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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, May 2, 2009

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Jack Kemp, quarterback turned US congressmanSalamo Arouch, Jewish boxer who survived AuschwitzErnie Barnes, football player turned painterKenneth C. Bass 3rd, helped to write intelligence surveillance actRich Bircumshaw, radio voice of Colorado State U RamsAugusto Boal, Brazilian theater director and playwrightLinda Bogdan, Buffalo Bills executiveCordelia Brown, poetRalph J. Cappy, former Pennsylvania Supreme Court chief justiceDelara Darabi, Iranian convicted murdererMaxime de la Falaise, international fashion model and trend-setterNate DeFrancisco, former UCLA football playerTom Deitz, Georgia novelistJohn Egnew, driver involved in fatal tour bus accidentBen Enoch, promising Welsh golferU. A. Fanthorpe, British poetJerry Filiciotto, husband of pop singer Patti PageCol. Harold E. Fischer Jr., US fighter pilot in Korean WarMarilyn French, feminist authorEilene M. Galloway, helped to create NASADanny Gans, popular Las Vegas entertainerFrank Gansz, former KC Chiefs coachSteve Gideon, musical theater performerGlen Gondrezick, former basketball star and broadcasterAlbert H. Gordon, Wall Street veteranVern Gosdin, country singer and songwriterEddie Hatcher, North Carolina inmateRev. Theodore Heck, world's oldest Benedictine monkHans Holzer, paranormal investigatorDerrick Johnson, Texas killerMayme Hatcher Johnson, widow of Harlem gangsterBill Keating, former Texas sheriff involved in jail sex scandalTyrone Kenner, former Chicago aldermanFeroz Khan, Bollywood actorRev. Vernon C. King, nephew of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.Danny Kladis, oldest former Indy 500 driverMark Landau, half of heart transplant coupleJack ('Lucky') Lohrke, MLB infielderFrankie Manning, pioneer dancer of Lindy HopEkaterina Maximova, Russian ballerinaGiles McCoy, survived sinking of 'USS Indianapolis' in WWIIJuan Mendez, suspected killer of Janiya Rivas (3)Carole C. Noon, founder of Save the ChimpsBob Oates, longtime 'LA Times' sportswriterNora O'Brien, NBC program executiveGreg Page, former heavyweight championRobert R. Pauley, former president of ABC RadioHal Perry, '50s USF basketball starVenetia Phair, named the planet Pluto at age 11David Poole, NASCAR sportswriterWilliam A. Price, former NYC reporterVirginia Prince, pioneering transgender rights activistMarc Rocco, Hollywood screenwriter, director, and producerErika Roman, Florida disk jockeyBuddy ('Playboy') Rose, pro wrestlerSteve Saulnier, former Eisenhower economic adviserReza Seyed-Hosseini, Iranian translator of Western literaturePhilip Stein, Mexican-influenced muralistKate Tucci, wife of actor-director Stanley TucciMarian Wagstaff, former school principal, a pioneer in diversityJohn Wilke, investigative reporter for 'Wall Street Journal'Steven Witser, principal trombonist of LA PhilharmonicMarl Young, LA musician who led desegregation of musicians' unions

Art and Literature

Ernie Barnes (70) figurative painter and former lineman for the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos. Barnes’s famous Sugar Shack dance scene (1971; shown above) appeared on the album cover of Marvin Gaye’s I Want You (1976) and under the closing credits of the Good Times (1974-79) TV show. He died of a rare blood disorder in Los Angeles, California on April 27, 2009.

Cordelia Brown (29) poet and author whose recently published collection of poetry, Asylum (2008), described her experiences in overcoming a childhood automobile accident that nearly killed her when a car driven by a 13-year-old girl slammed into her family's sport utility vehicle, injuring six family members on their way to a Christmas vacation in 1994. Brown suffered severe head injuries and was left with epilepsy. She later traveled around the world to teach English to Tibetan monks and lived in a remote artists' colony in the Venezuelan Andes mountains for several years. In 2007, she stopped taking her epilepsy medications to facilitate her writing. She died of an epileptic seizure in San Francisco, California on May 1, 2009.

Thomas Franklin Deitz (57) Georgia novelist, author of the Soulsmith Trilogy, comprised of the novels Soulsmith, Dreambuilder, and Wordwright, among other series. Deitz had a heart attack in January and was a candidate to receive a ventricular assist device (VAD) but had suffered too much damage to his heart for the device to be implanted. He died of heart failure in Gainesville, Georgia, where he was on the English faculty at Gainesville State College, on April 27, 2009.

