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Sad news: Luke Cole dead

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  • Don Roberson
    The indescribably sad news came yesterday that Luke Cole, a friend to many of us and internationally known birder and environmental lawyer, was killed in a car
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 9, 2009
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      The indescribably sad news came yesterday that Luke Cole, a friend to
      many of us and internationally known birder and environmental lawyer,
      was killed in a car crash in Uganda on 5 June. Today's S.F. Chronicle
      has a lengthy obituary
      http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/06/09/BAC0183545.DTL

      Many S.F. birders knew him better than I did, but he was about a fine a
      person as there is in our little birding world, and he far transcended
      it with his legal work for environmental justice. I did do two Big Days
      in Kings County with him -- he was a careful and fine birder, a
      wonderful storyteller, and an all around good guy. Incredibly bright and
      funny, his "Rue the Smew" poem was about the cleverest thing I've ever
      seen posted to CalBirds.
      http://www.lukecole.com/Birds/Smew.htm

      In many ways his death at age 46 -- at the prime of his career and the
      middle of a wonderful life -- is as sad as a single death can be. He
      joins David Gaines and Ted Parker as birding greats and environmental
      heroes cut down much too early.

      Rita & I got a postcard from Luke a couple of week ago, describing in
      broad strokes his 3rd visit to Madagascar, and mentioning flea-bitten
      hovels for lodging and minor bumps and bruises from taxi accidents on
      rural roads. He said he'd been in search of his most wanted bird -- the
      Madagascar Red Owl -- once again. He did not say whether he'd seen it --
      indeed, for him, the quest was as important as the result, if not more
      so. He was living life large.

      We will all miss him very much.

      Luke's lovely wife Nancy Shelby was also injured in the car crash; the
      paper says she was flown to Holland for treatment. Our best hopes for
      recovery and our deepest sympathies are with her.

      This is a sad day for all of us.

      Don Roberson
      Pacific Grove
    • markeaton
      For people that don t have or want access to Facebook, try the following link: http://www.lcmemorial.org/ Also, a website has been established to help
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 9, 2009
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        For people that don't have or want access to Facebook, try the following link:

        http://www.lcmemorial.org/

        Also, a website has been established to help coordinate help for Nancy when she returns to San Francisco at:

        http://www.lotsahelpinghands.com

        With great sadness,
        Mark Eaton
        mark@...
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