Dear friends, I am so sad to announce that my beloved mom Elaine passed away, peacefully and surrounded by deep love.

So much to say about my mom, but in my eyes her defining characteristic was that she was a rebel to the core. She lived her life accordingly, hating to confirm to rules and regulations. Being reasonable was for the weak and misguided.

She loved an argument and a street protest. She was the first in line to question authority and the status quo, particularly if it was boring.

She was a lifelong passionate defender of endangered nature and animals. The list of species she adored and advocated for is long, but to name a few: elephants, great apes (bonobos were a big favorite), polar bears, wild horses and of course, wolves.

She had a very special connection to wolves. Like them, she was independent but also loyal to the core, deeply social and very attached to her “pack”. She had to roam and could not sit still for long. Her endless energy is a thing of legend.

She was a lifelong political activist, starting in the 60s. I know so many of you have fond memories of marching and chanting in the streets with her at anti-war rallies. Some of you might have been arrested with her during peaceful protest and spent a cheerful night of political bantering in jail until we bailed her out yet again.

I know many of you shared a happy drink on the terrace of her house in Italy or Virginia. Prosecco was one of her best friends and, as the extremely generous person that she was, she believed in sharing it ( and her house) with anyone who would care to join her. Even if you did not care to join her, she would pour you a glass. And then maybe drink it herself in the end, she could not stand the waste.

So tonight, please raise a glass to celebrate our unique, fierce, wild, unruly, untameable Elaine, she did not like to be sad and would not want us to be either.