Obituaries

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2007:
Dietrich von Haugwitz, 79, died on June 26, 2007 at his
home in Durham, North Carolina. Von Haugwitz, credited by Peter
Muller of Wildlife Watch as “the originator of computer-based animal
rights e-mail lists,” was “born into a German aristocratic family in
Silesia,” Muller wrote, “a region that became part of Poland after
the shift of borders at the end of World War II.” Drafted into the
Germany army at age 17, near the end of World War II, von Haugwitz
“saw little action, but once almost got killed” by a British air
attack, recalled Muller. Post-war, von Haugwitz studied music. A
church in Minnesota sponsored his emigration to the U.S. in 1956.
Moving to Hollywood, Calif-ornia, in 1957, he worked as a pianist,
gave piano lessons, and met his wife Eva while acting in a German
theater. They married in 1960. Turning from piano-playing to
computer programming, they relocated to North Carolina in 1971.
Witnessing a bullfight in Mexico and attending a lecture by The Case
for Animal Rights author Tom Regan led von Haugwitz to join the North
Carolina Network for Animals in 1983, and to found a Durham chapter,
which he headed for about seven years. Recalled von Haugwitz to
Eternal Trebinka author Charles Patterson, “I have always been upset
about so many Germans I knew who, at the end of the war, said, in
effect, ‘But we had no idea! We really didn’t know anything about
Auschwitz and what happened to the Jews.'” Von Haugwitz paralleled
their denial to the denial that allows people to eat meat. His last
campaign was against dog-chaining, and included winning custody of
Bessie, a neglected dog who had lived her whole life on a six-foot
chain until von Haughwitz adopted her. Eva von Haugwitz died in
2003. Von Haugwitz is survived by their daughter Joanne Erznoznik,
of North Carolina. As she works for much of the year abroad, In
Defense of Animals was at the ANIMAL PEOPLE deadline trying to help
her find a new home for Bessie.

Viji, 54, founder of the Parasparam orphanage and shelter
in Chennai, died of cardiac arrest on July 26, 2007. At her death
the shelter housed 24 girls, 36 cats, and 11 dogs. “An ardent
devotee of Saint Sai Baba of Shirdi, she passed on on Baba’s Day,”
noted Cattitude Trust managing trustee Devika Khazvini.

Colleen McCrory, 57, died from brain cancer on July 1,
2007 in New Denver, British Columbia. McCrory founded the Valhalla
Wilderness Society in 1975, coordinated the B.C. Environmental
Network from 1989 to 1990, founded Canada’s Future Forest Alliance
in 1991, and ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the British Columbia
legislature in 2001, representing the Green Party. “I knew Colleen
for more than three decades. Colleen was a longtime supporter of Sea
Shepherd and a good friend,” recalled Sea Shepherd Conservation
Society founder Paul Watson.

Bernard Epps, 71, died on July 4, 2007 in Kingston,
Ontario. Born in Whitstable, Kent, England, Epps arrived in the
U.S. with his family in 1950, and spent his teens living on the farm
where his father was hired hand. Attending the School of Visual Arts
in New York City, “He was greatly influenced by Jack Kerouac, the
Beat poets, jazz music, and Eastern philosophies,” recalled
daughter Jennifer Epps. Emigrating to Quebec in 1966, a year after
marrying Susan Prospers, Epps authored and edited seven books on
historical subjects, cofounded the Townships Sun newspaper, and was
a prolific historical feature writer and humor columnist for the
Sherbrooke Record. At both the Sun and the Record, Epps frequently
wove pro-animal themes into his subjects, addressing vivisection,
pound seizure, factory farming, kangaroo hunting in Australia,
grizzly bear hunting, turkey hunting, and the confinement of
animals in zoos. Epps also encouraged his daughter to found the
first animal rights organization at Alexander Galt Regional High
School, the only English-language high school in the eastern half of
Quebec. Epps at both the Sun and the Record encouraged ANIMAL PEOPLE
editor Merritt Clifton, then a feature writer for the Sun and
farm-and-business reporter for the Record, to pursue animal-related
subjects, introduced Clifton to many sources who are now frequent
sources for ANIMAL PEOPLE, and defended Clifton from influential
critics who “accused you of journalism.”

