LOCAL HEROES AND HEROINES

This grouping in the memorial is devoted to people you may never have heard of who on a local level kept our field alive, serving clients needs or passing the knowlege on to the next generation of students and astrologers. We all loved our teachers and would be nowhere without them, so if you have someone you'd like to see remembered, let us know. You will need to collect the information about them, but we will happily include them in the page. Please note that no disrespect is intended in including these individuals in a group page. It is only that there was not enough information for a personal page. If you have more information and would like to contribute to a personal page, let us know.




ZELMA HEDGES CUNNINGHAM BAKER:
Donna Cunningham says, "that was my Mom, and though she wasn't a professional astrologer, I know she'd be tickled pink to be here with her heroes. I had already left home for college when she got interested in astrology. She studied in utter isolation for years from books by Charles E. O. Carter and Margaret Hone, never finding a class to take nor a person to talk to about her favorite subject. I have in my possession a 25-page handwritten chart she did for me while I was still a skeptic.

"She was delighted when I finally saw the light at the end of the Sixties, but we were of too different a mind-set to be much company to one another. When I finally published an article in her favorite magazine, Dell Horoscope, she was thrilled. She contracted Alzheimer's disease at a very young age, so when my first book was published, she couldn't even read it, and she died at age 57. But, like many of our field's leaders, astrology is in my genes, and I salute her for it."

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CAROLYN (NAN) BURKET: Jos Silveira de Mello writes,
"Nan Burket, Illinois astrologer had a stroke May 1, 2001, and died 11:50 AM Thursday 3rd May 2001. Born in Buffalo NY, 10:25 PM EST, November 4, 1930, nee McMillan, she was a dog and horse breeder who once published an annual calendar for horse and animal breeders following precepts of astrological birth planning. A long time contributor to Mercury Hour, she most recently resided in Dawson, IL, and died in the hospital in nearby Springfield, IL."

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JUNE DEPEW: An old friend, former super, June Depew passed away on Dec 18,2013 at 2:30pm. As you can tell from her picture, she loved her country and was very active in the Ladies Auxiliary VFW. Although she didn't study astrology, she was impressed by the accuracy of another astrologer who read her chart years before and respected this ancient art and science. She helped me in my astrology certification by organizing my first astrology class. She was always helping others as she was a very generous Leo, born Aug 20, 1934, East Rutherford, NJ 12:00PM. She was the star and director on this stage of life. As would be expected of a Leo Sun in the 10th house, she was the Queen of her domain. She had a difficult life with Sun opposite Saturn, having to go to work at a young age to support the family, after losing her father at a young age. She was married twice, the first one was not a happy marriage but her second marriage was true love. Married in 1970s to her second husband, a vet who passed quickly of cancer in 1995. June suffered many hardships but this did not make her angry, it made her more compassionate and understanding of others suffering. Her door was always open and she was the perfect hostess. Her home was spotless and full of activity. She took pride in her numerous activities where she naturally took a leadership position. She was a superintendent for decades and took pride in her building. If you lived in her building, you were not a tennant but her tennant. She took an active interest in everyones lives and nothing got past her. She had her opinions which were usually unflappable. A good friend to all. She was very generous at times and a strict disciplinarian at other times. She was a poweful soul and although she weighed less than 100 pounds, she could intimidate anyone. However, she was a softie and cared deeply for others, always taking care of others. She was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2013 and although she was suffering at the end she pushed herself to remain active in her roles as President of the VFW, holding a meeting 3 weeks before her death and up to her passing she was working. She will be laid to rest next to her husband at the vet cemetary in Jackson, NJ. She will be greatly missed by many. Bye for now June and thank you for everything!

VFW Tribute

1 June Funeral - Rev. Gloria Jackson

2 June Funeral - - Rev. Gloria Jackson

3 June Funeral - Rev. Sherrone Ingram





 

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MARTI J. ELIAS:(September 25, 1935 - August 21, 2006)   Marti was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York.  She was the daughter of Ricardo and Sarah Elias, and a sister to eight siblings.  She was blessed with four children and six grandchildren that loved her dearly.      Marti attended Shirley Soffer's weekly astrology classes continuously and faithfully since 1996.  Along the way she befriended many groups of her co-students who she would host each summer with a sumptuous brunch at her lovely backyard in Ridgewood, Queens.  An optician by profession, Marti never intended to practice astrology; rather, she simply loved it wholeheartedly and with a passion that never seemed to wane.  It was enough for her to explore her own chart and the charts of her beloved family and to see how her and their lives resonated with astrology's wondrous energies. 

Although she was strictly a student in astrology, in truth she was a teacher in life.  Her wisdom reached many souls and her generosity helped carry many of her friends and family through the years.  She collected astrology books and was one of those rare souls who actually read them!  Her departure after a sudden illness has left all who knew her saddened by her passing but rejoicing in her memory.   

