Jake Brewer

Jake Brewer


Jacob Thomas Brewer
January 20, 1981 – September 19, 2015

Jake Brewer died at 3:40 pm on September 19, 2015 in a bike accident.

Brewer, of Alexandria, Virginia, was a senior policy adviser in the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House and previously worked as the director of external affairs at Change.org.

“Armed with a brilliant mind, a big heart, and an insatiable desire to give back, Jake devoted his life to empowering people and making government work better for them. He worked to give citizens a louder voice in our society. He engaged our striving immigrants. He pushed for more transparency in our democracy. And he sought to expand opportunity for all,” President Obama said in a statement.

Jake is survived by his wife Mary Katharine Brewer and daughter Georgia.

Selected Works

“The Problem with Petitions: Working with Leaders, Not Just at Them” from Personal Democracy Forum 2014

GM Goes Grassroots. A Son is Torn.
The Huffington Post, 12/19/2008

The Tragedy of Political Advocacy
The Huffington Post, 5/25/2011

My “Illegal” Brother Defines American
The Huffington Post, 7/7/2011

Support the Survivors

Go Fund Me Campaign
Created September 20, 2015
This ongoing support is helping to guarantee that Jake and Mary Katharine’s children will be fully provided for as they grow up, go to school, and pursue their passions.

What Happened

‘I lost part of my heart’: Beloved White House staffer Jake Brewer mourned
The Washington Post, 9/20/2015

Ronnie Richards

Ronnie Richards

An established carpet installer and family man, Ronnie tragically died of sudden cardiac arrest while playing indoor football at the age of in 2008.
Believing that he could have been saved if only a defibrillator been available in the sports center, along with trained staff, his family created a charity organization that has installed hundreds of defibrillators and trained hundreds more in there use in the years since.

Ronnie loved sport, including cycling and tennis. His most loved sport was football, and he played on several successful clubs from 1976 through 1987. He had experienced loss just before his passing when his brother died from Leukemia in October of 2007.

Ron had been a part of charity support for Leukemia victims and it was widely known that he wanted to expand his efforts before he suddenly passed.

Embracing this challenge, family and friends set up the Ronnie Richards Memorial Charity. This evolved into a joint effort with the local paper and agreements with the suppliers of AED installations to get the best pricing possible, which had real positive results. In November 2017, a girl’s life was saved due to the presence of an AED purchased by the charity. Doubtless this made all of the work worthwhile and is the best kind of tribute a man could ask for.

Elizabeth “Liz” Holland

Elizabeth “Liz” Holland

Elizabeth "Liz" Holland

Liz Holland was a beautiful 32-year-old woman with many honorable and compassionate qualities, which made her a person who many loved. Liz’s sense of humor was like a ray of sunshine which warmed all those who had the pleasure of knowing her.

In 1988, Liz married Daniel Holland of Hingham, Massachusetts. They met in Virginia where Liz lived and went to college. Like most married couples, Liz and Dan were very much in love with each other.

Yet despite their apparent affection for one another, the sign of potential domestic violence festered below the surface, ready to explode. Only those who have survived domestic violence can understand the horror Liz would face in her marriage of ten years with Daniel Holland.

During the first two years of the couple’s marriage, everything was blissful and romantic. Dan concealed both his desire to control Liz and his mindset that a woman is only there to serve him. Dan waited with extreme patience for the right time to lure Liz into his trap of manipulation and power.

On December 21, 1989, Liz gave birth to the couple’s first and only child, Patrick. After Patrick’s birth, Dan’s manipulation campaign commenced. He slowly broke Liz down through emotional abuse. He convinced her that she was worthless and could not survive without him. He closed her world of family and friends off from their circle of life and held his own family and friends close to the nucleus of their marriage.

Elizabeth "Liz" Holland

Two or three years after Patrick’s birth, Dan knew he had Liz broken down enough emotionally to implement and satisfy his desire for physical power and control. Liz found that nothing she did would please her husband. When she displeased him for whatever reason, valid or feigned, Dan would start the beatings. Liz’s extremely low self-esteem blinded her. She could not see that, no matter what she did to please her husband, he would never be satisfied. Dan obsessively fed off of this illusion of power and control he had created.

The beatings, manipulation and control continued for the next five years. In fact, the abuse, both physical and emotional, extended to Dan’s only child Patrick. During this turbulent time, the family moved to Quincy, Massachusetts, where they purchased a home.

Liz always believed she could change Dan or, at the very least, that Dan would change himself. She justified the beatings by coming up with every excuse imaginable as to why Dan would act this way. Liz loved Dan and desperately wanted her marriage to work. Liz may have mistakenly believed the abuse was her husband’s way of expressing his love for her or even that she deserved this unjust treatment.

