“Classy” Freddie Blassie - Legendary wrestler and wrestling manager who as a mainstay in the World Wrestling Federation for over 20 years, who went on to manage nearly every villain from the late 70’s to the early 80’s, and who was known for his loud and boastful interviews becoming a favorite talk show guest, died June 2 of heart failure in Hartsdale, NY at age 85.
Peter Bromley - One of the most distinctive voices in British sports broadcasting and a BBC horseracing commentator for more than 40 years, died June 3 of cancer at age 74.
Del Brown - Legendary Florida fisherman who name was synonymous with permit fly fishing, who invented Del Brown Permit Fly, made out of yarn that simulated the movement of a crab, and allowed anglers for the first time to catch the permit gamefish in large numbers, died May 28 of a heart attack at his California home at age 84.
David Gunstone - A popular rock climbing enthusiast and guide book writer, who wrote and published “The Traveler’s Guide to Washington Rock Climbing”, died May 31 after falling off a cliff while rock climbing near Vancouver, BC at age 41.
Gregory Hennigar - Freshman quarterback at Penn State University who redshirted last season as a walk-on, was killed in a car accident on May 31 in Philadelphia at age 18.
Johnny Hopp - First baseman and outfielder who played 12 seasons for the Cardinals, Tigers, Pirates and Yankees, playing in five World Series, and who is one of only a few players to get six hits in a nine inning game during a 1950 game with the Pirates against the Cubs, died June 1 in Scottsbluff, NE at age 86.
David Jefferies - British motorcycle racing star who was a nine-time winner of the Isle of Man TT race and the record holder of the outright lap record, was killed on May 30 in a crash during practice in preparation of this years TT race on the Isle of Man. He was 30 years old.
Makoto Kozuru - Japanese baseball star known as the “Japanese Joe DiMaggio”, who holds the Japanese season records for most RBI (161) and runs (143) in a single season, died June 2 in Toyko of heart failure at age 80.
Claire Rampton - Longtime radio voice for Northern Iowa University football and basketball games, who worked as sports director of KWWL radio and television, died June 2 of cancer in Waterloo, IA at age 78.
Fabrice Salanson - French cycling hopeful who turned professional with the Bonjour team and later switched to the Boulangere outfit, who was preparing to participate in the upcoming Tour of Germany, was found dead on June 2 in his hotel bed of unknown causes at the age of 23.
Peter Sivess - Right-handed pitcher who spent 3 years with the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1930’s and compiled a career record of 7-11 with a 5.38 ERA, died June 1 in Chandler, NC at age 89.
Sunny’s Halo - Canadian stallion who won the 1983 Kentucky Derby, ridden by jockey Eddie Delahoussaye, and was only one of two Canadian horses ever to win that race (Northern Dancer in 1964 was the other), was euthanized after losing all strength in his legs on June 3 in Tyler, TX at age 23.
Sam Weinstein - Bowling broadcaster known as “Tenpin Tattler”, who appeared on radio and TV, including 60 years as radio host of the “Tenpin Tattler” show on WGN in Chicago, and who was a pioneer in the development of bowling television shows, including the syndicated “Bowling Queen” in 1957, died June 4 in Chicago at age 88.
Art and Literature
Elizabeth Fowler - Author of “Standing Room Only”, a true account of her experience as the only woman on a lifeboat in the Atlantic Ocean in 1942 after the cargo ship she was sailing on was torpedoed by a German U-boat, that may have been the inspiration of Alfred Hitchcock’s movie “Lifeboat”, died May 30 in West Orange, NJ at age 95.
Kenneth Katzner - Authority of the Russian language who compiled the popular English-Russian/Russian-English dictionary, which has sold hundreds of thousands of copies worldwide, who also wrote “The Languages of the World” and “A Russian Review Text”, died May 25 in Washington, DC of congestive heart failure at age 72.
Natalya Reshetovskaya - Author and chemist who was twice married to author Alexander Solzhenitsyn and spent many years writing six volumes of memoirs about her life with him, died May 28 in Moscow at age 85.
Pierre Restany - Influential French art critic and curator, known as one of the founders and a tireless promoter of the European movement of the 1960's called the New Realism, died May 29 in Paris of heart failure at age 72.
Felix de Weldon - Sculptor best-known for the Iwo Jima Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, which depicts U.S. soldiers raising an American flag on the tiny Pacific island in a battle with Japan in which 6,000 American soldiers were killed, died June 2 of congestive heart failure in Woodstock, VA at age 96.
Politics and Military
George LaRoche - Washington DC attorney who worked ten years for DC statehood, who sued the federal government in 1998 seeking congressional representation and self-government, and who sought a congressional vote to allow DC residents to vote on statehood or to unite with another state, died May 31 of colon cancer in Takoma Park, MD at age 47.
Burke Marshall - Assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department's civil rights division in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, who was a chief contributor to groundbreaking civil rights legislation passed during the 1960’s, including the adoption of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, died June 1 of myelodysplasia in Newtown, CT at age 80.
