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.

Photo by PoPville flickr user fromcaliw/love

From a press release:

“Today, Mayor Vincent C. Gray offered his condolences to the family of Benjamin C. Bradlee, longtime Georgetown resident, legendary journalist, and distinguished editor of The Washington Post.

“Ben Bradlee was a lion in the field of journalism. He was a fearless champion of the First Amendment and government accountability and will go down in history as one of the all-time greats,” said Mayor Gray. “The District of Columbia was lucky to have him at the helm of our paper of record, The Washington Post, for so many groundbreaking years. Both our city and the country benefitted from his astute handling of such historic events as Watergate and the release of the Pentagon Papers. I send my sincere condolences to his family, including his wife, children, his former colleagues at the Post and the entire journalism community that benefited from his life’s work.”

From the Washington National Cathedral:

“Washington National Cathedral announced today that it will hold the funeral service for Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. EDT. The former editor of the Washington Post was an iconic figure in journalism over the last half century.

The service will be open to the public.”

Rendering via DGS

From a press release:

“Mayor Vincent C. Gray broke ground [Sunday] at the site of the new Legacy Memorial Park, which will honor the nine people who perished during the 2009 Metrorail collision. Mayor Gray was joined by family representatives, members of the nearby community and congregants of Greater Saint Paul Baptist Church. The $1.8 million memorial – which will be located across the street from the church – is scheduled for completion in December.

“The Legacy Memorial Park will honor and celebrate the lives of those involved in the events of that day through reflective design and artwork,” Mayor Gray said. “This park will be a public space for mourning and connecting to the human spirit. We will never forget the nine lives lost that day, and we will forever honor the heroism of our first responders.”

The winning design team of sculptor Barbara Liotta and architects Lucrecia Laudi and Julian Hunt of Hunt Laudi Studio have created a vision for the park that creates a space for people to connect with nature’s beauty amid a setting of artistic reflection to honor the victims, emergency personnel and countless lives altered by the tragic accident. The design team was selected through a competitive process conducted in partnership by the Office of the City Administrator (OCA) and the D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities (DCCAH). An Art Selection Panel convened by DCCAH, representing family members’ diverse interests and expertise, reviewed the qualifications of the artists and the finalists’ designs. Bennett Paschen Joint Venture will be the general contractor to build the memorial park.

“Through art, we can create a space and place that adds new meaning to one of the most unfortunate days in the District’s recent history. The families, as well as the public, will have room to reflect,” said DCCAH Executive Director Lionell Thomas. “The memorial incorporates both families’ and citizens’ voices.”

The park design includes nine sculptural artworks, a memorial wall with an inscription written by family of the remembered, landscaping and hardscaping, as well as the installation of new lighting and streetscape amenities.

The Legacy Memorial Park is located at the entrance of the Blair Road Community Garden in Ward 4 at the intersection of New Hampshire and South Dakota Avenues NE.”

“Dear PoPville,

I was a resident of the Northeast DC home that was intentionally set ablaze on June 4th.

My fiance and I lost our dog, Tenley, and my neighbor her dog (Biggy smalls) and a cat (Lila).

We wanted to acknowledge their lives in some small way:

To Lila: You may have been a devilish cat, but I loved you anyway. I’m so grateful to have had you by my side for 13 years. I loved you both so very much and miss you everyday.


To Biggie Smalls: May there be plenty of baby carrots to munch on and people for you to cuddle with where ever you are.

Today would’ve been Biggie’s 5th birthday, and I think this is a great way to remember him and the other furry friends we miss so dearly.


To Tenley (aka T, T-dog, T-money): We hope that Great Dane heaven is a place full of plush, king-size beds, peanut butter by the spoonful, and grassy fields to roll around in. We hope you know how much you are loved and missed. High-five, sweet girl. Love, Mom & Dad.



We don’t have photos, but a very loving pit-bull, Bella, was also lost in the fire. She made so many smile. xo Bella.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for giving us a public place to recognize the furry family members who were taken from us. – Laurie, Mike & Lauren”


“Dear PoPville,

Bryson was a good friend and neighbor; a Petworth fixture; a long-term resident who worked tirelessly to ensure that our block was populated by friends…and not acquaintances.

As DC loses residents such as Bryson Latimer and Larry Byrd, we’re certainly diminished, but hopefully their warmth, generosity, and spirit of community won’t be forgotten.”

Bill shares his tribute:

“Bryson Latimer was a Petworth fixture.

When we purchased our house in 2010, Bryson would take a stroll each time we came by to look at the property. After we moved in, we asked him about it, and he said, “I just wanted to make sure you weren’t assholes.” We felt exactly the same way, told him so, and laughed with him about it in the years that followed.

We called Bryson “The Mayor” because he knew everyone and everything that went on in our little corner of Petworth. You couldn’t come home any evening in summer and not find Bryson out on his porch. He taught us about “porch culture”, and when we had our own impromptu porch party, Bryson was the first person to come over.

Bryson’s family moved to Petworth in the early 1950′s, one of the first black families on a block of 2nd generation German and Italian Americans. Although he moved away in the 1970s, he returned to Petworth during some of its worst years and stayed on, retired, and cared for his elderly parents—living in the same house that he was raised in and that his family has owned for almost 60 years.

Bryson was a kind, wise, intelligent, and thoughtful man who not only helped us understand our new neighborhood and neighbors, but helped them to understand us. He helped us make new friends of which he was the first. My wife referred to Bryson as “…our gift with purchase.”

Bryson Latimer died the evening of October 19th after a short battle with an aggressive form of lung cancer. He was 69. We miss him terribly. The neighborhood just won’t be the same without him.”


Jeremy previously wrote about DC’s Best Wifi Network names.

I meant to write about Larry Byrd when I learned of his death in late June at the age of 90.

Larry was the first person I met when I moved into my former home on 4th St. NW, a few blocks east of the Convention Center, in February 2012. “Welcome to the neighborhood,” he said, seeing me lugging boxes up the stairs into the early 20th century row house I shared with several friends.

We chatted for a few minutes. To my surprise, our conversation quickly veered beyond small talk. He asked me about the masters program I was about to begin and my long-term career goals. He told me that he was legally blind, able only to see “orbs.”

He seems like a nice man, I thought. What I didn’t know is that Larry would become more than just a friendly next-door neighbor.

Well into his retirement, Larry spent his days perched on his steps or on a bench just inside his gate. As people walked by, he said hello and offered up one of his trademark phrases, telling people, “Have a wonderful day,” or, “Be good to yourself.”

And the neighborhood loved him. Not only was he a beacon of warmth and friendship, he was known for being a mentor to several men who battled drug addiction. (more…)