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My friend Andrew sent me the following obituary excerpt. Inspiring:

The New York Times, December 2, 1999
Phoebe Snetsinger, 68, Dies; Held Record for Bird Sightings
By Douglas MartinPhoebe Snetsinger, who saw and recorded more birds than anybody else, died on Nov. 23 in a van accident on a birding expedition to Madagascar, shortly after viewing an exceptionally rare Helmet vanga. She was 68 and lived in Webster Groves, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis.

Birding went from a hobby to a passion for Mrs. Snetsinger on the day in 1981 that a doctor told her she had an incurable cancer, with less than a year to live. Rejecting therapy, she took off to Alaska on a scheduled trip, her first long-distance journey simply to see birds.
. . .
She graduated from Swarthmore College as a German major, and then taught science at the Baldwin School, a private girls school in Bryn Mawr, Pa. When Mr. Snetsinger returned from service in Korea, they both attended graduate school and she earned a master’s degree in German literature.

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