CFILC has dedicated this page to honor those who have contributed greatly to our disability community and beyond. You are gone, but not forgotten.
DECEMBER 29TH, 1962 – FEBRUARY 4TH, 2018
To friends and colleagues in the national Disability Rights movement, Teresa M. S. Favuzzi, aka “Fearless Favu”, was an intrepid leader who made the fight for justice, equality and inclusion her life’s focus. On Monday morning, February 5, Teresa passed away quietly at home with her beloved wife, Carol Bradley, by her side. She was 56.
Raised in Pacifica, California by Italian-American parents, Dominick and Mary Rose, Teresa was proud of her roots and deeply loved her family. She could be counted on for belly-laughing stories, and was gratified to share that although she dropped out of high school, she went on to attend San Mateo College and later earned a Master’s Degree in Community Organizing from the State University of San Francisco (SFSU).
It was during a Social Work and Disability class at SFSU that Teresa first began to identity as a disabled person. It was her personal disability experience that led her to an internship and later a management position at the Independent Living Resource Center of San Francisco, one of twenty-eight centers in California dedicated to full social and economic inclusion of persons with disabilities.
In 2003, Teresa began her tenure at the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC) as the statewide Community Organizer. Her leadership and organizing skills brought together the California Systems Change Network that works towards creating systems to more efficiently serve and support people with disabilities in maintaining their independence. Teresa was known as a strategic thinker who could execute big ideas. In 2005, with the support of disability rights colleagues, Teresa launched Disability Capitol Action Day, California’s largest advocacy event for disabled people of all ages. In 2013, she was honored for that accomplishment and in 2017, the coalition that plans the event established the Teresa Favuzzi Mobilization Fund in her honor.
In her 15 years at CFILC, Teresa achieved numerous accomplishments. She became Executive Director in 2005 and led the organization through some of the toughest social and healthcare service cutbacks experienced by the disability community in California. She was passionate about access to quality healthcare as well as emergency preparedness. She advocated tirelessly to assure the needs of the community were always centered in policy decisions. Teresa devoted her time, resources and considerable talent to improving the quality of life for all people with disabilities.
Teresa was diagnosed with Leukemia in spring 2017. Like everything else in her life, she took the illness on as a challenge and fought every single day. Teresa continued to share personal journey, her friendship, her kindhearted spirit, her heart and thoughtful words of wisdom with everyone around her.
Teresa is survived by her wife, Carol Bradley, mother, Mary Rose Favuzzi, her brothers Dominick Favuzzi, John Favuzzi, her sisters-in-law, Marjorie Favuzzi and Barbara Favuzzi, nieces, Marina Favuzzi, Christina Favuzzi, nephews, Josh Istre, Michael Favuzzi, Marcus Favuzzi, additional extended family members and an enormous number of friends and colleagues who loved and cared for her infinitely. Services have not yet been scheduled. CFILC will host a Celebration of Life in Sacramento, CA in June. Additional details to follow. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made online to the Teresa Favuzzi Mobilization Fund, or via mail, checks made to the address of CFILC in memory of Teresa Favuzzi, 1000 G Street, Suite 100 Sacramento, CA 95814.
LOUIS FRANK FRICK
OCTOBER 9TH, 1957 – JUNE 29TH, 2017
Louis Frank Frick, age 59, passed away Thursday night, June 29, 2017.
In his youth he was an avid surfer and consummate jokester and, although he broke his neck in a car accident at age 19, he carried that playful attitude and indomitable spirit through his life.
Louis was passionate in his drive to improve the lives of people with disabilities. He worked at Access to Independence, San Diego’s Independent Living Center for people with disabilities for 23 years, the last 17 as Executive Director. During his time at Access to Independence, he led and took part in projects, such as providing disability awareness training to over 350 volunteers for Super Bowl XXXVII, was part of the design team for Petco Park ensuring accessibility for the entire community. He chaired the Mayor’s Committee on Disability from 2009-2015 and served on the National Council on Independent Living for 5 years.
