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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, December 11, 2010

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Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former US senator and Presidential candidateDon Meredith, Dallas Cowboys player and TV football broadcasterAlan A. Armer, TV producer and professorFrank Bessac, escaped Chinese Communist revolutionMark Dailey, Toronto TV anchorJohn E. du Pont, heir to chemical fortuneJohn B. Fenn, Nobel-winning scientistMaria Esther Gatti de Islas, Uruguayan human rights activistMarian Gibbons, cofounder of Hollywood HeritageCarlos Guerra, retired Texas newspaper columnistWalter Haeussermann, German-born rocket scientistJ. Michael Hagopian, educational filmmakerNorman Hetherington, creator of Australian TV marionetteDick Hoerner, LA Rams fullbackChuck Jordan, legendary GM designerAlice Kern, Holocaust survivorSamuel P. King, US federal judge in HawaiiHeda Margolius Kovaly, Czech writerJohn A. (‘Jack’) Kyser, southern California economics expertRené le Berre, French entomologistJohn Leslie, adult film actorSergiu Luca, violinistJames T. Lynn, official in Nixon and Ford administrationsVic Lynn, Canadian hockey starMark Madoff, elder son of imprisoned swindler Bernie MadoffPeter C. Marzio, director of Houston Museum of Fine ArtsGus Mercurio, US-born Australian actorMack Miller, trainer of champion horsesJames Moody, jazz saxophonistSherrill (‘Shaun’) Nielsen, gospel singerGeorge Pickow, photographer of musical performersHank Raymonds, Marquette basketball coachR. Richard Rubottom, US diplomatMartin Russ, author of books on warFausto Sarli, Italian fashion designerDov Shilansky, former speaker of Israeli parliamentAdele Starr, leader in gay rightsBishop John Steinbock, head of Fresno DioceseBeth Straus, NY Botanical Garden board memberDick Turpin, ‘LA Times’ real estate editorArnold Hans Weiss, fled Nazi Germany for USLester Ziffren, LA attorney and civic leader

Art and Literature

Peter C. Marzio (67) director of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston for nearly 30 years (since 1982) who elevated it to major-museum status through an ambitious program of physical expansion and a commitment to Latin American, Hispanic, and Asian art. Marzio died of cancer in Houston, Texas on December 9, 2010.

George Pickow (88) photographer best known for the thousands of album covers on which he captured the titans of folk, jazz, and pop music—including Theodore Bikel, Louis Armstrong, and Lena Horne—in their mid-20th century prime. Pickow died of respiratory failure in Roslyn, New York on December 10, 2010.

Martin Russ (79) US Korean War veteran who later wrote several books on the chaos of combat. Russ’s The Last Parallel: A Marine’s War Journal (1957), rose to No. 8 on the New York Times best-seller list. He died in Oakville, California on December 6, 2010.

Business and Science

John B. Fenn (93) scientist who shared the 2002 Nobel Prize in chemistry for developing a technique that sped up the development of new drugs and the study of the molecules of life. Fenn died in Richmond, Virginia on December 10, 2010.

Walter Haeussermann (96) leading member of the team of German rocket scientists headed by Wernher von Braun who were brought to the US after World War II to help develop ballistic missiles. Haeussermann, who became a US citizen in 1954, died of complications after a fall, in Huntsville, Alabama on December 8, 2010.

Chuck Jordan (83) General Motors designer who dreamed up ‘50s automotive confections dripping with tailfins, chrome, and postwar exuberance, then helped to reshape the look of GM cars as the company grappled with foreign competition and steeper fuel costs. Jordan is shown above with the 1956 Buick Centurion. He died of lymphoma in Rancho Santa Fe, California on December 9, 2010.

John A. (Jack) Kyser 76) dean of Los Angeles economists who spoke as an expert on southern California to media around the world. Kyser had a long career focusing on the workings of the southern California economy and spoke with authority on a wide range of topics. He was found dead of unknown causes at his Downey, California home on December 6, 2010.

René le Berre (78) French entomologist who helped to inspire an international campaign that saved millions of West Africans from the parasitic disease river blindness, or onchocerciasis, transmitted through the repeated bites of black flies. Le Berre died of cardiovascular disease complicated by diabetes in L’Aiguillon-sur-Mer on France’s western coast, on December 6, 2010.

Mark Madoff (46) elder of Bernard L. Madoff’s two sons. Mark Madoff was found dead of an apparent suicide by hanging on the second anniversary of the day his father was arrested for running a gigantic Ponzi scheme that shattered thousands of lives around the world, in New York City on December 11, 2010.

Fausto Sarli (83) one of Italy’s leading high fashion designers, known for his elegant gowns. The Naples-born designer was considered a master of style. Sarli died of cardiac arrest a week after being hospitalized with a lung ailment, in Rome, Italy on December 9, 2010.

