IN MEMORIAM – March 2019

Wingen a tireless advocate Kathleen “Kathy” Wingen was a tireless advocate who worked on issues including a dial-a-ride program and […]

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Wingen a tireless advocate

Kathleen “Kathy” Wingen was a tireless advocate who worked on issues including a dial-a-ride program and curb cuts in the St. Cloud area. Wingen, 69, died in February at her St. Cloud home.

Wingen had cerebral palsy. She used a wheelchair throughout her life. She attended Thomas Grey Lab School, a teaching school at St. Cloud State University. Wingen graduated from Sauk Rapids High School in 1968 and St. Scholastica College in Duluth in 1972, with academic honors from both schools.

In a newspaper interview, Wingen’s sister Karen Kraemer recalled how Wingen’s siblings and cousins would pull her wheelchair along dirt roads and around baseball diamonds. That spirit of inclusion dominated Wingen’s life.

She was an active volunteer, including work with United Cerebral Palsy and what is now the Minnesota Council on Disability. She mentored many other people with disabilities. Most recently she volunteered with the Catholic Charities Foster Grandparents Program at St. Catherine Drexel Elementary School in St. Cloud.

Wingen won many awards for her volunteer work, including a 1977 Citation of Honor from the governor for participation in state and White House conferences on people with disabilities and a 2004 United Cerebral Palsy Spirit Award.

She was instrumental in seeking curb cuts and in helping to get paratransit services started in St. Cloud. She often used the tactic of blindfolding elected officials or having them use wheelchairs, to demonstrate the challenges a lack of access can bring.

Wingen worked at People Too, Tri-CAP (which is now Independent Lifestyles) and also spent 23 years at St. Cloud Legal Services.

She was an avid reader and traveler and was also known for always being well-dressed. Her mother Evelyn Rassier recalled a time when Wingen, as a child, hid her hated brown shoes in an oven broiler. The shoes were found when the oven was turned on.

Services have been held. Wingen is survived by her mother, her sister and brother-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.


Fenderson did pioneering work

Douglas A. Fenderson was a pioneer and national leader in the field of rehabilitation medicine and disability. Fenderson died He was 90 and lived in the Twin Cities.

Fenderson was a professor emeritus in the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Family Practice and Community Health. He held three degrees from the U of M in education and behavioral sciences.

In the 1960s Fenderson led a series of studies of teaching programs in medical colleges in the area of rehabilitation medicine. He established work evaluation programs for persons with disabilities at the Sister Kenny Institute. For three years he served as its education director.

He also provided leadership for two federal agencies, as director of health manpower research for the National Center for Health Service Research, and as director of the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research. Appointed by then-President Ronald Reagan, Fenderson was also a member of two study panels with the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Science on the subjects of primary care and rehabilitation research.

He served for nine years as director of continuing education at the U of M Medical School, during which time he established the Bush Clinical Fellows Program to assist mid-career rural physicians to better meet the needs of their local communities. He finished his professional career as a professor in the U of M Department of Family Practice and Community Health.

He was a longtime church volunteer, talented musician, pilot, avid reader and author of 66 publications.

Fenderson is survived by his wife Joyce, four children and their families, and a brother. Services have been held.



Lacey was loyal volunteer

A diverse range of volunteer interests kept June Delores Lynne Lacey active and engaged in her community. Lacey, 89, died in late January during the 2019 St. Paul Winter Carnival. Services were held in February in St. Paul, with many fellow current and former Winter Carnival volunteers present. A past King Boreas gave her eulogy and two Klondike Kates provided a final serenade.

The Winter Carnival was just one of many activities Lacey enjoyed volunteering with. She did volunteer work despite dealing with lifelong disabilities including severe arthritis, scoliosis, heart issues, loss of vision and a seizure disorder caused by a head injury.

Born in 1929 in Fergus Falls, Lacey was salutorian of the Ashby High School Class of 1947 and went on to attend Concordia College in Moorhead. She was a longtime resident of the Ashby-Fergus Falls area.

In 2014 the Minnesota State Fair honored her for 77 years’ service at different fair booths and with different tasks. She also co-founded Project Bear Hugs, which provides stuffed animals to nursing homes, children’s and veterans’ hospitals, shelters and disaster scenes.

Lacey was involved in dozens of activities and groups and won many awards for her work. She was a leader with the Midwest Walk and Roll for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. She volunteered with the MS Walk, 150 Bike Ride, MS Tram, MS Root Beer Float Days, Community MS Booths, 30/60 MS Bike Ride and Challenge Walk. Lacey also volunteered with several cancer-related fundraisers and helped with the Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon.

She served meals at the Salvation Army and Union Gospel Mission and helped shelters with Thanksgiving baskets and Christmas gifts. She was a Salvation Army bell ringer and knitted scarves for the homeless.

Lacey enjoyed pageants as a helper and contestant. In 1994 she assisted when her daughter Joyce was the Winter Carnival Queen of the Snows. She held many senior pageant titles, most recently being crowned Ms. Super Senior Minnesota USA in 2018.

She was a nominee for the Access Press Charlie Smith Award.

Lacey is survived by her daughter Joyce and other relatives and friends. Burial was in the Pelican Lake Cemetery, Ashby.


Davis a longtime champion

Dr. Eunice Davis was an early advocate for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Davis, 89, died in January. She lived in Roseville.

Born in Sturgeon Lake in 1929, Davis earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, a medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School, a master’s degree in public health, and degree in administrative medicine from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She was a fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine, and of the American Association on Mental Retardation.

She was one of only three women to graduate from the University of Minnesota Medical School in 1954, reflecting her strength and independence.

Davis served as director of an interdisciplinary program at St. Paul-Ramsey Medical Center (now Regions Hospital) that provided services to children and young people with disabilities. She was an instructor and assistant professor at the University of Minnesota’s Medical School and School of Public Health. From 1965-1967, when her family lived in Bismarck, N.D., she planned and developed a state plan for services to persons with developmental disabilities.

Most recently she performed Social Security consulting work on pediatric disability determinations Davis served on many boards and committees, as a director of People’s Child Care, and a board member for People Inc. She was active in Arc, the March of Dimes and other organizations. She was a member of the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities and chaired the council from 1976-1979.

Davis is survived by Gordon, her husband of 63 years, three children and their families. Services have been held with burial in Ft. Snelling National Cemetery. Memorials preferred to Arc Minnesota or People Inc.

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