Roger Nelson - Captain of the 1982 U.S. Olympic skydiving team, who was owner of a controversial Chicago-area skydiving center, whose business, Skydive Chicago, had been criticized for a high number of fatalities (11 fatalities in the last 5 years – 8 times the national average), was killed in a parachuting accident on June 7 in Ottawa, IL. He was 48 years old.
Ed “Bronco” Nowogroski - Fullback at the University of Washington who led the Huskies to the Rose Bowl in 1936, and whose 881 career rushing yards once was the school record, died June 6 in Seattle at age 88.
Sam Schulman - The first owner of NBA’s Seattle Supersonics, who previously was a majority owner of the NFL’s San Diego Chargers, who purchased the franchise that became Seattle’s first pro sports team in 1966, and who owned the team that in 1979 won the NBA championship becoming Seattle’s only pro sports champion, died June 12 of a blood disease in Century City, CA at age 93.
Spectacular Bid - Racehorse who made a bid for the Triple Crown in 1979 by winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness but inexplicably came in third at the Belmont Stakes (a safety pin was later found in his hoof), who 26 of his career 30 starts and who is generally considered the greatest racehorse never to win a Triple Crown, died June 9 of a heart attack in Unadilla, NY at age 27.
Art and Literature
Maeve Brennan - Author and longtime lover of poet Philip Larkin, who recently published the memoir “The Philip Larkin I Knew”, died June 10 in Hull, England at age 73.
John S. Galbraith - Historian of 19th century British history and author of books like “The Hudson's Bay Company As an Imperial Factor”, who in the early 1960’s helped create the foundation of the University of California-San Diego, and who served as that school’s chancellor from 1964 to 1968, died June 10 of pneumonia in San Diego at age 86.
Ken Grimwood - Author of the 1986 cult speculative fiction novel “Replay”, which has been translated into several languages and has been a best-seller in Japan, who wrote five other novels for Doubleday and Arbor House including “Into the Deep”, and who was working on a sequel to “Replay”, died June 6 in Santa Barbara, CA of a heart attack at age 59.
Donald Jack - Author best-known for the eight-volume comic-novel series The Bandy Papers, which centered around hapless hero Bartholomew Bandy, who also wrote countless documentary film scripts, stage, TV and radio plays, died June 2 of a massive stroke at his home in Telford, Shropshire, England at age 78.
Nan Netherton - Author and historian known as ‘Mother History’ who wrote books about the origins, growth and customs of communities in Northern Virginia, which included pictorial and narrative histories of a dozen Virginia counties, died June 9 after a stroke in Arlington, VA at age 77.
Ira Spring - Photographer and author who published dozens of books on hiking and the nature trails of the Pacific Northwest, whose most popular books include “Mountaineering, The Freedom of the Hills” and “100 Hikes in Western Washington” as well as his biography “An Ice Axe, a Camera, and a Jar of Peanut Butter”, died June 5 in Edmonds, WA of prostate cancer at age 80.
Politics and Military
Charlie Brown - U.S. Congressman from Missouri who served as a Democrat from 1957 to 1961, but was one of the few Democratic congressmen who lost re-election bids in 1960, and who went on to serve as a lobbyist in Washington for groups such as the National Education Association, died June 10 in Henderson, NV of emphysema at age 82.
Dino Frisullo - Italian pro-Kurdish activist and president of the Senza Confine activist organization, whose imprisonment by Turkey five years ago led to tension between Turkey and Italy, died June 5 in Perugia, Italy of cancer at age 51.
Wilkie Ferguson - U.S. District Judge whose landmark 1999 ruling forcing Florida state welfare officials to provide proper funding for health care and other services to people with mental and physical disabilities, helped improve the quality of life for thousands of disabled Florida residents, died June 9 in Fort Lauderdale of leukemia at age 65.
Tom Gettys - U.S. Congressman from South Carolina who who represented South Carolina's 5th District as a Democrat from 1965 to 1975, died June 8 in Rock Hill, SC at age 90.
Howard Jenkins Jr. - The first African American to serve on the National Labor Relations Board, who was appointed by President Kennedy in 1963 and served until 1983 under six presidents, becoming the longest serving member in the history of the labor board, and who helped steer the board’s policy towards anti-discrimination, died June 3 of a heart ailment in Washington, DC at age 87.
Malik Meraj Khalid - Highly-respected Pakistani politician who served as caretaker Prime Minister for three months in 1996 and 1997 after Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's government was dismissed on charges of corruption and misrule, died June 13 in Lahore, Pakistan at age 87.
Donald Regan - Treasury secretary and chief-of-staff in the Reagan administration, who was forced to resign in the Iran-Contra scandal in 1987, but who is best known for his clashes with first lady Nancy Reagan and his 1988 tell-all biography where he revealed that the first lady frequently consulted an astrologer, died June 10 of cancer in Williamsburg, VA at age 84.
Anthony J. Tercyak - Connecticut state representative who had served for five terms after retiring as a music teacher, who was the first Republican to hold a State House seat in New Britain’s history, collapsed and died at his home in New Britain, CT of an apparent heart attack at age 79.
David Towell - U.S. Congressman from Nevada who was swept into office as a Republican behind the popularity of Richard Nixon in 1972 in a surprise victory over incumbent Democrat Jim Bilbray, but was ousted in 1974 after the Watergate scandal broke, died June 11 in Carson City, NV at age 66.
