GIRMAY ZEWOLDE

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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.

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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

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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

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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. Continue reading “SALLY ANNE MASON”

CLAIRE JOHNSON KANNEGIESER

Claire

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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