Obituary

former Carrboro Alderman Nancy White died last week

former Carrboro Alderman Nancy White died last Monday at age 89. She served on the Carrboro town board in the '70s, from her obit:
"She became active in local politics as a member of the Carrboro Community Coalition, and was a lifelong Yellow Dog Democrat. In the mid to late '70s Nancy served on the Carrboro Board of Aldermen.

Elizabeth Edwards kept it real

Ruby & Elizabeth Edwards

Elizabeth Edwards passed away this week and is being warmly remembered from all corners. Many people talk about her great heart and the strength of her resilience, and it's true that she was an incredible model for anyone dealing with personal pain.

But I remember her best for being whip smart and unbelievably charming. I met her once (when the not-very-good photo at left was taken), and she was even more brilliant and impressive in person. Her death is a huge loss for Chapel Hill, for North Carolina, and for the whole country that has been a beneficiary of her health care activism in recent years.

For those who haven't been reading OP forever, here's the first of several comments she posted here in 2005 after the Edwards' moved to Orange County. And below is the text of a 2006 OP post called "Elizabeth Edwards, keeping it real."

Ashley Osment, y'all

This weekend, Chapel Hill lost one of the best human beings I've ever met. Ashley Osment was a civil rights lawyer, a mother, a musician, and a friend to many.  She was always an inspiration to me as a woman who didn't just balance community activism with parenthood but truly integrated the two, and succeeded at both fantastically.  She was so brave that after her ovarian cancer returned (with a vengeance), she responded in part writing a column in the Chapel Hill News about her experience. She knew she was dying.

A truly wonderful obituary (by Ashley's husband Al McSurely) is posted at the blog of Curmilus Dancy. I excerpt some of it below.  I also recommend the profile of her published in The Carrboro Citizen in March. The public is invited to a memorial service for Ashley on Wednesday at 11:00 am at Chapel Hill Bible Church.

Daniel Pollitt rests at last

Dan Pollitt was a dedicated activist and leader in our community for decades. He passed away this morning after a lifetime dedicated to peace and justice. My heart goes out to his wife Senator Ellie Kinnaird and the rest of his family. But the loss is all of ours. Pollitt was a beacon, lighting the way forward from just a little ahead of the rest of us.

Here's the Independent's profile of him from 10 years ago:

Chapel Hill attorney Bill Massengill nails it: "He's the aggressive-liberal gentleman. Dan can aggressively press his ideas without offending people." Even when those ideas are quite hopelessly out of fashion--as they so very often are.

Take, for example, Pollitt's defense of free association amid Red Scare panic. Or integration in the Jim Crow South. It took the times some time to catch up with Pollitt on those two.

Or what about advocating labor unions in a "right-to-work" state? How very un-20th century. And Pollitt's predilection for the abolishment of state-sanctioned executions? Next season, maybe, or perhaps the one after that.

[...]

Peace for Yonni

Many of you know that local civil rights activist and historian Yonni Chapman has been struggling with cancer. Last night he peacefully ended that battle. Here's part of the touching e-mail that his daughters Sandi and Joyce sent out last night:

Yonni lived his life for The Struggle but has spent the last 29 years with his own intense struggle to live with cancer. His struggle is over, but our struggle continues and what he would want from all of us is to use his passing to renew our commitment to justice, equality and to each other as sisters and brothers. We'd like a few days just to be on our own so we probably won't be answering the phone right away. We'll be organizing a celebration of his life and will contact you all as soon as that plan is made. For now, please just send him your best wishes to speed him on his way home.

Yonni gave so much of himself to this community, and I have no doubt that we are a more just and equitable place because of it. I also think I'm a better person for having been poked, prodded, enlightened, and inspired by his work. 

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