Photo by PoPville flickr user angela n.

It is with great sadness that I have learned of the passing of Norm Ralston and Brie Husted. While Norm had moved back to Ohio he was a familiar face to many in the Adams Morgan community. He bartended for years at Angles and was not only a friendly face but he was a genuine friend. It seems cliche to say but when I was going through tough times of my own – Norm was one of the few constants who always turned my mood around. I think those that knew him will always remember his smile and his laugh which fortunately for those who needed it, came frequently. I can hear it right now.

Norm Ralston courtesy Gunnar Larson

One of Norm’s last Facebook posts over the summer said:

Have you ever had one of those days where the bills are paid, the lawn is mowed and gas in the car. Today is my day off. I’m sitting on my porch, a woman walks by (probably 90) and says you look content, I tell her my day. She says “enjoy, your day you’re allowed to have good days in life”.

You brought so many of us good days Normie. May you be content and at peace.

Brie Husted courtesy ‘Memories of Brie Husted’

Brie I did not know as well. But what I do know is that whenever her name was mentioned the person talking about her always glowed. Brie lived in Petworth and was an incredible architect who’s work can be seen all over town. Most recently Brie was part of the team bringing Timber Pizza to Petworth. To Brie’s friends and family you have my deepest sympathies.


Gone but not forgotten.

From American University:

“Matt Shlonsky loved Washington, DC. Since arriving at American University in 2010, Matt had embraced his adopted city, attending historical events, concerts, and other local activities across the district. After his graduation from the School of International Service in May 2014, Matt elected to remain in Washington, starting a career in business communications and consulting. Matt continued to give back to the School of International Service as a generous volunteer and a donor. Matt was already on his way to a successful career with Deloitte and other exciting pursuits outside of his work.

Our hearts are broken to report that Matt’s future of unlimited possibilities ended tragically on August 15, 2015, when he fell victim to gun violence in Washington. Matt left behind a loving family, many hundreds of loyal friends, and a remarkable legacy of caring and kindness that betrayed his 23 years. (more…)


From the DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy:

Algernon (Jay) Cooper, III

DECEMBER 8 at 6:00 PM


All I can say is that all of the emotions you are feeling need to be channeled into political power. Let that burning feeling in your gut be the fuel to power a movement. Otherwise when the smoke clears all we will have left are tears and ashes. – A.J. Cooper, December 2014

Funeral services for Algernon “Jay” Johnson Cooper, III will be held on Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at Nativity Catholic Church, 6001 13th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011; beginning with family visitation at 10:00 AM and Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 AM. The family requests that in lieu of flowers or cards, contributions be made in Jay’s honor to DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 1112 11th Street NW, Suite 100 Washington, D.C. 20001.

Friends are invited to join the family for a repast in the Nativity Catholic Church Community Room immediately following the service.”


Thanks to all who sent emails about the sad news (also discussed in yesterday’s rant/revel) – from the Washington Post:

“The death was confirmed by his mother, Brenda Rhodes Miller, who said he died “suddenly” Wednesday morning.

Last month, Cooper announced his intention to seek the Ward 4 council seat being vacated by Muriel E. Bowser, who will become mayor Jan. 2.

Cooper had become engaged to be married last week, according to a family statement.”


From a press release:

“Mayor Vincent C. Gray, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and representatives of the family of Marion S. Barry, Jr. today released the details of memorial event for the late Ward 8 Councilmember and former Mayor of the District of Columbia.

“From his days as a leader on the front lines of the civil rights movement to his work to fight poverty and advance Home Rule for the District, Marion Barry leaves behind an incredible legacy,” said Mayor Gray. “It is fitting that we come together as a city to celebrate this legacy and allow the entire District to say goodbye to the ‘Mayor for Life.’”

The schedule of memorial events is as follows:

Thursday, December 4 to Friday, December 5
9:00 a.m.: Brief ceremony to receive Mayor Barry’s casket at the Wilson Building, where his remains will lie in repose for 24 hours.

