Bebe Moore Campbell
Bebe Moore Campbell, whose powerful novels exposing the passions flamed by life's most perplexing relationships - racial, family, marital, social, medical - catapulted her to international renown and her readers to the unlikely perspective of the hearts and minds of strangers, died on Nov. 27, at her home in Los Angeles. She and her family also own a seasonal home in Oak Bluffs.
Linda Wharton Boyd, her publicist and the president of University of Pittsburgh's African American Alumni Council, said she died from complications of brain cancer, with which she was diagnosed in February. Campbell had been scheduled to give the keynote address at Pitt's Honors Convocation that month, but her illness forced her to cancel.
Campbell's prolific writings, including four New York Times best sellers, have been critically acclaimed. The Washington Post Book World reviewer wrote: "If this is a fair world, Bebe Moore Campbell will be remembered as the most important African American novelist of this century - except for, maybe, Ralph Ellison and James Baldwin."
But Campbell's body of work revolves around the open question of fairness in the world, as she explored racial inequity in her first novel, "Your Blues Ain't Like Mine," based on the actual murder of Emmett Till, the Black teenager killed in the South in the 1950s for supposedly making advances to a white woman. Her second novel, "Brothers and Sisters," found its roots in the beating of Rodney King and the riots in Los Angeles that followed the acquittal of the police in 1992.
The author's personal history provided much of the poignancy of her other works.
Born Elizabeth Moore in Philadelphia in 1950, the only child of a couple who divorced, Campbell lived with her mother during the school year in Philadelphia and her father during summers in North Carolina.
In 1967, she enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh, where she helped advance the causes of the Black Action Society and led protests for racial justice and the establishment of the Department of Africana Studies. She was also involved with recruiting black students to Pitt and helped set up a tutorial program to help them succeed once there. She graduated in 1971 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. Later, she also was awarded an honorary doctoral degree from the University. Since 2005, she served on the University's Board of Trustees.
"The entire university community mourns the loss of our treasured alumna, trustee, and friend," said Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg.
After leaving Pitt in 1971, she taught for five years in Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C., then moved on to work as a publicist for Howard University, as an editor for an AT&T newsletter, and later as the Washington correspondent for Black Enterprise.
In 1984, she moved to Los Angeles and began writing full-time.
Her personal experiences in a two-career relationship led to Campbell's first book, "Successful Women, Angry Men: Backlash in the Two-Career Marriage." Her tender childhood relationship with her father, a paraplegic, gave rise to her second, "Sweet Summer: Growing Up With and Without My Dad." Her loving relationship with her own grandmother provided insight into a 1998 novel, "Singing in the Comeback Choir." In 2001, she authored "What You Owe Me," a poignant story about a long friendship between an African American woman and a Holocaust survivor. Her final two books, a 2003 children's book, "Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry," and a 2005 novel, "72-Hour Hold," deal with bipolar disorder. Her first play, "Even With the Madness," debuted in New York in 2003.
In September, she published a second children's book, "Stompin' at the Savoy." A third for children, "I'm Hungry Now," will be released later.
Campbell wrote lyrically and spoke eloquently about her subjects. She appeared on numerous television talk shows, including those of Oprah Winfrey and Phil Donahue, as well as the Today show. She was a regular commentator for National Public Radio.
Throughout her career, she won awards honoring her writing, her activism, and her insights into social ills. At the University of Pittsburgh, she was given the Distinguished Alumni Award from the African American Alumni Council. She was selected by Essence magazine as one of the world's 25 most inspiring women. She received the Los Angeles Times' "Best Book of 2001" for What You Owe Me; the NAACP Image Award for Literature for Your Blues Ain't Like Mine; and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year for the latter work. She also was awarded the Outstanding Literature Award by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, for "Sometimes My Mother Gets Angry."
Campbell is survived by her husband, Ellis Gordon Jr.; a son, Ellis Gordon III; a daughter, Maia Campbell; her mother, Doris Moore; and two grandchildren.
Funeral services were held on Dec. 2, at the First African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Los Angeles, Calif.
Mary P. Drouin
Mary Paiva Drouin was born in Vineyard Haven in 1922. She was the daughter of Claudino Paiva and Celestina Ferreria. Mary was raised on the Island with her six siblings.
She married Alfred R. Drouin, Sr. in 1954 in Nashua, N.H., and they had three children. They returned to the Vineyard in 1961 where she and her husband ran a few small businesses for many years. Mary's later years were spent working at the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School cafeteria for 17 years until she retired at age 72.
