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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, December 9, 2006

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Georgia Gibbs, pop singerJeane Kirkpatrick, first US woman UN ambassadorMartha Tilton, big-band singerDr. Merlin K. (Monte) DuVal, medical school deanLynn Bennett, owner of Sahara CasinoLyuben Berov, former Bulgarian prime ministerKevin Berry, Australian swimming championDave Black, jazz drummerPeter Blake, architect and criticBill Briare, 3-term Las Vegas mayorDavid Bronstein, chess grandmasterRussell A. Buchanan, WWI veteranWendy Burlingame, daughter of 9/11 Pentagon pilotAngelo R. Cali, New Jersey real estate developerDr. John A. Campbell, radiologistDanny Crawford, shot to death after throwing eggs at carsRev. John F. Cunningham, former college presidentAudra Kaczur & David Calogero, killed by drunk driverSamuel Devons, Columbia physicistDr. William J. Dignam, former UCLA deanEleanor Thomas Elliott, women’s rights advocateAndra Franklin, former Dolphins fullbackMichael Gilden, NCIS actorGeontae Glass, missing Alabama boyRalph Gomberg, Boston Symphony principal oboistJohn O. Gonzales, civil rights activistMichael Guido, mayor of Dearborn, Mich.Moses Hardy, last black WWI veteranJames Holden, rock singerPat Holshouser, former NC first ladyJohnnie B. Hunt Sr., founder of trucking companyJoe Jackson, killed 3 at a Chicago office towerKenneth Jordan, Colorado police officerJames Kim, father of stranded familyValentine Kuechenmeister, schizophrenic killerRonnie Lippin, rock publicistFrancis Mayer, French bankerLawrence McGuigan, shot a strip-dancer, then himselfHootie McShann, jazz pianistMary Meagher, NYC literary agentMarty Moates, motorcycle racerMartin Nodell, creator of Green Lantern comics superheroHenry Pearson, Op Art pioneerMavis Pugh, British comic actressRobert Rosenblum, art historian and curatorBenjamin S. Ruffin, UNC board presidentWilliam Z. Salcer, resourceful inventorRobert Sampson, advocate for disabledArthur Shimkin, children's record producerJohn Sieburth, ocean scientistDel Smith, California governors' pilotVan Smith, designer of Divine lookElizabeth Stromme, novelist and gardening columnistLen Sutton, race driverFrank Tremaine, UP reporter at Pearl HarborJosé Uribe, former Giants shortstopRuth Webb, talent agent

Art and Literature

Peter Blake (86) architect, critic, and former editor of Architectural Forum (1950-72; now defunct), known for his lively critiques of Modernism and his friendships with artists. Although an enthusiastic chronicler of Modernism, Blake criticized the sterility and ugliness he saw in much of postwar architecture. He died of a respiratory infection in Branford, Connecticut on December 5, 2006.

Martin Nodell (91) creator of "Green Lantern," the comic book superhero who uses his magical ring to help him fight crime. Nodell was looking for a new idea for a comic book in 1940 when he saw a train operator in the New York City subway waving a lantern with a green light. His imagination concocted a plot line of a train crash survivor who discovers in the debris an ancient lantern forged from a green meteor, then constructs a ring from the lamp that gives him super powers, and becomes a crime fighter. Nodell died in Muskego, Wisconsin on December 9, 2006.

Henry Pearson (92) artist whose use of undulating parallel lines in both painting and sculpture made him a pioneer of Op Art. Inspired by his own work drawing topographical maps of Japan in World War II as a member of the Army Air Corps, Pearson used similar techniques to make linear abstractions in ink or oil on canvas and three-dimensional objects. He died in New York City on December 3, 2006.

Robert Rosenblum (79) influential and irreverent art historian and curator at the Guggenheim Museum known for his research on subjects ranging from Picasso to images of dogs. For 50 years Rosenblum also taught art history at New York University. He died of colon cancer in New York City on December 6, 2006.

Elizabeth Stromme (59) author whose noir novel Joe's Word, set in her longtime Los Angeles community of Echo Park, was published in French seven years before it debuted in English. Stromme was also a gardening columnist, writing on such topics as the need for home gardeners to learn to coexist with bugs. She died of gastric cancer in Guerneville, California on December 7, 2006.

Business and Science

Lynn Bennett (64) owner of the Sahara Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Bennett was the widow of Las Vegas gambling industry pioneer William Bennett and had influenced management at the Sahara since his death in 2002. Dedicated to animal rights, she died in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 3, 2006.