Louis served as a role model in many ways, including his pursuit of higher education. He completed the Bachelor of Vocational Education and the Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling through San Diego State University. Louis continued to support the academic growth of students at SDSU by giving guest lectures, mentoring interns, hiring graduates and working part-time for the Interwork Institute at SDSU. He also co-chaired the SDSU committee, Enhancing Campus Climate and Culture for Persons with Varying Abilities, to support efforts for improving accessibility and inclusion.
While these larger projects were important to him, working with individuals took center stage in his heart. He helped nearly 500 persons with disabilities transition from nursing home back into the community.
His mother Diane Davinroy Frick and his father Louis George Frick predeceased Louis. His wife Kristine Limont, his brother Stephen Frick, his nephews Christopher Frick and Brandon Frick and his sister-in-law Magali Frick survive him. Louis is also survived by his cousin-in-law Carol McIntire who graciously allowed he and his wife to co-parent her two children, Stephen Froedge and Stacy Condie, who now both have families of their own: Stephen’s partner Nadia Hoppe and their daughter Livia; and Stacy’s husband Tim Condie and their two daughters, Cora Mae and Sophia Grace.
AUGUST 1ST, 1945 – JUNE 5TH, 2017
Frances Gracechild, a lifelong disability and senior rights advocate, who also served as executive director of Resources for Independent Living (RIL) in Sacramento since 1981.
Her death at 71 years old was a surprise to many; her life was remembered in a touching post by Marty Omoto of the California Disability Community Action Network, and she had an impact to many at RIL, Health Access, and the broader advocacy community in Sacramento.
Frances was incredibly welcoming and helpful to me when she was the chair of the Health Access board when I was first hired by the organization in 2001. She served not just as a representative of the disability community, but as a health advocate in her own right–for everything as a major spokesperson fighting for the Patients Bill of Rights to the ongoing effort for universal health care. She stepped down soon afterwards after five years of service, but we continued to work with her on various issues–most notably in pushing back against proposed budget cuts to health and human services proposed by Governor Schwarzenegger and others.
In addition to her decades-long role as executive director of Resources for Independent Living (RIL) Sacramento’s independent living center, she also had been serving, since 2008, as a board member of Sacramento’s Paratransit, Inc. She was a leader in the Sacramento community on a range of issues, and will be sorely missed.
Rest in Power, Frances.
MARCH 14TH, 1956 – JULY 4TH, 2016
Laurie Hoirup was born March 14th, 1956 in Springfield Illinois. Born to Dorothy and Arthur Loser. At 18 months old, doctors diagnosed her with Duchene’s a rare type of muscular dystrophy with a short life prognosis. Laurie survived past the predicted age of 2. Then at 4 years of age, she eventually was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy type II. She started grade school, got her first wheelchair at the age of 6, and like all her friends, she hated doing all her chores. She climbed trees being hoisted with ropes by her girlfriends to the tree house, was carried down mountains, swam, horseback rode, camped and hiked. Laurie started high school and continued making lifelong friendships. She did, and experienced all the crazy high school shenanigans of her peers, enjoyed her Camaro, boys, dances and shopping. Her friends did all her personal care at school and helped make a normal life for her. Laurie excelled in both Mingus Union and Richmond Burton High. She attended Arizona State University
Where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in speech pathology and San Diego State University where she received a Master’s degree in Rehabilitative Counseling and was named the Student of the Year. She also received all her teaching credentials and was a substitute teacher for several years. During this time, along with being a living example of creativity and teamwork, she often made Disability Awareness presentations to her students. She married John Rainey and had again surpassing all medical expectations and barriers, had 2 children, Chad William and Jillian Amber Rainey. She took off work to be a stay at home mother for a short time. Laurie divorced in 1988 and soon met the man of her dreams Jacob Ralph Hoirup Jr (JR) in 1990. Laurie was very active in her SMA conferences as well as fundraising walks. Laurie dealt with many hardships as a child, accessibility challenges, issues with independent living, discrimination and a progressing disability. That never stopped her. Laurie worked at Community Access Center in Riverside from 2002-2006 as a Program manager and eventually became the Executive Director. She was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to serve as Deputy Director of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities from 2006-2008 and then was made Chief Deputy Director from 2008-2011. As a prominent disability advocate, she empowered and touched so many lives. Laurie served on several committees including the California Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, the Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) Planning Committee and many school committees, at the time of her passing she was the President of the Association of California State Employees with Disabilities (ACSED) and the North California Publishers and Authors (NCPA). She retired early as her health was declining. Laurie wrote a first place award winning Memoir about her life, “I Can Dance..My Life with a Disability” followed by her children’s book “Being Different is Okay”. Her sequels will soon follow.