Selahattin Ulkumen - Turkish diplomat who rescued dozens of Jews on the Nazi-occupied Greek island of Rhodes from deportation to Auschwitz in 1944, who lost his pregnant wife when the Nazi’s bombed his house in retaliation, who was honored by the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, which named him Righteous Among the Nations, and who in 2001 received the Supreme Service Medal, Turkey’s highest honor, died June 7 of natural causes in Istanbul at age 89.
Chen Zongying - One of the few women who joined the Chinese communists Long March in 1934, traveling 7750 miles to escape Chiang Kai-shek's encircling Nationalist forces, and whose story was told in the book “Choosing Revolution”, died May 31 in Beijing at age 101.
Social and Religion
Armstead Barnett - White House cook and waiter who worked for Presidents Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower, who went on to became one of Washington’s best-known black businessmen, died June 11 in Silver Springs, MD after a stroke at age 91.
Lucille Bluford - Editor and publisher of the renouned African-American newspaper The Call, whose voice has dominated the publication since 1932, who as a champion of the civil rights movement helped integrated the University of Missouri as well as Kansas City’s downtown department stores and restaurants, died June 13 of an infection in Kansas City, MO at age 91.
Isobel Callaghan - 5-year-old British girl whose father is an Army Engineer stationed in Germany, who was enjoying a family day out at a military show at the British Army base near the German city of Monchengladbach, was killed on June 8 when a 12ft helium balloon broke free and wrapped itself around her arm during a "freak storm" with huge hailstones and fierce winds and carried her into the air in front of dozens of horrified spectators. Her body was later found in Hamminkeln, about 65km away.
Rev. Dr. Elam Davies - Presbyterian Church leader and author who pastored large congregations in Chicago and New York and was listed by Time magazine as one of the country’s “seven star preachers”, died June 6 in Bethlehem, PA at age 86.
Felix Del Valle - Single father suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease who spent the final months of his life searching for a home for his four children, whose story was told on several TV newsmagazine shows and in newspapers across the country, and who successfully placed his children in the home of a couple he met through his church, succumbed to the disease on June 5 in New Haven, CT at age 46.
Kia Johnson - Texas man convicted in the 1993 shooting death of 32-year-old convenience store clerk William Rains, who stole a total of $23 dollars in the hold-up, was executed by lethal injection on June 11 in Huntsville, TX at age 38.
Michael Kerkowski - Pharmacist considered one of Pennsylvania’s biggest drug dealers and one of that states most wanted criminals, who was thought to be on the run to avoid being sentenced for selling hundreds of thousands of doses of painkillers to addicts who visited his shop, was found dead June 5, buried in a shallow grave at the home of 29-year-old Hugo Selenski (four other bodies have also been unearthed on the property so far) in Kingston Township, PA. He was 37 years old at the time of his disapperance.
Cheryl Miller - New Jersey woman who suffered from multiple sclerosis and became an activist for medical marijuana usage, who on several occasions took over offices of elected officials opposing the use of medical marijuana, including Georgia U.S. Bob Barr who was subsequently ousted from office, partly over the ongoing fight with Miller’s organization IMMLY, died June 7 of MS in Brick, NJ at age 57.
Chris Newton - Salem, Oregon teenager who played guitar in a punk band, was killed on June 5 after he drank too much and passed out on railroad tracks while walking home and was struck by a train. He was 18.
Moses Stewart - Father of Yusuf Hawkins, a black teenager whose killing by a white mob in New York’s Bensonhurst neighborhood in 1989 set off extreme racial tensions in that city, and who went on to become director of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, died June 7 of a heart attack in New York City at age 48.
Joseph Trueblood - Indiana man convicted of the 1988 shooting deaths of his girlfriend, Susan Bowsher, and her children, 2-year-old Ashelyn Hughes and 1-year-old William, after she told him she was leaving him, and who buried the bodies in a shallow grave, was executed by lethal injection on June 13 in Michigan City, IN at age 46.
Business and Science
Donald Duncan Jr. - Son of yo-yo legend Donald Duncan, Sr., founder of Duncan Toys, who became a yo-yo guru in his own right founding Playmaxx, Inc. in 1979, and who in retirement was curator of the Duncan Museum in Tuscan, Arizona, was killed in a car accident along with his wife Donna on June 12 near Deming, NM at age 75.
Selma Koch - Known as New York City’s “Bra Lady”, who owned the Town Shop lingerie store since 1927, who had the uncanny ability to determine a woman's bra size just by looking, and who became famous in 2002 when national news stories appeared about the old woman who still found a reason to believe in life, died June 12 in New York from complication from a fall at age 95.
Virginia Knott Bender - Eldest daughter of Knott’s Berry Farm founders Walter and Cordelia Knott, who ran Virginia’s Gift Shop at the attraction from 1939 until the family sold Knott’s in 1997, died June 13 after a long illness in Newport Beach, CA at age 90.
Tony Roma - Founder of the Miami rib joint that became an international restaurant empire, who founded his first restaurant in the early 1970’s, which grew into an international chain when Dallas Cowboy’s owner Clint Murchison purchased the franchise rights in 1976, died June 13 of lung cancer in Hemet, CA at age 78.
Dr. Radford Tanzer - Pioneer in reconstructive surgery, who was a founding member of the American Board of Plastic Surgery and President of the American Association of Plastic Surgeons, and whose pioneering work was in ear reconstruction, died June 12 in Lebanon, NH at age 97.
Sir Bernard Williams - Philosopher and Oxford professor credited with reviving the field of moral philosophy, who in his 1985 book “Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy” questioned the whole institution of morality and who many consider to be the greatest British philosopher of his era, died June 10 in Oxford, England of cancer at age 73.