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Paper Says It Will Write Obituaries For Eugene Area Homeless Deaths

Rachael McDonald

The Eugene Weekly has committed to writing obituaries for each person who dies on the streets in Lane County this year.

Arts Editor Bob Keefer wanted to profile homeless people who have died.  “If there’s a goal to this it’s that more people will realize that all the people you see out there in tents and cars and doorways are actual human beings with lives and families,” Keefer told KLCC.      

In the first obit, we learn of Ivory Irene McCuen. She was found in a hypothermic state on January 24th in a parking lot in Eugene. She died on the way to the hospital. Keefer said McCuen was 30 years old and a mother of two.

“She was not a nobody," said Keefer. "And I think that’s what I want to bring to this is afford the simple dignity of an obituary that someone who was better known in the community might get.”

The other death was Hazel Dai of Eugene, who died January 8th. An obituary for Dai will be published in a future issue of the paper. If you know of local deaths on the streets you can contact Bob Keefer: Bob@EugeneWeekly.com.

copyright 2021 KLCC.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.
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