In Remembrance of Sara Gregory

Susan Klein, NH Sunday Vigil and GNH Peace Council

Sara Kane Gregory, 58 years old, died at her home in New Haven on Jan. 4, 2016. She was born in Baltimore, MD, spent her teenage years in Naples, Fla, and earned a Masters of Education from the University of New Hampshire.

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Sara with OccupyNH on the Green (Paula Panzarella photo)

Confined to a wheelchair after a car accident 25 years ago, Sara was known to hundreds here as a friend, a fellow activist, and an inspiration. In fact, she refused to be confined, going wherever she chose via public transportation, van, bus and train, despite difficulties with access. She even swam 3-4 times every week, in every season. Sara could recall choosing to live while in a coma after the accident, and live she did, to the utmost, with fierce independence and determination; she wanted no one to feel sorry for her.

Sara was an enthusiastic participant in political meetings, marches and rallies, in CT, in NY, in DC, and was particularly involved with Occupy New Haven in 2011 and 2012 visiting the encampment on the Green almost every day. She was passionate about peace, justice and equality, and never hesitated to speak her mind for all to hear. She voted in every election.

A great reader, Sara’s favorite authors included Dickens, Hardy, George Eliot and Jane Austen. She indulged in incisive, thoughtful literary and philosophical discussions at every opportunity. She also loved cats, drinking tea and baking bread. Sara had a deep and lasting influence on those lucky enough to know her; this vibrant and feisty woman will be sorely missed. Her family asks that you kindly donate a book to your local library in remembrance of Sara.

NICHOLAS AIELLO, Dec. 14, 1924-Nov. 5, 2015

by Joan Cavanagh, archivist and director, GNHLHA

nicholas-aielloWith great sadness the Greater New Haven Labor History Association records the death of our co-founder, President Emeritus and inspiration, Nicholas Aiello.

Nick was a long time organizer and business agent for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America Local 125. Raised on Wallace Street, he came from a family of Italian-American garment workers. From a family of 14, Nick had seven sisters, all of whom worked in the industry for years. The pre-union conditions were “horrible,” as Nick described in an interview published in Anthony Riccio’s The Italian American Experience in New Haven: Images and Oral Histories, 2006:

“When New York got completely organized, the ‘runaway shops’… ran to New Haven where there were no union shops. And they would open up a storefront. They’d put twenty, thirty machines on the fourth floor and most of the stitching plants were on the fourth floor with no elevator … Then in the 1930s came the Amalgamated and they started organizing drives in the area.”

Nick also brought his passion as a union organizer to other endeavors, as a member of the New Haven Board of Aldermen, as Commissioner for the New Haven Housing Authority and as a leader for the Greater New Haven Central Labor Council.

In 1988, recognizing the importance of keeping labor and working class history alive for present and future generations, Nick co-founded the Greater New Haven Labor History Association with other labor activists. He was active in the organization for the rest of his life.

GNHLHA will honor Nick as part of our 2016 annual conference and meeting. Tentative date: June 5th.

This issue of PAR is dedicated to Anne Somsel and John Hiller

This issue of PAR is dedicated to Anne Somsel and John Hiller, two exceptional New Haven people who passed on in August. Anne was active in many peace, solidarity and justice groups that bridged borders between nations and classes. Her kindness was known by most of our local PAR readers.

anne-somselAnne Elizabeth Somsel, 63, of New Haven, passed away Aug. 6, 2015 in Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale. She was the beloved wife of Stephen Vincent Kobasa. Born in Dayton, Ohio on June 10, 1952, she was the daughter of Clarence Somsel, M.D. and Rita Kessler, one of seven sisters. She held degrees in nursing from the College of Mt. St. Joseph in Cincinnati and Arizona State University. She pursued her vocation in many communities, including the Hospital California in Comalapa, Guatemala; the Frontier Nursing Service in Hyden, Kentucky; the Migrant Health Project in Dover, Delaware and for 29 years at the Fair Haven Community Health Center. Most recently, she was Director of Public Health Nursing for the City of New Haven. For several years, she has served as a Eucharistic Minister at St. Thomas More Chapel at Yale. Besides her husband, she is survived by two daughters, Clare Marie Kobasa and Rachel Becket Kobasa; her sisters, Joan, Jane, Michelle, Peggy and Katie; and her brother-in-law, Paul Kobasa. Gifts in Anne’s honor may be made to Breast Cancer Action, 657 Mission St., Suite 302, San Francisco, CA. 94105. or to Partners in Health, P.O. Box 845578, Boston, MA 02284-5578.

john-hillerJohn R. Hiller of New Haven died on Saturday, August 15 at Yale New Haven Hospital.

John was active in many local labor, peace and environmental organizations, and was an editor during the early years of the PAR newsletter and continued to be on our mailing committee. The PAR Planning Committee sends condolences to Anne’s husband Stephen Kobasa and their daughters Clare and Rachel, and to John’s wife Marge and their daughters Asa and Illa, and Illa’s husband Charles.

He was the husband of Marge Morann Hiller of New Haven and the father of Asa Paradis of Wallingford and Illa Hiller (husband Charles Tirrell) of Northford. He was the brother of Carol Holloman of Hamden and the grandfather of Clara Margery Hughes. John was born in Chicago on July 23, 1941, a son of Cletus and Mabel Beery Hiller. He resided in New Haven for the past 50 years, coming from Chicago. He worked for the New Haven Parks Department for more than 30 years. After retiring, he was a lifeguard and taught swimming for many years. With his daughters, he was very involved with the Girl Scouts of America.

