chimes.sum2013.web0729 - page 45

In Memoriam
1996
Lynn Park
(M.Div)
, of San Le-
andro, California, died
April 22, 2013. The
only child of Franklin
andClaraPark,shewas
born in Jefferson City, Tennessee. She
died of complications while convalesc-
ing from a bone fracture, which was
the result of ontogenesis imperfecta.
Park earned a BA in humanities
from Eckerd College in 1965, an
MA in communications from Ari-
zona State University in 1991, and an
M.Div. from San Francisco Theologi-
cal Seminary in 1996.
She worked professionally as an
editor, as a photographer at a country
club in Tucson, and as a hospital chap-
lain while interning for her M.Div.
degree.
Park was a poet and a painter. She
“came home” to photography in 2006
and created a large and startlingly orig-
inal body of work. Her vision, skewed
to her line of sight from her wheel-
chair, was unique, spiritual, true, and
precise in capturing unexpected detail.
Both Christian and Buddhist, Park
had a fierce, “bi-chambered” heart.
She once wrote, “Consider yourself
blessed: The stones that break your
bones will build the altar of your
love.” Park spoke joyfully of her “resur-
rection body.” She believed her often
broken and steadfastly healed bones
would one day be called home.
Park was loved and loving. She
spoke directly, courageously, honestly,
and sometimes loudly, with a homey
Southern cadence. She listened with
insight and generosity. Her indepen-
dence and resilience were a given. She
had a hearty smile, terrific hats, and a
mischievous, sly wit. She was known
to dance with her wheelchair. Today
she is surely dancing without it and
hollering, “Hot dayum.”
Park is survived by a cousin, Gale
Park, of Knoxville, Tennessee; other
extended family; her church commu-
nity at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal
Church; and a host of friends.
1998/99
Dina Gardner
(M.Div.
) died De-
cember 7, 2012, at
Georgetown Uni-
versity Hospital in
Washington, D.C.
She was 40. She had gone to the hos-
pital in the hope of entering a clinical
trial in her fight against cancer.
Gardner, a resident of San Rafael,
California, had worked at the Human
Needs Center in Novato, California
for the past five years, doing fundrais-
ing and working in the community.
“She was a huge asset to our organiza-
tion and just a delight to work with,”
says executive director Deanna Euritt,
adding that Gardner was particularly
missed during the center’s annual Hol-
iday Share program for low-income
families, which she helped organize
every year. “Dina was very kind and
extremely bright,” Euritt says. “We
adored her.”
According to an
Independent Jour-
nal
story in March, when her friends
and family organized a series of fund-
raisers for her medical expenses, Gard-
ner said she was drawn to the ministry
because, “I really wanted to compan-
ion people in the sacred and powerful
moments of their life.” Gardner was a
graduate of San Francisco Theological
Seminary. As a spiritual life coach, she
did premarital and intuitive counsel-
ing, nondenominational weddings,
and pastoral services for churches and
organizations, including Hospice.
“She helped a lot of people in this
county,” Euritt says.
In 2011, Gardner was diagnosed
with a rare form of cancer that spread
from her hip to her lungs. As she
fought against the disease, she went
on medical leave from her job at the
Human Needs Center. “She did every-
thing she possibly could to beat this
aggressive form of sarcoma,” Euritt
says. “She did leading-edge and tra-
ditional treatments. She gave it every-
thing she had. She was a fighter, but
nothing seemed to stop this aggressive
form of cancer.”
A friend, Beth Brown, spent a great
deal of time with Gardner during her
final months. “She was the most gra-
cious and loving person I’ve ever met,”
she says. “In the face of a doctor giving
her not-good news, she would write
him an elegant thank you note for his
honesty and integrity. She continued
to amaze me, the way she approached
this part of her life with such grace.”
Before taking her post at the Hu-
man Needs Center, Gardner was an
adjunct professor of ethics at the Uni-
versity of San Francisco. She spoke
Spanish fluently, and once accompa-
nied members of the Sausalito Presby-
terian Church to the Mexican city of
Leon, where they helped at a home for
abandoned children.
Gardner grew up in Davis, Califor-
nia, and graduated from Davis Senior
High School in 1990. She was or-
dained at Davis Community Church
in 1999, the same church where her
memorial service was held. Gardner is
survived by her husband, Edgar Meza
of San Rafael; her mother and stepfa-
ther, Barbara and Bill Greene of Davis;
her father and stepmother, Russell and
Lauren Gardner; a brother, Patrick
Gardner of El Cerrito; and several
nieces and nephews.
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