Edward "Moe" Burtschy - Relief pitcher for the Philadelphia (and later Kansas City) A's during the 1950's, who compiled a 10-6 record with 4 saves over parts of 4 seasons from 1951 to 1956, appearing in 90 games, died May 2 of heart failure in Western Hills, Michigan at the age of 82. There are only 81 former Philadelphia A's still living.
Rob Derksen - International diplomat for the sport of baseball and a scout for the Baltimore Orioles, who had both pitched and managed in the minor leagues, who managed Australia's 1996 Olympic baseball team and Guam's 2000 team, and who was currently the manager of Greece's 2004 Olympic team, died June 16 of a heart attack while on Olympic-related business in New York. He was 44.
Dick Durrance - Pioneer American ski racer, who starting in the late 1930's, dominated men's skiing for many years, winning 17 U.S. skiing titles, who later became manager of Aspen Ski Corporation and developed ski areas in Aspen and Sun Valley, Idaho, and who was married to skier and photographer Margaret "Miggs" Durrance, died June 13 at a nursing home in Carbondale, Colorado at the age of 89.
Fetch Monster - Australian Shepherd dog who performed at New Orleans Saints and Houston Oiler NFL games during the 1990's, who became a fan favorite by retrieving kicking tees from the field, died of cancer on June 14 at her home in Spring, Texas at the age of 10.
Wilmer "Red" Fields - All-star third baseman and pitcher for the Negro League's Homestead Grays, who was part of eight championship teams and was selected as Most Valuable Player an unprecedented eight times in various baseball leagues, and who also served as president of the Negro League Baseball Players Association, died after a long illness on June 4 in Manassas, Virginia. He was 81 years old.
Patrick 'Hit Man' Hinton - Football star at the University of South Carolina, who was a linebacker for the Gamecocks from 1987 to 1990, ranking 8th all-time in tackles, and who later played in the CFL with Winnipeg, died June 13 in Atlanta from a pulmonary embolism while trying to get into his locked car. He was 35.
Mack Jones - Major league outfielder with the Braves, Reds and Expos, who played from 1961 to 1971, whose best season was 1965 with the Braves when he hit 31 home runs, and who was so popular when he played for the Montreal Expos from 1969 to 1971, that the left field bleachers were renamed "Jonesville", died June 8 in Atlanta of cancer at the age of 65.
Paul Mutch - Australian baseball star who was drafted out of high school at age 17 by the Minnesota Twins and signed to a six-figure contract, who had played in the Twins minor league before returning to attend school in Australia, and who was expected to play for his home nation in upcoming Olympics, collapsed and died while training on June 5 in Brisbane, Australia at the age of 21. He suffered a heart condition known as Wolff Parkinson White syndrome, but had elected not to have surgery.
Leslie "Buster" Narum - Major league pitcher for five seasons from 1963 to 67 with the Orioles and Senators, who compiled a career record of 14-27 and an ERA of 4.45, and who was traded to Washington from Baltimore for Lou Pinella, died May 17 at his home in Clearwater, Florida at the age of 63.
Ralph Wiley - Leading sportswriter for Sports Illustrated and ESPN.com, who was a regular commentator for ESPN's SportsCenter and a columnist for ESPN.com's Page 2, who is credited with coining the term "Billy Ball" to describe the style of play favored by manager Billy Martin, who beginning in the late 80s, became a well-regarded essayist on race in America, penning such books as "Why Black People Tend to Shout: Cold Facts and Wry Views From a Black Man's World" and "Serenity: A Boxing Memoir", died June 13 of a heart attack at his home in Orlando, Florida at the age of 52.
Art and Literature
Rosemary Breslin - Journalist and screenwriter (and the daughter of newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin) who wrote the critically-acclaimed book "Exactly What I Had in Mind: An Incurable Love Story", about her mysterious and rare blood disease and coping with regular and painful blood transfusions while also growing into a marriage and career, who also wrote for "NYPD Blue" and won awards for two documentaries related to the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, died June 14 of the disease about which she wrote, at age 47 in New York.
