg, co-owner of Ona as well as Prive hair salon, which now occupies the former Spanish Kitchen space. A cafe there shut down.

When Dufourg reopened the building eight years ago, the rumors of ghosts were still alive.

“I am very grounded -- I don’t believe a word about ghosts,” she said. “My husband, he’s an artist. He believed it.”

But she converted one day in August. “It was very hot,” she said, and she was standing inside the building when “I felt like my legs were freezing.”

And, so, she said, “We did a clearing.” In other words, she hired a psychic from Arizona to check for poltergeists.

The psychic found five ghosts. “The ghosts were coming after my mother-in-law -- oh, it’s a long story,” Dufourg said. “There was a nasty one. I think he was a sort of killer from the ‘50s.”

The psychic, who charged $70 an hour, chased out the spirits in an impressive time of 30 minutes. These days, the building is ghost-free, more or less.

“Sometimes I wonder,” said Lane Lenhart, a manager at Ona. “Funky things happen once in a while, lights going on and off...”

Aside from the “Spa” sign, the old place’s name has survived in other ways.

A rock group christened itself Spanish Kitchen and posed by the building for a website photo. The group later dropped the name, but not because of ghosts. It seemed that people kept asking if it was a salsa band.

Meanwhile, a new Spanish Kitchen restaurant materialized on La Cienega Boulevard.

“I wanted to capture some of the romance of old Hollywood,” explained owner Greg Morris, no relation to the Carettos.

He didn’t inherit any ghosts, but he did meet a link to the Original Spanish Kitchen.

“The owner’s daughter came in and gave me a great paella pan with the name stamped on it,” he said.

Morris knows the real story of the old restaurant but enjoys listening to versions told by his older customers.

“I’ve heard stories that there was a Mafia killing there,” he said. “Or that the owner was a bullfighter, and his wife was a flamenco dancer and he killed her because he didn’t like her dancing.”

Morris added: “I never correct any of the stories.”

Remembering Johnny Caretto

Use the form below to make your memorial contribution. PRO will send a handwritten card to the family with your tribute or message included. The information you provide enables us to apply your remembrance gift exactly as you wish.

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

General Information


Like! Subscribe! Share!

Did you know that you can communicate with us through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and now Instagram?



Updated: August 16, 2017