Tag Archives: In Memoriam

In Memoriam: Martin Bacal

It is with great sadness that I must report the death of Martin Bacal, a long-time friend and the heart and soul of the Pima County Democratic Party. There is not a Democratic activist in Arizona who does not know Martin Bacal over decades of dedicated service to the Democratic Party. Martin is irreplaceable, and I will miss him. Goodbye my friend.

Here is the announcement from the Pima County Democratic Party:

Remembering Martin H. Bacal

Screen Shot 2017-02-15 at 6.40.53 AM

MARTIN HARRY BACAL

October 8, 1932 – February 14, 2017

Martin Bacal, a lifelong Tucson resident, died suddenly and unexpectedly at his home. He is survived by his wife Eva, their children Richard (Victoria), David (Diana), Katherine (David), Susan, and Emily, his sister Andrea (Doug), and 6 grandchildren. Martin was born in New York City and has lived in Tucson since 1934. He was a proud graduate of Tucson High and Columbia University. He was the longtime president and owner of Pioneer Paint and Varnish Co. He was active in the Democratic Party and was National Committee person for 12 years. He supported University of Arizona athletics, a season ticket holder for basketball and for football for well over 60 years. He was a past member of Rotary. Martin had an encyclopedic memory of politics, geography, and history, with a special interest in the Civil War. Martin was a loyal friend of Bill W.

Funeral Service 1:30 p.m. Friday February 17, 2017

Congregation Or Chadash, 3939 N. Alvernon Way.

Burial to follow Evergreen Cemetery.

Continue reading

Arizona’s first woman governor, Rose Mofford has died

Arizona’s first woman governor, Rose Mofford has died. The Arizona Republic reports on her passing, Rose Mofford, first woman to serve as Arizona governor, has died:

roseRose Mofford, the scrappy softball player from rural Globe who would make history by become Arizona’s first woman secretary of state and governor, has died. She was 94.

Mofford, who lived 55 years in the same home and kept her phone number public, died Thursday morning at Gardiner Home, a hospice in Phoenix.

Karen Scates, a close friend and long-time political associate, said Mofford had been moved to the hospice as a precaution after an Aug. 31 fall at her own home.

“She was moved to Gardiner House to have a little more care and attention, and was doing fine and was recovering,” Scates said.

According to Scates, “She was in good spirits yesterday. She went peacefully – that is all we can hope for.” She added that Mofford, just the day before, had read the newspaper and snacked on lemon cakes and a vanilla milkshake.

Mofford, of course, was anything but vanilla.

As secretary of state, she took over the top office in 1988 after Gov. Evan Mecham was impeached for obstruction of justice and misuse of funds.

Rose Mofford made history as Arizona’s first female governor, but her hairdo was equally legendary.

Continue reading

In Memoriam: Albert Elías

Longtime Tucson businessman and labor union leader Albert Elías died Friday after a short battle with cancer at the age of 86 (h/t Arizona Daily Star).

Screenshot from 2015-10-17 14:02:12Albert Elías, a fourth-generation Tucsonan whose family’s history stretches back to the presidio when Tucson was a Spanish colony, was the father of Pima County Supervisor Richard Elías.

“My dad taught me compassion for people who have less, and that all should love the community that they live in. He also taught that we should be forgiving to all people,” Richard said, recalling teachings from his father that will remain with him.

“I know Richard was as proud of his father as his father was of him,” said Board Chairwoman Sharon Bronson.

“This is a sad day for the Elías family and for all of Tucson,” Bronson said in a news release.

Continue reading

In Memoriam: Civil Rights Icon Julian Bond

Civil Rights Movement icon Julian Bond passed away this weekend. The New York Times reports, Julian Bond, Former N.A.A.C.P. Chairman and Civil Rights Leader, Dies at 75:

Bond_JulianJulian Bond, a charismatic figure of the 1960s civil rights movement, a lightning rod of the anti-Vietnam War campaign and a lifelong champion of equal rights, notably as chairman of the N.A.A.C.P., died on Saturday night in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. He was 75.

The Southern Poverty Law Center announced Mr. Bond’s death on Sunday. His wife, Pamela Sue Horowitz, said the cause was complications of vascular disease.

