One of Louisville's most dependable and committed voices in the civil-rights movement died yesterday. Alice Wade, 69, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer passed yesterday morning. According to an e-mail sent out by the KY Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression, Wade was given less than two weeks to live by doctors last week at Jewish Hospital. Though lesser-known to the public, Wade was a committed organizer to the struggle for equality in Louisville.
From the Courier-Journal:
A native of Jeffersonville, Ind., Wade had lived in the Louisville area all her life. Her daughter, Ursula Wade, said her mother worked at the old Indiana Army Ammunition Plant, at various other jobs and in nursing.
Of her involvement in civil rights, her daughter said: "I think she just wanted to make sure that she made a difference."
Alice Wade's family is planning a memorial service, but arrangements were incomplete yesterday. Memorial gifts may be made to The Braden Center, 3208 W. Broadway, Louisville, KY 40211.
"I saw her yesterday," said Rev. Louis Coleman, director of the Justice Resource Center and longtime friend and ally of Wade. When I called him about Wade's passing, Rev. Coleman kept repeating, "It's a tragic loss."
Raoul Cunningham, President of Louisville NAACP said Wade was one of the most dedicated individuals in community activism and her dedication will be severely missed.
"She was always dependable," Cunningham told me. "Always ready to make whatever contributions were necessary."
"We're almost gone," Rev. Coleman commented somberly, speaking about the dwindling number of his peers who marched, petitioned and spoke out for civil rights at the movement's genesis in the 1960s. "We're just about gone, either that or tired or worn out. Some of us hit a wall and cancer is a rough trial."