Longest Night Rememberance

Posted December 24th, 2013 @ 6:39 PM by

For 10 homeless persons who died this year was held on Saturday. Lets hope no more over the next few days with extreme cold and programs closed.

This Christmas, its hard to enjoy the holidays. I can’t get over the absurdity us stuffing our faces and wasting money on ridiculous things, while there are so many in Madison going without. Not even a warm place is open for many of our friends without roofs. The county’s absurd plan for warming centers this winter – the library and Bethel – are both closed on Christmas this year. (Library is also closed next Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday, they were closed last Sunday too. Bethel closed half of next Tuesday and all day next Wednesday, as well as half of today.) Shelters kick people out at 7 or 8 am in the morning. I sure hope no people dies in this cold winter weather – I hope the list at the remembrance next year has no one on it.

Meanwhile, please remember these people as you enjoy your holidays. Be grateful for what you have. Note the relatively young ages of the folks, and think about how we can do better for our friends on the street.

Age: 53
Died: November, 2013
Carmen was a loving mother, grandmother. Despite her life situation her love for her family was always foremost in her mind and she is missed by those who knew and loved her.

Age: 49
Died June 14, 2013

While her name was not released by the police, another of our neighbors who was homeless and faced mental illness jumped from a parking ramp to her death. We mourn her loss and grieve with those who loved her.


Daniel Leigh
Born: October 1, 1957
Died: January 28, 2013

Daniel was a friend and comrade. He was a veteran who answered his country’s call to serve. Daniel was well liked by all at Spring Street Veteran’s Transitional Housing Program and we will miss him

ld procession 4

Mark Berghammer
Age 56
Died: January 29, 2013

Mark was a veteran, having served his country’s call to service. He was a friend who will be missed

ld procession 3

Age: Unknown
Died: August 14, 2013
While we do not know his name, we grieve the loss of another member of our community who was homeless. This man was found in his car by a homeless outreach worker. The man had apparently been living in his car.

ld procession 2

Age: 18
Died: October 13, 2013

Mindy aged out of foster care in August she was unable to find safe housing and was homeless. On October 12, 2013, Mindy took her own life.

ld photos

Robert “Bob” Kuntz
Age: 61
Died: June 19, 2013
Bob was a quiet man, once he got to know someone he would open up to them. He was a writer and very much wanted to publish a book. Bob was generous, sharing his resources to provide transportation for his friends so they could visit family out of town. Bob was insightful, he appreciated the tentative nature of life and encouraged his friends not to take it for granted, to spend time with loved ones and make the most of it.

ld gathering

Douglas Lynch
Age: 54
Died: August 2, 2013

Doug was a veteran, having answered his country’s call to service. Doug had a good heart, he always had time to help a friend, a fellow veteran. Doug is missed by his fellow veterans and other friends.

ld candles

Someone I only know as “Blind Dave” also died this year – sorry I don’t have more info on that, but you can see info here that I posted earlier this year.

And someone who grew on me over the short time I knew her:
Andrea Mannis
Age: 50
Died: August 17, 2013

Andrea was an avid reader and held a Master’s Degree in Literature. A shy person she only opened up to those whom she trusted. As one of her friends wrote:
“ I only knew you a short period of time and you seemed to mistrust most of the people with whom you interacted. For some reason, when everyone else left and it was just us, you would open up and talk about literature and pizza and whatever was bothering you on that day. I don’t think you let many people inside your circle of trust, and I feel honored that you choose me and I will always remember that just because someone does not say a lot, it doesn’t mean that that they do not have a lot to say.”

Everyone has a story. Everyone has the right to be treated with respect and dignity. Everyone should have a right to have a roof over their head and a place to stay warm. Everyone. We can do better.

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