Sir Stuart Hampshire - Philosopher, author, and former chairman of Princeton University's philosophy department, who was considered one of the anti-rationalist Oxford thinkers who gave a new direction to moral and political thought in the post-war era, and whose writings include "Morality and Conflict" and "The Freedom of the Individual", died on June 13 in Oxford, England at the age of 89.
Sara Lidman - Revered Swedish author who won acclaim for her early works about rural life in Sweden like 1953's "The Tar Pit" and 1958's "The Rain Bird", who also caused controversy with her outspoken views about the U.S.'s involvement in Vietnam, chronicled in her 1966 book "Conversations in Hanoi", and who published 21 books in her career covering many topics, died June 17 after a brief illness at a hospital in Umea, Sweden at the age of 80.
Fosco Maraini - Italian ethnographer, Japanologist and travel writer who brought his understanding of the east to the west, who in the 1950's wrote revolutionary travel books such as "Secret Tibet" and "Meeting With Japan," and who, after the Italians signed an armistice with the allies, the Japanese authorities demanded he sign an act of allegiance to Mussolini's puppet republic of Salo, refused, and was interned with his family in a concentration camp at Nagoya for two years, died June 8 at age 91.
Jack McClelland - Publishing icon known for his flamboyant publicity stunts and business savvy, who headed one of Canada's most influential publishing houses, McClelland and Stewart, which helped launch the careers of Margaret Atwood, Leonard Cohen and numerous other authors, died on June 14 in Toronto at the age of 81.
Gerald McConnell - Illustrator known for his Western-styled pulp novel covers on books such as "Two-Gun Vengeance" and "The Hellsfire Lawman", who was the publisher and owner of Madison Square Press and a professor at Pratt Institute, and whose artwork was displayed in the U.S. Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio, NASA Museum and the National Parks Department, died suddenly on June 14 in New York City while recovering from recent surgery. He was 73 years old.
Kate Worley - Cartoon writer whose "Omaha The Cat Dancer" comics (created with partner Reed Waller) became ground-breaking in their genre, were aimed squarely for an adult audience and were known for their unabashed tackling of tough issues and gritty realism, whose family-friendly works included "Jonny Quest The Real Adventures," and who worked on comics for Tekno, Disney, DC, and Kitchen Sink Press, died June 6 in Tulsa at age 46 after a long battle with cancer.
Politics and Military
Abdulla Khamzayev - Prominent Chechen lawyer who worked on Russia's first major trial on military abuses in Chechnya, who represented the interests of numerous victims of alleged military violence and had recently been mentioned in the Russian media as a possible candidate for the Chechen presidency, died from complications of diabetes on June 12 in Moscow. He was 67 years old.
Thanom Kittikachorn - Military ruler of Thailand, both as prime minister and field marshal, during the 1960's and early 70's, who helped the U.S. during the Vietnam War under the guise of democracy, but who was known in his own country as "democracy's worst foe" for political abuses like nepotism, corruption and ordering troops to fire on protesters in the streets of Bangkok during an uprising, but who was driven into exile following a bloody student-led pro-Democracy uprising in October 1973, died June 16 at a hospital in Bangkok from the effects of a stroke. He was 92.
Whitman Knapp - Federal judge appointed by Richard Nixon in 1972 who served in that capacity for 32 years (until his death), who was best known for heading up an investigation of New York City police corruption (when he was a district judge) which faulted the Lindsay (New York mayor) administration for much of the trouble, died June 14 at a hospice in New York City at the age of 95.
Jacek Kuron - Former adviser to the Solidarity movement leader Lech Walesa and fierce opponent of Communism in Poland, who was a major force in the talks in the late 1980's between the Solidarity movement and the Communist party, which ushered in a non-violent transition from a police state to democracy which in turn, led to the beginnings of the destruction of the Berlin Wall, died June 17 at age 70 in Warsaw after a long struggle with heart and kidney disorders.
