WILPF – September 2014

WILPF – September 2014
Lynn Graham with the Fresno Raging Grannies. She was a founding member. Photo by Pat Wolk


WILPF will meet Thursday, September 11, 7 p.m., at the Fresno Center for Nonviolence, 1584 N. Van Ness. This meeting is open to all members.


September 3, first Wednesday of each month at noon at Fresno County Courthouse. Come in the month in which your birthday falls! Wear black, bring a sign if you wish and stand in silence for peace.


September 24, 3 p.m. (4th Wednesday of each month). Jean Hays does outstanding interviews on subjects involving WILPF interests and activities. Tune in!


Meetings on selected Mondays at 7 p.m. Call Ellie at 559-229-9807 for details.


Lynn Graham with the Fresno Raging Grannies. She was a founding member. Photo by Pat Wolk
Lynn Graham with the Fresno Raging Grannies. She was a founding member. Photo by Pat Wolk

This is a sad month for WILPF. We suddenly and unexpectedly have lost our sister Lynn Graham. She was one of the committed people who always show up, do the work and tell the truth. She was always honest and always kind. Very few people are both.


Lynn Graham is no longer with us. August is the time of her mother’s and twin sister’s deaths, and she secludes herself during that time, so people were not able to reach her. Her good friend Lydia, from Margaret Hudson’s studio, upon not being able to reach her for several days went to her house and found her lying on the floor beside the bed. So the coroner took the body and will determine the cause of death. That may take some time to be released. She has no family in Fresno, but she had many, many friends and left instructions with a lawyer, and there will be a memorial service in September.

Meanwhile, I have a profound feeling of emptiness in my heart, and I’m sure you do too. She did many things that we all took for granted. She was part of Food Not Bombs since it started more than 20 years ago and almost never missed—gathering food, preparing, being part of the company. She was also an original member of The Raging Grannies and a longtime member of WILPF and all groups that strove for peace and justice. But her forte was taking care of people on an individual basis. If you ever needed a hand or encouragement she was there, without any fanfare or reward, and she seemed surprised if people recognized and appreciated what she did. She truly loved children, of all ages, and dealt with them so honestly and lovingly.

I did not mean to do this. I meant this to be just a notification, but I actually know so little of the immediate event and am so overcome with personal grief.


Lynn Graham constantly thought of others. I will miss her phone calls and messages of warmth and encouragement that she always took time to give after many meetings. Her loving, caring approach to life showed in everything she did for us, and she will be sorely missed. Lynn set such a strong and powerful example of how to work for peace, justice and community with humor, kindness and humility, and I hope we can strive to be more like her to preserve her memory and to honor her contributions to the Fresno branch. Rest in peace, sweet Lynn.


Lynn was a compassionate woman who cared about people who were in trouble—people who were broken. She was a great listener and that came in handy when she met our nephew David, a young man on the way to juvenile detention. He loved to talk, endlessly, and Lynn was there to listen. He shared many of his misdeeds, big and small, and Lynn was willing to listen and give him the perspective of a caring adult: a tolerant person who believed in his basic goodness and could accept him. She accepted him in ways we couldn’t, and so she helped us as well. We will miss Lynn and remember her compassion and her acts of gentleness and healing.

—Tim Parker and Patty Bennett

From the start, I knew Lynn was a very special, caring person! I first met her during One Billion Rising planning and practice. I got to know her at the WILPF meetings and the Eco-Garden potlucks. She made me feel welcome from the start. I felt a real friendship with her. She seemed to really know me for who I am, and she had a way of challenging me to be my best self, to focus on what is important. I felt a mutual understanding and respect from her. I’ll miss seeing her with the bags of bread and bagels to share with everyone! So many people will miss her presence. I am profoundly sad that I don’t have more time to share in her spirit, her humor and her wisdom. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to meet Lynn! ❤

—Peace and Love, Teresa Castillo

Lynn’s ability to convey a difficult but authentic truth in a straightforward but respectful manner helped me awaken to a prejudice I did not realize I had within. I will be forever thankful.

—Nancy Hatcher

This is traumatic news. I met Lynn only once and was awed by her transcendent presence—and yes, she was holding a Food Not Bombs sign. I asked permission to take a photo of her. She said yes. May Lynn’s spirit dance forever.

—Sandra Ríos Balderrama

We are very saddened to report that another long-term member, Sue Beevers, died on July 8. Sue was dedicated to the cause of peace and human rights. She was a wonderful elementary school teacher, a great friend to many, a talented fiddler with the group Scats on the Sly and a gorgeous belly dancer. What a WILPFer! We send our condolences to Sue’s husband, Mike, who is also a WILPF member, and to her daughter, Angela.


Our new member is Bambi Hechmann, who joined in early August.

For more information, contact Leni Villagomez Reeves at 559-855-4511 or lenivreeves@gmail.com.


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    The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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