Mary had many talents, including baking, woodworking, and crocheting, and she donated many afghans to the Oak Bluffs Senior Center and other organizations for fundraising.
She was a member of Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in Oak Bluffs and was an active volunteer for 28 years. In 2003 she was awarded the Marion Medal for her dedicated service.
Mary was predeceased by her husband of 34 years, Alfred R. Drouin Sr. She leaves her son, Alfred R. Drouin, Jr. of Wellesley; daughter Lisa Drouin of Boonton, N.J., and her partner, Marianne Dorigo; daughter Celeste M. Berg of Oak Bluffs and her husband William J. Berg, III; her sister Fortunata Metell of Oak Bluffs; her brother, Herbert Paiva of South Dartmouth; her sister-in-law, Kathleen Paiva of Vineyard Haven; her stepson, Ronald Drouin of Austin, Tex.; and a stepdaughter Sherry Veinot and her husband Terry of Derry, N.H., survive her. She also leaves behind four grandchildren, four step grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Her funeral mass was held on Dec. 4, at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, Oak Bluffs. Donations in Mary Drouin's memory may be made to Good Shepherd Parish, PO Box 1058, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.
Evangeline M. Castro
Ms. Evangeline M. Castro of Oak Bluffs died on Nov. 19 at Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Ms. Castro was born in Oak Bluffs on Sept. 29, 1909. She was pre-deceased by her parents Joseph & Antonia (Gomes-Cammacho) Castro. A memorial service to celebrate Ms. Castro's life will be held in the chapel at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital on Monday, Dec. 11, at 3 pm. Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Oak Bluffs.
Frederick L. Schrade
Frederick L. Schrade of Waterview Farm, Oak Bluffs, died on Dec. 1, at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital at the age of 87.
He was born in Springfield on June 5, 1919, the son of Arthur Lewis Schrade and Bessie (Griffin) Schrade.
He was educated in the Springfield school systems where in 1932 at the age of 12, he competed in a Springfield Union-sponsored Marble Tournament, advancing to the District and State titles. He gained much admiration and affection from the readers and eventually advanced to the National Marble Competitions in Ocean City, N.J., where he was eliminated in a controversial final tournament. He was a favorite of the boardwalk fans who nicknamed him "PeeWee Schrade" due to his diminutive stature and his prowess with the peewee marble.
Graduating with honors from Springfield Technical High School in 1937, he then attended Northeastern University's Evening Division from 1938-1942 where he was a member of Pi Tau Kappa Fraternity, Delta Chapter. He pursued a degree in Business Administration in Engineering prior to military service.
He met Shirley Jean Merry after asking her out on a 50-cent bet. They married in 1943 at the Emmanuel Church in Springfield where they both had been baptized and Frederick had served as president of the Pilgrim Fellowship.
While working as an apprentice designer for Package Machinery Company in Springfield, he left to serve in the Naval Air Force from 1943-1945. As an aircraft radio/radar technician, he concentrated on developing use of radar in detecting Kamikaze planes intent on bombing American Naval fleets in the Pacific.
After an honorable discharge in 1945, he continued at Package Machinery as an engineering designer and eventually sales engineer and Manager of product and market research and planning. He and his wife, Shirley resided on Pease Rd., East Longmeadow for 20 years. They raised their two children, Jon Frederick Schrade and Susan Elaine Schrade. Fred was a member of The First Congregational Church in East Longmeadow and was a member of The Lion's Club.
In 1969, he left Package Machinery to join Beech-Nut/Lifesavers, a division of Squibb Pharmaceuticals in Canajoharie, N.Y. After residing in Johnstown, N.Y., for one year, the engineering department transferred to Manhattan. He and his family moved to Ridgefield, Conn., where they resided until 1980 when Fred and Shirley retired permanently to their summertime love, Martha's Vineyard. Fred was a member of The Federated Church in Edgartown and Farm Neck Golf Club.
Mr. Schrade is survived by his wife of 63 years, Shirley (Merry); a sister, June S. Carman of Springfield; two children, Jon F. Schrade and wife Jackie Freeze of Rock Springs, Wyo., and Susan (Schrade) Seidler and husband Harold of Jamestown, R.I. He had five grandchildren and three great grandchildren, a niece, and three nephews. He was predeceased by a sister, Madeline S. Waters of Naples, Fla.
He treasured his wife, children and grandchildren. He had a passion for golf and played softball, basketball and bowled in his earlier years. He loved (and hated) his Red Sox and Patriots. In his later years, you'd most likely find him sitting on his deck, reading a good book and enjoying his precious water view. His "Never been better" response to family and friends became a philosophy that he lived by for most of his life.
