Through the many years of the Marion Woodman Foundation many lifelong friendships and bonds have been formed by those who have attended and taught programs. We would like to honor and acknowledge those who have been special friends to many of us and have passed away. Though they are no longer with us, they are not forgotten.
Wendy Daniels, who died of cancer, was a remarkable soul. She was one of the stewards at Grimstone Manor in England where the MWF held workshops for many years. She added greatly to the work and success of the BodySoul Rhythms® work in Europe. For some, Wendy was the heart of Grimstone. Some will remember Wendy’s mask work as a standing stone on the moors. Nothing could distract her being-ness in stone. Those who worked with her on this mask remember it as an extraordinary time – with fun, joy and laughter in it. When Wendy was dying, Mary Hamilton was comforted by the memory of Wendy knowing the deep reality of the stone’s symbol in the human psyche and was in awe of her capacity to BE. Wendy would often accompany Marion Woodman, arm-in-arm, on her walks on the moors behind Grimstone Manor, very early in the morning.
Lena Ekhem passed away in 2012 after fighting a valiant battle against cancer. She was a filmmaker from Sweden, attended some programs at Grimstone Manor and was involved in theater. She is remembered as a beautiful human being with much talent and love for the soul’s expression through the arts. She radiated a gentle strength that was both embracing and direct. Her creativity as an artist was ignited by the workshops. Those who attended workshops with her were touched by her deep creativity, soulful presence, dignity and graciousness. Her deep soul work, while living with cancer, inspired all of us. She faced life and death with courage, humility and great love.
Ann Gilburth passed away February 9, 2017 at age 72. She grew up in Jackson, Mississippi and later moved to Athens, Georgia. Ann was a camp counselor and a school teacher before she headed to seminary in New Orleans where she met her husband, Kenneth Gilburth. They later moved back to Jackson, Mississippi and had their only child, daughter, Sheri Elizabeth. Margaret…who went by Ann… loved horses, flowers, dogs, and nature. She was and remains a light of love to everyone who has been blessed to know her. She goes onward now to her next adventure on the other side. Even as she leaves this earth she would send her love to all. One BodySoul sister remembers Ann with love and how her smile would “light up a room”.
Kathreen Gimbrere led a life of service to others, with degrees in pediatrics, adolescent medicine, and psychiatry. She passed away in 2010. She was a beautiful soul, always available to help – with a smile on her face. She loved her profession as a doctor and through her incredible presence, spirit and vitality she changed the lives of many. One BodySoul Sister remembers Kathreen as a deep inspiration and good friend who was deeply devoted to BodySoul and to the deep work. She was also very vibrant in her glowing silk scarves!
Anna Keck-Tomasso illuminated the life of all those around her. Though her passing came unexpectedly, her loved ones are comforted to know that her light now shines within each of them and throughout the community. Anna passed away January 24, 2012. She was 71. She became a Registered Nurse by age 21 and became a Family Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant in 1980. She was a teacher and a healer, working with patients of HIV/AIDS, developing her own private practice as a holistic nurse practitioner. She had an enlightened enthusiasm for life. She saw everything in her life through the eyes of an artist and expressed herself by painting, singing, and writing. Among the many things Anna will be remembered for are her clear thinking, inquisitive mind, her courage, her open loving heart, her immense connection to spirit and her ability to laugh and see beauty in every aspect of life. Anna was a valuable asset to the Marion Woodman Foundation by taking on administrative tasks, assisting Patty Flowers in coordination and implementation of programs, as well as being a participant.
Candace Loubert, a former core faculty teacher for the Marion Woodman Foundation died in 2011. She was a dear colleague and friend and inspiration to many. She was largely responsible for bringing the body aspect of the bodysoul work to the participants in Ireland and Montreal, Canada. She was a dancer, visual artist, body worker teacher, and co –founder of LADMMI, a professional modern dance training school in Montreal. She enjoyed a career as a performer in Europe, as well as dancing for Montreal’s Les Grands Ballets Canadiens for five years, putting to use her extensive training in ballet. Through body work and a range of artistic media (painting, drawing, clay sculpting and mask making) she created space for the imagination to flourish. Candace was a most beautiful, intense and creative woman, a precious soul sister loved by many. She loved nature, the song of the body and is missed by so many.
Deborah Millar fought a courageous battle with cancer before passing away in 2012. She will always be remembered by her authentic voice, her compassionate strength and her quiet and vulnerable wisdom – three gifts she shared with many over her 54 years of life. She pursued a successful career as an operatic singer, teacher and voice clinician in Europe. She returned to Canada to share her passion for music as a teacher, vocal coach and mentor, changing the lives of hundreds of people by helping them find the beauty of song uninhibited by the fears and traumas we carry. She will forever be loved, as her spirit will continue to live within the minds and hearts of everyone she touched.
Whitney Roberson, a beloved priest, family minister and mother, died in 2014 after a battle with cancer. As a priest, she served at many churches including Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Her work at churches focused on opening the doors of the church to children and families, leading women’s retreats and developing a ministry for workers in San Francisco’s financial district. Her warmth, hospitality and passion for justice permeated her ministry. One of her MWF sisters apprenticed with her and what stood out was Whitney’s deep spiritual commitment and sincere love. One experience with Whitney happened in the airport as Whitney would say to her MWF sister, “Count how many bags you are carrying so that one will not be left behind.” This MWF sister had lost a painting of great personal value earlier and felt this was Whitney’s kind way of reminding her to count her belongings. She still feels a connection to this day when traveling.
Kaye Rossi is remembered by what a beautiful soul she was. She was born in Japan and was a psychologist in private practice and also worked many years as an addiction counselor. She loved her work, her patients, co-workers and her BodySoul sisters. She also enjoyed tango dancing. One BodySoul sister remembers when Kaye was an apprentice at an MWF Intensive. She felt Kaye’s presence the entire time both holding and containing her. As a result, she was able to go deeply into her own process with Kaye’s containment and support. Kaye passed away in June 2009 in Martinez, California.
Ellen Ryder passed away in July 2007 at her home in Connecticut. In over 35 years of social work, Ellen tirelessly advocated for the mental health of children and young people throughout Connecticut. She directed psychiatric hospital residential treatment programs for children and adolescents as well as designed milieu treatment programs and systems of care while also supervising a multi-disciplinary clinical staff. Ellen had been deeply influenced by Marion Woodman and completed her Leadership Training program in 2003. Her tireless commitment to young people and her love of the creative arts extended well in to her retirement. In her last few years she enthusiastically led interactive discussion groups on the work of Marion Woodman. Ellen’s love burst forth like a great blossom born miraculously from fallow soil. She was loved by all who knew her. Ellen would be honored and touched to be remembered by our community who she so often said had mothered her home to herself.
Ross Woodman (the husband of Marion Woodman), passed away in his sleep at home on March 20, 2014. He was 91 years old. Dr. Woodman earned his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. He was an avid collector of contemporary art and was a tireless champion of artists and the arts. For nearly forty years Ross was a Professor in the Department of English at the University of Western Ontario where he taught Romantic literature until his retirement in 1989. In 1993 he received the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Keats-Shelley Association of America. For many in the BodySoul family, Ross was a cherished teacher and spirited guide. It was a privilege to watch Marion and Ross teaching together in their home, for Seminars and onsite at BodySoul Intensives. As one MWF member shared, “Ross and Marion respected and listened to each other as if hearing each other’s words for the first time.” Another shared “we were all Ross’s ‘lovelies.’ Why? Because. We were seen, heard, respected, valued, and cherished… And, because they were both great teachers, they naturally called everything by its proper name.”