Remembering Elizabeth Denebeimby Senator Barbara Boxer
Posted on 2013-12-17
BOXER. Mr. President, I ask my colleagues to join me in
honoring the memory of Elizabeth ``Libby'' Denebeim, a pillar of the
San Francisco community, who passed away on November 15, 2013. She was
83 years old.
Libby was born and raised in the Midwest and graduated from the University of Missouri, where she met the love of her life, Robert Denebeim. After getting married, Libby went on to obtain a master's degree in education and taught elementary school in Tampa, FL, while Robert completed his service in the U.S. Air Force.
In 1956, the couple moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. Libby had always been dedicated to public service, and in San Francisco she became a leader in the community. She worked on behalf of so many agencies and organizations dedicated to improving education, mental health, the arts, and family services, including the San Francisco Board of Education; the San Francisco Mental Health Association; the Mayor's Advisory Council on Families, Children and Youth; the Mayor's Criminal Justice Council; San Francisco Head Start; and Jewish Family and Children's Services.
[[Page S8910]] Libby was also a fierce advocate for the LGBT community. She fought to end the definition of homosexuality as a ``mental illness'' and remove it from the National Psychiatric Association's Manual of Mental Disorders. She campaigned against California Proposition 6, the Briggs Initiative, which sought to ban gays and lesbians from working in California's public schools, and also served on the San Francisco Health Department's Committee on Services for People with AIDS, the Mayor's HIV Task Force, and the NAMES Project.
Those lucky enough to know Libby recognized her as a vibrant, inspiring and generous woman who gave selflessly to her community. Through the years, she was honored by organizations ranging from the United Way to the Pacific Medical Center to the California State Legislature. Her contributions to the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond will be remembered fondly by everyone whose lives she touched. She will be deeply missed. I extend my heartfelt condolences to Libby's children, Robert, Nancy, David, William, Thomas, and Edward, and their spouses; her grandchildren, Daniel, Kathleen, Jack, Robert, Catherine, Allton, and Samuel; and her sisters-in-law, Beverley and Helene, brother-in-law Dart, their 13 children, and grandchildren.