Despite Dan’s sustained torment, Liz somehow managed to keep in reserve her inner strength. One day, she dug deep down inside of herself and brought this inner strength to the surface. Although she did not to fight the abuse, she did enroll in college to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse. She went to college nights and worked full time days as a nurse’s aid at the Braintree Rehab Center while raising her son, Patrick. She accomplished all of this without any support from her husband. In fact, Dan repeatedly tried to set Liz up to fail. The beatings continued, now even more than before. The only thing that kept her going was her love for Patrick. Liz and Patrick fed off of each other’s strength to survive. They were more than just Mother and son; they were best friends and co-survivors.

Liz went on to earn her degree and acquire employment as a surgical nurse for the New England Medical Center (NEMC) in Boston, Massachusetts. For the first time, a glow from within illuminated her. She was gaining her self-esteem back and was establishing her independence.

Dan feared his wife’s newfound confidence. He was threatened by the changes and thought that he was losing the control he felt he had worked hard for and deserved. Therefore, Dan did what he does best; he increased the beatings and manipulation. However, this time Liz was not falling for it.

After many ineffective 911 calls to the police, Liz realized there was no solution to this perpetual problem.  She therefore decided to file for divorce and obtain a restraining order against Dan.

Liz knew that she had come to a crucial point in her survival. Dan had told her many times that if she left him he would “kill her and beat her face in”. Fearful of Dan’s anger, Liz often told her friends: “I am going to be headlines. I will be leaving my house in a body bag”. Although she believed Dan’s threats to be true, her desire not to disrupt Patrick’s life overcame her fear for her own life and she and Patrick remained at home.

Although Dan was out of the house now, he tried everything to manipulate Liz from afar. He did this first by manipulating Patrick during his visitations. By order of the court, Dan’s visitation privileges were terminated. Next, Dan used the courts to try to wear Liz down. He would file one claim after another to harass her, forcing her to repeatedly pay for legal counsel. Then, he would fail to show up to court.  The courts would not sanction him for this outrageous abuse of the legal system.

Finally, Dan ran out of ways to manipulate and control Liz. This angered and frustrated him very much. Then, the unimaginable happened:

On October 13, 1998, at approximately 10 pm, Dan arrived at the home of Liz and Patrick with a 22-caliber rife in hand. He took a set of golf clubs and launched them through the glass window of the front door to gain access to the house.

Liz heard the crash of the glass breaking and ran downstairs from her bedroom. Patrick was in his bedroom sleeping at the time. When Liz confronted Dan, he physically beat her throughout the first floor of their Quincy home. It was a violent confrontation; the first floor was completely trashed.

Liz managed to escape the grasp of Dan’s powerful hands and ran upstairs toward her bedroom where she believed she might be safe. As she was running upstairs, Dan took aim with the 22-caliber rifle and shot Liz once, wounding her.

Liz ran into her bedroom, locked the door, grabbed her favorite pillow and sat down on the floor between her bed and the wall. As she was clinging onto her favorite security pillow, Dan shot through the door and then kicked it open.

He brutally beat Liz on her face and head with the butt of the rifle until the wooden butt splintered. He shot several times just above Liz’s head into the wall to terrorize her. He then shot her seven more times, once in the hand as she held it in front of her in a gesture authorities speculate was intended as a plea for life. Patrick, 8 years old at the time, was nearby in the house during this brutal murder. To this day, nobody knows what Patrick saw and heard that night. Not even Patrick himself can remember.

Dan fled the scene, leaving Patrick overnight with his mother’s bloody, beaten and bullet-ridden body. Patrick remained in the house hiding under his blanket in his bed until approximately 7 or 8 AM the next morning. At that time, Patrick went into his mother’s bedroom to find her in the condition his father had left her. Patrick tried desperately to wake his lifeless mother up and when he realized he could not, he ran out into the very cold October morning street with only his underwear on, screaming for help.

Dan was captured that night. Two years later, he stood trial for the murder of his wife, Patrick’s mom. After a long and emotional three-week trial, the jury found Dan guilty of 1st degree murder and armed home invasion. Dan was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole and an additional 40 to 60 years for the armed home invasion charge. He is currently serving his sentence in Shirley, Massachusetts.

This was domestic violence of the worst kind. At 8 years old, Patrick lost his mother, his father, and his home in an instant. Patrick, now 14 years old, has no gravesite for his mom. Therefore, a memorial was constructed as a place for him to visit on special occasions and when he just wants to be close to his mother. The memorial is located at Saint Mathew’s United Methodist Church in Sandown, New Hampshire where Patrick currently resides with his new family, Ron and Rita Lazisky.

Elizabeth "Liz" Holland

Liz Holland’s Memorial will be the gateway to the future Memorial Garden, a place dedicated to people who have lost a loved one and meet the criteria to have their loved one’s memorial stone placed in the Memorial Garden.  The Liz Holland Memorial Fund has been set up to pay for landscaping at the site, maintenance of the garden and most or all of the cost of the memorial stone.

For One So Loved