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    In Rememberance

    Rememberance-01Susan Levinkind

    Susan Levinkind, 74, a generous and loving spouse, friend, mother and grandmother, died on October 29, 2016, of Lewy body dementia with an accompanying seizure disorder. Born in Holyoke, Massachusetts, she received her library degree from Columbia, and J.D. from Western New England College of Law. She worked first as a librarian in New York and Amherst, Massachusetts, and then as “the lesbian lawyer” of Northampton.

    In 1989 she moved to California, where she worked as a legal librarian for California Rural Legal Assistance and the Superior Court of San Jose, as well as being “the lesbian tax mom” for over 100 clients after her “retirement.” A life-long activist, she took her daughter, Andrea, to Vietnam War and anti-nuke protests, and participated in environmental, anti-racist and feminist organizing.

    She was always active in promoting lesbian visibility. She did so by working to ensure Northampton would have an LGBT march in the 1980s despite off icial opposition, performing tireless office work for the journal Sinister Wisdom, coorganizing the senior and disabled services for the San Francisco Dyke March, and, after 60, tirelessly promoting Bay Area and National Old Lesbians Organizing for Change.

    She was one of the recipients of the legendary Pat Bond Old Dykes Award for her many contr ibut ions to community. She is survived by her loving spouse, Elana Dykewomon, her daughter, Andrea Cook, her son-in-law Scott Cook, and grandsons Sam and Adam.

    Cynthia Katona

    Rememberance-02In the early evening of Saturday, October 29, Professor Emeritus Cynthia Lee Katona passed away at her home. The cause was pancreatic cancer, a diagnosis received just two months ago. Katona was born in Hollywood in 1947, but moved with her family to Castro Valley as a teenager. At Castro Valley High she met her future husband, Dennis, with whom she shared a deep love. That love was a constant in her life, and although the marriage ended, her close friendship with Dennis did not. He passed away due to AIDS in 1991, and Katona was his caregiver.

    Upon graduation from high school, she attended California State University Hayward, receiving both a Bachelor’s and Master’s in English Literature. She began her teaching career at her alma mater, but ultimately took a tenured position at Ohlone Community College in Fremont. Katona was an integral part of the College, developing new courses, establishing the Women’s Studies program, working on the student publication The Legend, guiding students on international tours and much more. She retired in 2009.

    Katona also was a prolific writer. Her publications include titles such as Book Savvy (a reading resource found in almost every library in the U.S.) and Modern Ivory Netuske, which is a gorgeous coffee table book. In addition, Katona published 12 books of Haiku, each illustrated with either her stunning photographs or her own watercolors. The American Distilling Institute published her The Cocktail Chronicles with Recipes, a memoir of sorts. After photographing graffiti for 40 years, she published Graffiti: The Audacious Alphabet. Her just completed book is a travelogue called Redeeming Miles.

    With San Francisco Bay Times co-publisher and “Betty’s List” founder Dr. Betty Sullivan, Katona founded a Book Club that for several years hosted events throughout the Bay Area, with many occurring at the Duboce Park Café. Katona also served as the photographer for many local LGBTQ events.

    Katona is dearly missed by her circle of friends as well as by her spouse, Christine Bolt. She will be interred in the mausoleum at the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Hayward. As she requested, there will be no funeral service; however, there will be a celebration of her life at a later date.

    Wayne Friday

    Former San Francisco Police Commissioner, LGBT rights pioneer and Bay Area Reporter political editor Wayne Friday died on October 12 at the age of 79. After years of ill health, including battling Parkinson’s disease, Friday tragically took his own life.

    Upon hearing of Friday’s passing, Mayor Ed Lee issued the following statement: “The passing of Wayne Friday is a significant loss to the city of San Francisco. Wayne was a man of many trades: Navy sailor, stock trader, bartender, LGBT rights pioneer, police commissioner and political columnist. A true representation of the free spirit of San Francisco. And although Wayne was not a native San Franciscan, his contributions to the community both as police commissioner and as a weekly columnist shedding light on the issues of the gay community make the City proud to call him one of our own. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family during this time of sorrow.”

    As a mark of respect for the memory of Friday, former San Francisco Police Commissioner, Mayor Lee, ordered flags to be flown at half-staff on City Hall, the Police Headquarters and the ten SFPD District Stations from sunrise until sunset on Friday, October 14. As reported by the B.A.R., a celebration of Friday’s life will be held on Sunday, November 20, at 4 pm at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco.