Barbara Quackenbos lives in South Orange, NJ. She graduated with honors from Princeton University in 1982 and from New York University School of Law in 1988. She has been a healthcare lawyer for more than 30 years.
When the Covid-19 pandemic began to wreak havoc in New York and New Jersey, Barbara wondered what she could do to make a difference. After hearing Rachel Maddow’s April 1, 2020 MSNBC broadcast reminding viewers that each and every Covid-19 victim deserved to be remembered, Barbara was inspired to create this memorial site accessible to everyone. She hopes it will help families express their grief and loss, and begin the path to healing by sharing and memorializing.
She dedicates this project to her mother, Eleanor Smith Quackenbos, who died on July 5, 1980. Barbara was not able to say goodbye before her mother died. Another inspiration for this website is her close friend and confidante over the past 28 years who has lost three immediate family members to this pandemic. She hopes to ease the deep grief caused by the inability of families and friends to say goodbye to Covid-19 victims before they died.
Chloe Priebe and Barbara began working together on this project in the Spring of 2020, just as Covid-19 began to take hold in the United States. What began as a moment in time has grown into a new era, an unprecedented time. One in which it is difficult to cope, and make sense of the constant grief. Having experienced loss herself throughout this pandemic, Chloe is passionate about creating a space in which it is possible to remember those we have lost, together, while also finding some sense of community in the loss.
After investigating existing memorial websites, it became immediately clear that a difference could be made with this project. The ultimate goal for Chloe was this: creating a memorial with us (C&R) could be free, and the burden would fall to us, not the visitors and mourners, to keep these memorials, as well as a community gathering place, alive and accessible.
Chloe has a background in design and spends much of her time working in the arts or trying to find new ways to help people. This is actually the first website-- hopefully of many-- that she has ever designed and she could not imagine a better first project. Chloe wants to dedicate her work on this project to the three people she couldn't say a proper goodbye to in the Spring of 2020: Robert Northrup, Don Reilly, and Sam Engel. She thinks of them every time she works on this site, and hopes that you will think of them, too.
We are thankful for the support of Laura and Julia Ben-Asher, daughters of Barbara Quackenbos. They have helped with ideas, encouragement and overall sound judgment. Laura, a 2019 NYU Tisch School graduate, has helped us immensely to get our website off the ground by providing us with her proofreading, editing and transcription skills when we needed them most. She assists with research and outreach as well, and is a welcome, fresh voice whenever we are lucky enough to have her join a meeting.
Cherish & Remember would also like to acknowledge and thank the following professionals for their assistance and wisdom:
Nancy Mertzel, Esq.
Mertzel Law PLLC
New York, NY
Attorney specializing in intellectual property, technology, etc. (especially helpful on internet privacy issues).
Monica Vir, Esq.
Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper PC
Attorney specializing in corporate law (including drafting of nonprofit corporate documents);
Kathleen M. Clayton, CPA
HBK CPAs & Consultants Clark, NJ
CPA expert in nonprofits (including nonprofit compliance).