Ganga Stone, who supported AIDS patients, died at the age of 79

Ganga Stone, who lived on odd jobs in Manhattan until she learned that her life’s mission was to bring free home-cooked meals to bedridden AIDS patients on her bicycle, then hired her own volunteer team of cooks and couriers. Expanded into a permanent organization, called a permanent organization. God’s love we giveShe was 79, died Wednesday in Saratoga Springs, NY.

His death in a health care facility was confirmed by his daughter, Hadley Stone. She said a cause had not been determined.

In 1985, Ms. Stone was selling coffee in a car on Wall Street and feeling unfinished. She came to this conclusion, she later told the new York Times, that “if my life is not in any way directly useful to God, then I see no point in living it.”

But while volunteering at the Cabrini hospice on the Lower East Side, she received an epiphany. She was asked to deliver groceries to 32-year-old actor Richard Sell, who was dying of AIDS. When he realized that he was too weak to cook, he called on his friends, who agreed to bring him hot food.

“I’ve never seen anyone so bad,” he Remembered that. “He was starving, and he was scared.”

Legend has it that when she returned to the neighborhood with food tailored to Mr. Cell’s nutritional needs, she ran into a minister who recognized her. When he told her what she was doing, she replied: “You’re just not serving food. You are providing the love of God.” (In another version of the original story, Ms. Stone said she was brushing her teeth when she imagined “We Deliver” signs on restaurant storefronts.)

“It’s the perfect thing — it’s so non-sectarian that it’s impossible to misunderstand,” she told The New Yorker in 1991.

The budding organization – made up of a few friends, including Ms. Stone and her roommate, Jane Ellen Best, with whom she founded the organization – began by giving mostly gay men food, homemade or donated by restaurants, whether they were shopping or eating out. Incapacitated by a then mysterious illness to cook. He left his orders on his answering machine.

Not everyone wanted gourmet food.

“One guy wanted a can of Cheese Whiz and Namkeen,” said Ms. Stone.

In the first year alone, 400 of his clients died.

As the pandemic spread, the group attracted publicity and support from religious groups, government agencies, and celebrities. (Blaine Trump, ex-wife of former President Donald J. Trump’s brother) Robert, is the Vice President.)

This year, God’s Love We Deliver, with a budget of $23 million, expects to distribute 2.5 million meals to 10,000 people in the New York metropolitan area who suffer from various diseases.

Ingrid Hadley Stone was born on October 30, 1941, in Manhattan and raised in Long Island City, Queens, and the Bronx. His father, M. Hadley Stone, a Jewish immigrant from Warsaw, born Moishe Stein, was a Marxist who was the organizer of the National Maritime Union and later its treasurer.

Her mother, Winifred (Karlson) Stone, a daughter of Norwegian immigrants, was a librarian (she founded the Library for the National Council on Aging), who suffered from Lou Gehrig’s illness when Ms. Stone was in her mid-20s. Was in

A graduate of Fieldston School in the Bronx, Ms. Stone studied comparative literature at Carleton College in Minnesota and attended Columbia University’s School of General Studies, but never graduated.

His generous resume of jobs included driving a cab and working as a morgue technician. She was hired as a waitress at Manhattan nightclub Max’s in Kansas City, where she met Gerard Hill, an Australian busboy. They married in 1970, but they left the marriage after 13 months and the couple divorced in 1973.

In addition to his daughter, his survivors include a son from that marriage, Clement Hill, and a sister, Dr. Includes Elsa Stone.

A self-described radical feminist, Ms. Stone was led by her yoga instructor to the spiritual teachings of Swami Muktananda. In the mid-1970s, after sending her 6-year-old son to live with his father, she went on a two-year confinement at Swami’s ashram in Ganeshpuri, India. She washed the clothes, washed the floors and went away without speaking for nine months. Swami named it Ganga for the river Ganges.

When she returned to New York, Ms. Stone resumed her overall career until the mid-1980s, when she was inspired to start God’s Love.

She retired as executive director of the organization in 1995 and was succeeded by Kathy Spahn. The following year, Ms. Stone, who taught courses about dying, published “Start the Conversation: The Book About Death You Were Hoping to Find”. She lived in Saratoga Springs.

“I have always been attracted to working with people who are dying, because I feel like there is no more important moment in human life than that,” Ms. Stone told The New Yorker. “Everything else could be bad, but if that moment goes well, it seems like it makes a difference, and I wanted to make a difference in those moments for people.”

She continued, “My understanding of my own role in life was to share with people what I know about the deathless nature of the human self, but you can’t comfort those who haven’t eaten.”

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