The Founding Memorials are sponsored by the families and friends of those who have passed in recognition of their lives and in honor of their compassion.
In each case all the Founding Memorials are given careful consideration and approved by the Access Ready, Inc. Board of Directors.
The funds donated through the Founding Memorials are directed into the Access Ready Foundation Fund so that these contributions will continue to support the organization’s work indefinitely.
The tireless souls represented in the Founding Memorials are an inspiration to us all through their example of lives well lived. We thank the families and friends who make these Founding Memorials possible through their caring and consideration for their loved ones and the Access Ready Mission, Vision, Values and Purpose.
Click to jump to any Memorial below:
Photo: A photo of Jordan Michael Ellis. A selfie taken sitting in his car. A Founder who passed February 14, 2020.
Jordan was kind, gentle and notably polite with a servant’s heart. He was particularly considerate to those he felt had needs of any kind. So much more so to the young, the elderly and the disabled. He was born February 13, 1989. He passed on Valentine’s Day February 14, 2020. Anyone who knew him suffers the loss. His light still shines.
Photo: Photo of Robert (Bobby) Silverstein smiling and offering a toast to the camera.
Often referred to as the “behind-the-scenes architect” of twenty pieces of federal legislation impacting persons with disabilities, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Robert “Bobby” Silverstein was the epitome of the consummate professional, revered for his analytical skills while also incredibly thoughtful and compassionate.
Highly regarded on Capitol Hill as well as throughout the nation as an authority on disability issues, Bobby has been praised by legislators and staff, disability leaders, clients, and colleagues for his commitment to bipartisanship, his principles, dedication and hard work, and tireless advocacy on behalf of individuals with disabilities. Always humble, Bobby often blushed when anyone referred to his very long list of amazing accomplishments.
Bobby initially developed his consensus-building style while serving in various capacities in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, including staff director and chief counsel for the Subcommittee on Disability Policy of the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources (now the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions). In that role, he negotiated and drafted bipartisan, consensus-based legislation, that has had – and will continue to have – a lasting, positive impact on persons with disabilities.
A prolific author, speaker, and trainer, Bobby wrote several peer reviewed journal articles and over 100 papers and articles on public policy issues from a disability perspective. He served as a keynote speaker before multiple national and state organizations and facilitated training sessions in more than 40 states on various public policy issues and the policymaking process. Bobby was the recipient of dozens of national awards, including the Distinguished Services Award of the President of the United States.
From 1997-2007, Bobby served as the Director of the Center for the Study and Advancement of Disability Policy. From 1997-2000, he also served as an Associate Professor of Health Care Sciences at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences and as an Associate Professor of Health Services Management and Policy at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. Bobby joined POWERS in February 2007 and for the past 15 years has been a principal with the firm.
While Bobby enjoyed professional success, he always said his greatest achievement in life was his family. His wife Lynne, sons Evan and Mark, along with his grandchildren were his pride and joy. Bobby loved to share stories of summer “Camp” spent with his grandchildren at his home and how he and Lynne enjoyed planning adventures both exciting and mentally stimulating for their grandchildren.
Bobby had an unfailingly positive attitude and held firm to the motto to disagree without being disagreeable. His smile, encouraging words, and commitment to mentoring the next generation of leaders will be missed every day. For those who knew and loved Bobby – his legacy will help light the way to a brighter future.
May Bobby’s memory be a blessing!
Photo: Photo of Lorita Vivian Ward, friend to many, standing by a table in her dining room. A founder who passed.
“If you ever met her, she was your friend forever!” Thank you to all the kind, gracious friends and caregivers that supported mom over these challenging last few years: Dear mom, I wanted to write you a letter to express myself and how we all feel. The last 10 years has had its challenges since daddy left us, especially the last 4.5 years, but for the next few moments my focus is on your life. Sheri, Mark, and I may not have realized it, but we won the “proverbial” lottery at birth. We won the lottery because we had you and dad as parents. You gave us life and then you gave us every ounce of energy you could muster right until the end!
For the values and life lessons we will be eternally grateful! Indulge me as I mention a few of the values and life lessons you shared with us, and we teach our children: You taught us love You taught us kindness You taught us passion You taught us work ethic (and how to go on strike). You truly met people “where they are” – all people. You taught us not to judge. You taught genuineness and authenticity.
Photo: Charles J. West (Uncle Chuck) smiles for the camera.
Founding Memorial information by Patricia West Reblin. Charles John West was my beloved brother. He was my only sibling, and we grew up in Lynn, MA and attended Lynn schools. At Lynn Classical High School, he won a full summer scholarship to the Museum of Fine Arts’ summer school program for talented young artists. Chuck was always in a good mood and thought highly of by everyone who knew him. He joined the Navy during the Viet Nam War serving on an aircraft carrier. His time in the service gave him a chance to visit many countries around the world where he never missed an art museum.
After the war, Chuck graduated from Ringling College of Art in Sarasota, Florida where he earned his degree in commercial art. For many years Chuck was the Editor of “New Black South Magazine.” If you ever go to the Hard Cover Restaurant, notice the bicycle logo that he designed for them years ago. Chuck was a most talented artist who produced many beautiful oil paintings. I brought a seascape that Chuck painted several years ago to his Celebration of Life. This oil painting reflects his love of sailing and eye for color. Later on Chuck opened an antique, jewelry, and art store and loved setting up at shows throughout Florida. During the summers, Chuck often found antique and art shows in Massachusetts, so he could visit us. He loved setting up at the large Brimfield Antique Show.
Early on after college, Chuck bought a home and settled in St. Petersburg, Florida. Our parents also bought a home in St Petersburg on Riviera Bay. At that time, many close relatives had also moved there, so Chuck felt a part of the community. He loved the warmer climate and the Florida life-style. My family have so many fond memories of our winter vacations to visit Chuck and my parents. Chuck loved taking my family to the beach and Disney Land in his yellow van playing Eric Clapton, James Taylor, and Jimmy Buffett songs. He also loved taking my kids out for rides in their grandparent’s boat and teaching them to fish.
When it came to hobbies, Chuck loved visiting art museums, attending live theatre, and concerts. He especially loved musical performances and walking the boardwalk of a local nature preserve. As a teenager, he sailed on the Charles River and later in Florida sailed from a local boat club. Being in touch with nature gave him great pleasure. He and my family had many memorable nature walks together.
Chuck never married, so was very close to my children. They love to share their Uncle Chuck stories. At one time, they ordered him a special jacket with “Uncle Chuck” embroidered on it. He wore it as a badge of honor, and after a while, all of his friends were calling him “Uncle Chuck.”
For the past 10 years, I have arranged a family vacation each summer for my adult children, grandchildren, and Uncle Chuck. We stayed at Cape May, N.J., Lake George, N.Y., Ocean Beach, Maryland, Delaware, and New Hampshire. The highlight of these trips was when Chuck would spread out lots of men’s and women’s jewelry and invite everyone to select items that they liked. I feel that these trips built nice bonds among all family members.
Everyone fortunate enough to have known my brother remembers him as always being there for them and fun to be with. We all loved his pleasant disposition and the way he consistently looked at the positive side of life. His house was full of family vacation pictures that he proudly showed to all of his friends. Chuck will be sorely missed by all!
– Patricia West Reblin