Kevin Belcher - Offensive lineman for the New York Giants, who played two years for the team in the early 80’s before a car accident ended his career in 1985, who was involved in a racial controversy in 1991 when he was arrested at the Dallas airport for “fitting the profile” of a drug-courier (a black man carrying a great deal of cash), died June 28 of undetermined causes in El Paso, TX at age 42.
Simone Bianchetti - Yachtsman who over the last decade had become one of Italy’s most experienced offshore racers, who was the first Italian to compete in the Vendée Globe non-stop round-the-world race in 2001 aboard his boat Tiscali, and who finished third in the 2003/2003 Around Alone race, died June 28 after apparently suffering a stroke aboard his boat in Savona, Italy at age 35.
Briggs Swift Cunningham - Yacht racer and auto racing figure who was the captain of the yacht Columbia that won the 1958 America’s Cup, and for whom the term “cunningham” (a line controlling sail tension) was coined, and who founded the Sports Car Club of America and the Automobile Racing Club of America, died July 2 of Alzheimer’s complications in Las Vegas at age 96.
Diane Geppi-Aikens - Head coach of the #1 ranked women’s lacrosse team at Loyola (Md.) College, who led the team to the national semifinals from her wheelchair despite an inoperable brain tumor, and who was awarded the NCAA Inspiration Award in January 2003, succumbed on June 29 in Baltimore at age 40.
Mario “Yo-Yo” Giannelli - Football player in the NFL from 1948 to 1951 who helped the Philadelphia Eagles win championships in 1948 and 1949 as a guard and tackle for the team, and who was a standout at Boston College leading them to the Orange Bowl in 1943, died June 29 of respiratory failure in Chelsea, MA at age 82.
Gary Lane - NFL quarterback for three seasons with the Browns and Giants, who is best known as a star college quarterback at Missouri, leading the Tigers to a win over Florida in the 1966 Sugar Bowl and to a 21-8-2 record over three seasons, died June 27 in St. Louis of undisclosed causes at age 60.
Vince Lloyd - Radio voice of the Chicago Cubs from 1965 to 1994, who was best remembered for his signature “Holy Mackerel” and the ringing of a cowbell after a Cubs home run, died July 3 of cancer in Tucson, AZ at age 86.
Joseph “Duke” Marhefka - NFL player and last surviving member of the 1924 champion Pottsville Maroons, who was a running back for one season for the team that beat the Chicago Cardinals in the NFL title game (the title was rescinded by the NFL for rules violations, but that decision is currently being reevaluated by the NFL), died June 30 in Easton, PA at age 101.
Bill Miller - Major league pitcher with the Yankees and Orioles, who posted a career record of 6-9 (with 2 shutouts however), and who was a member of the 1952 and 1953 Yankee teams that won the World Series, died July 1 of congestive heart failure in Lititz, PA at age 75.
Joe Moore - Offensive line coach at the University of Pittsburgh from 1977 to 1985 and at Notre Dame from 1988 to 1996, who won a national championship at Notre Dame with Lou Holtz’s 1988 team, but sued Notre Dame for age discrimination and won after he was fired at age 64 in 1996, died July 3 of lung cancer in Pittsburgh at age 71.
Robert F. O’Brien - Director of the concert and marching bands at Notre Dame University from 1952 to 1986, who started the traditions of singing “America The Beautiful” and reciting the Preamble of the Constitution before each game, and who composed the Victory Clog, the jig performed after every touchdown, died July 1 in South Bend, IN at age 82.
Art and Literature
George Baxt - Outrageous mystery novelist and screenwriter, best-known for a series of books featuring Pharoh Love, a black, openly-gay, jive-talking detective first introduced in 1966’s “A Queer Kind of Death” followed by “Swing Low, Sweet Harriet”, who also wrote a series of celebrity whodunits with names like “The Dorothy Parker Murder Case” and “The Greta Garbo Murder Case”, and who wrote screenplays for such classic movies as “Burn, Witch, Burn!” and “Horror Hotel”, died June 28 in New York of complications from heart surgery at age 80.
Herbert Creecy - Abstract expressionist painter, known for his signature multi-color squiggles arrayed in dense compositions, who was considered one of Georgia’s most important artists, and who spurned the limelight and fame in New York for his home in the South, died June 28 of cancer in Atlanta at age 63.
Bernard Goldhirsh - Founder and publisher of Inc. magazine, the hugely successful small business periodical with circulation of about 650,000 in 2000, the year he sold the magazine for $200 million, who also had published Sail magazine, died June 29 of a brain tumor in Boston at age 63.
Paul Harland - Dutch science-fiction author who wrote many books that were published in Engish including “The Hand That Takes”, and the collections “Remote Control” and “Systems of Romance”, and who received the national Dutch award for best Science Fiction four times, committed suicide on June 17 at age 42.
Robert McCloskey - Author of several classic children’s books like “Blueberries For Sal” and “Time of Wonder”, who is best known for 1941’s “Make Way for Ducklings” about Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack and Quack the ducklings, making their way thru the streets of Boston to the city’s Public Garden, and who wrote only 8 books in his career, died June 30 in Deer Isle, ME at age 88.