Neil Lea, 49, died on July 10, 2007 in Shropshire,
England, from complications of spina bifida. “In the ear;y 1990s
Neil founded the Animal Rights Coalition to bring together grassroots
activists from around the U.K.,” remembered Captive Animals
Protection Society campaigns manager Craig Redmond. “In more recent
years Neil, with his wife Mary and son Seamus, sparked the
revolution of vegan free food fairs, extremely successful at
promoting a cruelty-free diet. As he became less able to physically
get around, Neil used the Internet to spread the vegan message. His
pioneering Vegan Buddies scheme, <www.veganbuddies.org.uk/>, paired
those wanting to go vegan but unsure about nutrition, vegan foods
etc, with experienced vegans, and won the Vegan Society’s ‘best
campaign’ award. Other websites he founded include
<www.isitvegan.info/> and <www.realfood.org.uk/>. Neil was so
passionate about promoting veganism to save animals’ lives and
promote good health that he was even converting patients and doctors
during his many hospital stays.”

Norm Maleng, 68, died on May 24, 2007. “In 1994, after a
donkey named Pasado was brutally tortured and killed by teenage
thugs,” recalled longtime Seattle area activist Lisa Wathne, Maleng
in his capacity as King County prosecutor “joined the push to
strengthen the state’s outdated anti-cruelty to animals laws. He
recognized the horrific nature of these kinds of incidents and that
such acts should be viewed as a red flag-that people who commit such
acts are likely to commit such cruelty and crimes against humans.”

Kelsey Smith, 18, an animal advocate who planned to become
a veterinarian, was on June 6, 2007 found dead near Grand-view,
Missouri, two days after a video camera captured her abduction from
a parking lot. Edwin R. Hall, 26, a stranger to her, is charged
with her kidnapping and murder.

Laurence Mancuso, 72, founding abbot of the Monks of New
Skete, died on June 10, 2007 in Framingham, Massachusetts from
complications of injuries suffered in a fall. With Brother Stavros
Winner and four other monks, Mancuso in 1966 turned a small farm
near Cambridge, New York, into the New Skete monastery. Originally
affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church, the monastery later
joined the Orthodox Church in America. Their first business was
selling smoked meat by mail order, but in 1969 they began breeding
and training German shepherds. Emphasizing constant human contact
and kind treatment, their how-to volumes, How To Be Your Dog’s Best
Friend (1978) and The Art of Raising A Puppy (1991), are in their
40th and 26th printings, respectively. Retiring from New Skete in
2000, Mancuso lived his last years in Natick, Massachusetts.

Bobby Dean Evans, 47, animal control officer in Bellmead,
Texas, since 2000, was on June 18, 2007 fatally shot by an unknown
assailant at the city animal shelter. The only witnesses were two
impounded dogs and another he had just picked up. The Texas Animal
Control Association has posted a reward of $20,000 for information
leading to the conviction of the killer. “He volunteered at Fuzzy
Friends Animal Rescue in Waco on the weekends. And he would stop by
the La Vega Veterinary Clinic during his lunch breaks – just in case
they needed an extra hand,” remembered Waco Tribune-Herald staff
writers Erin Quinn and Kathleen Thurber.

Bette Overell, who founded the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection
Society in 1978 and served as president of it until 1993, died on
August 11, 2007. Widely known for leading marches through
Wellington on World Day for Laboratory Animals, Overell petitioned
the New Zealand parliament seeking abolition of the LD-50 toxicity
test in 1984, and seeking to ban all animal testing in 1989. After
the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture distributed a book called
Animal Research Saves Lives in 1990, Overell authored a rebuttal
titled Animal Research Takes Lives: Humans & Animals Both Suffer.

Mark Eisner, 79, of Annapolis, died on May 10, 2007 in
Washington, D.C., of complications from heart surgery. A World War
II Navy veteran, Eisner later worked four years for the Central
Intelligence Agency, and for 18 years owned two car dealerships. In
1970 Eisner opened The Gallery of Animal Art in Old Town,
Alexandria, Virginia. He relocated it to Annapolis a few years
later, and closed it in 1993 due to health problems. He served on
the SPCA of Anne Arundel County board of directors, founded a fund
for veterinary care for animals of the indigent, and contributed to
many animal charities.

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