The outpouring of grief and admiration of Pat Jelliffe that I have received from many of you, and others,
has been touching.
Thank you for these truly loving and beautiful words, what a wonderful tribute to a remarkable woman!
I am grateful to you and the Jelliffe's for being uch inspiring mentors for me. Whenever I feel discouraged about
the ongoing challenges we face in the world of maternal and child health, I am encouraged by the examples of so many
of you " teachers" and " mentors" who have been working at these issues for almost as long as I am old!!
The world will always give us challenges to face and each of us has a choice of how we are going to face those
challenges. I am grateful for the example of courage that Patrice continued to demonstrate throughout her life.
I am encouraged by the " Youth Movement " of WABA... with their technical skills they are teaching us new ways to
face the ongoing challenges. But no matter how skilled we become with technology,we need to continue to have the
creativity, compassion and courage which Pat Jelliffe demonstrated to the world.
... the dyad are together again..
...to micheal's beautiful memories, i will add how at a Le leche league conference in Chicago there was a
fire alarm and all of us had to rush out in the early hours,dishevelled and confused ..but pat was out there
in her calm and exquisitely beautifully dressed self...exuding that eternally lovely confidence that
was her hallmark....
...and to beth's remembrance of their creativity,compassion and courage ..i would add competence..they were unbeatable
...the concept of the 'dyad' is so much part of our work...
...everytime we play the "WABA CRAWL" we will feel the energy and joy they brought to us....
...lets continue to play it often...even make it a ring tone for our hand/cell phones/mobiles?..i can
hear them laughing...
I have to add to the memories about that memorable couple ... I can quite
see them sitting in some heaven chuckling together over human frailty, but
their humour was always with warmth.
I remember being in a meeting as a young and vulnerable Nordic, I couldn't help shedding tears when an
unfriendly lady told me I was most improperly dressed in my Bangladeshi saree. Dick who overheard the
conversation looked at the voluminous curtains in the room and said: "Wouldn't it be simpler if we all were
dressed in a standard Conference attire ... like in those curtains ... same for everyone ... men and women."
My tears dried instantly at the prospect of the Jelliffes in Curtains.
Humour was a very important part of their armamentarium. Sometimes they would play whole sketches for the
benefit of each other and the lucky bystander, and it is not possible to say who were the most spirited of the
two. I join Anwar in wishfully thinking that the dyad is now together again as it was meant to be, as an example
of love and dedication to a worthy cause ...
Thank you for copying me on the moving messages from everyone about Patrice Jelliffe. I was not able to provide anything, because alas I never met either of the Jelliffes. This was because I missed the founding
meeting of WABA in 1991 (and the WABA crawl) when I went down with bronchitis. So this is a big regret for me, but I will try and imagine the Jelliffes from photos that I have seen, and of course draped in curtains, as Elisabet suggests.
How wonderful that WABA has set up a special page dedicated to the memories of Patrice Jelliffe. And at last, I can pore over pictures of this great lady. What a lovely thought. Thank you all so much.
A great loss. And to know of Patrice after so long.
Patrice came with Derrick to Costa Rica, Guatemala, Colombia, several times, coinciding with me. They always honored my work in Guatemala and Costa Rica, and despite being myself a man from a Third World Country, they frequently quoted my work both verbally and in writing, and eventually appointed me to the Editorial Board of the "Advances in International Maternal and Child Health", a unique Series.
Those are times gone, of great interaction, of constant inspection of the real issues and needs of children and women throughout the world, and of intense production and advancement towards those goals.
They were ture scientific and humane champions !
Thanks for letting me know of Patrice
Although I never had the privilege of actually meeting Patrice Jelliffe, I was grateful to be able to read and learn from "the dyad's" prolific writings over four decades. Not many people make such a mark in their chosen field. This website tribute is an excellent idea.
Tribute in memory of Patrice Jelliffe 11/29/20-3/14/07
by Chele Marmet
I was privileged to know both the Jelliffes, to lecture annually for many years to Dr J's UCLA students, whom in later years he brought to the Lactation Institute on a field trip for that yearly lecture, and to have him lecture annually to my students. I have so many fond memories, including the meeting held in the Room of the Children at UNICEF Headquarters where WABA was founded in 2/91, that it is hard to share only one or two, but the following always makes me smile and perhaps best depicts the reverence with which I held Dr. J while providing an example of Patrice's exuberance and some insight into their relationship. There are very few people whom I have mentally placed high on a pedestal. Dr. J was one of them and consequently I always thought of him and addressed him as Dr Jelliffe, in spite of living in informal Los Angeles. Patrice answered the phone one day when I returned a call and said Dr. J was not home, but proceeded to chat with me about many things for about an hour. And then suddenly she exclaimed in her wonderfully high pitched, excited voice, "Oh Chele, Dickie's home. Dickie wants to talk to you." I thought, knowing the Jelliffe's well enough that "Dickie" wanted me was enough of a complement to inspire me through at least the next year of work. Clearly, Patrice was so thrilled to have her Dickie home that it was obvious the two were joyously intertwined.
