A unified body of individuals: the people with common interests living in a particular area; an interacting population of various kinds of individuals in a common location.
Diane and Brendan lived in the same community where lifelong bonds were formed. Diane’s younger son, Adam, Brendan and Tommy Hester (Francie’s son) grew up together. Daily life drew these three families and many others into a close circle of friendship: laughing, crying, worrying, celebrating and unfortunately, mourning together. Words as Legacy not only honors this community and the ties that bind us but will hopefully help us reach outside our neighborhood to connect with others for inspiration, comfort and perspective.
Diane Granat Yalowitz
Diane Granat Yalowitz, born in Chicago in 1954 and raised in New Jersey, was always interested in writing. She attended Northwestern University’s National High School Institute journalism program in 1971, and went on to graduate from the Medill School of Journalism in 1975. Words were Diane’s medium. She chose them carefully and cared about every one of them. But her writing was never about just the words. Her journalism was always trying to point us towards a better world; a place where we would be more generous in thought, word, and deed, and where we would have the courage to take on the deep issues of faith, culture, and ethics.
Brendan grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland and graduated from Albert Einstein High School in 2007. He was majoring in English at the University of Michigan when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor during his sophomore year. Brendan drew upon his lifelong love of reading and writing to deal with his illness. A collection of his poems was accepted for publication just before Brendan passed away on February 24, 2010 at the age of 20. The poetry in Brendan’s book, Summer Becomes Absurd, includes works from before, during and after his diagnosis. It is available at Amazon or through Finishing Line Press.
Hester’s professional artwork has garnered praise from curators and critics. She has engaged her community in small and large-scale projects using words as legacy. By connecting the words of a beloved journalist and a young poet who passed away to the community they lived in, she created works that turned loss into memory and memory into dialogue.
Hill is a fine artist, educator, and award-winning designer, who is currently the Assistant Dean for Communication Design and the Director of the Tyler Teaching Gallery at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) in the Washington, DC metro area, where she teaches graphic and interactive design. Hill’s fine art work is represented nationally in many private collections and has been part of numerous shows. Hill received her B.A. in Fine Arts / Graphic Design from the University of Florida and her M.F.A. in Studio Art from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA).
Trained classically, Phalen has sung with The Lyric Opera Company of Chicago and Minnesota Opera. A resident of the DC Metropolitan area for twenty years, she has performed locally at Round House Theatre, Lazy Susan Dinner Theatre, and Opera Southwest. She is a member of the St. Alban’s Choir and sings with an acapella women’s group. For fifteen years, she directed the Kids Chorale, a community children’s chorus in Silver Spring.
Described in the Washington Post as a percussionists of “marvelous virtuosity” Garay is a classical, jazz and Afro-Latin multi-percussionist. Born in Cordoba, Argentina, he is: a percussion soloist & director of Luis Garay Percussion World Ensemble; adjunct percussion faculty at Catholic University; Director of the CUA Percussion Ensemble, World Percussion Program, and the Summer Lion Drummers; faculty of The St. Albans School & National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C.; and Jazz Ensemble director at Berman Hebrew Academy. During his 30 year career, he has performed throughout the Americas and Europe including a performance for Pope John Paul II in the Vatican and performances at the Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, The Organization of American States, Department of State, Smithsonian Institution, and the Washington National Cathedral.
Jackie is a social worker by training whose professional life revolves around community – building community through philanthropy, social service delivery and innovative partnerships. Jackie was one of the legions of “wrappers” for Articulation, in honor of her good friend and neighbor Diane Granat Yalowitz. Not one to call herself an artist, Jackie does knit. She crafted socks for Brendan’s friends who traveled from near and far to be with Brendan during his illness. Jackie, her husband Clay and their son Mattson are honored, humbled and deeply touched by the many ways the project, A Leaf of Knowledge, sustains Brendan’s life and legacy.