In Memoriam - March 2016

 

Enos worked for civil rights

JoAnn EnosJoAnn Cardenas Enos is remembered for her strong commitment to civil rights. She died February 10 of complications of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). PSP is a rare and disabling brain disorder.

Enos grew up on St. Paul’s East Side, one of four children of migrant workers. The family was forced to move in the mid-1950s as urban renewal and freeway construction swept St. Paul. Enos described that difficult time in the documentary A Life of Mixed Feelings.

She was very dedicated to the right of people with disabilities, working with her brother Rick Cardenas in his longtime role as a leader of Advocating Change Together (ACT). She served on the Access Press Board of Directors and was a longtime organizer of the newspaper’s annual banquet.

Enos served on the City of St. Paul Human Rights Commission and chaired the Equity Committee for the State Board of Technical-Vocational Education. Domestic violence issues were also a focus as she co-founded the Casa de Esperanza shelter for women and children and served on the Minnesota Commission on Domestic Abuse.

Enos was very active in DFL politics. From 1984-92, she was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. She was a standing credentials committee member for President Bill Clinton and attended one of his inaugurations. She served as state DFL Party secretary and on the state executive committee, and was a state convention delegate and served on the state’s DFL Affirmative Action Committee. She served as  precinct chairperson, and as chair of the city, convention rules committee.

Enos also held leadership positions in Senate District 64 in the Fourth Congressional District DFL groups. In 1982, she was a DFL-endorsed candidates for St. Paul City Council. She led the Fourth District Hispanic American Democrats group and the Fourth District DFL Feminist Caucus. She was involved in the Ramsey County Women’s Political Caucus and the Minnesota Commission on the Election Process. She was known for being very welcoming and inclusive of those wanting to be involved in party activities.

Other volunteer commitments included Minnesota Spanish Speaking Affairs Council, vice chairperson of Hispanics en Minnesota, St. Paul Mayor George Latimer’s Hispanic Advisory Committee, Metropolitan Council Minority Issues Advisory Committee, University of Minnesota Presidents’ Chicano Latino Advisory Committee and the Minnesota Hispanic Quincentennial Commission. She served on the Ramsey Action Program Board of Directors, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Governor’s Council, Como Park Conservatory Plaza Celebration Committee and the St. Paul Winter Carnival Festival and Heritage Foundation.

Enos won many awards for her work, including a Ramsey County Women’s Political Caucus Founding Feminist Award, certificate of recognition from the St. Paul Department of Human Rights, the Premio Cesar Chavez Award, and the University of Minnesota and two governors, Al Quie and Rudy Perpich.

Enos was preceded in death by her parents Helen and Manuel Cardenas, and brothers Manny and Chuck. She is survived by husband Lloyd Enos; brother Rick Cardenas; daughters Lori-Jo McKusick (Dave); Candace Sinn (Dale); Christine Sinn (Dave); Carrie Reubish (Jeff); six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Mass of Christian burial was held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in St. Paul.

 

Price shared love of the arts

Michael D. Price, co-host of the monthly Open Flow forums in St. Paul for artists with disabilities has died. He was 57 years old and lived in St. Paul.

Price and his longtime companion, Pamela Veeder, both volunteered for VSA Minnesota. For six years they co-hosted Open Flow, which grew out of the Artists with Disabilities Alliance. Their friends Dan Reiva and Jon Skaalen have also hosted and helped with the events. The first Thursday monthly meetings allow artists with disabilities to share their writing, performances, and visual art. Price frequently read his own work and involved participants in reading play scenes.

A memorial gathering was held February 21 at Carleton Artist Lofts in St. Paul, where the forums are held.

Price graduated in 1976 from Osseo High School, where he excelled in sports and played in two all-state games. He sang in the school choir. He was granted a football scholarship to the University of Minnesota Morris. Friends recalled that Price was a natural athlete. On a dare, he entered an all-natural bodybuilding completion and placed third. He was a powerhouse on the softball field. Knocking the ball out of the park was as natural to him as breathing is to everyone else. But a sports injury Price’s freshman year changed the course of his life. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in theater, later attending graduate school in English education.

Price studied acting in L.A., worked as a waiter and photographic body model, and sang for weddings. His clear tenor voice could be heard in numerous choirs, ensembles, and solo venues. Music was an important part of his life.

He became a prolific writer, working in genres including satire, fiction and drama. As a writer he was best known for his short stories layered with nuance, wit, and wordplay. He wrote and performed “No Change of Address” in the 2011 Fringe Festival. His work has been published in several online journals including Piker Press, where his last submission was his recipe for zucchini bread. He grew the zucchini, froze much of it and served the bread at every Open Flow meeting. Friends said he was amused to have the recipe published.

One of his rare non-fiction works was a moving story about his father, Dean, who died last year. He also wrote a novel, Serpentine.

Price died February 12 while eating dinner at home. He choked and could not be revived by emergency medical staff.

Price was preceded in death by his parents Dean and Mary. He is survived by Pamela Veeder, sisters Robin and Peggy, and many friends and relatives. Memorials are preferred to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Minnesota, the Minnesota Association of Community Theatres or VSA Minnesota.

 

Wittman worked for social justice

Wayne Wittman, who devoted his career and volunteer time to social justice and equity issues, died February 24. He was 86 and lived in St. Paul. He spent 37 years employed by the State of Minnesota as a vocational rehabilitation counselor for State Services for the Blind. He was a tireless advocate for persons with disabilities.

Wittman, who was honored by the St. Paul City Council on his 80th birthday, was praised as a conscience for many elected officials and for the labor movement as a whole. He was a longtime union member, peace activist, and DFL leader.

An Iowa native, Wittman was a Korean War veteran. He held degrees from what is now Minnesota State Mankato and the University of Minnesota.

As a young man, Wittman was greatly influenced by his service in the U.S. Navy Hospital Corps. That led him to become a charter member of the Veterans for Peace organization and an advocate for justice and peace in El Salvador and throughout the world. He traveled to other countries to monitor elections and advocate for human rights.

His community service work as included the St. Paul Mayor’s Advisory Committee on People with Disabilities, the Police Civilian Review Commission, the St. Paul Public Schools’ Community Education and City-wide Budget Committees and the St. Paul Regional Labor Federation’s Labor Community Services Committee.

Wittman guided St. Paul’s Community Services Committee through a pivotal time in its history, according to the Union Advocate newspaper. He helped expand the labor movement’s relationships with non-profit, faith, and social justice organizations. With Wittman as chair, the Community Services Committee began setting up programs designed to address the needs of union workers left jobless by St. Paul’s changing economy.

Wittman was an ordained Catholic deacon and served at Sacred Heart Parish in St. Paul from 1984 until his death.

Wittman is survived by wife of 59 years, Joan; five children and their spouse, 10 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, two sister sand their families, and many friends. After services at the St. Paul Labor Federation Hall and Our Lady of the Presentation Chapel, he was buried at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery. Memorials preferred to Veterans for Peace-Chapter 27 or LSRC Wayne Wittman Education Fund.