Portraits of Courage

Faith Fancher

October 19, 2003

I did not know Faith Fancher - like most of us who were familiar with her mainly through her work as a television reporter, I never had the privilege. But, seeing her on-screen, hearing her sensitive handling of very difficult stories, witnessing the substance of the person, I did have the privilege of being a part of the world she moved about in and reported on, and in which she served always for the benefit of others.

When I heard in 1997 that she had cancer and was airing her story directly on the air, I was struck by the audacity of such a move, but had misgivings about it as a way to gain something personally. As I listened to her over the next couple of days and weeks, it became clear that I was wrong - it was not only bold and courageous, it was a selfless sharing, and it was brilliant. I saw this was not a move for notariety or fame, and there was nothing shallow in any gains for herself - it was clear from her bearing and her message that it wasn't that. It was a sharing of something so intimate and personal, something most of us would have kept very close to the vest, but in her way something of a personal gift from one who was in a position to give and who did so willingly - she gave from her heart, and there were no strings attached.

It was with sadness that I learned of her death this past Sunday. Like many, I will miss her lovely face on the airways...

Farewell, Faith - fair sailing...

Post Script: Here is a link to a SF Chronicle Editorial of  10/21/03, and an article by columnist, Annie Nakao, whose permission I obtained to reprint her column of  10/26/03: