Catherine Reuther Bonomi — who was active in the dog-owner support group FREEPLAY (Friendly Responsible Environmentally Evolved Pet Owners Alliance Yes) — died Sunday, August 1st, after battling a rare lung disease, lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM). She was 47.
For years, she volunteered with FREEPLAY, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the right of recreation for dog owners and their dogs.
As FREEPLAY vice president, she was credited with helping establish the Westminster Off-Leash Dog Park at Westminster Park in Venice.
FREEPLAY officials say some 1,500 people a week visit the dog park, a .8-acre parcel that FREEPLAY members say is possibly the most used park property for its size in the county.
The park opened August 8th, 1999, and recently celebrated its sixth anniversary.
Bonomi”s dog, Blitz, a rescued greyhound, is featured in the dog park totem pole.
Born in Sacramento, Bonomi spent much of her life in San Francisco.
As assistant editor of RE/Search magazine from 1985 to 1992, she contributed to the magazine”s counterculture library through her work on many of the publisher”s best-selling books, including ìIncredibly Strange Films,î ìPranks,î ìModern Primitivesî and ìAngry Women.î
She discovered the works of noir author Charles Willeford in a used bookstore and facilitated the republishing of his works as well as ìFreaksî by Daniel P. Mannix and J.G. Ballard”s ìAtrocity Exhibition.î
Bonomi moved to Venice in 1993 and married Pietro Bonomi, an Italian-born computer animator.
She became vice president of Orca Design in Malibu, a high-end sound equipment company.
About eight years ago, she was diagnosed with LAM, a muscle-cell proliferation in the lung tissue that occurs only in women of child-bearing age.
She volunteered herself for research purposes at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland and received evaluations every six months for several years.
She had a lung transplant at Stanford Medical Center in 2002 and made an excellent initial recovery.
But eventually complications resulted in a second transplant attempt July 25th, a week before her death.
Contributions would be welcome in her name to The LAM Foundation, 10105 Beacon Hills Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45241, www.Lam.uc.edu or The Dr. James Theodore Lung Transplant Fund, c/o Anne Weinacker, Stanford Medical Center Pulmonary Division, 300 Pasteur Drive, Stanford, CA 94305.
A celebration of her life is planned for the anniversary of her 48th birthday — January 20th — and a commemorative ìzineî about her life is being created for the occasion.
For more information,