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Eddie Dee Smith passed away Monday June 30th 2008. She was 99. Here is her obituary from the Press-Enterprise. If you would like to share your thoughts and fondest memories about her, please visit this link on my blog, register,log in and write a comment there.

If you'd like to donate to Eddie Dee Smith's Visionary Committee to help continue her life's work, visit this link.

In my previous life as a staff photographer for the Press-Enterprise, I was privileged to have met and photographed Eddie Dee Smith on numerous occasions. I remember always coming away with a sense of awe that this gentle woman could move so many people into volunteering their time on so many different philanthropic endeavors.

So when Rubidoux High teacher Paul Van Lent contacted UC Riverside to see if they could find someone to provide videography of the unveiling of her wall at the senior center, despite my busy schedule, I had to do it. Too often philanthropists like Eddie Dee Smith are lauded far too late and often posthumously.

portrait of Eddie Dee SmithEddie Dee was a joy to work with and photograph. She would break out in an always appropriate song in the middle of a conversation especially when the chatter had to do with God. I am a still photographer by training but was really thankful when I witnessed her impromptu singing and was able to capture it on video to share with everyone. See for yourself in one of the videos above how her zest for life belies her 96 years of age.

I'm still editing the video footage I shot from the unveiling last week. I want to apologize to those of you who came by and taped a message to Eddie Dee but wasn't included into the DVD which will be shown on Saturday October 7th, 2006 at Rubidoux High School. At least 20 of Eddie Dee's friends took the time and trouble to come in. Unfortunately due to the time constraints, I couldn't include everyone.

I am, however, creating an extended version which should include everyone who taped a message and it will be available for purchase for $25.

 If you would like a copy of this DVD, please contact me. For those who have a paypal account, just click on

All images and videos © Peter Phun 2006.To learn more about Peter