Peggy Delaney 1924-2010

Peggy Delaney, lovingly known as the “matriarch of the Irish community” in Toronto, Canada, died April 5 of cancer. She was born and raised in Dublin and arrived in Canada in 1954 after a career with Radio Eireann, the Abbey Theatre and Aer Lingus. In the 1960s, she served as district sales manager for the Canadian division of Avon Cosmetics, and in the 1970s served as director of Eaton’s Art Gallery, where she worked with senior management of the Bank of Montreal to advise them on their acquisition of the Nicholas de Grandmaison Collection of ninety portraits of North American Indians. In the mid-1980s, Delaney joined cosmaceutical firm Cellex-C International.

While raising four children, Delaney was one of the founding members of the Ireland Fund of Canada, as well as its first executive director. She was involved with cultural and aid organizations including the Irish Immigrant Aid Society, the Toronto Irish Players (of which she became president in 1994), the Rose of Tralee, Inner City Angels and the Canadian Rhett Syndrome Society. She was Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 1997 and Irish Person of the Year in 1998. Delaney is survived by her sister, four children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Dr. Patrick H. Hughes 1935-2010

Professor and researcher in the field of drug addiction and treatment, Patrick Hughes died March 27 at age 75 in Fort Myers, FL. Born in Latrobe, PA, he graduated from Columbia University, did his medical internship at Stanford University and earned his MD from the University of Pittsburgh.

In the late 1960s, Hughes’ seminal work in drug addiction and recovery played an important role in the changing understanding of drug addiction as a disease rather than a moral failing. Hughes worked with the Black Panthers and other groups in his research as a University of Chicago professor, then published the book Behind the Wall of Respect on his findings. He traveled to Indonesia, Iran, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, India, Burma and other countries to understand drug addiction around the world, as Principal Investigator for the World Health Organization. He then served 20 years at the Tampa Bay Pines V.A. and researched physician drug abuse at the University of South Florida. He was a featured doctor in People magazine in 1978. Hughes is survived by a daughter and four siblings.

Charles Moore 1931-2010

Charles Moore, a civil rights-era photographer who shot seminal images that played a role in the passage of civil rights legislation, died March 11 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He died at age 79 of natural causes. Born in Alabama, Moore grew up the son of a white Baptist minister who condemned racism. He served in the Marines as a photographer, and then studied at the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, which landed him a job as a newspaper photographer in Montgomery, Alabama. In 1958, Moore photographed the arrest of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and in 1963 the use of dogs and high-pressure hoses on peaceful civil rights demonstrators in Birmingham. In 1965, Moore photographed a white lawman beating a black demonstrator during the Bloody Sunday march from Selma, Alabama. These images, which appeared in Life magazine, garnered popular support for the passage of civil rights laws. Moore was awarded the inaugural Kodak Crystal Eagle Award for Impact in Photojournalism in 1989.

Moore is survived by his brother, two sons and two daughters, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Elinor Smith 1911-2010

Born Elinor Patricia Ward on Long Island in 1911, Elinor Smith Sullivan was one of the youngest pioneers of aviation and part of the group of women that made a name for themselves flying airplanes in the first half of the 20th century. She died March 19 at age 98 in a nursing home in Palo Alto, California.

Smith’s father, Tom Ward, was a vaudeville performer who changed the family name to Smith as there was already a Tom Ward in vaudeville. Due to a severe dislike of trains, he traveled by airplane and took Elinor on her first flight as a child. Her father took aviation lessons and purchased a Waco 10 biplane, which Elinor learned to fly. She made her first solo flight at age 15 and earned her pilot’s license at 16. Quickly gaining a public following and corporate sponsors, she set a record for women’s solo endurance flying at 13.5 hours in January 1929, then broke it with a 26.5 hour flight just three months later. She also set and broke the women’s altitude record, first at 27,419 feet in 1930 and then at 32,576 feet within a year. This latter flight nearly killed her when she lost consciousness during landing after motor trouble on the Bellanca monoplane.

Smith married Patrick Sullivan II, an ex-New York State assemblyman, who died in 1956 after 23 years of marriage. She is survived by a son, three daughters, five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Patricia Travers 1927-2010

Patricia Travers, child prodigy violinist who appeared at age 11 to solo with the New York Philharmonic, died February 9 at age 82 of cancer. At age 13, she starred in the Hollywood comedy There’s Magic in Music, and in her early 20s recorded Charles Ives’s Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano with Columbia Records. She played with the London and Berlin Philharmonics as well as the Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, and was heard often on national radio.

In the early 1950s, she withdrew completely from public performances and lived quietly with her parents well past her middle age. She never married or had children, and her death, in a Montclair, NJ nursing home was confirmed by her lawyer, John Sullivan.