Rae is gone. She is missed.

Welcome to Rae’s Blog

Dedicated to Rae Atira-Soncea, who passed away Sunday, March 1, 2:20pm CST

She was feeling poorly since Wednesday, developed a fever on Friday, was admitted to the UW Hospital on Saturday afternoon, passed quietly with dignity surrounded by friends and family at 2:20.

We will have a reception for her this Saturday March 7th 12:30-5 at Club Inferno, 1718 Commercial Ave, Madison (potluck).  She was just complaining about having a birthday February 16, and determined to change her birthday to May 16, so we will have a party at our house  on May 16, You are welcome to either or both of these events.  Please let others who knew Rae know as well.


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14 Responses to “Rae is gone. She is missed.”

  1. DorothyK says:

    Wow… just, wow. Definitely will fall under the category of “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”. I feel as though I barely got to know her, enjoyed time spent, and always figured there’d be more opportunities in time. Lots of fun memories and some not as fun, but all growth and learning. I’m going to paste this here and hope the site doesn’t go down any time soon. http://www.matrifocus.com/IMB05/art.htm The few opportunities I’ve had to explore her art was some of what I enjoyed most about her. Dorothy

  2. Sarah Bebhinn says:

    Math… I’m so sorry we’ve lost her. I wish she’d known how much she meant to me and how much she influenced my life. I’m holding you and your family in my heart.

    So much love,

  3. Rhiannon says:

    Dear Math, Ethan & Casey

    I spoke to Lynda last night and she told me about Rae – I am so sorry to hear of her illness and passing. I wish you all my deepest condolences and best wishes for this difficult time.

    Much Love,


  4. Sarah Hole says:

    I manage the Common Wealth Gallery and I always looked forward to Rae’s shows – they were powerful. Rae was scheduled to have another show here this fall, but recently decided to postpone it until 2010. Rae was also a strong supporter of the Garver Arts Incubator and spoke at public hearings. She was an amazing artist and a strong voice for the arts and I will miss her.

  5. Laura (lu) says:

    I only had the honor of meeting with Rae on a few occasions, but each time her great presence, strength and openness touched me. It was always great to run into Rae at Pagan Pride Day, or various UU events and share a little time with her. Math, the wedding that you and Rae officiated for my brother, Gray, and friend, Jen, was so beautiful and really showed what amazing people you are. Math, Ethan and Casey, I offer my sincere condolences and warmest blessings to all of you during this difficult time.

    May peace be with you,
    lu (Laura)

  6. Amy S. Mondloch says:

    Math, Ethan, Casey–

    I continue to be struck this week by the immensity of the impact Rae had on the world. I keep hearing stories from GLC alumni and others about Rae did for them just by being who she was. I keep learning about just what an impact she had on me.

    I went to the Overture Center yesterday just for a few minutes just to stand in the space that I so associate with her. I thought of what a city staff person told me on Monday– the Overture Center wouldn’t be the accessible space that it is without all Rae’s guidance and insistence. She made the world accessible in this grand community way making it possible for people to exercise their right to take part in community spaces and in the arts.

    From there I went to the library to set up for the GLC board meeting and thought about how every meeting I’d set up thinking about how will Rae maneuver through this room, and how every time she’d come in and move things around that to create her own space. I thought about how she changed our organization for the better with her wisdom, her experiences, and her deep love for community and justice.

    When the board came together we talked and I heard how she entered the hearts of each and every person in the room helping them change their own visions of the world. Each of us carrying through that meeting, what would Rae think and do with this question and that agenda item.

    In what may be a strange tribute we made a decision last night. We decided to name the task list she asked we put at the meeting notes each month “Rae’s list” as our reminder to keep carrying on her work.

    And so, in this small way and in countless others she will carry on. Giving you all all my love and wishes for healing.


  7. Feral says:

    A friend was opening a shop in Stoughton, and Rae appeared at the party. She amazed me then with how definitely she took up space, how much she observed, how honest, fierce, and fearless she seemed… and what a magnificent belly laugh she released when she felt like it.

    From that day on, she was a catalyst in my life as in so many others. Just seeing her from time to time, wheeling vigorously around a public space, talking emphatically or listening intently, made demands on my inertia.

    Then I joined the conflict transformation group. For two years, we met in Rae’s living room, where she sat in her particular chair, doing what my grandmother called “fine needlework.” She pumped energy into the discussion just as the woodstove pumped heat into the room. Gradually I began to figure out how many jobs she had, how many people she loved, how many passionate vocations she followed, how much beauty she made. I saw the needlework in context, in her art. I painted black on the backs of mirror pieces that would be suspended in her goddess yurt. I saw one of her brooms and her Brigid triptych. I watched her make a speech, teach a class, support a friend, get angry and deal with it, get impatient with doubts and dithering and get on with the next project.

    I continued to be amazed by Rae and, awkwardly, a little in awe of her. Also more aware of my fears, more emotionally honest, more prepared to deal with conflict in love and work.

    Friends have told me Rae was prepared to go. I hope her inmost folks were prepared for this abrupt transformation. I hope the rest of us catch up with it soon. And I sympathize with the people, a year, two years from now, who mention her in one of her many contexts, and only then find out she’s no longer in that indomitable body, making the world change.


  8. Dianne says:

    What a wonderful role model. I am so sorry I did not know her better. She was an amazing person and I know that she will be missed. She will go on in the memory of all that knew her. May you find peace and comfort in that knowlege.
    A Volunteer Usher that she gave the O.K. too and taught me so well about playing the hand you were dealt.

  9. Beverly says:

    Math, Ethan, Casey and all the extended loved ones:

    My thoughts and prayers are very much with you. Like so many others, I am deeply deeply affected by Rae’s passing; even though I didn’t see her often she was always a strong presence for me. So sad we didn’t get one more time to really share.

    I couldn’t come to the event last Saturday but will certainly come in May. I’m sure she’s off to wonderful things on the other side, but the loss here is no less huge.

  10. Dave Hoon says:

    This is truly sad news. Rae has been one of my favorite people in education. She was vibrant, creative and caring. The world is a bit dimmer without her light.

  11. curt kodl says:

    math –
    saw the email from tom, i am so sorry.

    though i only knew Rae through you. i knew how much she meant to you. — may you find peace, comfort and happiness in each memory and every story you share. i have found it is the stories that keep the memories alive.


  12. Lexi and Jason says:

    I feel honored to have known her for the brief but important period that I did. She and Math blessed and cemented our love in a handfasting ritual. I think our ritual was all the more special because it was conducted by two people who obviously have a passion, love and respect for each that will live on forever.

    Math, you are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Lexi and Jason

  13. Sharon Kilfoy says:

    I knew Rae as an artist, but maybe even better in her role as coordinator of disabilities services at the Overture Center for the Arts where I have been a volunteer usher for close to a decade. Rae was instrumental in raising awareness at Overture about people with disabilities and how accommodations could best be made with consideration and understanding. Her trainings were great! They were participatory and one would always come away from them having learned something. She imparted practical information in a straight-forward manner that allowed the trainees to not be afraid to ask questions. Instead of blaming us or shaming us for not knowing what it would be like to have a disability, she gave us the chance to “be in someone else’s shoes.” Her empathetic approach allowed the empathy of hundreds of staff persons and volunteers to increase each year.

  14. Sid Reger says:

    I am stunned and saddened to know of Rae’s passing. She was a remarkable and
    unique artist. I met her last year at the Goddess Scholars symposium, where she gave a wonderful presentation on her work. As another visual artist, I mourn her loss and the loss of her deep vision in the world.
    May her spirit soar and her family find peace and comfort.