Laurie always said, “Get out and do what you love, even if it has to be modified because you have to be a risk taker to get old and enjoy the people and world around you.” Laurie Hoirup departed this life doing what she loved most and surrounded by her family and friends on July 4th, 2016. She is survived by her husband JR, mother Dottie, half-brother Artie, two children Chad and Jillian, and her 4 grandchildren; Michael, Liam, Jeremiah, Tobias. Her Legacy will Continue.
Donations to the Sustainability Fund for the Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities (YLF) are requested in Laurie’s memory. She was dedicated to helping youth with disabilities become employed and self-fulfilled adults who are able to advocate for their own needs as well as give back to their communities. In addition, she served on the YLF Planning Committee and encouraged ACSED to support YLF and her daughter, Jillian, has worked at YLF in various capacities.
Contributions can be made online to the Sustainability Fund for the Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities (YLF) here on the CFILC website, or make your donation directly onto the Cal YLF Donation page. Donations can also be made via check, payable to Cal YLF and mailed to: Denise Boshers, Treasurer
9705 Swansboro Way
Bakersfield, CA 93314
CATHERINE ANNE KELLY BAIRD
JULY 23RD, 1949 – MARCH 24TH, 2016
Catherine Kelly Baird, 66, passed away peacefully on March 24 surrounded by her loving family and friends in Sacramento. Although the pain and heartbreak of losing this incredible woman seems almost unbearable, the knowledge of the wonderful life she led will hopefully bring peace to the many of us who loved her so deeply.
It was clear at an early age that Catherine was truly gifted. A brilliant student leader, athlete, and musician, she delivered her eighth grade graduation speech.
Her real challenge began about six months later. A few months into her freshman year of high school, over night, she developed a severe case of rheumatoid arthritis.
She was hospitalized for more than a year. She was so weak she almost died. Catherine had too many surgeries to count, and she was only fourteen.
With courage and grace, she refused to give up. After two years of home-study, she attended high school, and graduated with her class in 1967. An amazing story in itself, but she was just getting started.
She attended Cerritos Junior College and Pepperdine University. It was during this time that she met her soulmate and the love of her life, Monty Baird. It was a marriage made in heaven; they were madly in love. She was so happy.
Catherine and Monty moved from Southern to Northern California, attending Sonoma State College. They received their B.A.’s in social work. In the summer of 1975, they moved to Sacramento where Catherine’s journey became almost magical, as she attained goals she had never dared imagine.
In the early 1980’s Catherine began her career at the California Department of Rehabilitation as a student intern in the 504 Office while attending California State University Sacramento, obtaining her Masters in Social Work.
She went on to become the Executive Director of the California Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities at the Employment Development Department. Catherine provided the leadership and staff to initiate the Media Access Office in Hollywood to create opportunities for people with disabilities in the media and entertainment industries, and the Windmills attitudinal training aimed at educating and changing attitudes about people with disabilities, especially targeting employers in hiring capacities. While there, she also served as Chair of the National Association of Governors Committees.
In 1992 Catherine cofounded the California Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities (YLF). It became a model replicated in over 30 states, providing generations of youth with disabilities the tools and independent living skills to advocate on behalf of themselves as they transition from high school to higher education and employment.
By living her life with dignity and self-assurance, she was a role model to the youth she served, and to all of us.
Catherine was currently serving on the Sacramento Paratransit board, and working for Friends, Inc. in fund raising. Always busy, she received numerous recognitions over the years.
Catherine hosted an annual “Peace party;” it was always a joyous occasion. She shined when surrounded by family and friends. She created a sanctuary in her home andbackyard, filled with whimsical art, a vegetable garden, fruit trees, birdfeeders, and a swimming pool used by folks of all ages and abilities. Laughter rang throughout the summer. When you came to Catherine’s house, you were warmly welcomed. Rest in peace, sweet sister.
Catherine was preceded in death by her parents, Elbert and Carmella Kelly, and her beloved husband Monty. She is survived by her brothers, Bill Kelly and Brian Trainor, and sisters-in law Paula and Elizabeth, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews and the 1400 children she mentored and loved.
A gathering to honor her life will be held April 23 at 2:00 PM at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center, 6151 H Street in Sacramento. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the “Catherine Kelly Baird Youth Leadership Forum.” They can be made at https://calylf.org/donate, through PayPal or by credit card, or by check addressed to:
Denise Boshers, Treasurer
9705 Swansboro Way
Bakersfield, CA 93314
JULY 25TH, 1969 – AUGUST 8TH, 2015
DEREK JAMES ZARDA
FEBRUARY 27TH, 1984 – JANUARY 30TH, 2015
Derek James Zarda, 30, of Shawnee, KS, San Francisco, CA, and most recently of New Taipei, Taiwan, passed away January 30, 2015, in Taiwan, from injuries suffered from a fall at his home. His Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 pm, Saturday, March 21, 2015, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 5601 W. 62nd St., Mission, KS 66202 (corner of Shawnee Mission Parkway and Nall Ave). Reception following at the Sylvester Powell, Jr. Community Center, 6200 Martway, Mission, KS 66202.
Derek was born February 27, 1984, in Merriam, Kansas, the son of Kathy and Dennis (DJ) Zarda. He was raised in Shawnee, Kansas, graduated from Shawnee Mission Northwest High School in 2002, and then went on to graduate from the University of Kansas in 2009 with 2 degrees: BS in Journalism and BA in Film Studies and Theater. While in high school Derek was diagnosed with a chronic disease that flared up from time to time throughout his life, however, it did not hinder him from realizing his many goals and dreams. Derek was an Eagle Scout and was proud to be a warrior in the Tribe of Mic-0-Say. He excelled at soccer and enjoyed following his teams in the World Cup.
As a student at KU, Derek and his friend Zach, formed AbleHawks, a student organization to raise awareness of and to advocate for students with both physical and non-physical disabilities. In 2007, Derek was instrumental in getting KU to obtain a new fleet of ADA compliant campus buses, so that disabled students could use bus transportation together with the rest of the student body.
He was active in the KU Asian American Student Union and was elected President of the group at a time when he was the only non- Asian member. In 2006 Derek was awarded a scholarship from KU to travel to Japan for 3 weeks with the Kansas Asia Scholars. Prior to leaving for Japan, he studied the Japanese language using books and DVD’s and used his new language skills while in Japan. In 2010, Derek moved to San Francisco so that he could be close to his long time sweetheart, Sydney Chang, who he had met and dated while she attended KU, however, she had moved to San Francisco to finish her college degrees.
Shortly after his arrival, he became employed with a non-profit association, Independent Living Resource Center San Francisco (ILRCSF), as the Assistive Technology Educator. Derek’s passion was making sure people had the technology they needed to lead independent lives. Jessie Lorenz, the Executive Director at ILRCSF and good friend of Derek’s, said that “He had the rare ability to connect with people of all ages, and that although Derek was only 30 years old, he spent the time he had on this earth making a difference for others. He touched my life and the lives of many and he will always be remembered with great warmth and fondness by all who knew him”. Derek also served as a council member and co-chairman of the San Francisco Mayor’s Office on Disability.
