On may 27th, 2014,
We lost a Great Friend and President of N.O.T.E. Edward T. McCaffery.

He will be greatly missed.

McCaffery, Edward T. 71, of Tampa, passed away May 27, 2014. He was born in Montgomery, AL, his

early education was in Europe and graduated McGill H.S. in Mobile, AL. He then joined the U.S. Air Force in 1960 to 1964.

Edward married Katherine Ficarrotta in 1964, they moved to taunton, Massachusetts and opened Eddie's Automative & Machine Shop.

In 1982, they moved to Tampa and opened Tampa Automative Inc. He had congestive heart failure in 1986 and was diagnosed with

cardiomyopathy, thus resulting in a heart transplant in Jan. 1996. Edward became a volunteer for Life Link in 1997,
he joined the National Orgaization of Transplant Enlightenment (N.O.T.E.) in 1998 and was president of N.O.T.E since 2010.

Edward was also a member of Kiwanis and Elks Lodge #708.

Edward was a loving husband, father. grandfather, great grandfather and friend to all.

Bill Minahan

Bill was born May 2, 1929 in Johnstown, PA and passed away December 30, 2013 at Tampa General Hospital, he was 84 years young.

Bill became a Marine and served in the Korean War. Then he received an opportunity with the University of Tampa's football program from 1952-1955, as a quarterback he led UT to a 31-11 mark


Bill started his career coaching in 1956 with local high school football programs at Plant and Jefferson High. In 1966, he began a twenty-eight year run during which he led Jesuit High to a Division 3A State Football Championship win in 1968 the first football title for Hillsborough County and first in the Tampa Bay area. While coaching at Jesuit Bill met and married Martha, a former Jesuit geometry teacher, guidance counselor, coach of the Jesuit cheerleaders, the "Voice of the Jesuit Tigers" and the love of his life.

At the close of his coaching tenure, Bill thought he received a death sentence, his kidney was failing. In 1986 he received his life saving transplant, he capitalized on his second chance by tirelessly promoting organ donation with the same enthusiasm he brought to the sideline and practice field. Bill and Martha are truly two beautiful people inside and out, going around sharing their story about the miracle of transplantation throughout the Tampa Bay area and across the country.

For the past 5 years The Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City hosted The Coach Minahan Celebrity Lunch that celebrated his contributions to our community. I believe it also gives us a chance to honor Bill and Martha in a special personal way. All donations from this event go to the LifeLink Legacy Fund mission to help transplant patients.

Bill's competitiveness manifested itself in later years when he participated in the National Kidney Foundation U.S. Transplant Games.

He was a four-time gold-medal winner in badminton, earning a mention in Sports Illustrated "Faces In The Crowd."

In 2003 N.O.T.E. held the first "Concert In The Park" along with the help of many supporters. Bill and Martha worked their magic and raised over $50,000. The concert was a huge success in helping to promote organ and tissue donor awareness in the Tampa Bay community. In 2007 N.O.T.E. held the 2nd Annual Thomas Thrasher Award Banquet and honored Bill and Martha for the Emily Ortiz Volunteer Award.

In 2013 N.O.T.E. added an award to the Eighth Annual Thomas Thrasher Award Banquet, the 2013 Inaugural Bill and Martha Minahan Lifetime Achievement Award. Unfortunately, Bill was in the hospital and his son Billy accepted the award for them.

Bill will be missed by many, however, never forgotten.

* Excerpts taken from articles in the Tampa Bay Times

Written by Kathy Gibson


Rene was born in December 18, 1926 in New York where he met his wife, Emily. They live in Queens and eventually settled in Tampa, Florida. He served proudly in the Navy during World War II retired from the United States Postal Service.
He survived his sons Robert and Paul Ortez Michael Costello Frank Castillo, Robert Castillo and daughters Pat Castello Elizabeth Arduengo, familiar Brown, 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren and brothers Henry and George. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Emily Ortez.
Rene worked alongside Emily helping N.O.T.E., National Organization for Transplant Enlightenment for 14 years he served on the Board of Directors. He was a devoted. N.O.T.E., and the transplant community. In 1986 when Emily became ill and needed a transplant. He struggled to raise the required funds so that Emily could qualify to be added to the transplant list transplants were experimental at that time and not yet covered by insurance. Rainey and his loving family were so committed to keeping Emily alive that eventually, with help from very special people, she received her donor heart. Raining lovingly cared for Emily after her heart transplant until her death in 2002.
Is wit, his incredible zest for life and his protective and fierce love of his family made his death, especially difficult for all those who knew him. But they take comfort knowing that his beloved Emily is there to welcome him home.