John A. Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Friday, December 5
10:00 a.m.: Mayor Barry’s body to travel to one of the churches he regularly attended
3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.: Musical and video tribute celebrating Mayor Barry’s 40 years of public service
6:00 pm – 9:00 p.m.: Community memorial service

Temple of Praise
700 Southern Avenue SE

Saturday, December 6
8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Thousands to attend a celebration of Mayor Barry’s life and legacy

Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Halls C & D
801 Mount Vernon Place NW

8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.: Viewing
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Memorial Service

Private burial immediately following.”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Carly & Art

Ed. Note: Whatever your feelings, please be respectful today.

Marion Barry (March 6, 1936 – November 23, 2014)

From United Medical Center:

“The following statement is issued following the death of Councilmember Marion Barry, Former Mayor of the District of Columbia.

“This morning we are sad to announce the passing of the Honorable Marion S. Barry, Former Mayor and Councilmember of the District of Columbia. Mr. Barry was brought to United Medical Center by ambulance at 12:15am. He was pronounced dead at 1:46am.

United Medical Center’s Board and Staff extend its condolences to Mr. Barry’s family, his wife Cora Barry, his son Christopher Barry, and many other relatives. We also extend our sympathy to the residents of the District of Columbia.

Mr. Barry has had a long history of social and political engagement in the District and across the nation. His advocacy on behalf of the poor, the less fortunate and others will certainly be missed.

Over the years, Councilmember Barry has maintained a strong and heartfelt resolve to keep United Medical Center open for the people east of the Anacostia River. Without his involvement and continued work on our behalf we are certain that this hospital would not be where it is today.

Mr. Barry taught us all so much about fighting for justice; fighting for the people; fighting for the poor – it now becomes our responsibility to keep his legacy alive.

May he rest in peace.”

From Mayor Gray’s office:

“Mayor Vincent C. Gray expressed deep sadness after learning of the passing of Ward 8 Councilmember and former Mayor Marion Barry. Mayor Gray spoke with former First Lady Cora Masters Barry late Saturday and shared his condolences and sympathies with her, and as well said his thoughts and prayers were with the Councilmember’s son, Christopher.

“Marion was not just a colleague but also was a friend with whom I shared many fond moments about governing the city,” said Mayor Gray. “He loved the District of Columbia and so many Washingtonians loved him.”

Mayor Gray said that he would work with Councilmember Barry’s family and the Council to plan official ceremonies worthy of a true statesman of the District of Columbia.”

From @MurielBowser:

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Mayor Marion Barry”


Statement by the President on the Passing of Marion Barry:

“Michelle and I were saddened to hear of the passing of Marion Barry. Marion was born a sharecropper’s son, came of age during the Civil Rights movement, and became a fixture in D.C. politics for decades. As a leader with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Marion helped advance the cause of civil rights for all. During his decades in elected office in D.C., he put in place historic programs to lift working people out of poverty, expand opportunity, and begin to make real the promise of home rule. Through a storied, at times tumultuous life and career, he earned the love and respect of countless Washingtonians, and Michelle and I extend our deepest sympathies to Marion’s family, friends and constituents today.”

1704 U Street, NW

“Dear PoPville,

You shared the great news yesterday that Henry’s is reopening soon, but I didn’t know if you were aware that Henry himself passed away just last month.

My dad and his friends were close with Henry and his crew in the ’70s, and I’ve heard many fantastic stories. It’s a great loss for this city.”


From Henry’s Soul Cafe Facebook page:

The District’s legendary “King of Soul Food” Henry Smith, died Friday, October 10, at the age of 73.

His world-renowned Washington establishment, Henry’s Carry-out & Delicatessen, has drawn celebrities, politicians, tourists and locals alike to enjoy its famed soul food for more than 45 years.

Smith, opened the U Street restaurant in 1968, featuring Southern cooking staples like fried chicken, barbeque ribs and collard greens. However, it was best known as the “Home of the Sweet Potato Pie,” having served its famous dessert to every District of Columbia Mayor since Walter Washington and even United States President’s Clinton and Obama.

“Today I lost my father, but D.C. has lost a legend,” said Jermaine Smith, son of Henry Smith.” During the 1968 riots, Henry and his brother sat in the window of his “then” new business armed with a shotgun and a bible. His restaurant was one of the few businesses that remained unscathed during the historic incident.

Henry’s Smith’s legacy continues today with his son and daughter at the helm of the original Henry’s at 17th& U Street as well as operating several other locations in the Washington Metropolitan area.