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RICHARD STONNELL COLE

November 1, 2016 on 9:22 am | In Obituaries | 14 Comments

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RICHARD STONNELL COLE

November 4, 1927 to September 26th, 2016

A virtuoso artist

Cellist by Dick Cole

Richard “Dick” Stonnell Cole—an award-winning illustrator, nationally-recognized watercolorist, and cofounder the Northern California design firm Cole Angeli—died on Monday, September 26th, in San Rafael, CA. He was 88.

How do you describe a virtuoso artist like Dick Cole? You begin with the man.

He loved life, living in Sonoma, beauty, music (classical and jazz), poetry, fly fishing, wit, tall tales and the finer things from California’s vineyards and farms, said Ann Koeffler, his long-time artist’s representative.

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GIRMAY ZEWOLDE

October 15, 2016 on 8:11 am | In Obituaries | 3 Comments

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GIRMAY ZEWOLDE

October 1, 1936 to October 15, 2016

A gentleman and a scholar

Girmay Zewolde—an Ethiopian-born teacher-translator-lawyer, whose uproarious humor and championing of the underdog uplifted everyone he knew, especially his children—passed away on Saturday, October 15, at home in Adelphi, Maryland, his family by his side. He was 80 years old.

unnamed-10With his dazzling smile, riveting sense of humor and vibrant personality, he always lit up the room.

A vociferous reader who hated to see the lights go out at the library, Girmay believed street smarts trump book smarts, a theory he often expanded upon by explaining to his children that “street smarts can lead to book smarts.”

Book smarts, he said, are all about following the rules and getting straight A’s, whereas street smarts refer to taking a risk and surviving. “You’ve been tested and have a bank of courage to depend on when you are tested again.”

He knew of what he spoke.

He strove to achieve

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CHARLES ALBERT PARKER, SR.

September 21, 2016 on 12:47 am | In Obituaries | No Comments
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Charles and Barbara in their spectacular back yard in Texas

CHARLES ALBERT PARKER, SR.

 July 12, 1935 to October 2, 2015

A Man for All Seasons

Nicknamed “Sonny” by his parents, Charles Albert Parker, Sr.—a strapping Southerner who perceived his role in life as caring for his sprawling family, adhering to his Baptist faith, and contributing to his fellow man—died in a plane crash on October 2nd, 2015. He was 80 years old.

planeSonny—a consummate pilot who took every precaution, followed every flight rule, often saw to the mechanics himself—was flying his brother-in-law’s Piper Comanche the day of the tragedy.

Flying was something Sonny had done for years. In partnership with his brother-in-law, Bob Jensen, he owned five planes over the years and was an “experienced pilot,” Sonny’s son David said. In this instance, he was test-flying Jensen’s plane after installing a new battery and was preparing to land when something went wrong. The NTSB has yet to rule on the cause.

Sonny’s family, unable to obtain a reason for the crash for at least six months, remain in deep shock and unspeakable sorrow over his passing.

All about family

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KENNETH ROBERT KILPATRICK

July 5, 2016 on 12:18 pm | In Obituaries | 6 Comments

Ken

KENNETH ROBERT KILPATRICK

August 20, 1937 to June 29, 2016

A unique sense of humor

Ken2Kenneth Robert Kilpatrick—a man passionate about fine wines, negotiating a brilliant business deal, and his amazing children—died peacefully at Silverado Memory Care in San Juan Capistrano, on Wednesday, June 29. Suffering at the end from Parkinson’s disease, he was also a man of deep Christian faith. He was 78.

Ken, as most called him, had a unique sense of humor. It could be dry and sometimes took a minute to hit you. One time he shaved off half of his mustache and waited to see how long it would take for the family to notice.

His daughter, Susan Adamski, remembers one Christmas when her father was trying to show his three kids how to exhibit enthusiasm when opening a gift they didn’t particularly like.

“I remember his running around and jumping up and down with excitement about his supposed gift: ‘A dead frog! Just what I always wanted’,” she laughed.

A highly successful businessman

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SALLY ANNE MASON

June 28, 2016 on 3:18 pm | In Obituaries | 10 Comments

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SALLY ANNE MASON

August 7, 1970 to June 12, 2016

Crazy, mad love

Sally Anne Mason—a Southern charmer whose crazy, mad love for Florida State Football was surpassed only by her crazy, mad love for her adored family—died at home, in Castle Pines, CO, on June 12, 2016.

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Christopher, Lily, Sally and George

She was only 45.