Angelo R. Cali (91) New Jersey man whose family-owned real estate development company merged with the Mack Company in 1997 to create one of the country's largest real estate investment trusts. With his brother and a friend, Cali started the Cali Realty Corporation in 1949. Mack-Cali now holds about $6.5 billion in assets, including 34.3 million square feet of space in 301 buildings, from Washington to Boston. Cali died in Montclair, New Jersey on December 8, 2006.

Dr. John A. Campbell (92) physician who established the radiology department at Los Angeles's Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center in the early '70s. Campbell also helped what was then known as the Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School to become affiliated with the University of California. He died of cancer in Reno, Nevada on December 4, 2006.

Dr. William J. Dignam (86) founding member of the University of California at Los Angeles's Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and a former senior associate dean of academic affairs at what is now the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dignam once estimated that he had been attending physician at 30,000 births. He died in Los Angeles, California on December 5, 2006.

Johnnie B. Hunt Sr. (79) former truck driver who built a nationwide freight-hauling empire, J. B. Hunt Transport Services, after calculating that driving a single transport truck was less profitable than owning and managing thousands of them. Hunt had been hospitalized since December 2, when he slipped on ice at his home in Goshen, Arkansas and fell, striking his head. He died in Springdale, Arkansas on December 7, 2006.

Francis Mayer (56) chairman and chief executive of the French state-owned bank CDC, which manages French civil servants' pensions, since 2002. Mayer died in Paris, France on December 9, 2006.

William Z. Salcer (82) Nazi concentration camp survivor who later made a fortune by inventing things in the US, including a plastic lace tablecloth. Salcer's eventful life also included designing and fabricating tanks in preparation for Israel's war for independence, starting Israel's first rubber plant, and, in 1994, patenting a new and improved roller hockey puck. He died of leukemia in New York City on December 6, 2006.

Robert Sampson (81) former vice president of United Airlines who served on the President's Commission on Employment of the Handicapped under five Presidents. Sampson pushed United and the rest of the airline industry to devise better ways to serve disabled passengers. He suffered from muscular dystrophy from age 5 but died of congestive heart failure in Arlington Heights, Illinois on December 3, 2006.

John Sieburth (79) fiercely independent scientist whose research on turkeys led him to penguins, which in turn led him to help identify a species of photosynthetic picoplankton, infinitesimal oceanic organisms that appear to be the most abundant on earth. Sieburth was part of a generation of ocean scientists who used new technology to vastly expand knowledge of ocean life. He died from complications of dementia in West Kingston, Rhode Island on December 7, 2006.


Dr. Merlin K. ("Monte") DuVal (84) founding dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine and an advocate for statewide health-care access. A former surgeon and assistant secretary of health in the US Department of Health, DuVal never stopped working toward making health insurance available to all Arizona residents. He suffered a fatal heart attack while preparing to move from Phoenix to Tucson, Arizona on December 5, 2006.

Rev. John F. Cunningham (78) 10th president of Providence College, who worked for the school for almost 50 years as a teacher and administrator. Cunningham was the school's president (1985-94), a period when it became a well-regarded regional institution. He was a philosophy professor and taught classes until about four weeks before his death in Providence, Rhode Island on December 4, 2006.

Samuel Devons (92) physicist and historian of science at Columbia University who combined research in nuclear physics with a career-long effort to make science accessible to general audiences. In the'’60s, while he was chairman of Columbia's physics department, Devons conducted experiments that shed light on the nature of the atom's nucleus. Born in Wales, he died of congestive heart failure in New York City on December 6, 2006.

Eleanor Thomas Elliott (80) advocate for women's rights who successfully fought Columbia University's attempt to take over Barnard College in the early '70s. Elliott was chairwoman of the board at Barnard, a women's college, when she helped to organize administrators, faculty members, and students there to oppose a Columbia merger. She died of injuries from a car accident, in Valhalla, New York on December 3, 2006.

Benjamin S. Ruffin (64) one-time aide to North Carolina governor Jim Hunt and the first black chairman of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, which oversees the school's 16-campus system. Ruffin died of an apparent heart attack in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on December 7, 2006.

News and Entertainment

Dave Black (78) brilliant jazz drummer who played with Duke Ellington's orchestra in the mid-'50s. A creative percussionist, Black was a drummer's drummer whose inventive solos inspired many younger players. His dazzling solo on "Gonna Tan Your Hide"—a tune written for him by legendary jazz composer Billy Strayhorn—is considered a classic. Black died of pancreatic cancer in Alameda, California on December 4, 2006.

