A Sad Loss
It is with great sadness that we annouce the passing of Paul Steven Miller, lawyer, disability advocate, White House appointee, and LPA member. Paul was a leader for all people with disabilities, including people with dwarfism like himself. As part of Little People of America (LPA) and the larger, national disability community, he united those of us with physical and genetic differences and helped us all find our voice and redefine "normal" in our everyday lives. Mr. Miller demonstrated through his work, and by his life, that intellect, determination, and humor have the ability to supersede any disability. Mr. Miller was the 2002 recipient of the LPA Award for Promoting Awareness of Individuals with Dwarfism. He will be greatly missed. President Obama's Press Release.
New York Times obituary. NPR Article on Paul Miller's life.
David Lee Bradford
David Bradford of Albany, Oregon passed away Friday, February 13 from an undiagnosed respiratory condition. He died peacefully in his sleep, and there was no sign of trauma or distress.
David was born March 13, 1963 in Bremerton, Washington, the middle of three sons born to Don and Arlene Bradford. Over the course of his life, he and his family moved all over the country and even spent two years in Germany in the early 70s. He graduated from The Dalles High School in 1981, and then attended Oregon State University, earning a bachelor's degree in geology in 1986. He worked for several years as a computer programmer before returning to his first love, earth sciences, in 2005. He graduated in the fall of 2007 with a Masters in Geographic Information Systems from OSU. Up until the time of his passing, he was working for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife doing what he loved to do: GIS.
David was a lifelong member of Little People of America (LPA), and along with his brothers, was born with a condition called diastrophic dwarfism. His dwarfism didn't physically limit him however, as he earned a high school letter in baseball as a pinch hitter, and later in life took up golfing and sea kayaking. He also liked to fish and swim and even had custom-made snow skis. Dave was an animal lover, and often brought home stray cats, tadpoles and frogs, much to the exasperation of his parents. His hobbies included reading, art, photography, rebuilding computers, and most importantly, playing poker with his buddies. He loved practical jokes and making bets with his friends.
He worked tirelessly as a volunteer on behalf of LPA, serving as the IT coordinator in the late 90s, and created their online Medical Resource Center. In addition, he was a vocal advocate for the accessibility needs of little people and testified before the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as a representative of LPA. At Oregon State University, he represented disabled students and employees by serving as the chairman of the OSU Commission on the Status of Individuals with Disabilities (COSID).
David was an avid sports fan, and a Beaver through and through. He was especially fond of attending football, basketball and baseball games. Dave used his love of sports and disability advocacy to make sure OSU's Reser Stadium was physically accessible. With his leadership on the COSID board, he was largely responsible for ensuring that disabled seating was properly installed in the renovations of the stadium, as well as overseeing improvements to campus technology access issues. He was a quietly humorous, intelligent and contemplative person, with an artistic soul. He could, however, become an adroit vocal advocate when he sensed an injustice.
In passing, Dave leaves behind his parents, Don and Arlene, and brothers Randy and Bill (BJ as he used to call him). He had many loving friends and family – too many to mention in one small article (you know who you are). He also leaves behind his fat, furry, spoiled feline companion, Suji. He is preceded in death by his grandparents, Arthur and Faye Duke, and Leo and Sadie Bradford, as well as cousins Brenda Bradford and Chris Newton. We know he has been gathered into their loving arms.
The memorial service for David will be a celebration of his life. It will be held Sunday, March 1, from noon to 3pm at the Oregon State University Alumni Center (Willamette Room), in Corvallis, Oregon. There will be a table set up so that attendees, if they wish, may bring a favorite photo or written memory of David. In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations be made in his honor to the Little People of America (LPA) Scholarship Fund.
These can be sent to:
Little People of America, Inc.
250 El Camino Real, Suite 201
Tustin, CA 92780
Toll-free: (888) LPA-2001
Direct: (714) 368-3689
Fax: (714) 368-3367
Make checks out to "Little People of America" and send a note specifying the scholarship fund. Donations can also be made online at www.lpaonline.org (click on the link "How You Can Help").
David's unexpected loss sorely grieves us all, but we can say with confidence that he wants us to live on joyfully and with purpose if we want to truly honor his memory. We should not mourn his passing, but praise creation for his being.
PARKER, ROBERT L. Oct. 4, 1938 to Feb. 15, 2009 San Diego Native Husband of Alma, Father of Marjean, and Grandfather of Anastasia and Dorian. A devoted family man. A Friend and Mentor to thousands. Robert contracted polio at age five, but did not let is stop him from enjoying life! He liked to dance, camp, drive (including a dune buggy) and fix cars and electronics. He inspired many through his strength and sense of humor. Robert had a 45 year career at Delta Design. He was enthusiastically involved with many organizations. His door was always open. He promoted a positive attitude towards disabled persons by sharing his strengths with all he met. Please do not send flowers. Alma is collecting items for a memorial scrapbook. Memorial Service will be on Friday, February 20th, at 10:00 a.m., at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 30th and Howard Ave. Reprinted from the Union Tribune San Diego.
Web Editors note: Robert and his wife Alma ran the San Diego Chapter during the 1980's and 1990's, organizing many events, Regional Meetings, camping trips and always greeting members with a welcoming smile.