Among those at her side at the end, her husband of 22 years, George Mason; daughter, Lily, 16, and son, Christopher, 13. Also in attendance, her mother, Nancy Simmons, and brother Scott.

Words—something Sally cherished as a librarian, avid reader, and the heart and soul of wit—can never fill the massive void she leaves in the world. Only the sweet memories held in perfect reflection by those she knew and loved can even begin to weave a lasting image of her vitality, humor and fierce loyalty.

She had a spring in her step

She had a spring in her step, this lively mother of two, often moving to the beat of her favorite 90’s music (Nirvana, Green Day, Foo Fighters) or while listening to one of daughter Lily’s modern gems (Iyaz, Pink, Justin Timberlake)—not to mention son Christopher’s favorite, Twenty One Pilots.

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CLAIRE JOHNSON KANNEGIESER

June 7, 2016 on 1:24 pm | In Obituaries | No Comments

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CLAIRE JOHNSON KANNEGIESER

July 6, 1934 to June 4, 2016

A feisty, independent thinker

In vital ways, Claire Johnson Kannegieser represented a time when friendship—like marriage—was for life. A vivacious Boston girl, whose universe was defined by her adored family and the friends she made in kindergarten, Claire was also a feisty, independent thinker, who, at age fourteen, rejected her parents’ extremely conservative religious views—no dancing, cards or movies—preferring a less “narrow path” to being a good Christian. She never regretted joining the Quincy Baptist Church. Nor did she regret marrying a Catholic, Frank Kannegieser, a handsome investment banker who insisted they wed in a Catholic ceremony.

In the end, she became a Lutheran.

A mind of her own

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WEETA LANG ADAMS

May 15, 2016 on 11:39 am | In Obituaries | No Comments

 Mom

WEETA LANG ADAMS

April 22, 1923 to May 12, 2016

She brightened the universe

Weeta Lang Adams, whose benevolent nature and ever-present humor brightened the universe for all who knew and loved her, passed away peacefully at home in Vinings, GA after a lengthy and valiant struggle with Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s—her adored son at her side. She was 87.

Abraham Lincoln had a saying that Weeta’s son, James Arthur Adams, Jr., says captures his mother to perfection.  “All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my Mother.”

But James, like Weeta’s husband of sixty years, James Arthur, Sr., and many of their friends, had to forgive her for one thing: her frozen green salad, which all approached with silent trepidation at holidays. Where Weeta, who adored giving dinner parties, loved the salad, her guests would gently move it around their plates, hoping it might disappear. She was also infamous for rearranging furniture when visiting relatives, only to have the pieces returned to their original locations upon her departure.

Loved a good laugh

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RAY “BUD” JOHN LAMMERS

December 22, 2015 on 3:55 pm | In Obituaries | 3 Comments

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RAY “BUD” JOHN LAMMERS

December 12, 1930 to December 9, 2015

A military man to the core

Ray “Bud” John Lammers, a former U.S. Air Force captain whose love of flying and reverence for military practices influenced his entire adult life—along with that of his adored family—passed away at home in Westlake Village, CA on Wednesday, December 9, 2015. He was 84.

unnamed (8)As a young man, “Bud”, as he was known, could have been a film star. At 6-feet-1, with dark wavy hair, a rich baritone voice, and Paul-Newman-blue eyes, he was every girl’s dream. But it was flying that captivated him, that and obeying orders. You have only to ask his two daughters, Heather Ann and Tiffany, about military time, the only clock their dad acknowledged.

“If he told us to be in the car at 0-800, and we got there at 0-802, he would have driven off without us,” said Heather Hart, who lives with her husband in Newport Beach. Or, if the girls discarded their shoes on the floor in the living room, they would find them the next day in the trash.

He mellowed

Yes, Bud was disciplined, a stickler for authority, very black and white—until he grew older. Then, about the time his grandchildren came along, he mellowed like a fine wine. “He became a wonderful grandfather to my children,” Heather said. “Especially my son Randall, who is now 14.” He would teach Randall all about the world and the speed of light, all the things little boys love, she said.

But when Bud’s own daughters were growing up, Heather and Tiffany weren’t interested in guy stuff. “He would take us to air shows, and we would play Barbies under the bleachers,” Heather said.