Joan Lowery Nixon - Acclaimed writer of juvenile mystery novels like “The Kidnapping of Christina Lattimore”, “The Séance” and “The Other Side of Dark”, who was a four time winner of the Edgar award for writing, and whose final novel “Nightmare” will be released in September 2003, died June 28 of cancer in Houston at age 76.
Ken Smith - Popular British poet who came to prominence in 1982 when Bloodaxe Books published an anthology of previous works “The Poet Reclining: selected poems 1962-1980”, which established him as a favorite for poetry readings, and who published numerous other volumes of poetry including “Wormwood”, “Wild Root” and a second anthology “Shed: poems, 1980-2001”, died June 27 in London at age 64.
Zheng Wenguang - China’s first science-fiction writer called the “father of China’s sci-fi”, whose first and most famous story “From Earth To Mars” was published in 1954, but whose work along with the whole science-fiction genre in China was silenced by the government for many years, died June 17 of heart disease in Beijing at age 74.
Elizabeth Bayley Willis - Art collector and museum curator, known for collecting and preserving folk art from Japan, India, Taiwan, Vietnam and Morocco, who was curator at the Henry Art Gallery and San Francisco Museum of Art, died June 30 in Bainbridge Island, WA at age 101.
Maili Yardley - Author and columnist, who wrote 14 books including the Hawaiian cookbook “Maili Frost Yardley” and the novel “Letters from The Lanai”, died June 28 in Lawai, HI at the age of 86.
Politics and Military
Ivan Allen - Mayor of Atlanta from 1962 to 1970, who was a leader for civil rights in the South, who desegregated city government by hiring blacks for many city jobs including police officers and firefighters, and who was a strong supporter of Martin Luther King Jr., died July 2 in Atlanta at age 92.
Brig. Gen. James Burwell - One of the first military aviators to use cockpit instruments back in the early 1930’s (what did they use before I wonder?), died June 25 in San Antonio, TX after a stroke at age 100.
Floyd Fithian - U.S. Congressman from Indiana who served from 1975 until 1983, who is the only Democrat in state history from the Lafayette district to win re-election in this heavily Republican area, and who became chief of staff for Illinois Senator Paul Simon after leaving office, died June 27 in Annandale, VA at age 76.
Mordechai Hod - Major general in the Israeli air force, who became famous for directing the 1967 “lightning strike” against Egyptian, Jordanian and Syrian warplanes that assured a quick Israeli victory during the Six-Day War, died June 29 in Tel Aviv after a long illness at age 76.
Khieu Ponnary - First wife of the brutal Cambodian dictator Pol Pot, who was married him from 1956 until 1979, and who was a key witness for genocide investigators to the scope of the brutality of his regime in the 1970’s, died July 1 in Phnom Penh of cancer an old age ailments at age 83.
George Shipley - U.S. Congressman from Illinois who served as a Democrat from 1958 until 1979, who was chairman of the Appropriations Committee during his tenure, died June 28 in Olney, IL of lung cancer at age 76.
Sir Peter Studd - Lord Mayor of London from 1970 to 1971, whose claim to fame was attending several ceremonies in Lake Havasu City, Arizona having to do with the re-opening of the original London Bridge in Arizona (built in London in 1831, it was sold and transferred stone by stone to Lake Havasu City in 1967 and reopened in 1971 as a tourist attraction), died June 22 in London at age 86.
Social and Religion
Hilton Crawford - Texas man convicted of the 1995 abduction and murder of 12-year-old McKay Everett, the son of longtime friends who called Crawford “Uncle Hilty”, in an apparent scheme to extort ransom money to pay his huge debts, was executed by lethal injection on July 2 in Huntsville, TX at age 64.
Cleo Craig - The U.S.’s third oldest person and the seventh oldest in the world, died June 28 of pneumonia in Marion, IL at age 113.
Antonio Fortich - Philippine Roman Catholic bishop, who was a staunch opponent of dictator Ferdinand Marcos, and who was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for his efforts to affect social change in the Philippines, died July 2 in Bacolod, Philippines of diabetes complications at age 89.
Lewis Gilbert - Ohio man who in 1994 went on a multi-state crime and murder spree, where he and an accomplice broke into the home of Ohio resident Ruth Loader, killed her and stole her car, drove to Missouri where they robbed and killed elderly couple William and Flossie Brewer, and then proceeded to Oklahoma where they killed Roxanne Ruddell, who was fishing, and stole $3 from her, was executed by lethal injection on July 1 in McAlester, Oklahoma at age 31.
Elmo Hahn - Well-known aviator and instructor who flew vintage WW2 airplanes at air shows in Michigan and Alabama, and who was in Gadsden, Alabama filming a segment for CNN about an L-39 Czech-built fighter-trainer he owned, was killed on June 30 when the L-39 crashed shortly after take-off when it hit a flock of birds. He was 54 years old.
