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Old 05-23-2003, 02:45 PM   #1
AikiWeb System
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 1,316
12/31/1969 4:59pm [from Jun Akiyama]
Website: http://www.boulderaikikai.org

Debbie Kranzler passed away at 10:55am of May 22nd, 2003 of brain cancer at age 44. Debbie started her aikido training in Santa Cruz, California, in 1978. Since then, she trained in the Seattle area for six years before settling down in Boulder, Colorado in 1987 where she became a part of the teaching staff and consistent student at Boulder Aikikai. In addition to her aikido skills, Debbie was also involved in the Model Mugging courses for teaching women self defense against an assailant. She was always an engaging part of every community she touched, always extending welcome and bringing together everyone she met. Her enthusiasm, charm, beauty, wit, and love for everything and everyone will be remembered by all. My condolences to her family, friends, and loved ones.
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Old 05-23-2003, 04:51 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 6,003
I wrote the following on the Aikido-L mailing list.

Some of you old-timers on Aikido-L may remember her posting here many years back. Others may even have known her personally as she was very much a part of the aikido community since she started training in 1978. As here and in real life, Debbie's passion for aikido and love for everything and everyone was readily apparent, always.

Our main instructor started out the training last night by saying that, although he was sure everyone knew, Debbie passed away peacefully earlier that day. Himself being one of the people holding back tears, he had us sit for a few minutes in remembrance. He then said that, in accordance to Japanese Buddhist traditions, he would ring a bell 108 times -- during which we could either sit, train softly, or talk amongst ourselves since Debbie would have liked that kind of freedom of choice. We then trained pretty lightly for about 45 minutes. He closed the class by asking us to bring pictures of Debbie that we may have so we can place it onto our kamidana for the next 49 days. Many hugs were exchanged after class. We will be holding a get-together/wake at one of our member's house tomorrow evening.

Personally, I feel lucky in having met and trained with her. I remember she used to bop me on the nose frequently to show me my obvious openings. She said to me once when I commented on that fact, "Well, you came into the dojo thinking you knew everything about aikido!" I learned a lot from her. I got to visit her in the hospice the night before and the morning of her passing. Although she was already asleep for a couple of days and would never wake up, it was very heartening to see her along with everyone else who were there (including her parents and her husband who were there for the entire time).

Susan [ed: one of the folks on the Aikido-L mailing list] commented on the dojo community. In the course of the last six months, we had gotten together to take over dinners, folded 1000 cranes, put together a seminar with our chief instructor with all proceeds going to Debbie's medical funds, and put together a quilt with members decorating each panel which she was covered by in the hospice. It's been a very sad time and a trying one for many. But, it's nice to be a part of a community that does share in its grief as well as all of the happy times, too. We're having a wake/get-together tomorrow evening at the house of one of our members.

The phrase "ichigo ichie" has gotten a deeper meaning these days...

-- Jun

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Old 05-24-2003, 01:32 AM   #3
Paul Kerr
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 63
My sincere condolences to aa who knew her.

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Old 05-27-2003, 09:26 AM   #4
Dojo: Boulder Aikikai
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 2

Having been out of the dojo for the last few months, I missed the letter of Debbie's passing until this morning. Ironically, I was sitting at home just this weekend, wondering how she was doing. I struggle to hold back the emotions that overwhelm me now, but know that Debbie would not want me to mourn her, but celebrate her life.

Debbie was my first Sensei in Aikido. I was the only student left from a beginner class of 20 people. Over the last five years, I always felt Debbie was toughest on me, expecting so much more of me then others in her class. Truth is, she kept me honest and would quickly point out if my technique was sloppy or my balance off. I don't believe I would have stayed in Aikido had it not been for Debbie's constant encouragement, having come from a full contact background. I was often frustrated and ready to hang up my dogi, but she would not hear of it. Thank you does not seem strong enough a statement.

Debbie and her husband, are family to me. I will do my best to train with the honor and integrity she would expect of me.

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