Eugene, Oregon FORWARDED ARTICLE from Eugene Register-Guard http://www.registerguard.com/ Tuesday, December 22, 1998, p. 1C. ____________________ EVENT MARKS 1998 DEATHS OF HOMELESS Copyright =A9 1998 The Register-Guard=20 By ANNE WILLIAMS The Register-Guard On the darkest and coldest day of 1998, Eugene residents paid tribute to those who have died without homes this year. And while it wasn=92t cold that killed these dozen or so homeless men, Monday=92s early sunset and punishing chill seemed an entirely fitting= backdrop. Clasping long white candles protected from the wind by paper cups, 18 or so people - several of them homeless - trekked from the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza at the Lane County Courthouse to First United Methodist Church, where a solemn interfaith service was held. =93They died without housing because we, as a community and nation, allowed them to live without housing,=94 said the Rev. Dan Bryant of First Christian Church. =93They were sacrificed on the altars of passivity, judgment, self-indulgence, greed.=94=20 As the men=92s names were read, several of the nearly 50 people who filed= into the chapel stood to share a memory or a detail of a little-known life. Like Mary Godowa, who put a face to the name Jerald Whitefoot. =93He was my partner,=94 she told the crowd. Godowa had been homeless with Whitefoot, who was found dead next to the Willamette River in June at age 42. She=92d left him eight months earlier, determined to salvage her life. Today, she=92s on the verge of finding permanent housing for herself and two of her three children, a 15-year-old son and a 9-year-old daughter, and is planning to pursue a community service degree at Lane Community College. A Native American, Whitefoot was =93a generous person,=94 she said after the service. =93He cared about people.=94 Like many of those who died, he was also an alcoholic and had recently lost a brother and his father. =93I think he was wanting to go see his family,=94= she said. But the most tears spilled for Rick Aquizap, the most recent addition to the list. A longtime fixture in the homeless community, Aquizap died just three days ago in his trailer on a city-sanctioned campspot at Alton Baker Park. His partner, Daisy Putnam, couldn=92t rouse him on Saturday morning. Putnam didn=92t attend the service, but friends of the couple were there. Danielle Smith, who had known Aquizap for years, cried while Patrick Dodd sang =93Johnny and Jennie,=94 a sad tale about a homeless couple parted by= death. =93He was the first person I met at Armitage (State Park, former site of a homeless camp),=94 she said. Aquizap should be remembered, she said, =93for= his courage and his fortitude to go right on living to the very end.=94 Others came simply to honor individuals who so often remain invisible in the community. Eugene mom Lou Enge, an advocate for housing for disabled people, brought her son Ian Blumberg-Enge, 8, and daughter Jordan Blumberg-Enge, 10. Bundled up against the cold, the three joined in the brisk seven-block procession to the church. =93I told them it was to remember the homeless people who have died,=94 she said. =93They said, `They should have had this in summer,=92 and I told= them, `Well, a lot of homeless people have to live in this kind of cold.=92 =93 Representatives from First United Methodist, St. Jude Catholic and First Christian churches and the Baha=92i Faith Center spoke at the annual event organized by the Eugene/Springfield Homeless Action Coalition. Related: Panhandler-rights advocate dies Copyright =A9 1998 The Register-Guard=20 EUGENE, OREGON __________________________________=20 END FORWARD ___________________________________ NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving information on homelessness and related issues for research and educational purposes.