Human obituaries

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2005:

Frank Perdue, 84, died on March 31 at
home in Salisbury, Maryland. His father,
Arthur Perdue, started an egg farm in the year
that Frank Perdue was born. After leukosis
killed their 2,000 leghorns in the early 1940s,
they switched to raising broiler hens, began
developing factory-style protection methods, and
prospered during the World War II meat shortage.
Frank Perdue took over the $6 million a year
business in 1952. Annual revenues were up to $56
million in 1970, when Perdue introduced the
Perdue Farms brand name to supermarkets,
appearing in approximately 200 TV commercials
during the next 24 years to promote it. By 1991
Perdue Farms was the third largest poultry firm
in the U.S., worth $1.2 billion a year. In
April 1997, Animal Rights International founder
Henry Spira asked Perdue to lead the way in
reducing the suffering to poultry that results
from factory farming. After Perdue ignored
repeated requests from Spira, Spira in October

1989 began exposing conditions at Perdue Farms in
full-page New York Times advertisements. The
most famous, entitled “The P. Word,” noted
Perdue’s appointment to the University of
Maryland Board of Regents. “There’s a word for
someone who does bad stuff for money,” it
proclaimed. “Perdue.” The ad noted that, “In
1986 Perdue admitted to the President’s
Commission on Organized Crime that when his
workers tried to organize, he went to New York’s
Gambino crime family to get their helpÅ National
Public Radio reported that women were urinating
on the [Perdue] workline because they were afraid
to leave it.” Recalled Spira biographer Peter
Singer, “The advertisement continued in that
vein, highlighting Perdue’s false advertising,
his conviction for polluting Virginia’s
waterways, his abuse of animals, and his
evasion of a manslaughter charge after he killed
someone when speeding the wrong way up a one-way
road.” Spira, who died in 1998, never won
concessions from Perdue, but his ads were cited
in many Perdue obituaries.

Phil Simard, 40, one of the two animal
control officers in Portland, Maine, since
1990, died on the job of an apparent heart
attack on March 26. He was found dead still
holding the leash he had just put on a stray
husky, said Portland police chief Michael
Chitwood.

Judith Ball, 65, general curator at the
Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, died on February
10 of complications from Alzheimer’s Disease.
Learning in 1996 that the Sepilok wildlife
rehabilition center in Borneo was overcrowded
with sun bears confiscated from illegal
traffickers, Ball and William Karesh of the
Wildlife Conservation Society evacuated 10 bears
to U.S. zoos, including two who came to Woodland
Park.

Henry Everding III, DVM, 42, was
killed by falling rocks on February 19 in a
climbing accident in Pategonia, Chile. Everding
had for the past four years been medical director
at the nonprofit Harrison Memorial Animal
Hospital in Denver, and had done veterinary
volunteer work in Nepal.

Natalie Ann Chambers, 30, a vet tech in
Tumwater, Washington, on February 14 descended
15 feet from a trail above the White River to try
to rescue her border collie Phoebe, who had
fallen onto a ledge. Holding Phoebe, trying to
climb back up by gripping a tree branch in her
other hand, she plummeted 350 feet into the
river when the branch broke. Phoebe survived
with a minor hip injury.

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