Paul Johnson - Employee of Lockheed Martin, who was in Saudi Arabia to work on Apache helicopters, who was kidnapped the weekend before and shown on video with the demand that all al-Quaeda prisoners be released within 72 hours, was found beheaded on June 18 outside the capital city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He was 49 years old and a group with ties to al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility.
Leonard McRoskey - Deputy assistant secretary of the Navy from 1986 to 1988, who was twice given the Department of the Navy's Distinguished Public Service Award, and who, in 1992 ran for California state senate against former Chicago Seven radical Tom Hayden (and lost), died at the age of 84 on June 9 at his home in Los Angeles.
Abdel Aziz al-Muqrin - The self-proclaimed leader of al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia and the nation's most wanted militant, who was responsible for al-Qaida's al-Battar magazine and ran a training camp for the terror network in Saudi Arabia, and who had claimed responsibility for the beheading of U.S. hostage Paul Johnson, was killed during a shootout with Saudi security forces on June 18, along with 3 other al-Qaeda officials.
Robert Teeter - Influential Republican pollster and campaign strategist who worked with Presidents Nixon and Ford, who was President George H.W. Bush's senior polling advisor and campaign chairman, credited with proposing Dan Quayle as Bush's running mate (and later blamed for the losing Bush-Quayle bid for a second term), who was also involved in the discussions that led to Dick Cheney's selection as the current President Bush's running mate, and who pioneered many of the polling techniques that are widely used today, died of cancer on June 13 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He was 65 years old.
Social and Religion
James Grigson - Forensic psychiatrist known to foes of the death penalty as "Dr. Death", who made a name for himself testifying in 167 capital murder trials, usually about defendants' potential threat to society (many of whom he didn't interview), and who was the target of much criticism because of his open support of the death penalty, died June 3 of lung cancer in Dallas at the age of 72.
Donny Houser-Richerme - 6-year-old Chicago-area child who on June 7 while playing outside with his 4-year-old brother and 5-year-old friend Karah Moran, found the gate of an unused apartment swimming pool unlocked and went exploring, who jumped in after Karah slipped into the deep end of the half-full pool and who was able to push her to a ladder, but who was unable to get himself out and was pulled out of the pool after 20 minutes underwater, died June 14 at a hospital in Oak Park, Illinois after a week in a coma.
J. Edgar "Spider" Hyatt - The U.S.'s oldest registered Eagle Scout, who embodied the values of the Boy Scout organization, earning 64 merit badges during his 82 years as a scout and continuing to attend meetings and teach younger scouts up until his death, died on June 9 in Florida at the age of 101.
Ulrich Inderbinen - Legendary Swiss mountain guide whose career spanned seven decades, who climbed the Matterhorn for the 370th and last time at age 90, doing so in four hours and leaving men half his age in his wake, and who gave up ski guiding at age 95 but continued summer guiding until he was 97 (!), died June 14 at the Swiss resort of Zermatt at age 103.
Kimbo - 9-year-old narcotics and apprehension canine on Floyd County, Indiana police force (and the only dog on the force), who escaped from his kennel after becoming frightened during a thunderstorm on June 12, who was the target of a media publicized manhunt in the Louisville, Kentucky area, was found shot to death on June 14 near New Albany, Indiana. Apparently he had sought refuge in a garage near the police station and the homeowner thought he was aggressive and killed him.
Lily - Popular polar bear at the Central Park Zoo, who was brought to the zoo from Germany in 1989, was put to death on June 11 after veterinarians discovered a possibly cancerous growth that was inoperable. She was 18 years old (the average life expectancy for a polar bear is 20).