Georgia Gibbs (87) versatile singer who starred on radio and TV's popular Hit Parade in the '50s, performed with the big bands of Tommy Dorsey and Artie Shaw, and was perhaps best known for the song "Kiss of Fire." Gibbs was one of the first white singers to cover rhythm-and-blues hits, sometimes upstaging the original versions with sanitized lyrics. She was dubbed "Her Nibs, Miss Georgia Gibbs" by radio and TV variety show host Garry Moore. She died of leukemia in New York City on December 9, 2006.

Michael Gilden (44) character actor, a Little Person who most recently appeared on the CBS-TV drama NCIS. Gilden had also appeared on the series Charmed, Family Law, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and in feature films including Pulp Fiction and Star Wars: Episode VI—Return of the Jedi. He was married to actress Meredith Eaton, a Little Person currently appearing on Boston Legal. Gilden was found dead of an apparent suicide by hanging at his home in Los Angeles, California on December 5, 2006.

Ralph Gomberg (85) former principal oboist with the Boston Symphony (1950-87) while his brother Harold played the same instrument with the New York Philharmonic. They were part of a musically talented group of seven siblings. One brother was a violinist in the Philadelphia Orchestra; another played principal trumpet for Leonard Bernstein's New York City Center Symphony. Ralph Gomberg died of primary lateral sclerosis, a rare neuromuscular disease similar to Lou Gehrig's disease, in Whelan, Massachusetts on December 9, 2006.

James Holden (18) singer and songwriter of the rock band Sallyforth who had recorded several hits including "Other Side of the World," "Don't Go Tango," and "To Make a Better Place." Holden was killed in a car accident in Rowlands Castle, England on December 4, 2006.

Ronnie Lippin (59) veteran publicist and manager who worked with rock icons such as Eric Clapton, Brian Wilson, and Prince. Although she started working as a publicist for film and stage productions, Lippin switched to music publicity when she moved to Los Angeles with her husband, Dick Lippin, founder of the Lippin Group, a marketing and public relations firm. Ronnie Lippin died of a rare form of breast cancer in Los Angeles, California on December 4, 2006.

Jay ("Hootie") McShann (90) jazz pianist and bandleader who helped to refine the blues-tinged Kansas City sound and introduced saxophonist Charlie Parker to the world. McShann's musical career spanned 80 years and won him accolades from both blues and jazz aficionados. He died in Kansas City, Missouri on December 7, 2006.

Mary Meagher (47) New York agent, once one of the brightest literary agents in theater and independent film and a glamorous, gorgeous, fiery presence. It was not her negotiating that set her apart, but her conviction that the writers and directors she represented deserved a spot in the marketplace. Over the years, Meagher succumbed to alcohol and drug addiction and died of a heart attack in New York City on December 9, 2006.

Mavis Pugh (92) British comic actress frequently cast in aristocratic roles, most memorably as the dotty Lady Lavender in the "upstairs downstairs" TV sitcom You Rang, M'Lord? (1990-93). Pugh died in Chichester, West Sussex, England on December 6, 2006.

Arthur Shimkin (84) Grammy-winning producer of children's records, including Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"—sung, appropriately enough, by Jimmy Durante (the "Schnozzola"). Shimkin was head of the Little Golden Records division of the Simon & Schuster publishing company in the '50s and '60s and of Sesame Street Records in the '70s. He died of bladder cancer in New York City on December 4, 2006.

Van Smith (61) costume designer called both an artist and a terrorist for the costumes and makeup he designed for the films of John Waters. Smith was widely credited with having created the public face—once seen, not soon forgotten—of Divine, the transvestite star of Waters' early movies, eg., Pink Flamingos (1972). Smith died of a heart attack in Marianna, Florida on December 5, 2006.

Martha Tilton (91) popular big-band vocalist best known for her recording of "And the Angels Sing" with the Benny Goodman orchestra in 1939. Tilton was known as "Liltin' Martha Tilton" during her '40s heyday. During her time as vocalist with Goodman, the band made history when it performed the first-ever jazz concert at Carnegie Hall in 1938. Tilton was one of the first singers to record for Capitol Records in the early '40s. She died in Brentwood, California on December 8, 2006.

Frank Tremaine (93) former United Press correspondent and executive who reported on the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor over the telephone in an eyewitness account of the bombing. Tremaine died in Savannah, Georgia on the 65th anniversary of his report, December 7, 2006.

