OBITUARIES

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 1998:

Max Corkill, 50, his motorcycling
cat Rastus, and sidecar passenger
Gaynor Martin, 48, died on January 20
about twenty miles from their home in New
Plymouth, New Zealand, when a car hit
them head-on. Corkill found Rastus about
nine years ago as an abandoned kitten at a
motorcycling meet in Canada. They moved
from Canada to New Zealand in 1994, but
planned to return to Canada this year with
Martin. Riding everywhere with Corkill in a
custom-made zipper pouch, Rastus was a
major fundraiser for the Royal New Zealand
SPCA. “Max and Rastus were completely
irreplaceable,” mourned RNZSPCA committee
chair Jackie Poles. Hundreds of bikers
turned out for their funeral.

Lynne Frink, 51, died January 28
of breast cancer at her home in Wilmington,
Delaware. Born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania,
Frink debuted in habitat conservation
work during the early 1970s while earning an
M.A. in literature from Lamar University in
Beaumont, Texas. Moving to Wilmington in
1975, within a year she founded and became
president of both the Delaware Audubon
Society and Tri-State Bird Rescue &
Research, a rehabilitation center which at her
death was caring for about 130 birds, under
management of Virginia Pierce, DVM.

Thomas D. Bennett, 42, of
Parker, Pennsylvania, a deaf mute, died
January 18 from drowning and hypothermia
while trying to rescue his year-old
Rottweiler, Black Bear, who fell through
thin ice. The dog survived.

Fortunato Brocato, 92, who with
marine mammologist Ken Norris stocked
Marineland of the Pacific, died January 21 in
San Pedro, California, his home for 75

years. Two collections of fish died even
before Marineland opened in 1954, the first
major oceanarium on the west coast. In 1957
Brocato won notoriety as first person to capture
a pilot whale. Her name, Bubbles, was
passed along to others until circa 1982. Sea
World bought Marineland to obtain its orca
collection and closed the site in 1987.

Thomas Shiflet, board chair and
shelter director for the Camden County
Humane Society, died of leukemia on
January 12 in Waterford, New Jersey, three
days after lapsing into a coma. Patricia
Smith of the Philadelphia Inquirer r e p o r t e d
January 12 that CCHS had laid off four
staffers because it had secured sheltering contracts
with only 10 of the 37 Camden County
municipalities, after building a new shelter
big enough to serve them all at cost of $1
million. Each municipality was expected to
pay 42¢ per capita for shelter service, but
faced with competitive bidding, Shiflet had
allowed Gloucester Township––site of the
CCHS shelter––to pay the same $800/year it
formerly paid to the Garden State Humane
Society. Shiflet was succeeded on an interim
basis by former assistant shelter director Jim
McCleery, 28, who quit after just two weeks
and was replaced by his brother Glen
McCleery. A permanent director isn’t to be
selected until July. According to Patricia
Smith in the January 24 P h i l a d e l p h i a
Inquirer, “John Roskoph and Scott Russell,
directors of the Animal Orphanage in
Voorhees, have proposed becoming codirectors
of the Camden County shelter for a
combined salary of $40,000––the same salary
as Shiflet.” If chosen, they would combine
management of the two shelters.

Steven Dell, 23, of Belle Chasse,
Louisiana, a key member of League In
Support of Animals since age 14, was shot
dead early on January 15 in New Orleans
Son of Linda and Ira T. Dell, Steven was
brother of former LISA director Dana Dell
Dorson, and brother-in-law of LISA founder
Jeff Dorson. Together, the Dorsons and
Linda Dell run Jack Spratt’s Vegetarian Grill,
a small but nationally noted restaurant where
Steven worked as waiter. Jeff Dorson said
that Dell, in his car, and an unidentified
friend, on a bicycle, were accosted by two
men who robbed them at gunpoint, then
opened fire. Dell, hit three times in the back,
died after crashing into a parked van two
blocks away. The friend, hit once in the leg,
managed to escape. One of the alleged
killers was reportedly arrested.

John George Williams, 84, naturalist
and guide of African birdwatching
safaris, died December 29 in Leicester,
England. Born in Cardiff, Wales, Williams
was bird taxidermist for the National
Museum of Wales before World War II,
when he joined the Royal Air Force. He settled
in Kenya in 1945 after marriage to thenfellow
RAF officer Philippa Gaffikin, a
noted anthropologist and archaeologist, who
died in 1993. Curator of birds for the
Coryndon Museum in Nairobi from 1946
until 1966, Williams then became founding
director of the East African Wildlife
Advisory Service. He returned to England in
1977. His books included Birds of East &
Central Africa (1963) and Field Guide to the
National Parks of East Africa (1968).

Alan Peifer, 18, of Albuquerque,
was killed in a February 13 housefire when
instead of escaping with his parents and 15-
year-old brother, he turned back to get the
three family dogs, who perished with him.

Chance, mixed breed dog adopted
by DELTA Rescue founder Leo Grillo, featured
in recent DELTA Rescue ads in A N IMAL
PEOPLE, died on January 14 of distemper.
Details appear on page 2.

Buddy, age 10, golden retriever,
died in his sleep on February 10, six months
after losing a leg to synovial cell sarcoma, a
rare form of cancer. A former stray, Buddy
shot baskets by hitting the ball with his nose;
played goalie in soccer and hockey; and
caught baseballs on the fly. An appearance
on America’s Funniest Home Videos
inspired the Disney film Air Bud, in which
Buddy enjoyed the starring role.

Sandy, 35, overweight matriarch
of the Los Angeles Zoo lowland gorillas,
died on January 10 from a heart attack suffered
during a physical. Captured in Africa
in 1962, Sandy went first to the Albuquerque
Zoo, coming to Los Angeles in 1976.

Tom Tom, 15, next to last
African lion at the Columbus Zoo, died on
December 27 from feline AIDS. The disease
also afflicts his mate, Elsa, 20, and a
Bengal tiger and two snow leopards at the
same site. How they all got it is unknown.

Harp, 10, German shepherd/collie
guide dog of Bay County, Michigan judge
Craig D. Alston since 1990, was euthanized
on February 2 due to cancer.

Jessie P. Dog, 15, Chesapeake
Bay/Labrador mascot of the Brant Point
Coast Guard Station in Nantucket, Mass.,
veteran of many rescues, died on February 4.

Kenny, age three, an Asian elephant
who lived his whole life with the
Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey
Circus in Jacksonville, Florida, died January
24 of an unidentified sudden-onset disease––
reportedly after working two shows while ill.

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