In November, 2014, Derek moved to Taipei, Taiwan, to live with and marry his sweetheart, Sydney of 11 years. Within 2 weeks he was working as an English teacher at the Taipei Language Institute.
Derek is survived by his parents, Dennis and Kathy Zarda; sister Heidi Zarda; and brother Christopher Zarda and wife Ashley; nephew Neale Zarda; niece Rowan Zarda; and the love of his life, Sydney Chang; aunts and uncles, cousins, friends, and all who knew him. Derek was predeceased by his grandparents, George and Estelle Gunderson and Norbert and Lucy Zarda; and his cousins Gara Zarda and Donald Zarda.
In lieu of flowers, donations and/or fond memories and condolences may be submitted to Derek Zarda Memorial Fund, www.gofundme.com/DerekZarda. Or can be sent to 13415 West 57th Street, Shawnee, KS 66216.
KARI DOROTHY EELLS
AUGUST 16TH, 1945 – DECEMBER 12TH, 2014
Kari Eells, a quiet accountant from Morris, New York who became the bedrock of one of the nation’s preeminent disability rights organizations, passed away at sunset on December 12th after a short illness, surrounded by family and love. She was 69.
A resident of Oakland, Kari was Finance Manager at Berkeley’s Center for Independent Living, Inc. (CIL). Since 1978, she helped steer the organization, behind the scenes, from its chaotic grassroots beginnings, through seasons of financial uncertainty, to its rise as a powerful organization modeling social change.
Though she was not a person with a disability, Kari committed herself to the Independent Living Movement, saying she had “found a home” at CIL and at other groups established to advance full social inclusion for people with disabilities.
Kari Dorothy, born August 16, 1945, was named after her maternal grandmother, Kari Tomine Carsten, and her mother, Dorothy Carsten Erb. She was the middle child of Dorothy, a children’s librarian, and Edgar Gillette Erb, a minister and chaplain in WWII and, later, a parole officer.
Kari’s early years were spent in towns in upstate New York. At age 12, the family – with brother, Karl, and sister, Susan – moved to Syracuse.
Kari was a graduate of Central High School, where she shined as editor of the yearbook, studied Russian, played flute in All City Band and Orchestra, and sang in Senior Ensemble. In the 1960’s, she was a leader in the women’s liberation movement in Ithaca, NY. She marched on Washington in opposition to the war in Vietnam. She danced at Woodstock.
Kari aspired to be an investigative journalist, but a visit in the 1970s to her mother and sister in California changed her course. Kari headed to the East Bay in a Volkswagen van (which she tuned up herself) with her friend Darcy, her young daughter Jennifer, two dogs and two cats.
She took night classes at California State University, Hayward, became a Certified Public Accountant, and bought an old house in Berkeley, capably rewiring the home and building and installing kitchen cabinets herself. She had a ramp put in to make her home accessible to all her friends.
Kari joined CIL when the small nonprofit was operating on a shoe string and without much attention to accounting detail. She straightened things out, and came to understand the program needs on a granular level, allowing the agency to leverage its resources to do the most good.
More than just a numbers person, Kari concerned herself with all aspects of CIL’s mission. She was a key advisor and strategic thought-partner on major initiatives.
Today, there are more than 400 Independent Living Centers (ILCs) in the United States, and Kari helped establish or support many of them in the Bay Area. She was well-known for offering her expertise to an array of nonprofits in financial distress, restoring clarity and transparency that allowed agencies to function well. She worked for many years as a financial consultant and accountant for Through the Looking Glass, Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program, and the Independent Living Resources of Solano and Contra Costa counties.
