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Mimi Farina Dead At 56

Folk singer and political activist Mimi Farina died on July 18 in her home in Marin County, Calif., of complications from lung cancer. Farina, who was the sister of Joan Baez, was 56.

She first received recognition as half of Richard and Mimi Farina, a folk duet of the 1960's. Her husband Richard was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1966. She also recorded as a solo artist and later was best known in the San Francisco area for founding Bread & Roses, a nonprofit organization that brought live music to people in jails, psychiatric wards and drug rehab centers.

“Mimi filled empty souls with hope and song. She reminded prisoners that they were human beings with names and not just numbers,” Baez said in a statement released to the Bay City News Service. “The devastation I feel at losing her is unbearable.”

A public ceremony honoring Farina at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco is scheduled for Aug. 7.