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TED GEORGE, AMAFA: The bio from his book on karma in astrology, The Lives You Live As Revealed In The Heavens, says that Ted George taught basic and advanced astrology for many years at the Florida Junior College at Jacksonville, Florida. His program was one of the first in the country established in a state-supported college. He founded the North Florida Astrological Association Inc. and was one of the founders of the Astrological Society of Jacksonville Inc, Jacksonville, Florida.

The AFA Bulletin, 5/2000, notes that he was an AFA member since 1971. He was well known in the northern Florida area, certified by the Florida Department of Education to teach astrology, the author of numerous books and the founder and director of the North Florida Astrology Association in Jacksonville. He was a guest on the Sallyjesse Raphael Show, as well as various radio programs, and was active in research on spiritual and biblical astrological topics. For many years, he gathered information through means of telepathic channels.

Bob Crook wrote for this page, "I studied under Ted and took over the NFAA newsletter, "Starward" he used to run, since he was declining in health, and needed a break. Ted died April 17, 2000 on or about 10:25 DST (AM), in Jacksonville, FL. He was born on June 30th, 1921, Detroit, MI. about 12:41 a.m. (just past midnight). Hope this helps in your research. His life was astrology. I still edit the newsletter from here. Thanks."

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WANDA E. GERLACH: Ellen Witt writes, "Wanda was born Sept. 4, 1923, 2:15 PM CST, Marshfield, Wisconsin, according to data she gave me. Though I don't know of any books authored by Wanda, she spent most of her adult life teaching astrology in the Los Angeles area and later in Olympia, Wa. I met her in 1988 at her home which was a weekly tryst for many many students.

"Dynamic and plain speaking Wanda had an undying passion for teaching astrology, and it was her mainstay in life to the end. She was the daughter of a Protestant minister, rejected much of the early "preaching" from home and found her real love in astrology. Wanda died peacefully at home in Olympia, WA on Mar. 7, 1999, of lung cancer, rejecting all treatment except for pain medication. She is greatly missed." Ellen W. Witt

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PARAMPARA HUGHES: Parampara was a professional Astrological Consultant and Psychotherapist, practicing in Sydney's eastern suburbs. During this period she taught Astrology at Nature Care College, Sydney's largest college of Natural Therapies. In 1996 she established her own school, Astro*Varsity, Academy of Astrology and the Healing Arts, where she offered a two year certificate training for astrological counselors. She held a Diploma of Psychotherapy and a Masters of Cultural Psychology. Parampara lived and breathed astrology and I know that she gave freely of her time to anyone interested in astrology, by holding regular salons to which all comers are invited. Kelly Surtees writes: She passed in September 2005. Parampara was an exceptional woman who after learning astrology in an ashram in India, returned to Sydney where she spent many years teaching hundred of astrology students through Nature Care College in Sydney, NSW.

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 ALFRED LIGON: Suggested by Jayj Jacobs, who passed along the obituary and said, "Alfred Ligon knew and lived as Gandhi said, 'You must be the change you wish to see in the world.' One spark can light another and another, until the light travels around the world."

From the Los Angeles Times Obituary Section of Augus 23, 2002, by Douglas Martin:

"Alfred Ligon, the owner of one of the nation's oldest black-owned bookstores, who rebuilt the business after it was burned to the ground in the Los Angeles riots of 1992, died on Aug. 10 at a hospital in Montebello, Calif. He was 96 and lived in Los Angeles. Mr. Ligon's store, the Aquarian Book Shop, closed in 1994. At its peak, it was a place where the writers Maya Angelou and Alex Haley read from their works, Michael Jackson and his mother shopped, and everyone from black mothers looking for appropriate children's books to rare book hunters prowled for treasures.

"For the metaphysically inclined, a breed that included Mr. Ligon, there were books about astrology and the occult, as well as tarot cards. Mr. Ligon came up with the store's name from the tile of a 1907 book, "The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ." The Aquarian closed in 1994 after Mrs. Ligon learned she had liver cancer. Mr. Ligon continued to operate the spiritual center that had been attached to the store. He lectured on African spiritualism and black history in his home.

"His vision was large. He saw the 1992 riots as a manifestation of a 500-year cosmic cycle, not as a personal tragedy. In the fire, he said in an interview with CNN, was a spark of life. 'I'm trying to pick up that spark of life and continue,' Mr. Ligon said."

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BRUCE MARSHALL: (Born: May 15, 1949 ,Passed: March 28, 2005) Well-known astrologer, Bruce Marshall, had a large following in the Cleveland, Ohio area. He was a radio personality called "Bruce R" or  "Mr. R." in the 1970's and 80's. Intelligent, informed, and entertaining, he was a fine teacher and counselor, and was a bright light in astrology circles.  He was always in demand as a speaker in Northern Ohio.  He was athletic and enjoyed sailing, often participating in sailing races on Lake Erie.  He designed a number of innovations to make sails function better, creating faster boats.  He also loved mountain biking and climbing among other sports.  He taught astrology classes and maintained an astrology practice from his home in Cleveland Heights.  The son of a surgeon, he did extensive research in medical astrology.  He will be missed. Information from Sandra Leigh Serio, Kelsey Ramage, and NCGR Memberletter.

