Barbara Wold, a lesbian progressive activist who made a name for herself as a blogger and advocate for LGBT rights died Dec. 18. She was 63-years-old.
A native Chicagoan who later moved to Albuquerque, NM, Wold passed away after a two-month battle with metastatic colon cancer. She is survived by her partner Mary Ellen Broderick.
Wold was best-known for her blog Democracy for New Mexico, which she founded with Broderick at the urging of former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean.
"She was a force to be reckoned with," said Broderick. "I don't know that she knew what a big voice she had."
Wold grew up in Chicago and at attended Edwin G. Foreman High School. She went on to receive her B.A. in English from the University of Chicago. She played 16-inch softball in Chicago during her youth. She left Chicago in 1981, estranged from her family after coming out as a lesbian, Broderick said.
In 1989, she met Broderick while living for a brief period of time in Boston. Two relocated to Albuquerque in the early 1990s.
Wold made her living as a technical writer, but in her spare time, Wold penned hundreds of blog posts on national and local politics, earning a name among prominent politicians and activists.
She cared deeply about marriage equality and repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, said Broderick. She wrote passionately on the end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and other major LGBT issues over the years.
In September, she was diagnosed with cancer, and she began preparing Broderick to take over the writing of the blog.
"I never expected her to pass away so suddenly," said Broderick.
According to Broderick, Wold woke on the morning of Dec. 18 and ate a light breakfast. Broderick left on a brief errand. When she returned 10 minutes later, Wold was gone. Broderick looked at Wold's computer to see what she had been reading at the time of her death. She had been looking up information on local politics.
Howard Dean called their house after hearing about Wold and offered his condolences.
Broderick said she intends to continue Wold's blog. She also believes that Wold may still have family in the Chicago area. Wold never reconciled with them after she came out as a lesbian, Broderick said. But Broderick hopes to hear from them.