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Wendy M. Appel


1944 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Wendy M. Appel Obituary
July 26, 1944 - May 5, 2017 Eyes-Wide-Open Wendy Appel faced the end of life the same way she faced all things-head-on, eyes-wide-open, with as much information as possible. On May 1, 2017, an unexpected stroke left no viable alternative but to follow her explicit healthcare directive. Surrounded by friends from the film industry, USC and NYFA where she was universally regarded as one of their finest documentary film teachers, and some current documentary students, all shared memories of her, laughed, cried, and for the first time in anyone's memory got the last word. Her students also received one final master class from her-facing death eyes-wide-open as the ventilator tube was removed and our beloved friend was readied to pass from this life on her terms. Wendy Appel was a force of nature-passionate about media, her students, feminism, politics, protecting the environment, and always, always with compassion for all she taught and befriended. Her work mattered to her and changed lives. Her work was her life. She was a demanding perfectionist from her earliest days at NYU film school until her last breath. She was fire-one of the early members of TVTV and the producer and/or director of numerous award-winning documentaries and shows, including: The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing (2004), American Families (1991) and Appearing Nightly (1979). At the time of her death, Wendy was in the process of completing Emily @ The Edge of Chaos. Wendy Appel is survived by her mother Ruth Craven of Culver City, her brother Steven Appel, and an impressive network of friends. At her request, her remains will be cremated and a party held in lieu of a funeral to celebrate her life. It will be one hell of a party or we'll all hear about it. She leaves this stage of life surrounded by the love of all privileged to know her.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from May 9 to May 14, 2017
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