She put in long hours at her desk, but also knew when to leave work behind. Family, after all, was Kari’s priority. She was extremely close with her siblings and adored her nieces, with whom she shared many adventures: trips to the circus, Marine World, family weddings. She listened, gave wise counsel, and was supportive of their goals. They remember fondly the time Kari joined a clown class, putting them all in stitches.
Life came into full bloom when Kari found Margie Bartelt, a longtime friend from Ithaca with whom she fell in love in 1993. Kari and Margie built a beautiful life. They adopted a daughter, Nina, from Guatemala, and settled in to their community in East Oakland.
Kari and Margie married as soon as it was legal to do so and the family traveled often, squeezing in every drop of time together: by train across the country, to Guatemala to visit Nina’s birth mom, to The Sea Ranch, where they toiled to clear out the woods and protect Harbor Seal pups around their second home.
Kari will be remembered as a wonderful and fiercely protective mother, holding her daughters to their highest selves, always thinking about them and her grandson.
A gifted artist, Kari quilted and knit sweaters for her family. She joined a drumming circle and danced with abandon at woman’s camp. She was a reader, a reflective thinker, a lover of nature, and a personal icon to many. Her spirit, integrity and determination showed through in everything she did.
Kari will be missed every single day by a host of friends and a large, extended family that includes, on the Bartelt side, seven brothers- and sister-in-laws and 17 nieces and nephews.
She is survived by her wife, Margie Bartelt, and her daughter, Nina Bartelt-Eells of Oakland, CA; her daughter Jennifer Hark (Denise) and grandson Carl of Tracy, CA; her brother Karl Albert Erb (Damar) of Kensington, MD; her sister Susan Emilie Erb of San Leandro, CA; and her nieces Janet Mynatt (Tracy) of Knoxville, TN, Margaret Moulton (Tom) of Spotsylvania, VA and Amy Erb (Scott) of Clayton, CA.
The family held a private graveside service on December 19. A memorial and celebration of life will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, January 31 at the Ed Roberts Campus, 3075 Adeline Street, Berkeley 94703.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Kari’s honor to the following organizations:
Center for Independent Living, Inc., 3075 Adeline St., Suite 100, Berkeley, CA 94703; (510)841-4776;www.cilberkeley.org
Through the Looking Glass, 3075 Adeline st., Suite 120, Berkeley, CA 94703; (510)848-1112; www.lookingglass.org – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/sfgate/obituary.aspx?n=kari-eells&pid=173530100#sthash.iwMibT3E.dpuf
LEROY WILLIAM NATTRESS, JR. PHD
NOVEMBER 7TH, 1932 – DECEMBER 25, 2013
God called his faithful servant, LeRoy William Nattress, Jr. home to be with Him on December 25, 2013. For Lee, it was the best Christmas ever; his tasks on earth were complete. He entered heaven and received the commendation “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness.” (Matthew 25: 21)
Lee is survived by his loving wife Debbie, a sister, ten children (both biological and those acquired through marriage), grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, LeRoy William Nattress Sr. and Irma Strassburger Nattress, as well as a son Daniel Nattress.
Lee was born in Albany, New York on November 7, 1932 moving several times during his early life as his father was a pastor. He graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco. After high school, he attended Hope College in Holland, Michigan where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1954 with a double major in Psychology and Biology. Lee was a life-long learner and continued his education at UCLA earning a Master’s in Educational Counseling and Guidance in 1957, meeting the requirements for a Certificate in Rehabilitation Counseling. Later, while living in Washington, D.C., Lee completed all the requirements for an EdD in Adult Education at American University except the dissertation, but was unable to finish because of a job change necessitating a move to New York City. Finally, he completed his PhD in Human Services from Walden University in 1996.
