An Activist and Friend Passes

This weekend I found out that a friend, Mitzi (pictured above next to her husband, Jonathan on the left and mutual friend Bruce on the right) passed on, attended by family and friends.

I attended her memorial today.

She was an actress, and fierce. Caring, protective. I met her when I went for training for the Transition Initiative, oh, a while back. I always felt welcome at her house.

But that’s not what she wanted to be known for. She grew up in a time when her choices were (a) nurse (b) teacher or (c) actress. She fell into (c), was able to cry on cue and was very personable but her true love was science.

In today’s world, she would have become an environmental scientist. Instead, she had to settle for a decent number of Hollywood accolades and a life dedicated to empowering others and profound social activism

I remember that she told me to slow down, as a public speaker. She was quite insistent about it. And when she found out the latest Transition Initiative book was coming out, she made sure I got a copy.

Her husband and her family and her friends were there, celebrating her memories, keeping that piece of her alive and thriving. More telling though were people whose lives she’d changed. A young man who she met once, who she told to go into voice work. An older gentlemen who’d been pushed into getting a new career part-time acting to recover from a tragedy.

People from a wide variety of places and connections, united by memories of this unique woman.

At the memorial, they had some pictures of her up, from different points in her life; you could see how her eyes and that laugh line on her mouth carried through.

The memorial started and ended with a bagpipe.

There was a fair amount of god (it being in a Temple) because her daughter was Jewish, though Mitzi considered herself part of the Protestant / Catholic wars (her parents, one from each faith, eloped), but different people’s cell phones accidentally rang every time that name was mentioned, which I think she would have found funny.

Her daughter read excerpts from college letters, which were wonderful and right on point. The rabbi was delightful in telling what he knew, even though he had never met her. He felt clear and respectful.

The attendance seemed good, a nice mix of family and friends. People afterwards sharing an excellent dinner and memories and bits about themselves, seeing that this was the first time many had met.

Jonathan, her husband, looked like he was carrying the weight of all his time with her but he never lost his smile and he spoke and shared with a -lot- of people.

That’s all I can process at the moment. More details perhaps later.

Her official obituary came be found here:

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/mitzi-hoag-dead-facts-life-here-come-brides-actress-was-86-1191898

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