OBITUARIES

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1995:

Ed Piukowsky, 52, died of a heart
attack on July 9, 2005, at home in Johnstown,
Pennsylvania. The son of a police dog han-
dler, Piukowsky and his wife Bonnie Lanzen-
dorfer Piukowsky founded the Jollyman
Animal Sanctuary in 2002. Blairsville
Dispatch reporter Jeff Himler in April 2005
listed the residents as “16 dogs, 50 cats, six
chickens, three goats, a dozen each of geese
and ducks, two peafowl, a rabbit and a par-
rot.” Recalled Dogs Deserve Better anti-
chaining group founder Tammy Grimes, “Ed
was very supportive of me and my work, and
had me speak at their fundraisers each of the
past three years. The first time was my first
time ever speaking, and I was so nervous I
thought I’d die. I spoke for a whole 30 sec-
onds, but it was enough to get me past the
point of trying. He told me each year, ‘See, I
knew you were going to go far, didn’t I tell
you that?’ He was so proud of me and the
progress we have made.”

Shana Alexander, 79, died on June
23, 2005 in Hermosa Beach, California. The
daughter of composer Milton Ager and
V a r i e t y and P M film critic Cecilia Ager,
Alexander broke into journalism as a P M
copygirl, was promoted to reporter, and in
1951 was hired as the first woman staff writer
for Life. She left Life to edit McCall’s, 1969-
1971, then debated Washington Star c o l u m-
nist James J. Kilpatrick weekly on the “Point/
Counterpoint” segment of CBS 60 Minutes,
1975-1979. Alexander for the next decade
wrote books exploring murder and gender
issues. Only a 1962 Life cover feature and her
last book, The Astonishing Elephant ( 2 0 0 0 )
indulged her lifelong interest in elephants––
but Alexander at age 15 had already made an
enduring contribution to pro-elephant
activism. Upstaged by Pearl Harbor and the
outbreak of World War II, the December
1941 release of the Walt Disney animated
classic D u m b o appeared to be a failure until
Cecilia Ager took Alexander with her to see it,
and moved by her response, saved it with a
rave review. “D u m b o is the nicest, kindest
Disney yet,” Ager wrote. As The Astonishing
Elephant documents, albeit with only one ref-
erence to Dumbo, it was also in many respects
shockingly realistic. Composer Paul
McCartney in April 2004 acknowledged see-
ing Dumbo as a child as one of the formative
experiences contributing to his longtime
involvement in animal advocacy.
Simon Hutton, 39, son of Free the
Bears Fund founder Mary Hutton, was hit by
a car on June 22, 2005 in Phnom Penh,
Cambodia, and died two days later without
regaining consciousness. As Cambodia pro-
ject director for Free The Bears Fund, “He
was in charge of building a vet clinic and
working with the bear keepers at our sanctuary
in the Phnom Tamao Zoological Gardens &
Wildlife Rescue Centre,” Mary Hutton told
ANIMAL PEOPLE. “He had been in
Cambodia since the end of January 2005.
Simon was a gentle, warm-hearted person
who sat up all night and bottle fed a baby sun
bear who was dehydrated and listless. Simon
was also responsible for getting Free The
Bears Fund started. One evening in 1993 he
yelled, “Mum you have to see this on TV!” I
saw a little bear banging his head against a bar
of a cage, and that was the first I knew of
bears in bile farms––it went from there.”
Janet Orio, 51, dog warden for
Windsor Locks, Connecticut since 1996,
called paramedics to her home on June 2,
2005 after experiencing a medical emergency,
but died before they arrived. Orio had on May
31, 2005 persuaded the Windsor Locks board
of selectmen to fund construction of a new
animal shelter.
Julia Palmer-Stoll, 21, who played
the role of Simone in the German TV series
Marienhof, was killed by a car on June 10
while trying to rescue a hedgehog from the
highway between Dachau and Munich.
Tobias Ndhlovu, 32, a Zimbab-
wean “minder” at the Knysna Elephant Park
near Cape Town, South Africa, was on June
22 crushed to death by a 17-year-old bull ele-
phant named Harry. Describing Ndhlovu as
“the most gentle, loving, soft-spoken man,”
park owner Lisette Withers said he “was walk-
ing through high grass, when he apparently
tripped. Harry went down to pick him up.
Elephants use their tusks as a forklift. Harry
has a huge forehead, the length of Tobias’
body. He did not fling him or use his trunk;
there was no aggression. It was like he was
trying to lift him.”
Lee Tsai-chin, a . k . a . Chen Chin-
tsai, 41, a 20-year bear keeper at the Leofoo
Safari Park in Hsinchu, Taiwan, was on July
5 found still alive but fatally mauled in a 16-
year-old brown bear’s enclosure. He had
apparently entered the enclosure to feed the
bear, in vioation of zoo policy. A fence
painter was killed in a similar accident at the
same zoo in 2004, after apparently taking a
shortcut through a lion habitat.
Mary S. Nash, 56, died of lung
cancer on July 1, 2005 in Dallas, Texas.
Moving to Kaufman, a Dallas suburb, in
1987, Nash found herself living near one of
the largest U.S. horse slaughterhouses. “In
2003,” recalled Dallas Morning News s t a f f
writer David Renfrow, “Nash teamed up with
the Texas Humane Legislation Network to
defeat legislation that would have legalized
the operation of equine slaughterhouses in
Texas, which currently operate under federal
laws that they say supercede state law. Nash
continued to campaign against horse slaughter
until her death.”
Bhu Dev Chakraborty, 41, a for-
est guard since 1985 at Orang National Park
near Mangaldai, India, was killed by a tiger
in early July while on night patrol. He left a
widow and two young children.
Kate Tetley, a cat rescue contact
for the Louisiana SPCA, was killed in a July 5
fire at her home near Slidell. Fourteen cats
and a dog died of smoke inhalation and burns,
St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal
Services director Brent Robbins, DVM told
Chris Kirkham of the New Orleans T i m e s
Picayune, but 30 animals were saved.
Lark Fran Bennett, 45, a Louisiana
SPCA dog groomer and cofounder of the
annual Barkus Parade fundraiser for New
Orleans animal charities, was shot to death
with another woman in Chalmette, Louisiana,
on July 11, 2005, reportedly by a third
woman who knew them both.
Kathleen Ann Coppolino, 33, a
People-Pet Partnership volunteer driver, was
killed on July 23, 2005 in a fiery five-vehicle
crash caused when an SUV driven by James
Howard Jr., 42, jumped a guardrail and col-
lided almost head-on with Coppolino’s vehi-
cle, a van belonging to the Philadelphia
Animal Care & Control Association.
Coppolino was returning to PACCA after
delivering a load of animals to a PETsMART
adoption day. Howard was also killed. His
girlfriend and one-year-old daughter escaped
injury, but three other people were hurt.
Claire Simmons Allan, 76, died
on June 9, 2005, in Rock Hill, South
Carolina. A former opera singer, she and her
late husband Bill Allan endowed the Claire
Simmons Samson Allan Memorial
Scholarship in Moral Philosophy at North
Carolina State University. “Over the years
Claire practiced her own version of animal
rescue,” recalled former NCSU philosopher
department chair and animal rights philoso-
pher Tom Regan. “If she happened to see a
neglected dog,” she would first issue a warn-
ing, and then, if the dog was not better
looked after, “find an opportune time to ‘lib-
erate’ the abused animal, leaving a note
behind that warned against ever having anoth-
er animal to care for, signed by ‘Mrs. Robin
Hood.’ She was never caught.”
Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *