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Longtime Marquette Physician Remembered, Honored at Annual Luncheon

Published: | Updated: 06.01.11

MARQUETTE, MICHIGAN Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan (PPWNM) held its annual Healthy Families Luncheon in Marquette on May 19 at the Masonic Building, with more than 100 people in attendance.

An annual luncheon tradition is to present the Martha Hatch Award to a stellar supporter of PPWNM. This year instead, a past recipient and Planned Parenthood hero, Dr. William Addison, was remembered and honored, after he passed away in June 2010. Event co-chairs Candy Miller and Sheryl Waudby presented Dr. Addison’s widow, Lorna Addison, with a crystal vase in appreciation of the doctor’s friendship and loyalty to Planned Parenthood, and the cause of reproductive choice.

The afternoon was full of moving stories of Dr. Addison’s kindness and his sense of humor, “He loved a joke and had a never-ending supply of stories,” said Janet Graham, who worked for Dr. Addison as a labor and delivery nurse and later as a nurse practitioner. “He was calm in any situation and was always upbeat and walked into the office with a smile and a spring in his step. He never gave anyone less than wonderful care, and was respectful of women in every way.”

Dr. Addison served women and families in the Marquette area for nearly 30 years, and sometimes his beliefs and convictions meant hardships for his family: picketers on the lawn, whispers behind the back, and the always-present sense of what it meant to be “growing up Addison” in a small town. But Mrs. Addison reminded luncheon guests that they must continue to stand up to extremists because our silence will only empower the opposition.

PPWNM President/CEO Katherine Humphrey and PPWNM supporter Kathy Davis both spoke passionately about the opposition that PPWNM has recently faced locally from protesters, and at the state and federal levels with legislative attempts to limit Planned Parenthood or its services, “Limiting women’s access to birth control and choice is all about control and power over women,” insisted Davis, who went on to say that as supporters of the freedom of choice, “We may sometimes be the quiet majority, but we are never the minority.” 

Early returns showed the Marquette luncheon raised over $12,000 for PPWNM.

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Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan provides reproductive health care and sexuality education services, with locations in eight Michigan cities. Learn more at ppwnm.org.

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