Obituaries

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2003:

Fred Rogers, 74, died from cancer on
February 27 at his home in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania. A strict vegetarian, Rogers
taught on his television show Mister Rogers’
Neighborhood that “True wisdom is never separate
from compassion.” Rogers debuted in children’s
television in 1954 as a puppeteer for The
Children’s Corner, aired by WQED-Pittsburgh.
Ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1963,
Rogers was assigned to continue working in TV.
Later in 1963 Rogers developed a 15-minute show
called Misterogers for the Canadian Broadcasting
Corporation. He returned the show to Pittsburgh
in 1966, and expanded it into Mister Rogers’
Neighborhood for the Eastern Educational Network.
It was picked up by National Educational
Television in 1968, which later became the
Public Broadcasting Service. Rogers produced
more than 1,700 episodes. He retired due to
declining health in 2000, but returned to the
air briefly in 2001 to reassure children about
the goodness of the world and their ability to
make it better after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Garrett Lemire, 21, a bicycle racer
just starting his professional career,
memorialized by Jesse Phelps of the Ojai Morning
News as a “dedicated vegetarian, political
thinker, and animal rights advocate,” was
killed in a freak head-on collision during the
March 16 Tucson Bicycle Classic.

Susan Barber, 27, animal rights
activist and University of Arizona second-year
law student, was bludgeoned to death in her
Tucson home circa March 2. Her boyfriend,
Everett O’Quin, 25, was arrested in Alexandria,
Louisiana, and is to be returned to Arizona to
stand trial for her murder. Police invesigators
have not established a motive for the killing,
but rcovered evidence from the scene reportedly
including marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Diane Steumer, 44, died from cancer on
March 15 in Ottawa. Steumer and family sailed
around the world in 1997-1999. Meeting Bali
veterinarian and orangutan advocate Bayu
Wirayudhaalong the way, Steumer became a major
supporter of the Bali Friends of the National
Parks Foundation, which seeks to protect
orangutan habitat.

José Marco Ayres, 49, died from lung
cancer on March 7 in New York City. Ayres
developed an interest in primatology as a
teenager in Germany. He earned a master’s degree
in primate socioecology in 1981 at the University
of Såo Paulo, Brail, doing field work at the
Såo Paula Zoo and at the National Institute for
Amazonian Research. He wrote his Ph.D. thesis on
white uakaris in 1986, joined the Wildlife
Conservation Society staff in 1990, and since
1992 was senior zoologist managing WCS programs
in the Amazon region. His crowning achievement
was “coordinating the creation of a protected
zone bigger than Costa Rica,” including the
Mamirauua Sustainable Development Reserve,
started in 1996, and the Amana Sustainable
Development Reserve, begun in 1998, when both
were also linked to Jaü National Park.

Andree Valadier, 75, who founded the
Societe Nationale pour la Defense des Animaux in
1973, died under mysterious circumstances at her
Paris home circa November 15, 2002. SNDA board
members were not told until January 28, Friends
of Guenady founder Janne Sieben of Nice told
ANIMAL PEOPLE. Valadir “did not die of natural
causes,” Sieben said. “The autopsy showed that
she had been given a shot of a shelter euthanasia
drug and then, while she was still alive, her
head was cut almost off,” apparently with a saw.
“Mme. Valadier’s daughter, who helped her run
the association, is missing,” Sieben added,
expressing skepticism of the police theory that
the daughter killed Valadier and then committed
suicide. Valadier was author of Le Grand Bluff
Tauromachique, an attack on bullfighting, was
engaged at her death in a court battle seeking to
close a large puppy mill, and had recently
“intervened successfully with the Mayor of Paris
to remind him that the law forbids using animals
for prizes at public events and village fairs,”
Sieben said.

Roland E. Kreibich, 80, remembered by
Associated Press as “a fervent animal rights
acitivist,” died on March 12 at his home in
Auburn, Washington. Born in Glassert,
Czechoslovakia, Kreibich was drafted by the
Nazis in 1941, refused to bear arms, and was
assigned to removing landmines. He later earned
the Iron Cross, the highest German military
honor, as a battlefield medic, before escaping
the Wehrmacht with the help of an Austrian
priest. He emigrated to Canada in 1951, and
later moved to the U.S. After his wife Gladys
died in 2000, Kreibich established a benefit
fund for PETA in her honor.

Gwendolene Ferris, 74, of County
Armagh, Northern Ireland, was found dead in her
home on February 18 among the remains of up to 25
dogs and a donkey. A former judge at the Crufts
dog show, Ferris left a significant estate for
the benefit of her animals. The animals who
survived her were rehomed.

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