 

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BRIDGET MARY O'TOOLE aka JOAN DONOVAN: Nominated by Helen Paul-Wolf, Bridget was born August 27, 1940, and died May 6, 1992, in Malden, Mass. A member of the American Federation of Astrologers, she taught privately and maintained a private consulting practice. She was co-author with Helen Paul of two books: Interpreting The Houses, published by Astro-Analytics, and The Yod And Other Points In The Horoscope, published by Vulcan Books. She also did a lot of research on astrological techniques.

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IMA ROBERTS: Don Borkowski asks,
"How about something on Ima Roberts? She and her husband Press Roberts owned the Arcane Book Store in Portland, Oregon from 1971 until 1978. She was the co-author with Press of Transits in Plain English and Signs and Parts in Plain English. I am the second co-author of the second book. Ima was born at 2:30 pm EST on 12/14/1919 in Hillsville, Virginia. She passed away July 14, 1998, in Arizona, where she and Press retired to in the early 1980s."

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PRESS ROBERTS:
I would like to include my first teacher, Press Roberts who died February 7, 2007.  Press was born April 20, 1926 at 9:45 a.m. CST in Wagoner, Oklahoma.  For a number of years, he and his wife Ima, operated the Arcane Book Store in Portland, Oregon.  Ima, who died in 1998, is already listed.

Don Borkowski

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LUCY B. SAXMAN: Joseph Polis, her friend and student, writes, "Lucy Saxman was a true Aquarian, a loving friend and mother, and a supurb astrologer. She began her astrological career in 1968, and was also a gifted Tarot-reader and numerologist. A mother of four, Lucy owned and operated her own astrology office from 1970-78. In 1979, she began seeing her many clients out of the Occult Bookstore in Chicago where she stayed until her passing. Lucy was also a member of the NCGR Chicago for which she delivered many memorable lectures. Her family loved her (13 grandchildren), and her clients and students continually sought her out for her knowledge and deep compassion. With Saturn in Capricorn on the MC, Lucy earned respect for her astrological rigor and professionalism. She "relaxed" by manually calculating and delineating her charts. No computers or cookbooks for Lucy! However, I will always remember her warm Cancer Moon, the two of us sitting for hours over coffee and snacks, surrounded by her beloved cat and prized library. Lucy didn't court fame or reknown--yet is remembered fondly by the people she touched with her keen insight and wisdom. She was born January 22, 1932, and died November 30, 2001."

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MILDRED ROCHE SCHIFF: Her daughter writes, "I learned much of what I know from my mother, Mildred Roche Schiff (11-8-1919). She never was published, but she studied passionately from 1965 until her death in 1996. I learned the planets and constellations at her knee, along with my abc's. She corresponded quite a bit with other astrologers, and with some of her clients. She left to me her careful records, notes, and charts, and her library. What a mom! What a woman! She did some astrological counseling, and was always exploring the possibilities of the field (Heliocentric astrology, different house systems...that kind of thing) while remaining grounded. I don't think my mom is famous, but she was the most methodical and "scientific" astrologer I have known so far. I admit I tend to be more intuitive in my readings than she." Mary Schiff Chol

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PAT TRUBEY: Nominated by her son, Don Trubey, who says, "Pat Trubey was born June 14, 1930, in Columbus, Ohio. She passed away on March 12, 2000, in the hospital after a short stay. She was past president of St. Petersburg Florida's astrological society and always looked forward to attending the conventions. I know she loved her friends in the astrological community."

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ADINA WALKER: Christopher Bilardi gives the following information:
"Born December 2, 1942; died May 17, 1998. Adina was a gifted astrologer who practiced her trade in Northeastern Pennsylvania. She resided at times in Luzerne and Wyoming counties, but was a very mobile person. Adina was a close friend of astrologer Buz Meyers and hardly missed any of his presentations. In addition to this, she was a faithful practitioner of Native American spirituality (she was part Native American herself), and member of Sun Bear's "The Bear Medicine Tribe", and friend to Dixie Wind Daughter, the Bear Tribe's current Medicine Chief.

In addition to her many other talents, Adina was a superior crafts woman, creating New Age and Native American ritual tools only rivaled by the skill of her two daughters. Adina was a good teacher and friend to me. We all love and miss her very much."

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DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO ADD? This memorial is interactive, and we welcome your memories and tributes, which we will add to the page in the order received. They may be edited for length, grammar, or suitability. If there are any additional contributions we should mention or any inaccuracies in the memorial, please bring them to our attention. We would also love to have photos to bring back vivid memories. (Photos will be scanned and returned.) To suggest names, share memories, create tributes, or volunteer, send us an e-mail.


CREDITS: This memorial was created by Donna Cunningham of Word of Mouth Web Design. The background is by ANN-S-THESIA.