U. A. Fanthorpe (79) late-blooming English poet first inspired by the human tragedy she saw while working as a receptionist at a neurological hospital. Fanthorpe’s career was crowned with honors, including the Queen’s Medal for Poetry in 2003. In 1994, she was the first woman to be nominated as a professor of poetry at Oxford University and was a leading candidate for Poet Laureate in ’99. She died in Wotton-under-Edge in western England on April 28, 2009.

Marilyn French (79) writer and feminist activist whose first novel, The Women’s Room (1977), made her a leader in the modern feminist movement. French died of heart failure in New York City on May 2, 2009.

Reza Seyed-Hosseini (83) Iranian translator and critic instrumental in introducing Western literature to Persian-speaking readers. In his 60-year career, Seyed-Hosseini translated works by Western writers like Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, and Thomas Mann into Persian. He had been hospitalized for a spinal condition and died of pneumonia in Tehran, Iran on May 1, 2009.

Philip ("Estaño") Stein (90) New Jersey-born mural artist, onetime assistant (1947-58) to Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros, from whom he acquired his nickname, Estaño. Besides his Mexican-influenced works, Stein painted the enigmatic mural at Greenwich Village's jazz club, the Village Vanguard. He died in New York City on April 27, 2009.

Business and Science

Eilene M. Galloway (102) retired Library of Congress expert on space law and policy who helped to shape legislation creating the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) in the late ‘50s. Galloway died of cancer in Washington, DC on May 2, 2009.

Albert H. Gordon (107) Wall Street dealmaker who helped to pick up the pieces of a shattered Kidder Peabody after the 1929 Wall Street crash and rebuilt that securities firm. The company was later sold, in the '80s to General Electric, then in the '90s to PaineWebber, and the name was dropped. Gordon began running marathons in his 80s and at his death was the oldest graduate of both Harvard College and Harvard Business School. He died in New York City on May 1, 2009.

Carole C. Noon (59) primatologist who in 1997 founded Save the Chimps, an organization that provides the world’s largest sanctuary for captive chimpanzees. Its two locations, in Florida and New Mexico, currently care for 282 chimpanzees rescued from biomedical research or the entertainment industry or sold and raised as pets. Noon died of pancreatic cancer in Fort Pierce, Florida on May 2, 2009.

Venetia Phair (90) British woman who, as an 11-year-old, suggested Pluto as the name for a newly discovered planet to her grandfather at breakfast in 1930. He was Falconer Madan, retired librarian of the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, who had connections to the planet's discoverer, Clyde W. Tombaugh of the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz. In 2006, Pluto was downgraded to a dwarf planet. Phair died in Epsom, England on April 30, 2009.


Marian Wagstaff (97) educator who turned a Compton (Calif.) junior high school into a model of racial harmony and integrated its faculty years before the court rulings and civil rights protests of the ‘50s and ‘60s. Wagstaff died three days after her 97th birthday, in Santa Cruz, California on April 26, 2009.

News and Entertainment

Augusto Boal (78) Brazilian theater director and playwright known for the interactive genre called the "Theater of the Oppressed,” which he created in the early ‘60s to establish a dialogue among audience, playwright, director, and actors that encouraged political activism. Considered a threat to the dictatorship that ruled Brazil (1964-85), Boal was jailed and tortured before being exiled to Argentina. After the fall of the military regime he returned to Brazil. He suffered from leukemia but died of respiratory failure in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on May 2, 2009.

Jerry Filiciotto (79) retired aerospace engineer and second husband of well-known traditional pop music singer Patti Page. The couple had been married for more than 18 years and ran a maple syrup business together in New Hampshire. Filiciotto died in San Diego, California on April 28, 2009.

Danny Gans (52) singer-actor-impressionist who for more than 10 years was one of the most popular entertainers in Las Vegas. Gans parlayed a comedy and impression routine he developed on bus rides as a minor league baseball player into a fledgling entertainment career. He later polished his routine as a variety show performer before touring the country as a banquet performer for business groups. In 1995, Gans appeared in a one-man show, Danny Gans on Broadway: The Man of Many Voices. After leaving Broadway in 1997, he worked his way up as an entertainer in the Nevada gambling mecca. He died in his sleep in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 1, 2009. On June 9, the Clark County (Nev.) coroner said Gans’s death was accidental, caused by a prescription painkiller.

