There have been two recent deaths that have had a poignant effect upon me, that of Mitch Snyder, advocate for the homeless, and of Bill Cerri of WETA. Despite obvious differences in temperament and life missions, these apparently divergent men may have possessed some link.

Mitch Snyder, despite his controversial tactics, had an incredible commitment to the poor and homeless and emphatically cared for them in ways that the most compassionate and feeling persons could not imagine. He shared their same dilapidated shelter, ate with them, commiserated and in vain attempted to improve their lives. Such men and women must ache beyond words now that he is gone.

As a social worker with the D.C. Child Neglect System, I identify with what must have been his overwhelming sense of despondency and futility, investing such effort of oneself against such odds.

Yet in a different vein, Bill Cerri, with his calming voice and manner, gave some peace in the morning that was a respite. Unlike the pretentious, elitist approach of some broadcasters, Bill Cerri conveyed the sense that classical music, with its power and beauty, is meant for all of us and that man is not always as cruel to his fellow men as he appears. SARENE FRIEDMAN Washington