Ruth Webb (88) talent agent who earned a reputation in the '70s for giving new life to such old stars as Ginger Rogers, Dorothy Lamour, and Donald O'Connor on the dinner-theater circuit. In the mid-'90s the Ruth Webb Agency in Hollywood suddenly found itself thrust into the limelight by offering a rogues' gallery of "scandalous" clients who included Tonya Harding, Gennifer Flowers, Joey Buttafuoco, John Wayne Bobbitt, and other notorious newsmakers. Webb died of a pulmonary illness in Los Angeles, California on December 4, 2006.

Politics and Military

Lyuben Berov (81) former prime minister who led Bulgaria's Cabinet (1992-94). Berov was a university professor and researcher in economics and was not affiliated with any political party. He signed an association agreement with the European Community (later the European Union), marking the beginning of Bulgaria's path toward becoming part of the European Union. He died in Sofia, Bulgaria on December 7, 2006.

Bill Briare (76) former three-term mayor (1975-87) of Las Vegas who traveled the world promoting the gambling destination. Briare had a reputation as a family man and often clashed with adult businesses. His public tenure came during the time when control of casinos shifted from organized crime figures to corporations. He died of Alzheimer's disease in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 8, 2006.

Russell A. Buchanan (106) one of the nation's last surviving World War I veterans. Buchanan served in the Navy in the final months of the war and later enlisted in the Army to serve in WWII when he was in his 40s. His death leaves 13 WWI veterans nationwide. He died of a stroke, heart attack, and pneumonia in Cambridge, Massachusetts on December 6, 2006.

Michael Guido (52) Dearborn (Mich.) mayor who led the city during 20 years when Middle Eastern immigration turned the home of Ford Motor Company into the center of Arab America. Dearborn is now home to at least 20,000 Arab-Americans. Early arrivals came from Lebanon and Yemen, while more recent immigrants have included thousands fleeing Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Guido died of cancer in Dearborn, Michigan on December 5, 2006.

Pat Holshouser (67) wife of former North Carolina governor Jim Holshouser. Pat Holshouser became the state's first lady at age 33 after her husband, a Watauga County state House member, upset Democrat Hargrove ("Skipper") Bowles in 1972. Jim Holshouser was the state's first Republican governor of the 20th century. Pat Holshouser died of cancer in Southern Pines, North Carolina on December 6, 2006.

Jeane Kirkpatrick (80) unabashed apostle of Reagan-era conservatism and the first woman US ambassador to the United Nations. Originally a liberal Democrat, Kirkpatrick championed human rights, opposed Soviet Union communism, and supported Israel. Named to the UN post by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, she was known as a blunt advocate. She died of congestive heart failure in Bethesda, Maryland on December 7, 2006.

Clarence ("Del") Smith (86) World War II pilot who later ferried three California governors aboard the official state airplane. Smith was a pilot for California One, the official state plane used by governors Earl Warren, Goodwin Knight, and Edmund G. ("Pat") Brown. Smith died in Roseville, California on December 9, 2006.

Society and Religion

David Bronstein (82) Ukrainian-born grandmaster who played bold and intuitive chess, wrote one of the classics in chess literature, and came within one draw of becoming world champion. Bronstein was one of the top three players in the Soviet Union and among the five best in the world. He died of a stroke in Minsk, Belarus on December 5, 2006.

Wendy Burlingame (32) daughter of Charles F. Burlingame 3rd, a 25-year Navy veteran and captain of American Airlines Flight 77, which slammed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, killing 189 people. Wendy was found dead alone in her apartment, which she shared with companion Kevin Roderick, in a suspicious fire in Guttenberg, New Jersey on December 5, 2006.

Danny Crawford (14) Ohio boy who was throwing eggs at cars along with two other teenagers. Crawford was chased and fatally shot by someone who had been in a sport utility vehicle that was hit by eggs. The other teens were not hurt. Police were still searching for the shooter. Crawford died in Columbus, Ohio on December 3, 2006.

Audra Kaczur & David Calogero (24, 31) girlfriend and best friend, respectively, of Paul Kind (32). Kaczur and Kind were on their way back from a bowling date. Along on the date was Kind's best friend, Calogero, who came to watch them play. Kaczur and Calogero were killed when Kind's car was hit on the passenger side by a drunken driver, illegal alien Nilssen Torres-Paredes (30), driving his grandmother's car without a license in Islip Terrace, Long Island, New York on December 5, 2006.