Beth Straus (94) board member of the New York Botanical Garden since 1966 who helped to revamp its image from a public park to a museum and nurtured one of its crown jewels, the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, home to more than 600 varieties of roses and more than 3,600 individual plants. Straus died in Somesville, Maine, on Mount Desert Island, on December 6, 2010.


J. Michael Hagopian (97) educational filmmaker who spent 40 years gathering the testimonies of Armenian genocide survivors to provide evidence of one of the most contentious events in world history. Hagopian was himself a survivor of the genocide, which historians estimate resulted in the deaths of as many as 1.5 million Armenians in Ottoman-ruled Turkey beginning in 1915. He died in Thousand Oaks, California on December 10, 2010.

News and Entertainment

Alan A. Armer (88) Emmy-winning TV producer whose series included the ‘60s hits The Fugitive and The Untouchables. Armer was also a retired longtime professor in what now is called the Department of Cinema & Television Arts at Cal State Northridge. He died of colon cancer in Century City, California on December 5, 2010.

Mark Dailey (57) Ohio-born Canadian journalist and TV anchor, best known for more than 30 years as the voice that announced "Citytv, Everywhere” and offered irreverent introductions to the station’s regular late-night movies. Dailey died of kidney cancer in Toronto, Canada on December 6, 2010.

Carlos Guerra (63) former columnist at the San Antonio (Texas) Express-News who began his career as a civil rights activist, grants writer, and fund-raiser. While on a fishing trip, Guerra was found dead at a condominium in Port Aransas, Mustang Island, Texas on December 6, 2010.

Norman Hetherington (89) creator of Mr. Squiggle, a moon-dwelling marionette with a pencil for a nose who first appeared on Australian TV in 1959 and entertained generations of children during a 40-year run until ‘99. Hetherington died in Sydney, Australia on December 5, 2010.

John Leslie (65) award-winning adult film actor and director who appeared in more than 300 movies during the so-called golden age of pornographic films in the ‘70s and ’80s. Leslie died of an apparent heart attack in Mill Valley, California on December 5, 2010.

Sergiu Luca (67) Romanian-born American violinist who founded several important chamber music festivals and ensembles and was renowned for the breadth of his repertory and the elegance and warmth of his tone. Luca died of bile duct cancer in Houston, Texas on December 6, 2010.

Gus Mercurio (82) Wisconsin-born actor who starred in several Australian TV series and appeared in films such as The Blue Lagoon, The Man from Snowy River, and Crocodile Dundee II. The father of Australian actor Paul Mercurio, best known for his starring role in Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom (1992), Gus Mercurio died of complications during surgery for a chest aneurysm, in Melbourne, Australia on December 7, 2010.

James Moody (85) jazz saxophonist best known for his "Moody’s Mood for Love.” Based on the harmonic structure of Jimmy McHugh’s 1935 classic "I’m in the Mood for Love,” Moody recorded it in Stockholm in ‘49, improvising an entirely new melody on a borrowed alto saxophone. He died of pancreatic cancer in San Diego, California on December 9, 2010.

Dick Turpin (91) longtime (1967-89) real estate editor of the Los Angeles Times and before that part of the reporting team that won the paper a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the 1965 Watts riots. Turpin died in his sleep in Reseda, California on December 10, 2010.

Politics and Military

Frank Bessac (88) former intelligence agent in China with the US Office of Strategic Services (OSS)—World War II precursor of the CIA—who, in 1949 as a Fulbright scholar in the Gobi Desert, was forced to flee the spreading Chinese Communist revolution. Bessac survived a year-long trek of about 2,000 miles laden with danger, privation, and violence. He died of a stroke in Missoula, Montana, where he had taught anthropology at the University of Montana, on December 6, 2010.

Elizabeth Edwards (61) wife of former Senator John Edwards (D-NC) who gave America an intimate look at a candidate’s marriage by sharing her husband’s quest for the 2008 Presidential nomination as she struggled with incurable cancer and, secretly, with his infidelity. Elizabeth Edwards died of cancer in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on December 7, 2010.

Maria Esther Gatti de Islas (92) human rights activist who helped to found the Uruguayan Association of Relatives of the Disappeared, Uruguay’s organization for relatives of people who were taken (and presumably murdered) by a military dictatorship during South America’s "dirty wars" in the ‘70s. The fates of Gatti’s daughter and son-in-law are still unknown. Gatti died in Montevideo, Uruguay on December 5, 2010.

Alice Kern (87) Romanian-born Holocaust survivor, lecturer, and author. Kern was 21 when she was taken in 1944 via cattle car to Auschwitz. She later lectured on her experiences at countless schools, churches, and other organizations, sharing a message of strength and hope and reminding audiences "never to forget." She died in Portland, Oregon on December 10, 2010.