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CHRIS P. TOMARAS

October 19, 2015 on 11:23 am | In Obituaries | No Comments

 CHRIS TOMARAS

Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Inspiring Leader, True Hellene

 CHRIS P. TOMARAS

 November 9, 1937 to October 14, 2015

Chris P. Tomaras—whose spectacular rise from Greek immigrant to successful U.S. businessman and dedicated philanthropist epitomized the American Dream—died on Thursday, October 14, in Chicago, IL.  By his side were his dear friends Elaine, Tom and John Sotos. He was 77.

Overcoming adversity

Chris Tomaras’ early life in Greece and America was full of challenges. Yet his ingenuity, tenacity and resourcefulness enabled him to overcome the obstacles and lead a full and productive life.

One of three children born to Pavlos and Evdokia Tomaras in Piraeus, Greece, young Chris came into a world torn by civil war. Mr. Tomaras’ father, who his son described as “a simple but wise man,” was a political activist whose retaliation against the brutality of the opposition resulted in tragedy when stray machine-gun fire, meant for his father, killed his mother in 1946. Chris was 8 years old.

Overwhelmed with grief at the loss of his mother, who Mr. Tomaras described as “the sweetest and gentlest of human beings,” he forged ahead to continued his education in Drapetsona, the town where the family lived. Fortunately, his father remarried, for there were three young children to care for, Chris, younger brother Mike and sister, Helen.

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MICHAEL V. LANE

September 9, 2015 on 8:02 am | In Obituaries | 1 Comment
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Mike Lane with Humphrey Bogart and Jan Sterling in “The Harder they Fall”

MICHAEL V. LANE

January 6, 1933 to June 1, 2015

A giant character actor

mikelaneMichael V. Lane, an actor known for his titanic size, wrestling prowess, and indelible roles as Frankenstein and Hercules, died on Monday, June 1st, in Palmdale, CA, his daughter, Cristin Layne, at his side. He was 82.

A towering, 6-foot-8, 278-pound giant, Lane appeared in movies with the likes of Humphrey Bogart and Tallulah Bankhead. He liked to say he was part of the Golden Age of Hollywood and the Golden Age of Wrestling.

Due to his formidable size, he began wrestling as a member of the King Brothers & Christiani Circus, a three ring circus that traveled the country. Housed in a special boxing and wrestling tent, Lane took on all comers.

Tarzan Mike

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DOUGLAS EDWIN NASH

July 10, 2015 on 2:49 pm | In Obituaries | 30 Comments

Doug Nash

DOUGLAS EDWIN NASH

January 19, 1942 to July 12, 2015

A name synonymous with winning

Douglas Edwin Nash, a legend in the auto racing world—as much for his skill behind the wheel of a drag racing car as his later development of high performance transmissions—passed away at home in Marathon, Florida on Sunday, July 12th, his beloved family at his side. Doug was 73.

unnamed (2)A soft-spoken, contemplative drag racer in the 1960’s, Doug was driven to understand every aspect of what constituted a winning car. He first drove the “Bronco Buster” and later moved to a Comet, which brought him to the attention of the Lincoln Mercury Racing Division. In 1966, Doug was given a factory experimental Comet and continued to win races and perform at an outstanding level.

His inventive mind led him to develop the industry’s first 4 and 5-speed racing transmissions with straight-cut spur gears and crash shifts. His engineering innovations were soon noticed by the General Motors Corporation, and he was awarded a contract to develop the 4-speed overdrive transmission used in the 1986 Corvette.

Above all a family man

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BARBARA KING CALDWELL

April 10, 2015 on 9:15 am | In Obituaries | 1 Comment
Barbara Caldwell and her beloved Lynn

Barbara Caldwell and her beloved Lynn

BARBARA KING CALDWELL

August 23, 1939 — April 7, 2015

Theirs was a genuine love story

Barbara King Caldwell, whose fairytale marriage became something of a family legend, passed away on Tuesday, April 7, one week after a fall at her home in Boerne, TX. Her husband of 57 years, Lynn Caldwell, their three children and their spouses were at Barbara’s side at a San Antonio hospital during her last days, granting them precious time to say goodbye. She was 75.

Theirs was a genuine love story, beginning in kindergarten in St. Petersburg, FL. When Barbara and Lynn misbehaved in class, the teacher would send them to sit under the piano for punishment. It was a punishment made in heaven, as it turned out, the start of an almost 70-year romance.

They married right out of St. Petersburg High School, on July 5th, 1958. That these two youngsters could defy the odds, never lose their respect and admiration for each other, revel in each other’s company for seven decades, seems almost unheard of today. Unlike many who flounder in retirement, the couple grew even closer after Lynn retired at age 55 from traveling the South U.S. as a Titleist golf representative.