Mr. Bond was one of the original leaders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee while he was a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta. He was the committee’s communications director for five years and deftly guided the national news media toward stories of violence and discrimination as the committee challenged legal segregation in the South’s public facilities.

He gradually moved from the militancy of the student group to the leadership of the establishmentarian N.A.A.C.P. Along the way, Mr. Bond was a writer, poet, television commentator, lecturer and college teacher, and persistent opponent of the stubborn remnants of white supremacy.

He also served for 20 years in the Georgia General Assembly, mostly in conspicuous isolation from white colleagues who saw him as an interloper and a rabble-rouser.

Continue reading

In Memoriam: Judge Lillian Fisher

Retired Judge Lillian Fisher passed away on June 7th, 2015 at the age of 93.

I practiced in Judge Fisher’s courtroom at the very end of her career.  I knew her longer during her retirement years, as an active Democrat.

Judge Fisher is the mother of Marjorie Cunningham, the wife of former state senator George Cunningham, and is grandmother to Tucson City Councilman Paul Cunningham. Her daughter Anne Segal served as a Justice of the Peace in Pima County.

Judge Fischer was a graduate of the University of Arizona law school. the James E. Rogers College of Law posted this In Memoriam: Judge Lillian S. Fisher (’63) | UA Law:

SittingThe Arizona Law community mourns the passing of our accomplished alumna, Retired Pima County Superior Court Judge Lillian S. Fisher, on June 7, 2015. A member of the Class of 1963, Judge Fisher advocated for women in the law, co-founding the Arizona Women Lawyers Association and the National Association of Women Judges. She provided the initial endowment for the Udall Center’s Lillian S. Fisher Prize in Environmental Law and Public Policy, presented annually to an Arizona Law or UA graduate student studying law and public policy. Judge Fisher was also a very active member of the community, helping to establish organizations such as the Southern Arizona Hiking Club and the Invisible Theater. The UA College of Social & Behaviorial Sciences presented her with its first Lifetime Achievement Award on April 15, 2015. Judge Fisher was preceded in death by her spouse Bernard. She is survived by her daughters Marjorie Cunningham and Anne Segal, both attorneys in Tucson; her son Michael Fisher, a high school science teacher, of West Palm Springs, Florida; eight grandchildren;, and five great-grandchildren. Her grandson Paul Cunningham is a member of the Tucson City Council. Learn more about Judge Fisher’s legacy in her interview last month with Arizona Jewish Post or the Arizona Daily Star’s photo gallery.

Continue reading

In Memoriam: Gov. Raul H. Castro

It is hard to imagine in the Arizona in which we live today, but at one time Arizonans elected a Democratic Latino governor. Those were better days.

I have had the pleasure of speaking with Governor Castro and listening to him tell his life stories many times over the years. He was a good and decent man who will be missed.

Former governor Raul Castro, Arizona’s only Latino governor, died at the age of 98 today:

castroRaul Hector Castro, who became Arizona’s only Latino governor and a well-traveled U.S. diplomat after lifting himself out of a hardscrabble, impoverished childhood, has died at the age of 98.

Castro followed an improbable journey to the state’s highest office and a series of presidential appointments to diplomatic posts. Born in Mexico, he spent some of his childhood scouring the desert for food to feed his family. He spent some of his young-adult years as a hobo, boxing for money at carnivals or picking sugar beets in fields.

Castro was a Tucson lawyer when he decided to enter politics. He saw rampant discrimination against Latinos and figured the best way to change the system was to become part of it. Castro was elected Pima County attorney in 1954 and was subsequently elected a Superior Court judge. He spent time as a U.S. ambassador in Latin America before returning to Arizona and running for governor.

Castro served two years as governor before being asked again by another U.S. president to serve as a diplomat.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced Castro’s passing in a statement, saying Arizonans will not forget the 14th governor.

“He was an honorable public servant, a history-maker, a beloved family man and a strong friend and fighter for Arizona,” Ducey’s statement said. “Whether as a county attorney, a superior court judge, a United States ambassador or – as we will best remember him – our 14th governor, his life and legacy of service is forever ingrained in our history. The thoughts and prayers of all Arizonans are with Governor Castro’s family and loved ones during this difficult time.”

Continue reading