Steven Oken - Maryland man convicted in the rapes and murders of three women (Dawn Marie Garvin, Patricia Hirt (his sister-in-law), and Lori Ward) during a 1987 spree, was executed by lethal injection on June 17 at the state prison in Baltimore at the age of 42. This was Maryland's first execution since 1998.
Eamonn McGirr - Irish pub owner, radio show host, and singer who earned international attention and a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records by setting the record for endurance singing, after he sang non-stop for 11 days and 20 minutes and raised more than a million dollars for charity, who later became a quadriplegic after suffering a fall when a bar stool at his pub collapsed underneath him, died from complications of his paralysis on June 14 in Schenectady, New York. He was 63 years old.
Gulshair El Shukrijumah - Internationally known Islamic scholar, whose son. Adnan G. El Shukrijumah, was named by John Ashcroft as a serious threat to U.S. interests at home and abroad, who was fired from his Florida mosque after the accusations about his son emerged in 2003, the stress of which is said to have caused a serious decline in his health, died June 11 after a series of strokes in Cooper City, Florida at the age of 74.
Howard Solomon - Owner of the Café au Go Go nightclub in Greenwich Village, which during the 60's played host to dozens of music stars including John Lee Hooker, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, B. B. King, the Blues Project, Stan Getz and Joni Mitchell, but who is best known for being arrested on April 3, 1964, along with comedian Lenny Bruce, on obscenity charges for performances by Bruce at the Café au Go Go, who was convicted of the charge and fought for several years (especially after Lenny Bruce's death in 1966) and finally saw his conviction overturned in 1968, died June 3 at his home in Crestline, California at the age of 75.
Water garden drowning victims - A father, his two children and another girl, all on a trip to Fort Worth, Texas with a Chicago church group at the National Baptist Sunday School and Baptist Training Union Congress, who on June 16 went to the Fort Worth Water Gardens to swim (it's marked with numerous "No Swimming" signs, but visitors often ignore the signs and jump in anyway), drowned when one of the swimmers was pulled under in 9-foot deep waters by a suction pump and the father and other children tried to save her. The victims were Myron Dukes, 39, his children Christopher, 13, and Lauren, 8 and friend Juantrice Deadmon, 11.
Yeti - Last surviving horse of the deadly IRA Hyde Park bombing in London on July 20th, 1982, which killed four soldiers and seven horses, who emerged from the blast with no physical injuries but was seriously traumatized, but who eventually returned to service with the Household Cavalry until 1986, died at age 39 on May 19 in Speen, Buckinghamshire, England.
Business and Science
Dr. Dorothy Brown - Pioneering surgeon who the first black female to become a surgeon in the U.S. South, who held the position chief of surgery at Riverside Hospital for 25 years in Nashville and received numerous awards and accolades for her work in medicine, and who in 1966 was elected to the state House of Representatives and co-sponsored the legislation that created "Negro History Week", which grew to become the nationwide Black History Month, June 13 in Nashville of congestive heart failure at age 90.
Father Charles Dullea - President of the University of San Francisco from 1963-69, and chancellor from 1977-91, who, during his presidency at the University, made the campus co-educational, doubled the size of the student body, and embarked on a building program that turned the campus into a modern, urban university facility, died in Los Gatos, California on June 8 at age 87.
Michael C. Hawley - Chairman and chief executive of The Gillette Co. from 1995 to 2000 who is credited with helping to increase international operations, who, between 1976 and 1985, ran the firm's Asian operations, died at the age of 66 on May 13 in Boston after a brief illness.
Charles Susskind - Electrical engineer and specialist in microwave technology, who served on the scientific advisory committee of the EPA in Washington, D.C., and became chairman of the panel in 1985, who wrote and co-wrote 15 books, including 1968's "Understanding Technology" and was the editor-in-chief for McGraw-Hill's "Encyclopedia of Electronics", and who was a longtime professor at Cal-Berkeley and Stanford, died June 14 at his home in Berkeley, California of Alzheimer's disease at age 82.