Howard King - Nature preservationist and photographer, known for building miles of trails in the Santa Cruz mountains and taking dramatic photos of the redwood trees there, and who founded the Sempervirens Fund to preserve more than 21,000 acres of redwoods in the Bay Area, died June 29 in Boulder Creek, CA at age 97.
Rabbi Robert Lehman - Prominent Reform rabbi and refugee from Nazism, who served as president of the New York Association of Reform Rabbis and the American Federation of Jews from Central Europe, and who was known for his civil rights activism in both the American South in the 1960’s and in Jewish communities in post-war Europe, died June 13 in Nassau County, NY of a brain hemorrhage at age 76.
Miriam Matthews - The first black librarian in the state of California, who became an expert on preserving and describing black history, and who in 1929 began the effort to promote Negro History Week, which evolved into today’s Black History Month, died June 23 in Mercer Island, WA at age 97.
Mohammad El-Moslimany - Muslim leader who built some of Seattle’s leading Muslim institutions, who was founder of the Islamic Center of Seattle and Islamic School of Seattle, died June 30 of brain disease in Seattle at age 79.
Jonathon Russell - Jefferson City, MO factory worker who showed up for his evening shift on July 1 at Modine Manufacturing Company, clocked in and reported to his work station, but then pulled out a gun and began shooting his co-workers, killing four people, then shot himself in the head after exchanging gunfire with police. He was 25 years old and his motive is still unknown.
Rev. Dr. Preston R. Washington - Influential Harlem minister who founded the Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement, an interfaith consortium of more than 90 congregations that built housing units and retail stores in Harlem and developed an education and housing program for people with AIDS, died June 25 in New York City of heart failure at age 54.
Business and Science
Luigi Di Bella - Internationally-known Italian cancer researcher, who became known for his unconventional melatonin-based cancer treatment without the use of chemotherapy, and who had nearly a dozen books written about him including the Italian bestseller “Di Bella, The Man, the Cure, the Hope”, died July 1 of respiratory problems in Modena, Italy at age 90.
Dean Dunlavey - Trial lawyer who gained national recognition in 1984 after winning the case before the U.S. Supreme Court that allowed consumers to videotape copyrighted movies and TV programs, which began in 1979 when Universal City Studios sued Sony Corp. the maker of the Betamax video recorder, died June 28 of complications from a fall in San Pedro, CA at age 77.
Najeeb Halaby - CEO of Pan Am Airlines in the late 60’s and early 70’s, who wrote about his flying and business experiences in the 1978 book “Crosswinds: an Airman's Memoir”, but who is probably best known as the father of Lisa Halaby, who in 1978 married King Hussein and became Queen Noor al-Hussein, died July 2 in McLean, VA at age 87.
Dr. S. Richardson Hill - President of the University of Alabama at Birmingham from 1977 to 1987, who brought the university’s medical school into national recognition and it’s sports programs into Division I status, died July 4 of prostate cancer in Birmingham, AL at age 80.
Peter Kellaway - Early explorer in the clinical application of the electroencephalogram (EEG) test to evaluate patients with possible neurological difficulties, who conducted EEG’s on astronauts in spaceflight in NASA’s Gemini program, who testified as an EEG expert at the trial of Jack Ruby, and who was the son of busy character actor Cecil Kellaway, died June 25 of lymphoma in Houston at age 82.
David S. Loeb - Mortgage banking pioneer and entrepreneur who co-founded mortgage loan giant Countrywide Financial Corp. in 1969 with partner Angelo Mozilo, a company which was among the first in the industry to lock in interest rates for customers, and which developed a reputation not only for lower interest rates than it’s competitors, but also rapidity in processing loan applications, died June 30 in Sparks, NV at age 79.
Dr. Leland Rickman - Expert on infectious diseases and a national consultant on bioterrorism, who was recently elected president of the Infectious Disease Assn. of California, and who was on assignment in the African country of Lesotho where he was teaching African medical personnel about the prevention and treatment of AIDS, died mysteriously in Lesotho after complaining of a headache on June 24. He was 47 years old and the cause of death is unknown.
Ian Ross - Well known Canadian wildlife researcher and expert in carnivores who published numerous articles in North American science journals, who was in Kenya tracking lions while researching ways humans can live alongside wild predators, was killed in a plane crash on June 29 in central Kenya at age 44.
Isaac Schapera - Pioneering anthropologist and leading specialist in African anthropology, who studied with Bronislaw Malinowski in the 1920’s, whose publications on life in Africa including “Married Life In An African Tribe” and “A Handbook Of Tswana Law And Custom” were groundbreaking works, died June 26 in London at age 98.
Lowell Schleicher - Chemist with National Cash Register (NCR) whose work with the microencapsulation process led to the invention of carbonless paper, and who went on to become Appleton Paper’s director of research, died June 30 in Appleton, WI at age 78.
William Smith - Founder of the Snapper lawn mower company in 1950 after buying the patent for a self-propelled mower, who named the mower Snapper because he said it looked like a turtle, and who turned the company into one of Henry County, Georgia’s biggest employers, died June 28 of a heart attack in McDonough, GA at age 90.