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Tana Butler

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It is with a sad heart that I report the death of former MF member Tana Butler yesterday, from metastatic cancer. She had beaten 2 rounds of cervical cancer over the last couple of years, only to have it come roaring back in October. She went off meds into home hospice care and died at peace.


When I found out that we were moving to the Bay Area, I contacted Tana through Facebook, knowing that she lived in Santa Cruz and remembering Simon Majumdar's account of a memorable holiday dinner in Eat My Globe. We had a couple of lively meetups before she got sick, but she had to spend a lot of time, energy, and effort battling the healthcare system, which continually let her down during the earlier stages of her cancer. The last time we saw her was just last month--we paid her a sick call bearing trays of homemade vegetable lasagna. We swapped genealogy stories and played with her lively hospice kitten Buddy.


I know that she butted heads with a lot of people here--she could be very ornery, even in person. But I'm sorry that I didn't get to know her as well as I could have. RIP, Tana.

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A crazy diamond indeed.


She remained my friend when few others wanted to be. She invited me to join her and her extended “family” for Thanksgiving in Santa Cruz in 2007. She was kind, unfiltered, annoying, determined, soulful, joyous, desperate and most of all passionately loyal to her friends and her family.


Whatever your connection with her, the world is a poorer place for her passing. She truly was the most human of beings


R.I.P Tana Banana.

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Keep a fire burning in your eye
Pay attention to the open sky
You never know what will be coming down
I don't remember losing track of you
You were always dancing in and out of view
I must've always thought you'd be around
Always keeping things real by playing the clown
Now you're nowhere to be found

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Thinking more about Tana, I remembered how one time when I was in San Francisco for a conference, she drove in to meet me. We had lunch at Boulette's Larder in the Ferry Building, and she drove me around, showing me fancy houses. We talked about mutual eG acquaintances--some positively, some not :P-- and many other kinds of things, including her family background. She was a strong person.

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