Sashe Mishur

by | Mar 1, 2022 | 0 comments

Sashe Mishur was a fierce femme who was never afraid to fight for a just cause or to defend the butches that she loved. Her organizing started in the 1940s with a petition on a roll of cash register tape, protesting the raising of Saturday matinee prices at the Coral Theater in Oak Lawn, IL. 

In 1956, she married, enjoying a year of living in The Hague with her husband, returned to Palos Heights, IL and raised two rock and roll sons, Zachary and Jason. She coordinated volunteers for the Community Center Foundation’s youth hotline, did some family counseling, and discovered adventure education. She eventually became involved as a trainer in both high- and low-ropes courses. She was President of The Friends of Indian Boundary Prairies and received an award in 1989 from the Nature Conservancy for her work saving Gensberg, Paintbrush, Sundrop, and Dropseed Prairie. She helped preserve a total of 250 acres where she cut brush, saved seeds, and worked with others to raise money to purchase the land and preserve it.

When her sons were in their twenties, she began her life as a lesbian, eventually moving to Madison. She met Toby Sigle while she was organizing arts and crafts fairs for Apple Island, and together they began organizing women’s drumming circles at their home, sharing skills in drum making and other arts. 

Sashe worked at Room of One’s Own Feminist Bookstore for 17 years. Sashe was a high femme, never short of bling. She had a strong sense of style, and an amazing wardrobe. When Sashe parted ways with Toby, she continued her Drum Fem group at East Madison Community Center (EMCC). Attending a workshop at the Grass Roots Leadership College, Kate Moran noticed Sashe’s pink sequined beret and retro glasses. Kate made a strong point and Sashe stood up to back her and that started what they both consider to be the greatest relationship of their lives, never again to be apart for more than a night. 

Kate and Sashe fought to save Drumlin Farm and for many more great causes. After leaving A Room of One’s Own, Sashe eventually worked as an outreach coordinator for EMCC organizing open break-dancing sessions where she would encourage B-Boys and B-Girls to both teach something and learn something at every session. She encouraged youth leadership, creating many jams she called Honor the Warrior, where sometimes more than a hundred folks would show up to watch youth battle for cash prizes.

As an ally, she began organizing the first Disability Pride Festival, she loved working the welcome tent and greeting everyone. She later developed Myasthenia Gravis and struggled with losing her vision and mobility. She battled chronic pain for many years. She did great work with visual artist Brent Gerlach and The Neighborhood Organizing Institute, and she protested wherever she saw injustice until Covid in March of 2020. Suddenly, having an auto-immune disease and taking immune-suppressive drugs was terrifying. The isolation of Covid caused her to lose her beloved break dancers, which was very hard on her.

Eventually the isolation, steroids, chronic pain, osteoporosis, and the death of her youngest son was too much for her body to handle. She died in hospice holding Kate’s hand. She was preceded in death by her ex-husband, Gerald Mishur, her son Jason, and her dear dog Pixie. She’s survived by her community, including Toby Sigle, Zachary Mishur, her beloved partner Kate Moran, and their dog, Skippy. In lieu of flowers, please support the East Madison Community Center. A celebration of Sashe’s life was held Sunday, March 20

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