The Caldwells spent the last 20 years—living first in Hot Springs, AR, then in Boerne, TX—regularly visiting their children and grandchildren, not to mention frequent jaunts to casinos in Shreveport, LA and Las Vegas, their Cadillac packed with Barbara’s books, magazines, newspapers and characteristic nonessentials.

Destined to love

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MARGARET ANNE (MCGRANAGHAN) VON DER AHE

December 12, 2014 on 12:48 pm | In Obituaries | 3 Comments

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MARGARET ANNE VON DER AHE

November 26, 1924 to October 30, 2014

Unparalleled joy in life

Margaret Anne Von Der Ahe, whose incandescent spirt and unparalleled joy in life were never dimmed by circumstances, died on October 30, 2014, four weeks shy of her 90th birthday. Annie, as everyone called her, had a way about her all right: the gleeful delight when greeting a friend for lunch, how giddy she got when talking about her grandchildren, the outlandish holiday jewelry she loved to wear, how she never took anything for granted, from the most insignificant flower to the most spectacular sunset.

carMargaret Anne McGranaghan was the first child born to Jerome and Ellen McGranaghan in Oneida, New York, on November 26, 1924. Her birth was promptly followed by the first annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, which she claimed was a celebration in her honor. Annie was whip smart and beautiful, flying through school and achieving degrees in Mathematics and Physics from Marywood University and Syracuse University.

       “a hell of a broad”


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CHARLES CALVIN BARTHOLOMEW

November 16, 2014 on 12:09 pm | In Obituaries | 6 Comments

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CHARLES CALVIN BARTHOLOMEW

May 22, 1975 to September 25, 2014

Dark Humor and Western shirts

Charles Calvin Bartholomew died young, a staggering loss to those who recall his dark humor, compassionate nature, and unwavering liberalism. And oh, yes, his love of embroidered western shirts with pearl snaps. He was just 39.

DadTall, shaggy-haired, brilliant, Charles made an indelible impression on people, from the time he was young and loved to shock friends with gifts of specimens pickled in formaldehyde to his lifelong championing of the underdog. Quick to help the elderly woman next door till her garden, he provided veterinary advice to anyone who asked, and was the first to assist a stranger in need, no questions asked.

Before clinical depression overwhelmed his will to live, Charles had, in many ways, experienced unparalleled joy in his last years due to time spent with his precious daughter, Paisley, 9, and his adored partner, Evan Sherow.

Irreverent, graceful, eternally curious

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MARY AMANDA SPONSELLER LAWRENCE

August 29, 2014 on 1:10 pm | In Obituaries | No Comments

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MARY AMANDA SPONSELLER LAWRENCE

September 15, 1921 to August 18, 2014

Adored Wife, Mother and Teacher

Mary Amanda Sponseller Lawrence, whose ancestral roots extend back to the Battle of Gettysburg and the Civil War, died peacefully at home in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Monday, August 18, 2014. She was 92.

mary-lawrence.jpgStriking and willowy with dark blonde hair, Mary Lawrence used her height (she was six-feet tall) to advantage in ways that always spelled out gratitude and love. She had a habit, in fact, of pointing accusingly at someone, looking them in the eye, and then saying emphatically, “I love you!” (Mary is shown above and at left as a Temple University student, a picture used on an invitation to her 90th birthday party in 2012.)

No one was more moved by Mary’s passing than her 18-year-old grandson, Thomas Lawrence. Unable to be at her side as she lay dying, Thomas wrote what he described as “the most difficult letter I’ve ever had to write.

You taught me not to judge 

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DOROTHY JEANNE CHELLMAN MCDONALD

August 20, 2014 on 8:47 am | In Obituaries | 1 Comment

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DOROTHY JEANNE CHELLMAN MCDONALD

January 19, 1924 to July 31, 2014

 By Margaret McDonald-Stewart

 A curious nature and a sense of style

Dorothy travelled through her life and this world with a curious nature and a sense of style. She died peacefully July 31, 2014.  Born to Thelma Evertsen Chellman and William Chellman in Chicago Illinois in 1924, she was raised in a bungalow on Wrightwood Avenue. Her close Scandinavian family supported and encouraged each other during the Depression and nurtured an unending love affair with dogs.

tribute.jpgDorothy graduated from Wright Junior College and earned a scholarship to Northwestern University. It was at Northwestern that Dorothy’s inveterate and die-hard liberalism was nurtured and grew to be an integral part of her personality. Dorothy worked through her college days at a variety of enjoyable jobs including as a Harvey Girl waitress at the Grand Canyon El Tovar Lodge and pivotally, for the Weisman Travel Agency. (Picture above left is a shrine made in Dorothy’s honor for a memorial brunch.)