James T. McCain - Civil rights activist who was secretary of the Congress for Racial Equality from 1957 to 1966, who helped organize the Freedom Riders who took busses through the Deep South in 1961, died June 5 of pneumonia in Columbia, SC at age 98.
Juergen Moellemann - German government minister accused of injecting anti-Semitism into last year's election campaign and who was implicated in a party funding scandal, died June 5 near Berlin in a parachute jump at a time prosecutors were searching his home for evidence of financial wrongdoing. He was 57 years old and authorities are investigating as a suicide.
Olikoye Ransome-Kuti - Former Nigerian health minister who became an AIDS campaigner and an outspoken critic of Nigerian officials for neglecting health issues, after his brother, African music superstar Fela, died of AIDS in 1997, and who was a prominent health care adviser to the World Health Organization, died June 1 of unknown causes while on business in London at age 75.
Rene Theodore - Head of Haiti's Communist Party and a leading opponent of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was backed by the U.S. as new prime minister when Aristide was ousted in a 1992 coup (Aristide was eventually restored to power), died June 1 of lung cancer in Miami at age 62.
Meir Vilner - The last living original signer of Israel’s Declaration of Independence in 1947, who later served as secretary general of Israel’s Communist Party from 1965 to 1988, died June 5 of natural causes in Jerusalem at age 84.
Social and Religion
Kenneth Charm - Oklahoma man convicted in the 1993 kidnapping and murder of 14-year-old Brandy Hill, the daughter of a drinking buddy, who was bludgeoned and struck repeatedly with a sledgehammer, was executed by lethal injection on June 5 in McAlester,OK at age 37.
Cardinal Francesco Colasuonno - Priest who was appointed by John Paul II in 1981 as special envoy to Eastern European countries, including the Soviet Union, and who was made a cardinal in 1998, died May 31 in southern Italy at age 78.
Agustin De Mello - Accomplished flamenco guitarist, weightlifting and karate champion, and technical writer, who is best known for promoting his son, Adragon, as a genius during the 1980’s, pushing him to graduate from college with a degree in mathematics at age 11 in 1988 (at the time the youngest ever to graduate), and whose story appeared on 60 Minutes and 48 Hours, died of kidney cancer May 30 in Santa Clara, CA at age 73. (Note: Adragon is now 26, lives with his mother and works at a Home Depot).
Rev. Joseph T. Durkin - Prolific author, scholar and historian who taught at Georgetown University into his nineties, who was author of more than two dozen books and was at work on two more at the time of his death, died May 31 in Washington, DC at age 100.
Jack Frazier - Former oil worker who was held hostage in Iraq in 1990 for three months when Iraq invaded Kuwait and Saddam Hussein sealed his country's borders, who successfully sued the Republic of Iraq for illegally detaining him during which time he went partially blind due to lack of insulin (he was diabetic) and had devastating medical problems in future years due to his detainment, and who was awarded $1.75 million in frozen Iraqi funds held in the U.S., died June 3 in Lake Havasu City, AZ at age 65.
Emma Stark - The oldest person in New York and the 11th oldest in the woman in the United States, died June 1 in Brockport, NY at age 110.
Jonathan Villagomez - Chicago boy who was shopping for clothes with his family at a suburban Chicago mall on May 31, was killed in a bizarre accident in an Express clothing store when a 240 lb mirror which had been attached to the wall with glue came crashing down on him. He was 6 years old.
Business and Science
Richard M. Hyman - Toothbrush expert and designer who held several patents on toothbrushes, hairbrushes and toothbrush packages, died June 2 in Iowa City, IA at age 82.
Dorothy Nelkin - Sociologist who made a life’s work of observing and chronicling how science is perceived and misperceived by the public, who wrote or co-wrote 26 books, including “Selling Science: How the Press Covers Science and Technology” and “The DNA Mystique: The Gene as a Cultural Icon”, died May 28 in New York City of cancer at age 69.
Leon Robbin - Noted patent attorney who drafted the patents of products for the P.R. Mallory Company, including the long-life sealed alkaline battery now known as Duracell, died May 22 in Key Biscayne, FL at age 101.
Oscar Rothaus - Cornell University mathematics professor who co-developed a modeling tool for the U.S. military that was later used in DNA analysis and speech recognition systems, died May 24 in Ithaca, NY at age 75.
Robert Taira - Hawaiian man who after World War II developed the recipe and marketing for Hawaiian Sweet Bread, which is now sold throughout the U.S., died May 29 in Torrance, CA at age 79.
George Trescher - Founder of marketing firm George Trescher Associates, who became known as a master fund-raiser for some of New York’s top charities and companies, died June 5 in New York at age 77.
Larry Wasser - Executive director of the Florida Holocaust Musuem in St. Petersburg, FL, the nation’s fourth largest museum of it’s kind, died June 1 in Tampa, FL of a heart attack at age 56.