Geontae Glass (5) Alabama boy allegedly kidnapped from the parking lot of a convenience store after his mother left him alseep in the back seat with the engine running. The "kidnapping" was deemed a hoax when the child was found dead in the trunk of a car in Mountainboro, Alabama on December 5, 2006. The boy’s mother and her boyfriend were being held as suspects.

John O. Gonzales (91) founding president of a Los Angeles, California council of the League of United Latin American Citizens and a longtime activist for Mexican-American rights. Gonzales helped to organize a class-action lawsuit against four Orange County school districts forcing Mexican children to attend schools separate from whites; the landmark case led to the end of segregation in California schools in 1947. He died in Dana Point, California on December 6, 2006.

Moses Hardy (113) believed to be the second-oldest man in the world and the last black veteran of World War I. Hardy would have been 114 on January 6, 2007. He died in Aberdeen, Mississippi on December 7, 2006.

Joe Jackson (59) Illinois man who forced his way in and opened fire at a Chicago office tower, killing three employees—his lawyer Michael McKenna (58), Allen Hoover (65), and Paul Goodson (78)—of the Wood, Phillips, Katz, Clark & Mortimer law firm. Jackson apparently was angered because a patent he had spent his life savings trying to secure had been given to someone else. He was shot and killed by police in Chicago, Illinois on December 8, 2006.

Kenneth Jordan (32) specialized DUI police officer who responded to the traffic stop of a man suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. Jordan was shot several times by the suspect, Marco Lee (25), who in turn was shot (but not killed) by two other officers standing by. Jordan was later declared dead at a hospital in Colorado Springs, Colorado on December 5, 2006.

James Kim (35) San Francisco man found dead in a mountain creek four days after he set out through the snowy wilderness to seek help for his wife and two young daughters, stranded in a car. A search helicopter spotted Kim's body about a mile from where he set out in Oregon's snowy Klamath Mountains, two days after his family was rescued from the vehicle, stuck on a remote road. His body was found on December 6, 2006.

Valentine Kuechenmeister (59) Wisconsin man charged with killing his 11-year-old daughter and trying to kill his wife at their Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin home in 1990. Kuechenmeister was found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect and was confined to a mental institution for 14 years, diagnosed with schizophrenia. Released in 2004, he was killed in a fall from his eighth-floor apartment window (likely suicide) in Wausau, Wisconsin on December 5, 2006.

Lawrence McGuigan (49) Philadelphia man who shot and injured a strip dancer at the Cheerleaders Gentlemen's Club, then shot himself in the head. McGuigan had been arrested twice on drunken driving charges earlier in 2006 and was due in court on the second case. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound (suicide) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 8, 2006.


Kevin Berry (61) swimmer who won a gold medal for Australia at the 1964 Olympics and set 10 swimming world records during his career. Berry's gold at Tokyo came in the 200-meter butterfly and followed his three gold medals at the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth, Australia. He died after a fall in Sydney, Australia on December 7, 2006.

Andra Franklin (47) former National Football League fullback. Franklin played football at the University of Nebraska (1977-80). He was drafted by the Miami Dolphins and played in the NFL for four years. His career was cut short by a knee injury. He had suffered heart problems in recent years, including congestive heart failure. His body was found by police at his Lincoln, Nebraska apartment on December 6, 2006.

Marty Moates (49) motorcycle racer whose upset victory in the 1980 US Grand Prix of Motocross at Carlsbad (Calif.) Raceway was a landmark moment in American motorcycle racing history. Before Moates won at Carlsbad, no American had ever defeated the more experienced European riders in 10 years of the US round in the 500cc world championship series. In great pain from old motorcycle-related injuries, Moates died of gunshot wounds in an apparent suicide in La Costa, California on December 7, 2006.

Len Sutton (81) former race driver who raced in the Indianapolis 500 seven times. Sutton had 43 career top-10 finishes. He first raced in the Indy 500 field in 1958. His best finish was runner-up to teammate Roger Ward in 1962. Sutton died of cancer in Portland, Oregon on December 4, 2006.

José Uribe (47) former San Francisco Giants shortstop. Uribe played 10 seasons in the major leagues (1984-93), mostly with the Giants. In recent years he owned a hardware store in his hometown of Juan Baron, Dominican Republic. He was killed when his sport utility vehicle crashed on a highway about 30 miles west of the capital, Santo Domingo, on December 8, 2006.

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