Steve Gideon (52) actor whose musical theater career included staging and starring in the first authorized gay version of Stephen Sondheim’s revue Marry Me a Little, first seen on Broadway in 1980 and using songs cut from Sondheim's other musicals. Gideon adapted the show, usually performed by a man and a woman, into a two-man vehicle in 1999. He died of colon cancer in West Hollywood, California on May 1, 2009.

Vern Gosdin (74) country singer-songwriter whose "Chiseled in Stone” was named the Country Music Association’s song of the year in 1989. Gosdin had several other hits in the ‘70s and ‘80s including "Set ‘em Up Joe,” "I Can Tell by the Way You Dance,” and "I’m Still Crazy." He had a history of strokes and suffered the last one a few weeks before his death in Nashville, Tennessee on April 28, 2009.

Feroz Khan (69) Bollywood actor once called "the Clint Eastwood of the East” because of his maverick roles and macho swagger. Khan scored his biggest hit as an actor, producer, and director, introducing foreign locations to Bollywood with the 1980 Hindi-Urdu gangster film Qurbani (Sacrifice). He died of cancer in Bangalore, India on April 26, 2009.

Frankie Manning (94) Harlem dancer and Tony-winning choreographer widely celebrated as one of the pioneers of the Lindy Hop, an acrobatic swing dance of the '30s and ‘40s. Allowing both partners to improvise rhythmically at the same time, the dance has enduring appeal as both a social and a performance dance. Manning shared the Tony for choreography with Cholly Atkins, Henry LeTang, and Fayard Nicholas for their contributions to the Broadway revue Black & Blue (1989). He died a month before a scheduled five-day 95th birthday celebration in his honor, in New York City on April 27, 2009.

Ekaterina Maximova (70) Russian ballerina whose dancing career at the Bolshoi spanned 30 years, from her debut as Masha in The Nutcracker in 1958 until ’88. Maximova had been working as a ballet coach and was not known to be suffering from ill health when she died unexpectedly in Moscow, Russia on April 28, 2009.

Nora O'Brien (44) NBC Universal program executive working on the series Parenthood, based on the 1989 Steve Martin film. O'Brien was playing basketball with members of the cast and crew when she complained of dizziness, then collapsed. She was pronounced dead at a hospital, in Berkeley, California on April 29, 2009.

Robert R. Pauley (85) former president (1961-67) of the ABC Radio network who championed radio broadcasting at a time when TV was replacing it as a dominant medium. Pauley died of lung and heart failure in New Haven, Connecticut on May 2, 2009.

William A. Price (94) former reporter for the New York Daily News who invoked the First Amendment, rather than the Fifth, when refusing to answer questions before a Senate panel in 1956 about his possible ties to the Communist Party. Price later won a court judgment against the FBI for wiretapping his phone in the ‘70s. He died in New York City on April 29, 2009.

Marc Rocco (46) screenwriter, director, and producer whose credits include Where the Day Takes You (1992) and Murder in the First (1995). Rocco was the adopted son of character actor Alex Rocco, who played Moe Greene in The Godfather. The younger Rocco was found dead at his North Hills, California home on May 1, 2009.

Erika Roman (31) disk jockey, morning show host, and producer at the popular central Florida radio station WPYO (Power 95.3 FM) under the name Your Chula. Roman was killed in a rollover car accident near Fort Pierce, Florida on May 1, 2009.

Buddy ("Playboy") Rose (56) professional wrestler who gained national fame in the ‘80s when he joined the World Wrestling Federation, now World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). On Mar. 31, 1985, while appearing as a masked character called "The Executioner,” Rose battled but lost to Tito Santana in the first match of the first WrestleMania. He died in Vancouver, Washington on April 28, 2009.

Kate Tucci (??) wife of Emmy-winning stage, screen, and TV actor and film director-producer Stanley Tucci, probably best known for his supporting roles in several feature films, including Big Night, Maid in Manhattan, The Terminal, The Devil Wears Prada, and the upcoming Julie & Julia. The couple had been married for 14 years and had three children, but separated in 2003. Kate Tucci died of breast cancer in New York City on May 1, 2009.

John Wilke (54) investigative reporter for the Wall Street Journal who specialized in looking for connections among business, politics, and federal regulators. In recent years, Wilke’s investigation of earmark deals cut by members of Congress for friends or supporters led to the indictment in 2008 of then-Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.), among other stories. Wilke died of pancreatic cancer in Bethesda, Maryland on May 1, 2009.

