On a sad note, my friend Alice Burress of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina passed away on Friday, September 5, 2014, after a battle of many years with the disease, lupus. Alice was a highly respected architect, an artist, a formidable tennis player, a reader and thinker of great insight, a wonderful wife, mother and friend, and a tough cookie in the face of a ruthless disease.
Alice and I were in a book group together, and it was after Alice reintroduced our group to the fiction of Flannery O’Connor in 2009 that I began a four-year art project interpreting O’Connor fiction. Alice helped establish a lupus support group for the greater Charleston area, and in 2012 she and I participated with the music group, The Harrows, and others in a lupus fundraiser at the Tin Roof, a popular rock music venue in Charleston. Art and music related to Flannery O’Connor (who also suffered from lupus) provided the entertainment that night. This was a group who knew how to balance the serious in life with the lighter side, and how to make others feel at ease. And that sums up my memory of Alice Burress. I will miss her deeply but will always remember her wit and humor.