They Made a Brighter Future

To usher out 2017, we’re bidding a final farewell to East Bay luminaries who made the future brighter.


Published:

(page 3 of 5)

Norma Jackson, 75. First woman to join Richmond’s police force. Jackson joined the Richmond police force in a time when the nation’s police forces were still almost entirely male. A tough woman with an indomitable spirit and a keen sense of duty, Jackson never backed down from a challenge and was not afraid to forge her own path. She helped to lead the charge for increased opportunities for women and minorities in law enforcement.

 

Mark Hawthorne, 80. Berkeley Hate Man. The Hate Man got his name from his habit of shouting “I hate you!” at passers-by, but beyond that, the Hate Man was known as a clever storyteller and a vocal guardian for the fellow homeless in Berkeley. His angry outbursts were part of his carefully thought-out life philosophy, holding that expressing honest negative feelings was better for communication. A former New York Times reporter and intelligence officer in the 1960s, Hawthorne left it all behind to live a nomadic life on the streets. He stayed true to his own ideals, preferring to reside in the “Hate Camp” in People’s Park until the end of his life.

 

Herma Hill Kay, 82. First woman dean of UC Berkeley Boalt School of Law. Kay grew up in an era when the law was not considered a suitable occupation for women, but she defied her parents to attend law school at the University of Chicago. She went on to become a renowned scholar in the areas of sex discrimination and family law as well as a forceful voice for women’s rights; as a Boalt professor and the school’s first female dean, she mentored generations of younger women graduates. Kay co-authored the California Family Law Act of 1969 and also helped draft the nation’s first no-fault divorce statute.Bharati Mukherjee, 76. Writer and UC Berkeley professor emerita of English. Born in India, Mukherjee traveled extensively through Europe as a child before settling in the new world as an adult—experiences that informed her writing. In novels like The Tiger’s Daughter, Jasmine, and Wife, she chronicled the immigrant experience with wit and clarity, exploring the United States as a tarnished beacon for those looking to reinvent themselves and escape the tyranny of history.

 

Bharati Mukherjee, 76. Writer and UC Berkeley professor emerita of English. Born in India, Mukherjee traveled extensively through Europe as a child before settling in the new world as an adult—experiences that informed her writing. In novels like The Tiger’s Daughter, Jasmine, and Wife, she chronicled the immigrant experience with wit and clarity, exploring the United States as a tarnished beacon for those looking to reinvent themselves and escape the tyranny of history.

 

Betty Olds, 96. Former Berkeley councilmember. A 16-year veteran of Berkeley’s city council, Betty Olds was known for her fierce independence, her fighting spirit, and, above all, her acerbic wit—all of which made her a superstar in the rough and tumble world of city politics. Her moderate stances on global politics weren’t always popular in politically charged Berkeley, but Olds liked to focus on local issues that would directly benefit the people of her city. She pushed for the new firehouse on the edge of Tilden Park and helped to preserve the Berkeley Rose Garden.

 

Virgilio Sillano Remorca, 62. Founder of Fountain of Joy Ministries. Known for his kindness and his gentle ways, Remorca healed and comforted the sick for over 30 years as a nurse at Alameda Hospital. But as a man of faith, he sought to do more, and he founded his own Christian ministry from his garage in Alameda in 1999, Fountain of Joy Ministries, which has since grown to become an international ministry in his native country, the Philippines.

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