I just heard today that AikiWeb member Don Modesto
passed away on Sunday from cancer.
He was a long-time aikido practitioner, most famously as Mitsugi Saotome's uke in the first Aikido Friendship Demonstration
that Stanly Pranin organized in 1985 (video clip here
). He also trained at Saotome's "Reimeijuki" in Japan as he wrote about in his "It Had to Be Felt" column on Kuwamori Shigeyuki
. Most recently, he was training at the Jionjuku in Tampa, FL.
On a personal note, one memory I have is training with Don in Haruo Matsuoka sensei's class at the Aiki Expo in 2005; he gave me a nod of appreciation for my execution of sumiotoshi.
My condolences to his family, friends, and loved ones.