Human Obituaries

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2002:

Eugene Underwood, 71, who died on February 27, was honored
in August when the Asociacion Humanitaria Para La Proteccion Animal
de Costa Rica dedicated in his honor a new humane education video
produced by Tom Rorstad, Richard Whitten, and Diana Fernandez.
Formerly senior vice president and general counsel for the American
SPCA in New York City, Under-wood retired to Ciudad Cariari, Costa
Rica, in 1995. An active member of the AHPPA, Underwood led
opposition to recreational bowhunting of feral pigs on Cocos Island.

Celina Valentino, “a Brazilian activist known as Celina of
the Lions and Horses due to her restless dedication to save neglected
horses and abused lions from circuses, was brutally murdered on
September 11th, in her house, in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil,”
according to an e-mail alert distributed by the National Forum for
Animal Protection and Defense. “In the last six years she rescued
and retired over 2,000 abused horses and several circus animals as
well,” the alert continued. “The crime is being investigated but it
is known for sure that the motive was not robbery. There is
speculation that it was vengeance.”

Edward “Ned” Lynas, 62, co-founder of the Swiss-based ORES
marine mammal research project, and director since 1978 of the ORES
whale research station at Bergeronnes, Quebec, died in early
September 2002 from cancer. “To the happiness of all of us, he was
able to spend most of the summer in Bergeronnes, and even was able
to come out on the water,” wrote his longtime co-researcher Ursula
Tscherter. “On one of his last outings he met the minke whales he
knew best and loved,” known to him by name as Owl Eyes, Tin
Whistle, Bisou, Drapeau, and Witch’s Hat.”

David J. St. Aubin, 50, director of research and veterinary
services at the Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Connecticut, since 1993,
died from cancer on September 10, four days after his second
marriage. Born in Hudson, Quebec, St. Aubin taught at Guelph
University in Toronto for 18 years, but was best known for studies
of beluga whales, narwals, walruses, and sea lions in the Arctic.

Althea Griffin, 85, president of the South Shore Humane
Society in Braintree, Massachusetts, since helping to found it in
1975, died on September 22 in Weymouth, her home since 1954. Among
the last active humane workers whose careers began when humane
societies still commonly ran orphanages, Griffin came to animal
advocacy through nearly two decades of work as a pediatric nurse’s
aide. Boston Patriot Ledger obituarist Cathleen Genova remembered
Griffin for frequent visits to the Massachusetts State House, where
she lobbied against fur trapping, circuses, and greyhound racing.

Katilyn Ann Plante, 9, of Orange County, North Carolina,
on September 22 begged her father to stop his car to let her remove a
turtle from Jones Ferry Road. When he did, she ran in front of an
SUV driven by Barbara Strickland, 57, of Chapel Hill. Strickland
swerved into a power pole as she tried unsuccessfully to miss Plante,
and was herself injured.

S.T. Vanchinathan died recently in Chennai, India.
Vanchinathan in 1985 accepted election as district governor of Lions
International District 324-A by declaring that, “For 70 years the
Lions have been known the world over as people working for people.
In my term as governor, I would also like them to be known as people
working for animals.” Vanchinathan then created the Lions cabinet
post of district chair for animal welfare, appointed Blue Cross of
India cofounder Chinny Krishna to fill it, and arranged for the
Lions to give the Blue Cross an animal rescue ambulance.

Joseph Nathan Kane, 103, died on September 22 in West Palm
Beach, Florida. Self-described as a “factualist,” short for
“compiler of historical trivia,” Kane enjoyed his first success as
an author with Famous First Facts (1933), which established–among
thousands of other obscure points–that the first sheep were brought
to the future U.S. in 1609, and the first camels arrived in 1721.
His best-remembered work about animals was What Dog Is That? (1944),
believed to be the first book to catalog the characteristics of every
breed recognized by the American Kennel Club.

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