Edward Fleming, a community activist, volunteer and fundraiser who spent hours registering voters, died February 9 at Rideout Memorial Hospital in Marysville. He was 73.
The former Marysville Planning Commissioner was born in New London, Connecticut. An avid Boston Red Sox fan, he was often seen wearing his Sox hat manning a voter registration table, usually by himself, in front of Save Mart and other locations in Yuba County.
His activism began at an early age. He was among several volunteers from northern states to travel to Mississippi in the early 1960s to participate in voter registration drives in African-American communities, in a climate hostile to African- American participation in elections.
One of the original founders of the Alpha 27 Taxi Cab and Limousine Service of San Jose, he earned an AA degree from West Valley Junior College in Saratoga, and a BA from the University of Santa Cruz.
In addition to serving for eight years as chairman of the Rural Caucus of the State Democratic Party, he was a member of the Party's Resolutions Committee. He was past chair of the Yuba County Democratic Central Committee, and past President of the Yuba-Sutter Democratic Club.
He was a good friend of labor, acting as an important liaison between local unions and progressive causes. He helped raise funds and volunteered for many organizations, including the Marysville Community Garden, the Yuba City Senior Center, Harmony Health Family Resource Center, the Yuba-Sutter Legal Center for Seniors, and Bridges to Housing.
He is survived by three children, Faith Welter of Tampa Bay, Florida; Sean Fleming of San Jose; and David Fleming of Marysville. He also leaves behind his partner in life and politics, former Marysville Councilwoman Christina Billeci, and his many good friends at the Yuba City Senior Center.
A Celebration of Life is planned for 2 p.m. February 20, 2014 at the Yuba City Senior Center, 777 Ainsley Avenue, Yuba City.
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Published in Appeal Democrat on Feb. 14, 2014