Carol Chomsky died and I followed links. I read a comment by another who captured my immediate stirrings about Roslyn Zinn. Paraphrased . . . I feel an ache in my heart for Carol and Carolyn Goodman and Roslyn Zinn. These deaths are all deep losses for their partners, children, friends and for our country. It is comforting to imagine a coming together of these stimulating lives after they have gone. I like to magine a celebration of dancing and rejoicing that their work is done.
Mostly, these women were invisible to the patriarchal culture. Carol Chomsky and Roslyn Zinn partnered giant intellects who have kept progressive thought alive in the last decades of conservative dumbing down of the national dialog. (Dialong, schmialog . . . more like a right wing monologue of divisive, intolerant, fear mongering and torture justification.) Goodman is a mother of a slain civil rights worker who kept her activism, her dedication alive for the rest of her life, to seek justice.
How little we learn in school or in current news about what women in 20th century brought us. This is a simple tribute to these unsung women who died in 2008. There is no clear selection model I used beyond working chronilogically from the most recent deaths back to the first of this year. I just picked somewhat randomly the lives that made me want to read more, learn more. They all made a difference, made a mark in the world. Each is a life worthy of study and reflection. How wonderful if 21st century little girls would be taught about these women's lives and strengths. If you have little girls around you, keep a list of your own handy.
- Kathleen Baskin-Ball, 50, American United Methodist pastor, cancer. 
- Elizabeth Warnock Fernea, 81, American writer, filmmaker and scholar. 
- Margarita Karapanou, 62, Greek author, respiratory problems. 
- Odetta, 77, American folk singer and human rights activist, heart disease. 
- Miriam Makeba, 76, South African singer, heart attack. 
- Mae Mercer, 76, American blues singer. 
- Edith Evans Asbury, 98, American journalist (The New York Times), after long illness. 
- Bonnie Bluh, 82, American feminist writer, aortic dissection. .
- Nancy Hicks Maynard, 66, American journalist, advocate for diversity in journalism, organ failure. 
- Anna Langford, 90, American politician, first African American woman to serve on the Chicago City Council, lung cancer. 
- Charlotte Kohler, 99, first
editor to publish South African writer Nadine Gordimer, heart failure.  US
- Alice Van-Springsteen, 90, American stuntwoman, pneumonia. 
- Pauline Baynes, 85, British illustrator (Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings). 
- Edie Huggins, 72, American journalist and reporter (WCAU-TV), lung cancer. 
- Estelle Getty, 84, American actress (The Golden Girls), Lewy body dementia. 
- Paula Gunn Allen, 68, Native American poet, novelist, and activist, lung cancer. 
- Alma Hogan Snell, 85, American Crow tribal nation historian, herbalist, granddaughter of Pretty Shield. 
- Mildred Loving, 68, American civil rights pioneer, challenged Virginia interracial marriage law (Loving v. Virginia). 
- Diana Barnato Walker, 90, British aviator, first British woman to break the sound barrier. 
- Martha Kostuch, 58, Canadian environmentalist, multiple system atrophy. 
- Su-Lin Young, 96, American explorer. 
- Maryam Farman Farmaian, 94, Iranian feminist activist. 
- Ann Baumgartner, 89, American aviator. 
- Mary Meader, 91, American aerial photographer. 
- Barbara Seaman, 72, American writer, journalist and activist against hormone replacement, lung cancer. 
- Sunny Lowry, 97, first British woman to swim the English Channel. 
- Phyllis Barnhart, 85, American animator and cel painter (The Secret of NIMH). 
- Rose Hacker, 101, British activist. 
- Marie Smith Jones, 89, American last known native speaker of the Eyak language, natural causes. 
- Mildred Noble, 86, American writer and Native American activist, complications from liver cancer. 
- Patricia Verdugo, 61, Chilean writer, journalist and human rights violations investigator, cancer.
- Isobel_Bennett" title="Isobel Bennett">Isobel Bennett, 98, Australian marine scientist. 
- Sara Misquez, 62, American president of the Mescalero Apache of New Mexico (1999–2003), car accident. 
And though death is a natural part of our lives, something has be lost forever in their passing.
"Women Dancing" Artwork by Alma Schofield, Wales