Ossie Davis

  • "You will truly be missed, RIH Ozzie"
    - Deborah Carter
    - Shirley Caldwell
  • "Thank you for sharing a part of your life with us. Rest..."
    - Harry Simpson
  • "God bless u both sip love u both but God love u best"
    - faye daley
  • "An amazing man..your an angel in heaven now..you will be..."
    - patricia bellini

DAVIS-Ossie. The loss of Ossie Davis is a like a death in the family for us at 1199. Ossie was a man of genius and principle who always did the right thing. He was a beloved friend and trusted advisor to several generations of 1199ers. His association with our union began 50 years ago when he wrote and performed a dramatization for our members of the Mississippi lynching of black teenager Emmett Till. For over a quarter of a century Ossie and his magnificent wife Ruby Dee chaired our annual Black History Month Salutes to Freedom, events which drew thousands of health care workers to hear figures ranging from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Mahalia Jackson, Dick Gregory, Pete Seeger and Stevie Wonder. Ossie and Ruby have been guiding spirits in our Breadand Roses Cultural Project. And, since 1965, they've been fixtures on 1199 picketlines, whether with their grandson marching for union recognition in 2001 outside a hospital in Bronxville, N.Y., or inspiring-and energizing-5,000 of 1199SEIU's Union activists for the 2004 presidential election campaign. In their autobiography, they called their experience with 1199 ``one of the most fruitful and rewarding associations of our lives.'' For half a century, our Union has been fortunate to have the opportunity to feel the same way. Our deepest sympathy to his beloved wife Ruby Dee and their beautiful family. Dennis Rivera, President George Gresham, Secretary Treasurer 1199SEIU New York's Health & Human Service Union
Published in The New York Times on Feb. 5, 2005
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