Milton Robert Floyd, a teacher and volunteer at Vision Loss Resources, died after a July 10 scuba diving accident in Wisconsin. The Minneapolis resident was 60 years old. He taught craft and beading classes at Vision Loss Resources and was a well-liked square dance caller and scuba instructor.
Services were held July 15 at Lake Harriet Christian Church in Minneapolis. Memorials are preferred, Floyd was well known and well liked among Vision Loss Resources’ clients and staff. He is survived by wife, “CJ” (Carolyn); daughters Amber Floyd and Lindsay Wincek (Mike); mother, Virginia York; siblings Terri (Jack), Vera (Mike), Scott, Shelly and many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and one fluffy cat, Sigmund Floyd. He was preceded in deaf by his father. Memorials are preferred.
Virginia Ricci died July 23 after a long battle with ALS. She was 72 and lived in St. Paul. She was very active at Thompson Hall and its Deaf Club, and has served as its chairperson. Thompson Hall, located in St. Paul, is one of the nation’s oldest and largest social clubs for the deaf.
Ricci is survived by children Mark Sottile (Angie), Jeff O’Neill (Julie), Jennifer O’Neill & Gina Alvarado (Chris); grandson Kellen O’Neill; and siblings George, Johnny, Fred, Danny, Gloria, Rose, Lorraine, Palma, Ann & Mary. She was preceded in death by three brothers and a sister.
Ricci was retired from St. Paul College.
Services were held July 26 at the Church of St. Pascal Babylon in St. Paul, with burial at Union Cemetery. Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers to MN Deaf Hospice Group.
John Callahan, a cartoonist whose work could be as funny as it was macabre, died July 28 at age 59. The causes were complications of quadriplegia and respiratory problems. At the peak of his career, Callahan’s cartoons appeared in more than 200 newspapers. When a car accident in 1972 severed his spine, Callahan was already an alcoholic. He wasn’t driving, but the driver, whom he barely knew, was drunk when he smashed Callahan’s vehicle into a utility pole at 90 miles per hour. He was paralyzed from the chest down and lost the use of many of his upper-body muscles, though he could extend his fingers and eventually, after therapy, hold a pen in his right hand. To draw, he guided his right hand slowly across a page with his left, producing rudimentary, even childlike images.
Like his friend Gary Larson, creator of “The Far Side,” Callahan made drawings with a gleeful appreciation of the macabre that he found in everyday life.
There was the drawing of a blind black man begging in the street, wearing a sign that read: “Please help me. I am blind and black, but not musical.” In another, a sheriff’s posse on horseback surrounds an empty wheelchair. The caption gave him the title of his 1990 autobiography: “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot.” Callahan often defended his work with a shrug, saying simply that he thought it was funny, but he also said that people who were genuinely afflicted tended to be his fans. [This information was excerpted from the New York Times.]
Callahan’s cartoons can be seen at www.callahanonline.com and are collected in a number of volumes, including “What Kind of a God Would Allow a Thing Like This to Happen?!!” and “Do What He Says! He’s Crazy!!!” His work was adapted for two animated television series: “Pelswick,” a family-appropriate show about a boy in a wheelchair determined to live a normal life, and “John Callahan’s Quads,” an adult show featuring a menagerie of characters with different disabilities, foul mouths and bad attitudes.
In addition to his brother Tom, Callahan is survived by his mother, Rosemary; two other brothers, and two sisters.