Steven Witser (48) principal trombonist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since late 2007. Before that Witser was assistant and acting principal trombonist of the Cleveland Orchestra. He died of an apparent heart attack in Pasadena, California on April 27, 2009.

Marl Young (92) musician instrumental in the merger of the all-black and all-white musicians unions in Los Angeles in the early ‘50s who 20 years later became the first black music director of a major network TV series, Here’s Lucy. Young suffered from prostate cancer and died in Los Angeles, California on April 29, 2009.

Politics and Military

Kenneth C. Bass 3rd (65) former US Justice Department official who helped to write the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows the federal government, with the approval of a special court, to spy on foreigners suspected of espionage in the US. Bass died of cancer in Great Falls, Virginia on April 27, 2009.

Col. Harold E. Fischer Jr. (83) American fighter pilot routinely tortured in a Chinese prison during and after the Korean War, becoming—along with three other American airmen held at the same prison—a symbol and victim of cold war tension. Fischer died of complications from back surgery, in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 30, 2009.

Jack Kemp (73) ex-quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, US congressman (R-NY, 1970-88), former HUD secretary under President George H. W. Bush, one-time vice presidential nominee (running with Bob Dole in 1996), and self-described "bleeding-heart conservative." Kemp was credited with moving the Republican Party to a commitment to tax cuts as the focus of its economic policy. He announced in January 2009 that he had been diagnosed with cancer. He died in Bethesda, Maryland on May 2, 2009.

Tyrone Kenner (76) former Chicago alderman convicted of taking bribes. Kenner was a Chicago police officer before a successful run in 1971 for alderman of a South Side ward. In 1983, a federal jury found him guilty of taking bribes in exchange for getting people jobs with the Cook County sheriff’s office; he was also convicted on obstruction of justice charges for trying to influence witnesses. He served 20 months of a five-year prison sentence. He died of complications from diabetes in Evergreen Park, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, on April 27, 2009.

Giles McCoy (83) US Navy captain who joined the Marines at age 17 to fight in World War II and was among approximately 316 out of 1,196 crewman aboard the cruiser USS Indianapolis who survived when it was torpedoed and sunk after delivering atomic bomb parts that helped to end the war in Japan. McCoy survived five days clinging to a life raft in the water as sharks attacked men around him, in what has been described as the worst single-incident sea disaster in US naval history. He died of prostate cancer in Palm Coast, Florida on April 30, 2009.

Raymond J. ("Steve") Saulnier (100) conservative chief economic adviser to President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the ‘50s who promoted balanced budgets and contained inflation. Saulnier recently expressed his shock at how far policy makers of both parties have strayed from the principles he supported (1956-61) as a member, then chairman of the President’s three-man Council of Economic Advisers. He died in Chestertown, Maryland on April 30, 2009.

Society and Religion

Ralph J. Cappy (65) former Pennsylvania Supreme Court chief justice (2003-08). Cappy became the target of criticism when he successfully lobbied the Legislature to raise the pay of state judges. He recently underwent surgery for blocked arteries. He died suddenly as he was preparing to leave for a social engagement, and friends later discovered his body at his home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on May 1, 2009.

Delara Darabi (22) Iranian woman who spent five years in prison after she was sentenced to death for murdering her father's wealthy female cousin in 2003 when she was only 17. Darabi initially confessed to the crime but later denied it, insisting that her 19-year-old boyfriend carried out the murder to steal the elderly woman's money. Iran has executed at least 42 juvenile offenders since 1990, in total disregard of international law, which unequivocally bans the execution of those convicted of crimes committed when under age 18. Darabi was executed by hanging in Rasht, Iran on May 1, 2009.

Maxime de la Falaise (86) British-born fashion model and artists’ muse of the mid-20th century. De la Falaise was for decades a trend-setter in London, Paris, and New York society; she married a count, posed for the world’s most eminent photographers, and was a close associate of Yves Saint Laurent, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Andy Warhol. She died in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France on April 30, 2009.

John Egnew (69) charter bus driver who was behind the wheel of a tour bus carrying French tourists from San Francisco to southern California that crashed into a guardrail on the two-lane southbound overpass on central California's Pacific Coast Highway, killing four passengers and injuring dozens of others. Federal records revealed that Egnew had been involved in a previous road accident in 2005 when he struck and seriously wounded an elderly woman in a Las Vegas crosswalk while driving another tour bus. He died from head and neck injuries after he was thrown from the bus, in Soledad, California on April 28, 2009.

