Ex-OPer dies in New Orleans just before the storm

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Former Oak Park resident and activist Demeteria Byas, died Aug. 24 at a New Orleans hospital shortly before the Hurricane struck. She died of cancer with her 16-year-old son Carrington Byas holding her hand as she passed away, said Eleanor Taylor. She and Byas were close friends and members of APPLE. Taylor's son received a phone call from Carrington on the night his mother died. She also has a daughter, Brittany, who's in college. They have not heard from him since.

Taylor described her friend as full of life. She said she is contacting other associates of Byas and would like to honor her, as well as find out about the whereabouts of her son.

"It's just sickening," said a distraught Taylor. "I feel so for the kids. We want to do something for her memoir, but right now I don't know."

?#34;Terry Dean

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