The memorial service for Carl Wedekind, former director of Kentucky’s Abolition NOW campaign and board member of the Kentucky Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, who died last weekend, will take place on Thurs., July 7 at 2 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church (809 S. Fourth St., Louisville).
Meanwhile, there have been many remembrances of Carl, both as a dedicated activist and wonderful friend.
From the Louisville Courier-Journal’s “Louisville activist Carl Wedekind dies; fought to end Kentucky’s death penalty“:
Carl was a great man,” [ACLU of Kentucky Executive Director Michael] Aldridge said. “He meant a lot to me personally and a lot to the organization as well.”
The Rev. Pat Delahanty, chairman of the board of the Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, said of Wedekind: “More than an activist, he was a good friend. He loved people and lived a good long life.”
LEO Weekly‘s “What a Week”:
We mourn the death of Carl Wedekind, 85, beloved champion of land conservation, civil liberties, peace and love. Memorials highlight his epic quest to turn state lawmakers against the death penalty, but omit something greater: the stamina of his grace, compassion and sanity against the mad dogmas of a populist flock.
Kaye Gallagher, KCADP’s coordinator and treasurer:
This space isn’t big enough to contain my admiration for Carl. After all, it was Carl who was one of the two-person hiring team that picked me for the Abolition Campaign’s first staff. I can’t count how many miles we covered together across the state. How many civic and faith groups we journeyed together to share the “fire in the belly” speech. Too many chicken dinners and Coca-Colas.
Your fire is contagious, Carl, and the flames will eventually lead to abolition.
You made sure my family felt welcome as we grew from one to two kids. You were like a Dad, Grandpa and all-around friend at every one of life’s intersections and I thank you.
Diann Rust-Tierney, executive director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty: “I am so sorry. He was a great man.”
From the ACLU of Kentucky’s website:
Carl’s contributions to the ACLU of Kentucky, and indeed to our wider community, were voluminous. He was a vigilant advocate for abolishing the death penalty and a defender of civil liberties on all fronts…Rest in Peace Carl, we are eternally grateful to have known you. [The ACLU of Kentucky also has posted stories from its members about Carl.]
Donna Schneweis of the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty: “Just wanted you to know that we in Kansas send our sympathy to all of you in Kentucky in the wake of Carl Wedekind’s death. May the seeds planted during his life bear rich fruit in the years to come!”
Amanda Bragg: “This is such a great loss.”
I just read your announcement about Carl and wanted to express my sympathy to everyone in the KCADP family and of course to Carl’s family and friends – this truly is a loss for our whole movement. I have lots of memories of Carl during that Abolition NOW campaign and always enjoyed the look of surprise and delight on his face whenever I managed to show up at a KCADP event on a trip back home to Louisville. I’m so grateful for that spontaneous visit we had with him, Kaye, after the NCADP conference in Louisville last year.
He was a wonderful, generous man and he will be missed greatly.
Over the past couple of decades I had the honor and pleasure of working with Carl on a number of projects and campaigns. his included abolition and prison work. I believe my first contact with Carl came when he and Pat came to me seeking assistance in applying for tax-exempt status for KCADP. Ever since then we would be in touch with each other on a regular basis looking for advise or wanting to bounce ideas for some new effort or just to chat. He was a prodigious advocate, a kind soul, and good and true friend. We have all lost a champion, but, I know he will forever remain a beacon and memory in the hearts and minds of those seeking to create a just world. I know I shall miss him.
Photo: Bill Sheets Photography