Obituaries

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 2002:

Annelisa M. Kilbourne, DVM, 35, was killed in a light
plane crash on November 2 at the Lope Nature Preserve in Gabon,
Africa. Earning her veterinary degree from Tufts University in 1996,
Kilbourne worked in Malaysia for the Wildlife Conservation Society,
in Chicago for the Lincoln Park Zoo and Shedd Aquarium, and in
Borneo for the SOS Rhino project, before returning to the Wildlife
Conservation Society to investigate the impact of Ebola virus on wild
gorillas. Her work helped to establish that the spread of Ebola is
an important factor in the recent decline of gorilla populations,
and that eating poached gorillas is one way the deadly disease
spreads among humans.

Bethany Alldridge, 40, died on October 3 after six days in
a coma. Leaving her six-month-old daughter Jaia in her car,
Alldridge stepped into traffic in an attempt to remove a turtle from
the Princes Highway near Grafton, New South Wales, Australia, and
was hit by a vehicle. Recalled Patty Mark of Animal Liberation
Australia, “For over 20 years Bethany worked for animals. She
founded and ran the Albury Wodonga Animal Liberation Group. She did
countless demonstrations. Her nickname was Spyderwoman, for her
amzing ability to scale high buildings and drop banners,” one of
which, protesting circus cruelty, made national headlines in 1988.
“She was on the wetlands to rescue birds, in factory farm sheds to
save hens, and took in any stray or injured animals she came
across,” Mark continued. “She was vegan for as long as I can
remember, and lived her whole life helping people and animals.” Her
husband of two years, Taree Vriesman, is a noted vegan chef.

Tina Harrison, who died on July 28, 2002, was remembered
recently by the Vancouver Humane Society. Harrison, Ingrid Pollak,
and Anne McDonald won election to the board of the Vancouver branch
of the British Columbia SPCA in the late 1980s on a reform plank
favoring sterilization of all animals before adoption and the
abolition of use of a gas chamber to kill homeless animals. Ousted
after only one year, Pollak and McDonald formed the VHS, while
Harrison in 1990 founded Canadians for the Ethical Treatment of Food
Animals. During her 11 years as CETFA coordinator, CETFA obtained
six federal and provincial regulatory amendments on behalf of
livestock. Harrison retired due to illness in 2001.

Bill Green died from liver cancer on October 14, two days
short of his 73rd birthday. As a Republican member of the House of
Representatives from 1978 to 1992, Green “worked with the late Henry
Spira against the LD-50 and Draize tests, tried to cut the funding
for massive wild horse roundups, and always supported anti-leghold-
trap legislation, even though the furriers in his district attacked
him. If all members of Congress were as hardworking, intelligent,
ethical, thoughtful and humane as Bill Green was, our country would
be in good hands,” remembered Adele Douglass, who was an aide to
Green for seven years before becoming Washington D.C. director for
the American Humane Association, 1986-2000, and director of AHA
Farm Animal Services 2001-present. Green lost his seat in Congress
by 2% of the vote in 1992–after redistricting, and partially as
result of aggressive Election Day campaigning against him by Garo
Alexanian of the Companion Animal Network, who believed he should
have endorsed several bills which never advanced beyond introduction.

Walt Rowe, 73, “my dear companion of 52 years, died
suddenly in my arms on October 5,” Arapawa Wildlife Sanctuary
cofounder Betty Rowe e-mailed to ANIMAL PEOPLE. A U.S. Army draftee
during the Korean War, though not sent into combat, Walt Rowe
emigrated to New Zealand with Betty, their two teenaged sons, and a
daughter in 1969, hoping to keep the boys out of the Vietnam War.
They took up sheep ranching, first at Southland, Pelorus Sound,
relocating after two years to East Bay, Arapawa Island. There they
discovered feral sheep, goats, and pigs whose ancestors were
marooned on the reputedly haunted island by Captain James Cook–and,
recognizing them to be of now scarce ancient breeds, began an
ongoing 30-year battle with New Zealand Forest Service officials
hellbent on exterminating them. The Rowes and volunteers sent many
of the animals to sanctuary on the mainland, and turned their
homestead farm into a sanctuary in 1987, persevering despite a 1999
fire that destroyed their home and most of their possessions. Betty
Rowe recalled the beginnings of the sanctuary in her 1988 book
Arapawa–Once Upon An Island.

Dean Meyers, 53, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, on October 9
became at least the 10th person killed in a multi-state series of
sniper attacks for which alleged killers Lee Malvo, 17, and John
Muhammed, 41, face the death penalty. Meyers “would take all the
stray cats he could find and take them into his house and feed them,”
recalled neighbor Clara Johnson. Muhammed was charged with the
Meyers murder on November 8.

Linda Gail Franklin, 47, of Fairfax, Virginia, an FBI
intelligence analyst, on October 14 became at least the 12th person
killed in the alleged Malvo/ Muhammed sniper attacks. Shot in front
of her husband of eight years, Ted Franklin, she was a longtime
dog-and-cat rescuer. Malvo was charged with the Franklin murder on
November 8.

Jessica Wilson, 26, a police officer in Hazel Park,
Michigan, married for just two months to Detroit police officer Mark
Wilson, was allegedly ambushed and shotgunned at close range on July
30 by unemployed steelworker Hans George Hofe, 43, when she went to
Hofe’s house to investigate a complaint that his dog was running at
large. Mortally wounded, she felled Hofe with a shot to the abdomen
before she died. “We believe she saved numerous other lives,” said
Hazel Park police chief David Niedermeier. Hofe, who survived and
will stand trial for murder, was reportedly well-known to police for
previous alcoholic rampages.

Michael Lasner, 57, of Palm Beach, Florida, committed
suicide on September 29 in protest against city government efforts to
capture and kill an estimated 1,000 feral cats, after rabid cats
appared in the area in mid-July. “To cut to the chase, I have taken
my life to bring attention to the current situation, which is
intolerable, ignorant, and only very harmful to the cats,” Lasner
wrote in a letter released to news media by Palm Beach Cat Rescue
founder Catherine Bradley. Bradley said Lasner had told her that he
was suffering from a terminal illness, and asked her to take care of
his own two cats, whom he rescued in Miami after Hurricane Andrew in
1992. The October 2002 edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE described the Palm
Beach feral cat controversy on page one.

Richard Kolenda, 49, a retired U.S. Air Force major who
reportedly investigated corporate fraud for the Pentagon, apparently
shot himself on October 20 in Westfield, Massachusetts, after
calling police at 5 a.m. to tell them he had fatally knifed his wife
Glenia, 50, and their 11-year-old son and daughter, Anatoli and
Yana, at their home several blocks away. The children were adopted
from Russia circa 1994. After Kolenda left the Air Force, he ran a
General Nutrition Center franchise in Jacksonville, Florida, but
closed it in 1999 and sued GNC for alleged unfair business practices.
In July 2001 the Kolenda family told the Florida Times-Union that
they had spent about $5,000 on veterinary care for feral cats they
trapped at the Mayport Naval Station. The entire family joined other
volunteers in the Mayport cat rescue effort. Westfield police
sergeant Dennis Donovan told Times-Union staff writer Dana Treen that
about 10 cats were found at the scene of the murders.

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