Eddie Hatcher (51) one of two men who in 1988 took 19 hostages with shotguns at a small-town newspaper, supposedly to call attention to government corruption in Robeson County, North Carolina. After a 10-hour standoff, they surrendered and released their hostages unharmed when the governor agreed to appoint a task force to hear their allegations, but no one was ever charged with corruption. After serving five years in prison for kidnapping, Hatcher was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder for his involvement in a drive-by shooting death. He was in prison for that crime when he died in Raleigh, North Carolina on May 1, 2009.

Rev. Theodore Heck (108) southern Indiana priest believed to be the world’s oldest Benedictine monk. Heck taught for more than 50 years at St. Meinrad Archabbey and held several administrative positions over the years at its high school, college, and theological seminary about 40 miles west of Evansville. He died just a month before he was to celebrate his 80th anniversary as a Roman Catholic priest, in St. Meinrad, Indiana on April 29, 2009.

Hans Holzer (89) Viennese-born ghost hunter whose investigations into the paranormal took him to haunted houses all over the world, notably the Long Island house that inspired Jay Anson's 1977 book The Amityville Horror. Holzer wrote more than 140 books on ghosts, the afterlife, witchcraft, extraterrestrial beings, and other such phenomena. He died in New York City on April 26, 2009.

Derrick Johnson (28) Texas man convicted of the 1999 murder of LaTausha Curry (25), who was abducted, robbed, raped, beaten, and strangled to death with her own blouse during a two-week crime spree involving an accomplice that left numerous women robbed or raped in the Dallas-Waco area. Johnson was executed by lethal injection in Huntsville, Texas on April 30, 2009.

Mayme Hatcher Johnson (94) widow of legendary Harlem gangster Ellsworth ("Bumpy") Johnson (d. 1968). In 2004, Mayme Johnson moved to Philadelphia and later wrote a biography of her husband, Harlem Godfather (2008). Two days before her death, she was told that a film production company was negotiating to purchase rights to her book. She died of respiratory failure in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 1, 2009.

Bill Keating (62) former Texas sheriff who faced up to 10 years in federal prison for a sexual assault and was accused in a jail sex scandal. In January 2009, Keating pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights violation that accused him of telling a woman she would go to jail on a drug charge unless she had sex with him. In February, he was indicted on charges of official oppression and having sex with female inmates. The 106-count indictment involved 17 people, mostly former jailers charged with having sex with inmates or giving them drugs and cell phones. Keating apparently died of a heart attack in Forestburg, about 60 miles northwest of Fort Worth, Texas on April 30, 2009.

Rev. Vernon C. King (48) nephew of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Vernon King was the youngest son of Martin King’s only brother, A. D. King Sr. He was currently senior pastor at St. James Baptist Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he died on May 1, 2009.

Mark Landau (59) male half of the first married couple to have heart transplants. Mark Landau received his first new heart in 1997 and his wife Sandra got hers in 2003, both performed by the same surgeon at the same hospital. In late 2007, Mark underwent a second heart transplant because of congestive heart failure but never regained his health. He died after a series of infections, in Fountain Valley, California on May 2, 2009.

Juan Mendez (21) New Jersey man, prime suspect in the disappearance and death of his 3-year-old niece Janiya Rivas, last seen on April 25, whose body was later found beneath a bridge over the Passaic River later that day. Investigators said Mendez was on a drug binge when he snatched the little girl from her home and told relatives to "watch the 6 o'clock news tonight," just hours after police launched a seven-day manhunt. Mendez's body was later recovered from the same river, an apparent suicide by drowning, in northern New Jersey on May 1, 2009.

Virginia Prince (96) longtime activist for transgender rights and a pioneer of the cross-dressing community, well known for her disdain for transsexuals and those with gender identity disorder, believing that sex reassignment surgery was unnecessary. Born Arnold Lowman, Prince published the Transvestia magazine for nearly 20 years and founded the Society for the Second Self, an organization for male heterosexual cross-dressers, in 1962. She died in Los Angeles, California on May 2, 2009.


Salamo Arouch (86) Greek-born Jewish boxer who survived the Auschwitz death camp by fighting exhibition bouts for Nazi officers and inspired a Hollywood movie about his life, Triumph of the Spirit (1989), starring Willem Dafoe. Arouch had been unwell since suffering a stroke in 1994. He died in Tel Aviv, Israel on April 26, 2009.