Dr. Jelliffe was my mentor through the creation of the field of lactation consulting. He was the match that lit my fire. When I first went to him in 1977 with my idea to create a new allied health profession he immediately grasped the vision and said, "Oh Chele, you must do this. The world needs lactation consultants. You must do this now." From that time on, he generously mentored my work, always making time for me, sharing his profound wisdom. His complete grasp of so many "worlds" (the medical world, the pediatric world, the nutrition world, the public health world, the volunteer breastfeeding world, the academic world, etc.) provided me with precious guidance that I doubt could have been equaled by any other human. Even with experience in all those "worlds," it was his visionary ability and understanding of politics and timing that made him so valuable to so many.
Patrice was Dr J's joie de vivre, always elegantly dressed, groomed and looking beautiful. She made the drudge of work fun with her bubbly laugh and her high spirits. They did almost everything together which made life more joyful for both. After Dr. J's death 3/17/92, a spark went out of Patrice that I never saw again. I enjoyed many lovely dinners/evenings with her that I organized knowing that she had no other family and not wanting her to be alone. She told me on several occasions that her work editing the Journal of Tropical Pediatrics, etc. was her way of keeping Dr. J's memory alive, and that this gave her a reason to keep on living.
In Dec of 1993, Patrice was honored by then President Clinton as an American hero who dramatically improved the health commitment to the world's children as a public health expert promoting nutrition in nursing education and fostering breastfeeding worldwide. The world's children were beyond a doubt their children.
The death of Patrice truly marks a sad passing of an era in the breastfeeding world. I like the idea of us remembering them as a dyad. It fits how they thought and lived. Though Patirce will be greatly missed, I'm sure that she is thrilled to be with her Dickie again.
Thanks for info about Patrice Jelliffe. My condolences to WABA.I remember speaking with her to clarify some points in BF history, when compiling the BF SOurcebook.
The world is richer for having had Patrice in it and poorer now that she is gone. I never knew her but I surely knew her work. She was amongst the first to be called 'breastfeeding advocate'. I count it a priviledge to be called by that same name. She was not a well behaved woman.
'Well behaved women rarely make history' -Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
Pat and Dick were an inspiration to us all. They worked closely with each other and not only did they greatly enrich the literature providing a scientific basis for the support of breastfeeding but they engaged actively in critical promotional activities inspiring us all and acting as mentors to just so many.
I had the pleasure of working with the Jelliffes when I worked with USAID and then on Mother and Child Health as well as other publications . The support I received was tremendous especially when Nestles wanted to remove a HEW publication we had circulated worldwide on infant feeding persectives. We managed to continue distributing this document in support of breastfeeding.
Pat and Dick had an exyraordinary loving, sharing, caring relationship.Pat said that Dick always had a suprise present for her which he just gave her out of the blue. They had so much love and respect for each other and others they worked with.
They were responsible for being movers and shakers in the breastfeeding movement They loved images , charts and diagrams to further the cause.- They introduced many descriptive terms such as commerciogenic,secotrant, dyad, multimixes and minimalists. The baby friendly hospital initiative is in itself testimony to their tireless activity.
They changed the way the world thinks of public health in developing countries.
They have inspired and influenced a whole cadre of breastfeeding promoters and activists
They left a legacy which we must continue
In 1982 we - The Informative Breastfeeding Service (tibs) of Trinidad & Tobago, West Indies - held our 2nd Breastfeeding Seminar and had the great honour to have both Professor and Mrs. Jelliffe as speakers.
Mrs. Jelliffe opened her presentation with the following sentence-
'Biological feeding has been the universal method of nuturing infants since the beginning of human existance on this planet. It is only in the past 50 years that processed cow's milk has been widely used as an alternative to the natural method of feeding the young infant.'
Since then Mrs. Jelliffe remained close to tibs and continued to give us the necessary support to keep doing the work which we still continue to do- and until recently was a paid up member of our organisation.
We extend our sympathy to her family.
With warm regards
The Executive and Counsellors of tibs
I never met either of them, yet I appreciate the magnitude of their work and use their creations as stones in the foundation of my work. Sad at the end of an era
Nikki Lee RN, MS, Mother of 2, IBCLC, CCE, CIMI
We are very sorry to hear about the death of WABA's founding member. Please accept our condolence. It is kind of difficult to cope up with the departure of loved ones. We can assure you that your family members will be in our thoughts & prayers. "When God calls a soul to a high station, it is because that soul has capacity for that station as a gift of God, and because that soul has supplicated to be taken into His service... ." (Abdu'l-Baha) "How does one look forward to the goal of any journey? With hope and with expectation. It is even so with the end of this earthly journey... Those who have passed on through death have a sphere of their own. It is not removed from ours... Those who have ascended have different attributes from those who are still on earth, yet there is no real separation." (Abdu'l-Baha) "At first it is very difficult to welcome death, but after attaining its new condition the soul is grateful, for it has been released from the bondage of the limited to enjoy the liberties of the unlimited. It has been freed from a world of sorrow, grief and trials to live in a world of unending bliss and joy." (Abdu'l-Baha) with sincere sympathy
Amatul Wadood Nazli & Team Members , Resource Centre for Development Alternatives (RCDA), Pakistan