Dolores and I met at Operation Breadbasket. Dolores is a master organizer, detailed oriented, loyal and one of the most efficient person's you will ever meet. Ralph has been her supporter, no matter what and she his. They have been partners in everything that they both have touched. Their support for each other is unusual and always beautiful. Dolores ran what she called the Skills Banks for Rev. Jesse Jackson at Breadbasket and PUSH. She had a center of people with administration, clerical, secretarial and managerial skills and they were dispatched on a as need bases. These women worked in downtown offices, for governments, and private businesses. They were experts in project management. Ralph picked Dolores up and dropped her off as needed, as well as her crew. He was the rounded perfect husband.
To receive the news on Christmas Day that Ralph had been killed was shocking, as it was for all who heard it. Impossible you think. I cried and cried, wondering what is happening in our community. We are loosing it.
Dolores managed the N'DIGO Gala held at Millenium Park. It was a special special event, with a lot of new unique nuisances. It was the tenth year of the Gala. This year we honored Muhammad Ali and Michael Scott.The Obamas were gala chairs. We honored Oscar Brown, Jr, who had just passed and did not live long enough to receive his award, personally. Millenium Park was brand new venue. We walked carefully as we tried new things. Dolores and her skill bank paid attention to every single detail and the event went without a flaw. What made it special was Dolores.
On Christmas eve Ralph was killed in a stupid, senseless murder. He had just finished the decoration of the Christmas tree and was running his errands preparing for the Christmas Eve bash for family and friends at church. Dolores was cooking and called Pop Eye's to place the order for fried chicken. Ralph picked it up. As he approached his car on 47th Street a would be burglar approached him, as his hands were full, while he was placing his packages in the car. He was shot in the face and shoulder. He died instantly. The ex-con didn't get a chance to take anything. People saw the incident at 4:00 in the afternoon. The police move quickly.
The killer has been identified. He never should have been out of jail. He has served time for murder and armed robbery and his record indicated 10 violent incidents in jail with the guards. How did he get out of jail? He killed a good guy. He has robbed a community of friends from the wealth of a man, named Ralph Elliott.
This is not the way to spend a Christmas eve or Christmas day. Dolores has called her husband a "gentle giant" and indeed he was. We will miss him and all of us who knew and loved him will never forget his wonderful spirit, his support and his acts of kindness to all who came his way.
Crime in this city is out of control. The crime rate has reported to be going down, but it is up and living well on the South Side of Chicago. No one, but no one, should die for doing the normal and natural things of life.