Rich Bircumshaw (54) play-by-play voice of the Colorado State University Rams football and men’s basketball teams since 2002 and news director for several Clear Channel radio stations in northern Colorado. Bircumshaw suffered a stroke in his sleep and was hospitalized after his wife discovered him on the couch having convulsions the next morning. He died in Loveland, Colorado on April 29, 2009.

Linda Bogdan (61) Buffalo Bills vice president, assistant director of college and pro scouting, and daughter of the football team’s owner Ralph Wilson. Bogdan completed her 23rd year with the team in the 2008 season. She died of cancer in Buffalo, New York on April 28, 2009.

Nate DeFrancisco (89) UCLA football player (1939-41), an offensive and defensive lineman who later became a football coach and an administrator at Riverside (Calif.) City College. DeFrancisco helped to establish the Tiger Backers, a support group for the college’s athletic programs, and oversaw many construction projects, including the Evans Park Sports Complex and the college’s Norco and Moreno Valley campuses. He died in his sleep in Fairview, Texas on April 28, 2009.

Ben Enoch (18) Welsh amateur golfer scheduled to go to the US later this year on a golf scholarship at East Tennessee University, where his elder brother Rhys, part of the Great Britain and Ireland squad set to face the US in September, is already a student. Last summer, Ben Enoch was part of the team that beat the Continent of Europe. He was killed while driving to a tournament when his car crashed into a trailer in Whitchurch, Herefordshire, England on April 30, 2009.

Frank Gansz (70) former Kansas City Chiefs coach (1987-88) who spent much of his NFL and collegiate career working with special teams. Gansz coached for 38 years, 24 in the NFL. He died in a Dallas, Texas hospital after developing complications from knee replacement surgery, on April 27, 2009.

Glen Gondrezick (53) former basketball star for the University of Nevada at Las Vegas who later played for the Knicks and the Denver Nuggets before turning to broadcasting. Gondrezick starred on UNLV’s Final Four team in 1977. After finishing his NBA career in 1983, he spent 17 years doing color commentary on UNLV basketball broadcasts. He died of complications from a heart transplant he received in September 2008, in Henderson, Nevada on April 27, 2009.

Danny Kladis (92) oldest former Indianapolis 500 driver. Kladis began racing midgets in 1935. After World War II, he made his only start at Indianapolis in 1946 and finished 21st in a car entered by Andy Granatelli and his brothers. Kladis also drove 50 laps in relief of starter Spider Webb in 1954 but failed to qualify in his last try at Indy in ’57. He died in Joliet, Illinois on April 26, 2009.

Jack ("Lucky") Lohrke (85) baseball infielder in the ‘40s and ‘50s who acquired the nickname "Lucky” after several pre-major league brushes with death. Lohrke batted .242 with 22 home runs and 96 RBIs in 354 games with the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Phillies (1947-53). He died two days after suffering a stroke, in San Jose, California on April 29, 2009.

Bob Oates (93) longtime sportswriter for the Los Angeles Times who covered 39 consecutive Super Bowls. Oates was the last surviving original member of the panel of sportswriters that since 1962 has annually chosen the inductees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He died in Baldwin Hills, California on April 27, 2009.

Greg Page (50) former heavyweight boxing champion who suffered a severe brain injury in a 2001 fight. The Mar. 9, 2001 fight left Page in a coma for nearly a week; he then had a stroke during surgery. He was paralyzed on his left side and won a $1.2-million settlement in 2007 from Kentucky boxing officials over the lack of medical personnel at the fight. His wife found him dead in bed in Louisville, Kentucky on April 27, 2009.

Hal Perry (75) teammate of Bill Russell and K. C. Jones with the University of San Francisco’s back-to-back NCAA champions in the ‘50s. Perry was a starter on the Dons team that dominated college basketball in the mid-‘50s, twice winning the title (1955-56). He was a member of the all-tournament team in 1956, scoring 28 points in his two Final Four games. He died in the East Bay area of California on April 30, 2009.

David Poole (50) sportswriter who spent 13 years covering NASCAR for the Charlotte Observer. Poole also hosted The Morning Drive weekday show on Sirius NASCAR Radio and was a four-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association's writer of the year award. He died of a heart attack in Stanfield, North Carolina on April 28, 2009.

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