Read the Obituary and view the Guest Book, leave condolences or send flowers. | SOMSEL, ANNE E. Anne Elizabeth Somsel, 63, of New Haven, passed away Aug. 6, 2015 in Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale. She was the beloved wife of Stephen Vincent Kobasa. Born in Dayton, Ohio on June

Source: ANNE ELIZABETH SOMSEL’s Obituary on NHRegister.com

 

Read the Obituary and view the Guest Book, leave condolences or send flowers. | HILLER, JOHN R. John R. Hiller of New Haven died on Saturday, August 15 at Yale New Haven Hospital. He was the husband of Marge Morann Hiller of New Haven. He was the father of Asa Paradis of

Source: JOHN R. HILLER’s Obituary on NHRegister.com

Tribute to Charlotte Brown

by Coalition for People

charlotte-brownWe mourn the loss of our dear friend, Charlotte Brown, who passed away on May 10, 2015. She was an active member of the Coalition for People and served as the Treasurer for many years. She participated in the Coalition for People’s long struggle to have New Haven’s downtown bus stops returned to the New Haven Green (which was accomplished in 2007) and participated in organizing efforts to have a National Single Payer Healthcare system. She retired from St. Raphael’s Hospital after many years and traveled the world. She is survived by her daughters Charlyne Brooks and Lunda Brown. We will miss her beautiful smile and sweet, lovely personality.

Milada Marsalka’s Memoirs Now Available in New Haven

by PAR Planning Committee

Milada Marsalka, founding member of PAR (1993), long-time president of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, New Haven County Branch, and a fiery activist in countless struggles for peace, labor rights, equality and justice, had the foresight to write about her life. She died in 2000 at the age of 95, leaving a manuscript that could inform and inspire others.

Through the diligence of Milada’s nieces, Regina Stevenson and Catherine Nathan, Pursuing Peace:
Memoirs of Milada Marsalka has been published.

Thanks to New Haven/León Sister City Project, a box of books was shipped to New Haven. You can purchase your copy of Pursuing Peace from PAR for $15. Please call Paula at (203) 562-2798 to arrange your pick-up. This book makes a great gift! For a description of the book go to the publisher’s site: http://wordassociation.com/memoir%20book%20page/pursuingpeace.html.

Tomas Young – 11 Sept 1979 – 10 Sept 2014

by Augusta Girard, Program Director, Promoting Enduring Peace

In November 2013, Promoting Enduring Peace presented TV personality and producer director Phil Donahue for its first Mark Shafer lecture. Mr Donahue presented his award-winning documentary about Tomas Young, “Body of War.” Young was the voice for all the thousands of injured and dead soldiers.

Young joined the army when he was 22, two days after the 9/11 attacks. He had been in Iraq less than a week when he and fellow soldiers came under sniper fire. He was paralyzed from the chest down after being hit by a bullet in his spine.

tomas-young“Body of War” follows Young as a 25-year-old as he deals with his disability and finds his voice speaking out against the Iraq war and became an active member of Iraq Veterans Against the War.

On the tenth anniversary of the Iraq War, Truthdig published “The Last Letter” by Tomas Young directed towards George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

“I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans-my fellow veterans-whose future you stole…

“I hope that before your time on earth ends, as mine is now ending, you will find the strength of character to stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness.”

Promoting Enduring Peace joins the world in mourning a young man who should not have lost his life fighting in a war that should never have been fought.

Karen Brandow 1954-2014


forwarded by Western Massachusetts Jobs With Justice


We are heartbroken…

www.legacy.com/obituaries/gazettenet/obituary.aspx?n=karen-brandow&pid=173000132

Karen Brandow, 60, passed away peacefully Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, at home in Shelburne Falls.

She was born in Philadelphia, PA, in 1954 and spent most of her adult life in western Massachusetts and in Guatemala. She devoted her life to making this world a better place through her singing, counseling, and Spanish interpreting.

Karen was a loving partner to Charlie King, a devoted daughter, and a loyal friend whose calm presence was appreciated by her community and supported by her Buddhist practice. She was grateful for all of the blessings and privileges of her life which she attempted to use to be of service to others.

She died as she lived – making conscious choices about medical treatment based on her most deeply held values. She wishes to be remembered for adding in her “grain of sand” to the ongoing search for peace and justice in this world.

She asks that anyone wishing to honor her memory make a donation in her name to The Innocence Project in New York, 40 Worth St., Suite 701, New York, NY 10013, or to Chris-tian Peacemaker Teams, P.O. Box 6508, Chicago, IL 60680-6508. A memorial service will be held Dec. 20, at 2 p.m. at Trinity Church, 17 Severance St., Shelburne Falls, MA.

Milada Marsalka’s Memoirs Now Available in New Haven

by the PAR Planning Committee

Milada Marsalka, founding member of PAR (1993), long-time president of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, New Haven County Branch, and a fiery activist in countless struggles for peace, labor rights, equality and justice, had the foresight to write about her life. She died in 2000 at the age of 95, leaving a manuscript that could inform and inspire others.

Through the diligence of Milada’s nieces, Regina Stevenson and Catherine Nathan, “Pursuing Peace: Memoirs of Milada Marsalka” has been published.

Thanks to New Haven/León Sister City Project, a box of books was shipped to New Haven. You can purchase your copy of Pursuing Peace from PAR for $15. Please call Paula at (203) 562-2798 to arrange your pick-up. This book makes a great gift!

For a description of the book go to the publisher’s site: https://wordassociation.com/memoir%20book%20page/pursuingpeace.html.

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