Vocationally, Lee’s life work centered on the disability community. Currently, he was the Executive Director of the Services Center for Independent Life- an organization dedicated to serving as an advocate for persons with disability. Previous jobs in the Inland Empire include the Executive Director of Urban Community Action Projects, the Director of Program Development for Community Health Systems, the Managing Partner of L and L Resources, an Assistant Professor and Director of the Office of Education and Research and a Special Assistant to the Dean for Educational Affairs for Loma Linda University School of Medicine. Earlier, Lee held jobs in Washington D.C., New York City, Chicago, Illinois, and Los Angeles, California including serving as an independent consultant, the President of Natresources, the Director of the Office of Education and Evaluation for the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, the Education Director for the American Orthotics and Prosthetics Association, the Executive Director of the American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics, and the Coordinator of the Prosthetics Education Program at UCLA.
In addition to his “paid” positions, Lee dedicated his life to volunteering in the community founding and serving with many nonprofit organizations. Most of this information was gathered from his calendars and resume, but several organizations may have been inadvertently omitted. His community affiliations include the American Health Care Congress, the American Psychological Association, the BiNational Health Initiative of the Inland Empire, the Boy Scouts of America, the California Alliance of Information and Referral Service, the California Association of Nonprofits, the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers, Californians for Disability Rights, California Health Advocates, Citrus Valley Health Partners, several Chamber of Commerce organizations, the Coalition for Common Ground, the Cops and Clergy Network, Emergency Network for Los Angeles- Access and Functional Needs, ExecNET, First Five grant evaluator, Goodwill Int., Health Initiative of the Americas, the Inland Empire Disabilities Collaborative, the Latino Health Collaborative, Learning for Life at the regional and national level, Loma Linda University Community Advisory Board, Loma Linda University Occupation and Physical Therapy Curriculum Committee member, Loma Linda University adjunct faculty, Los Angeles Aging Advocacy Coalition, National Council on Independent Living, the NonProfit Resource Center, San Bernardino county and state 2-1-1 Advisory Committee, San Bernardino State University Nonprofit faith based organization management certificate program, the San Gabriel Disabilities Collaborative, the San Gabriel Homeless Consortium, San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership, the Society for Disability Studies, Tri City Mental Health, United Way of the Inland Valley, the University of California Riverside Chancellor’s School of Medicine Community Advisory Council, and adjunct professor at Western University School of Health Science.
Throughout his life, Lee received several awards for his service to the community. Recently, he was awarded the Disability Access Award from the Los Angeles County Commission on Disability and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. In addition, Lee received the William H. Spurgeon Award from Learning for Life, the Community Champions Award from Molina Health Care, the Dissertation Award from the Institute for Advanced Studies at Walden University, the Whitney M. Young Award from the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Virgil Honor Order of the Arrow from the Greater New York Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the God and Service Award from the Commission for Church and Youth Agency Relationships, the Bronze Pelican Awards from the Catholic Youth Organizations of the Archdiocese of New York, the Silver Beaver Award from the National Capital area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and the Sir Geoffrey Peto Memorial Award from the international Society for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled. While in Washington D.C., Lee was one of the first Presidential appointees of the President Kennedy’s Committee on Employment of the Handicapped (Executive Order 10994, 1962).
Lee and his wife lived in the San Bernardino Mountains. Even though faced with a lengthy commute and winter driving conditions, Lee loved the mountains and considered them his sanctuary.
With regard to hobbies, Lee became fascinated with Native American culture after spending time on several Indian reservations with his father during his childhood. He loved and collected bison sculptures and Native American art. In addition, he was known for his distinct collection of neckties, always presenting himself as well-dressed in professional attire. Finally, Lee had an incredible bass voice and shared this as a member of the New York Oratorio Society and the Claremont Chorale, as well as singing with several local church choirs through the years. One of his favorites was singing the Messiah each year with colleagues from Loma Linda University.
In conclusion, Lee lived an exemplary life, full of service to others. Those of us who loved him will miss him, but we have hope that death is not the end; we will see him again in eternity. (I Thessalonians 4:13)