As we were laying out the Free Press this holiday season, we were shocked by the sudden and untimely death of one-time Free Press writer, advertiser and friend, Joanna Demas-Way. Our condolences go to her husband, UFO bassist Pete Way, a staunch Free Press supporter who headlined our recent 30th Anniversary bash.

Dr. Demas-Way, a graduate of University of Miami Medical School was one of the few doctors willing to write about the medical use of marijuana (see our Winter 2000 issue, “Relief in a Leaf”).

Joanna was not only a gifted writer, but a kind and caring physician. She often volunteered her medical services to poor and underserved patients. She prided herself on spending time with getting to know each patient’s needs. Her compassion extended to all of Earth’s creatures, great and small. One of our fondest memories of Joanna is when the Free Press editor found an abandoned newborn baby possum, which Joanna insisted on nurturing, hand-feeding and loving for a few weeks before its inevitable death.

One of her favorite pet stores was Animal Fair, because of their Adopt-a-Pet program. Although Joanna and Pete already had Princess, the spoiled goddess of rock , and several other cats and dogs at various times, they recently adopted a beagle with cataracts. Of course, Joanna will be missed by all -- especially her animal friends.

We at the Free Press pledge to keep her spirit alive in our commitment to animal rights.

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