Obituaries [Nov/Dec 2009]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November/December 2009:


Joyce Kitsemble, 70, of Wisconsin Rapids, suffered a fatal
heart attack on December 1, 2009 at the Wisconsin state capitol in
Madison while waiting for Governor Jim Doyle to sign a bill
strengthening regulation of dog breeders. (See page one.)
“Kitsemble, who had past troubles breathing, arrived at the capitol
with an oxygen tank. As Doyle spoke, she appeared suddenly to
struggle for breath and the governor interrupted his remarks so she
could be taken out of the room in a wheelchair,” reported Jason
Stein of the Wisconsin State Journal. A longtime volunteer for the
South Wood County Humane Society in Wisconsin Rapids, Kitsemble had
lobbied for the new law for 10 years.

Wilbur D. “Bill” Gross, 88, died on October 25, 2009 in
Barrington, Illinois. Recalled Kathryn A. Hert, of Hoffman
Estates, Illinois, “Bill served in the Army Air Corps during World
War II. Involved in the Battle of the Bulge and liberation of the
Nazi concentration camps, he returned to Chicago to marry his high
school sweetheart, Ann,” who died in 1996. “They rescued cats and
dogs, volunteered at various Illinois no-kill animal shelters, and
sent very generous donations to animal groups,” Hert remembered.
“Bill kept a shovel in his trunk and removed any dead animal off the
road–that’s how much he respected all of God’s creatures, alive or

Stanley H. Wald, 84, died on June 19, 2009 in Portland,
Oregon. Admitted to Harvard at age 16 in 1942, Wald enlisted in the
Army Air Corps in 1943. He completed his B.A. in 1949, but worked
25 years for a meatpacking firm before earning a master’s degree in
public health in 1982. In 1985 Wald formed the Pets & People
Foundation, one of the organizations that popularized pet-assisted
therapy. Wald and Anne Kullman, his wife of 57 years, relocated
the Pets & People Foundation to Portland in 1999.
Mark Stover, 57, of Fidalgo Island, Washington,
disappeared on October 28, 2009. His Belgian malinois Dingo was
found at his home bleeding from gunshot wounds, but is reportedly
recovering. Although Stover’s remains have not been found, Michiel
Glen Oakes, identified by Associated Press as boyfriend of Stover’s
ex-wife Linda Opdycke, has been charged with first degree murder for
allegedly killing him. After Stover’s fiance reported him missing,
“A sheriff’s deputy found Oakes and Opdycke at her home,” wrote
Associated Press writer Gene Johnson. “Oakes asked to go outside and
get some medicine out of his car, then threw a plastic bag
containing a .22-caliber pistol over an embankment, authorities
said. He was also carrying a 9 mm pistol.” Stover and Opdyke
“opened Island Dog Adventures in the early 1990s on an island her
wealthy family owned 55 miles north of Seattle,” recalled Johnson.
“The kennel offered massages, pedicures, a raw-meat diet, and
weight-loss programs.” Clients included rock stars, film makers,
Starbucks chair Howard Schultz, and Seattle Mariners outfielder
Ichiro Suzuki.

Anton Turner, 38, a Children’s BBC expedition guide, was
killed by an elephant on October 29, 2009 while filming an episode
of the program about 19th century explorer David Livingstone. Three
children who were with the film crew were evacuated unharmed, a BBC
spokesperson said.

Nancy Sorrell MacKall, 55, died on November 3, 2009 in
Arlington, Virginia. A former horse breeder, MacKall later founded
the Polo Pony Retirement Foundation, but at her death was “charged
with 10 criminal misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and 20 counts
of failure to bury or cremate dead animals. Ten emaciated horses and
three dogs were removed from MacKall’s Langley Farm in Mine Run on
August 6, 2009,” recalled Robin Knepper of the Fredericksburg
Free-Lance Star.

Linda Sloan, 50, of Nitro, West Virginia, was killed just
after dark on November 16, 2009, when she was struck by a
tractor/trailer while trying to pick up a road-killed dog. The dog,
a lost pet, ran into the road just after being spotted by would-be
rescuers, Nitro mayor Rusty Casto told Ashley B. Craig of the
Charleston Daily Mail.

Jessica Goode, 23, of Winchester, Virginia, an
environmental science major at Ferrum College, near Roanoke, was
killed by a rifle shot to the chest on November 17, 2009. Classmate
Regis Boudinot, 20, was injured when the same bullet passed through
his hand. A third classmate who was with them was unhurt. Deer
hunter Jason Cloutier, 31, of Ferrum, was charged with
manslaughter, reckless handling of a firearm, and trespassing. An
early news report said that the three students were collecting frogs
for a biology class. They were actually non-invasively tracking
turtles through an open field, corrected Kimberly Boudinot, mother
of Regis Boudinot. Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries
spokesperson Julia Dixon told Hamil R. Harris of the Washington Post
that Goode was the 39th human hunting fatality in Virginia since
1998, but was the first non-hunter killed since then.

Edward Berry, 65, of Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada,
died of cancer on September 9, 2009. Berry founded The Elephant
Commentator, a web site tracking elephant issues, co-moderated by
Cora Moore. “He was passionate about elephants and dearly loved the
Sheldrick Orphan Project. We raised over $2,000 in his memory,”
Moore told ANIMAL PEOPLE. “Many of us animal advocates are not
against the concept of zoos,” Berry posted in June 2007, “if only
the needs of the particular animals would be met in a realistic and
humane manner. Elephants require very large area to roam, actually
many acres, and of course, companions and natural surroundings, not
concrete cells. Thankfully,” Berry said, “there is a sea change in
the public sentiment and understanding regarding the lives of captive
elephants, and the days of tiny and un-natural confinements are on
the wane.”

Charles “Tig” Siddle, 50, young-est son of Chimfunshi
Wildlife Orphanage co-founder David Siddle and chair of the
Chimfunshi board of trustees, died on November 26, 2009 at his farm
in southern Zambia. “David Siddle had two sons by a previous
marriage–Tony, 54, and Charles– when he married Sheila Siddle in
1968. Together, David and Sheila Siddle established the Chimfunshi
Wildlife Orphanage on their farm along the Kafue River in 1983,”
recalled the Chimfunshi web site. Charles Siddle had become a
prominent dairy and cattle farmer, but later refocused on growing
organic coffee. Succeeding David Siddle, who died in 2006, as
Chumfunshi board chair, Charles Siddle promoted staff member Innocent
Mulenga to manage the sanctuary, “making Mulenga the first African
to control the day-to-day operations of a chimpanzee rescue center,”
said the web site.

Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.