Rest in Peace, El Presidente


Larry Cullison

Larry Cullison devoted his life to the teaching and performing of music, whether as an orchestral conductor, church musician or as a well-respected college professor. Born in southern Illinois, Larry was a published author and held degrees from Illinois Wesleyan University, the University of Texas and the University of Iowa. He served as an Administrator and Professor of Music at universities across the nation including the University of South Florida where he taught for 23 years before retiring in 2004. In addition, Larry conducted orchestras in the United States, Italy, Egypt and the Czech Republic and locally led the Imperial Symphony Orchestra for 18 seasons.

Larry was married for 48 years to Mary (Hay) Cullison and was a proud parent and grandfather. An avid sailor, he also enjoyed snow skiing, tennis, traveling and cooking. In 2004, he underwent heart transplant surgery at Tampa General Hospital (#627) and became an active advocate for organ transplantation. He was a board member of N.O.T.E., The National Organization for Transplant Enlightenment, and enjoyed supporting other fellow transplant patients. Until his passing in 2011, Larry continued to support and promote music in his community and beyond.



Ursula Mathews

Ursula was 64 when she passed away unexpectedly on March 18, 2011. She was married for 45 years and is survived by her loving husband, Edward Mathews. Edward is a heart transplant recipient and a member of N.O.T.E.
She also leaves a daughter, Doreen White; granddaughter, Jordan; a son, Michael; daughter-in-law, Autumn; and twin grandchildren, Brenton and Lauren.
Ursula is also survived by her brother, Franz Stegschuster and her sisters, Maria Agly, Irmgard Kuebelbaeck, Hermine Klottiz and Helga Aichinger. She also leaves many nieces and nephews from Newfahrn, Germany.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the American Heart Association.
We, at N.O.T.E., extend our heartfelt condolences to Edward and family.


N.O.T.E. is honored to share and introduce you to one of our fallen heroes:

Reuben F. Ziegler
April 15, 1929 – April 12, 2011

Reuben, a native of the Buffalo area of New York, was the proprietor of a Bump and Paint Automobile repair shop prior to moving his family to the Melbourne, Florida area. Reuben was married to his partner and soul mate, Susan, and the proud father of four wonderful children.
After retiring from his chosen profession, Reuben took this hobby of woodworking to the level of a Master Cabinet Maker. In fact, in our office we have a beautiful bookcase and sign that he made for us. Reuben did not restrict his interests to woodworking; one of his other passions was restoring beautiful antique automobiles to their glory days. His latest possession was a Ford Model T which he loved to tinker with and drive around town.
Reuben was the recipient of a heart transplant #178 on October 31st, 1992 (yes, Halloween.) Attending N.O.T.E’s Transplant Support meeting held at Tampa General Hospital, Reuben and Susan found solace in the interaction between those who had been in the same situation as them. Reuben and Susan began searching for a support meeting in the Melbourne area, finding one they joined immediately and began to expand its effectiveness, reaching many more patients, and eventually becoming the host. We would like everyone to know that Susan is going to continue to host this meeting in Reuben’s absence.
We, here at N.O.T.E., were and continue to be proud of our extended support groups like those of the Southwest Florida, Inc. located in Ft. Myers, Florida.
We will surely miss our friend.
Sincerely, all of his friends here at N.O.T.E., LifeLink Foundation, Tampa General Hospital, and the Transplant community.
If you have someone who you think should be honored in our memorial section, please forward your request to: Attention: Site Host


Les Valitutti


On a sad note…N.O.T.E. morns the loss of its President and friend-Les Valitutti. Les passed away August 5, 2010 after courageous battle with cancer and Leukemia.
Mr. Les Valitutti joined the N.O.T.E. Board of Directors in 1993 and was appointed its President upon his confirmation by the Board at that time. Les was the recipient of a heart transplant (#67) in 1989. Among Les’ duties as a member of N.O.T.E., he also was financial advisor and assisted in the publication of the NOTEworthy Newsletter, and as assistant Administrator from 2001 to 2005.
Les, a native of Pittsburgh, PA and a graduate of the University of Pittsburg served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. He went to work following his military discharge with IBM, leaving there to spend the next 28 years in the Private School sector; with Robert Morris College, The Berkeley Schools, Bradford Schools, median School of Allied Health Careers and the Pittsburg Technical Schools. During a move to Florida to join the United School Corporation a massive heart attack ended his working career.
After his gift of life transplant surgery Les was invited by Emily Ortiz (heart TX #7) to join her in her quest to get the word out about the benefits of organ donation. With Emily and others he was instrumental in the organization of the LifeLink volunteer group now known as the ORGANizers. He went on to be an officer and speaker for this organization as well as serving on LifeLink of Florida’s Advisory Board.
Les leaves behind his wife of 54 years-Carmel and two daughters and grandchildren