On Sunday, Dec. 10, at 2 pm, a memorial service for Fred will be held at the Federated Church on S. Summer Street, Edgartown.
In lieu of flowers, donations will be welcome for the Steeple Fund of the Federated Church, P.O. Box 249, Edgartown, MA 02539 or the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 1132, Fairfax, VA 22038-1132 in honor of Frederick Schrade. Arrangements are under the care of Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Oak Bluffs.
Jack E. Robinson
Jack E. Robinson of Oak Bluffs died on Dec. 2, of congestive heart failure. He was 79.
Mr. Robinson served three terms as president of the Boston chapter of the NAACP. He was a businessman and Republican activist.
Mr. Robinson was born in Jackson, Miss., and moved to Boston with his parents. He served in the United States Army during the Korean War. He met and became friendly with Martin Luther King Jr., while both were students at Boston University.
His love of tennis led him to help found the Sportsmen's Tennis Club in Dorchester and he spent his final years as the owner of the Martha's Vineyard Resort and Racquet Club in Oak Bluffs.
He is survived by his wife Claudette; and was the dear father of Jacqueline Bonner, Jack E. Robinson, Jr., Sarah Robinson, Timothy Robinson, Claudia and Dave Niles. He leaves eight grandchildren, and a host of nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.
A funeral service will be held Thursday, Dec. 7, at 11 am at Jubilee Christian Church, 1500 Blue Hill Ave., Mattapan. Visiting with the family at Church at 10 am. Burial will be private. Memorial donations in his memory may be sent to Development Office, Levine Cardiac Unit Fund, 116 Huntington Ave., 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02116. Arrangements are by Davis Funeral Home of Roxbury and Mattapan.
Excerpted from the Boston Globe, Dec. 4, 2006.
Barbara S. Patterson
Barbara S. Patterson died peacefully in her sleep of natural causes at the age of 89 in Newton on Nov. 19. She was born in Belmont on Sept. 1, 1917, to Alden and Katherine Brett. A graduate of Skidmore College, she then achieved a master's degree in music at Boston University.
She was married to Alfred Nash Patterson, she sang as an alto in his chorus The Chorus Pro Musica in Boston, and in a number of choruses and church choirs over the years. She ran the "Parents" nursery school in Cambridge for many years, and then became the director of children's services at Children's Hospital in Boston where she was instrumental in founding the playroom concept for the Hospital kids.
From that she moved on to teach second and third grades in the Weston and Newton School systems for over 15 years. At age 65 she began an acting career, commuting to study in New York, and appeared in movies such as "The Witches of Eastwick," and "Somewhere in Time." She also performed in a number of plays off Broadway in New York, and in local productions around Boston and on the Vineyard.
At age 70 she embarked on a stand-up comedy career, performing at venues in the Boston area, and doing performance workshops all over the New England area. In the midst of all of this she taught her son the joy of fishing. Thru her seventies and eighties she spent much of her time on the Vineyard. She is survived by sons Geoffrey Michael Brett Patterson of Edgartown, Christopher Alden Nash Patterson of Newton, and grandchildren Darby June Patterson of Edgartown, and Kristen and Tyler Patterson of Newton. Also, sisters Janis Mead of Oak Bluffs and Helen Thacher of Marion; nieces Dorothy Pitt of Milton, and Joan Tiffany of Boston; and nephew Brett Thacher of New York. A memorial service will be held at the First Church of Belmont on Concord Ave. in Belmont, on Dec. 15 at 11 am.
George L. Wey
George Lee Wey, 99 of Oak Bluffs passed away on Dec. 4 at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. His memorial service will be held on Friday, Dec. 8, 11 am, Trinity United Methodist Church, Campgrounds, Oak Bluffs. Visiting hours are in the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, Oak Bluffs on Thursday, Dec. 7 from 6 to 8:00 pm with honors offered by the Veteran's of Martha's Vineyard.
A Masonic service will be conducted in the funeral home at 7:30 pm by the Oriental Martha's Vineyard Masonic Lodge. Memorial donations may be made in Mr. Wey's memory to the Visiting Nurse Service of Community Services, 111 Edgartown Rd, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568, or Salvation Army, 147 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116, or Martha's Vineyard Chapter of the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 1116, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568, or the St. Labre Indian School, Tongue River Road, Ashland, MT 59004. Visit www.ccgfuneralhome.com for an online register book and more information. A full obituary will follow in a future edition of The Times.