HAMBURGER--Lisa T. Born June 10, 1954 in New Haven, Connecticut to Dr. and Mrs. Robert and Sonia Hamburger of La Jolla, California. Deceased November 6, 2012 of Ovarian Cancer in San Francisco. She was preceded by two sisters Debra and Hilary Hamburger, both passed away from breast cancers. Lisa is survived by her parents, husband Anthony Bila, stepson Jess Bila, two grandsons Nicolas and Valdemar, niece Toya, grand-nieces Saylor, Jasper and Mercy. Many beloved friends as well as Cobby, Minnie, Maggie and Tallulah her chimpanzee charges for many years. Lisa held a Masters in Primatology from San Francisco State and worked with and for animals all of her life. She was an Ape Keeper at the San Francisco Zoo where she worked for 32 years. She did six months of fieldwork in the Kibale National Forest of Uganda habituating wild chimps to the presence of researchers. Her Master's thesis concerned male/female dominance relationships in a captive chimp population. She also worked at other animal and primate facilities and sanctuaries. Lisa was a natural with animals and could gently go "where others feared to go." She was passionate in all things, overwhelming in her love and completely intolerant of ignorance and cruelty towards animals, humans and the earth. She belonged to conservation organizations too numerous to name. Lisa travelled throughout the world in her youth and later with her husband. She loved clothes and jewelry, people and the world's beauty. A vegetarian from the age of 14, she nonetheless loved the world's foods as well. She fought Ovarian Cancer, killer of women, to a standstill a number of times over her five year struggle and gave it no rest. Finally her body succumbed though her spirit never surrendered. She was a warrior of joy and compassion and great love. May she always be with us. Private services will be held in San Francisco. Any who wish may make donations in Lisa's name to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, www.ovariancancer.org and or the Jane Goodall Institute, www.janegoodall.org/ about-jgi.
Published in The New York Times on Nov. 25, 2012