Founder Of Burien's "Drinking Liberally" & Community Activist Cherisse Luxa Passes Away 5Sunday morning (Dec. 13th), Cherisse Luxa, 62, founder of Burien’s “Drinking Liberally” group and community activist, passed away from stomach cancer.

Known as one of the area’s most spirited Democrats, Cherisse was a well-respected organizer who had a hand in many local causes, including the attempted 2007 save of Burien’s Lora Lake Apartments.

Courtesy Daily Kos, where Cherisse’s friend cafecito wrote:

If you have ever attended Drinking Liberally, you almost certainly know of Cherisse’s incredible energy and her unstoppable drive to make our community a better place. From her decades as a King County Sheriff’s Deputy to her impressive track record as an activist an advocate, Cherisse made a huge difference, both for Burien and for the broader community.

Cherisse, like many of us, got religion with Howard Dean’s run.

Cherisse touched thousands of lives and was a role model for many of us. We will sorely miss her.

Here’s to a pioneering netroots activist, Cherisse Luxa. May she rest in peace. We’ll always be grateful for the work she did to make our state a better place to live.

Also, from Washblog comes this tribute from Noemie Maxwell:

Founder Of Burien's "Drinking Liberally" & Community Activist Cherisse Luxa Passes Away 6

I took this photo at a July 2007 Service of Lamentation held by clergy to protest the planned destruction of the Lora Lake moderate-income apartments in Burien.  Cherisse was instrumental in organizing the community to try to save this housing.  From left to right in this photo: Donald Bennett, Cherisee Luxa, Representative Tina Orwall from Washington’s 33rd Legislative District, Sarajane Siegfriedt.

Cherisse had incredible energy, intelligence and caring.  In the last in-depth email I exchanged with her, she told me she was working on her dissertation in the doctoral program on Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University. She was a retired sheriff’s deputy — as she put it, “a retired cop”, a victims’ rights advocate, and, among many other activities, worked in other countries to help identify the bodies of people who had died as victims of war crimes.  She co-founded Burien’s Drinking Liberally.

Cherisse had a keen and integrative intelligence — noticing and remembering details that few people see (she rescued me several times from errors in my stories) — but also thinking in a systems-oriented way — understanding the larger patterns, the connecting dynamics.  She was truly a pleasure to talk with as well as generous with her time and thoughts and help for others.  I feel truly sad that she has passed away.

PHOTO CREDIT: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ / CC BY 2.0