A Saks Fifth Avenue Wedding Hat

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ROBIN MCLAURIN WILLIAMS

August 15, 2014 on 8:15 am | In Obituaries | 1 Comment

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ROBIN MCLAURIN WILLIAMS

July 21, 1951 to August 11, 2014

By Katharine Blossom Lowrie

Remembering the Genius

I’m of the Mork & Mindy generation. Although specifics of various segments of the mega-hit ‘70’s sitcom are hazy at best, the memories of Robin Williams in that iconic role remain utterly fresh—much like a first love in high school. The zany, unintelligible language spewed at warp speed; the rubber face that could stretch in any direction; the abrupt, angular, freaky movements that could easily have served as a precursor to hip hop—they all spelled genius.

One of his best friends, Christopher Reeves of Superman fame, wrote about Williams in his 1998 autobiography, Still Me. When the two met in 1973, according to the author, they were two of just 20 students accepted into an Advanced Program at New York’s famed Julliard School of Dance, Drama and Music, a program taught by John Houseman.

“an untied balloon”

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MASON GRAVES ZISETTE

July 26, 2014 on 5:32 pm | In Obituaries | 9 Comments

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MASON GRAVES ZISETTE

April 21, 1998 to July 12, 2014

By Katharine Blossom Lowrie

Gone too soon

masonpic2.jpgNo more moving account of a young man’s life and character than that given by Gary Walsh, the grandfather of Mason Graves Zisette, who died on Thursday, July 12, 2014, two days after a freak bus accident on the San Diego Freeway in Hawthorne. (Details of accident at end of story.)

Mason was just 16, a fair-haired athlete and varsity tennis player on the verge of becoming a junior at Mira Costa High School and so much more.

There were plenty of tears at the jam-packed funeral mass at American Martyrs Church in Mason’s home town of Manhattan Beach on Saturday, July 26: Mason’s parents, Matthew and Amy Zisette, his sisters, Caroline and Katherine and brother Johnny; friends and what looked to be the entire student body of Mira Costa High School.

Many of the mothers of Mason’s pals looked young enough to be just out of college themselves, women in smart suits and dresses, closely shepherding their children; fathers, a good many in suits and ties, eyeing their precious sons.

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ANDREW CHARLES QUINN

July 21, 2014 on 10:20 am | In Obituaries | No Comments

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ANDREW CHARLES QUINN

August 22, 1944 to July 17, 2014 

A tireless advocate for farmers

Andrew Charles “Ac” Quinn, an accomplished man who cherished his family and advocated tirelessly for the interests of farmers, died Thursday, July 17, 2014 at Meeker Memorial Hospital in Litchfield, MN. He was 69.

A lifelong farmer, Andrew prized his “century farm”, which was homesteaded in rural Litchfield in 1866 by his Irish immigrant ancestors. Much of his personal life and passion were dedicated to advancing agribusiness.

Andrew held several leadership positions in local, state and national organizations, through which he led grassroots lobbying efforts at the state and federal levels.  He advocated on behalf of farmers while serving the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) and testified multiple times before state and federal congressional committees in support of agricultural legislation. Along with running for public office, he spoke to hundreds of audiences over the years and won countless awards.

Family made his heart sing

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FELISA VANOFF

June 6, 2014 on 4:37 pm | In Obituaries | 2 Comments

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FELISA VANOFF

June 11, 1925 to May 29, 2014

A passion for life

Felisa Vanoff, who danced lead roles in the New York City Opera and choreographed many a Hollywood TV show, died of natural causes on Wednesday, May 29th, at her home in Beverly Hills. She was 89.

vanhoff3.jpgIn tandem with her Emmy-Award-winning producer husband, Nick Vanoff, Felisa was a magnificent hostess, whose joy in entertaining resulted in glittering gatherings of actors, painters, dancers, writers, composers, musicians, titans of industry and politicians. But it was her passion for life that trumped any star-studded affair.

The type to remark on the magnificence of a day or the color of a flower, Vanoff expressed the same enthusiasm for people, always making them feel special and encouraging them to pursue great things.

Explosively dramatic

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