Heda Margolius Kovaly (91) Czech writer and translator whose memoir, Under a Cruel Star, described her imprisonment by the Nazis during World War II and her persecution by the Communists in the ‘50s and became a classic account of life under totalitarianism. Kovaly died in Prague, Czech Republic on December 5, 2010.

James T. Lynn (83) US housing secretary in the Nixon administration who cut government spending as President Gerald R. Ford’s budget director. Lynn died of a heart attack in Bethesda, Maryland on December 6, 2010.

R. Richard Rubottom (98) diplomat who influenced and helped to shape US policy toward Latin America in the late ‘50s, a time of economic and political tumult that culminated in Fidel Castro’s takeover of Cuba. Rubottom died in Austin, Texas on December 6, 2010.

Dov Shilansky (86) Holocaust survivor and former speaker of the Israeli parliament. Born in Lithuania, Shilansky emigrated to Israel in 1948. A lawyer, he was first elected to the Knesset, or parliament, for the conservative Likud party in 1977 and later became speaker (1988-92). He died in Jerusalem, Israel on December 9, 2010.

Arnold Hans Weiss (86) German Jew who fled to the US from Nazi Germany as a 13-year-old in 1937 and returned as an American soldier during World War II, becoming a principal in the investigation that led to the discovery of Hitler’s last will and political testament. Weiss died of pneumonia in Rockville, Maryland on December 7, 2010.

Society and Religion

John E. du Pont (72) heir to the Du Pont chemical fortune who shot and killed an Olympic gold-medal-winning wrestler at his palatial estate outside Philadelphia in 1996. Du Pont was found guilty but mentally ill and was sentenced to 13-30 years in prison. He was found dead in his cell at Laurel Highlands state prison near Somerset, Pennsylvania on December 9, 2010.

Marian Gibbons (89) Hollywood preservationist, one of five cofounders in 1980 of Hollywood Heritage, a nonprofit organization committed to ensuring that as much of old Hollywood that was worth saving would be preserved for both tourists and Angelenos. Gibbons died of lung cancer in Studio City, California on December 8, 2010.

Samuel P. King (94) US federal judge who helped to topple overseers of the Bishop Estate, one of the nation’s wealthiest charities, a 19th-century trust set up by Hawaiian royalty to educate the kingdom’s natives. In 1977, King was one of five coauthors of a 6,400-word critique of the institution that accused its five trustees, all Democrat appointees, of malfeasance, spurring investigations that led to their removal. He died of complications from a fall the day before, in Honolulu, Hawaii on December 7, 2010.

Sherrill (Shaun) Nielsen (68) gospel singer who performed with Elvis Presley on the Grammy-nominated song "Softly as I Leave You." Nielsen performed with several gospel groups over his career, including the Singing Speer Family and Voice. He died of lung cancer in Atlanta, Georgia on December 10, 2010.

Adele Starr (90) California mother of five who overcame dismay at her son’s homosexuality to become a leading voice for gay rights and marriage equality. In 1976 Starr founded the Los Angeles chapter of Parents & Friends of Lesbians & Gays, a gay rights and acceptance organization known then as Parent FLAG, now as PFLAG. Starr died in her sleep while convalescing after surgery, in Santa Monica, California on December 10, 2010.

Bishop John Steinbock (73) leader of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno since 1991 and a former auxiliary bishop of Orange County. The diocese includes about 1 million parishioners in Fresno, Tulare, Kings, Madera, Merced, Mariposa, Kern, and Inyo counties. Steinbock died of lung cancer in Fresno, California on December 5, 2010.

Lester Ziffren (85) attorney and civic leader devoted to his alma mater, UCLA, and many other causes. Ziffren was a deputy attorney general (1953-59) under then-California Attorney General Pat Brown, father of Governor-Elect Jerry Brown. He died in Los Angeles, California on December 6, 2010.


Dick Hoerner (88) Los Angeles Rams fullback, a member of the 1951 NFL Championship team. Hoerner was part of the team’s famous "Bull Elephant” backfield that also featured "Deacon” Dan Towler and Paul ("Tank”) Younger. Hoerner died of a stroke in Fullerton, California on December 11, 2010.

Vic Lynn (85) three-time Stanley Cup winner (1947-49) with the Toronto Maple Leafs who played with all the National Hockey League’s original six teams. A wing known for his exceptional speed, Lynn died in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada on December 6, 2010.

Don Meredith (72) one of the most familiar of the early Dallas Cowboys (1960-68) and an original member of ABC’s Monday Night Football broadcast team in 1971. Meredith died after suffering a brain hemorrhage and lapsing into a coma, in Santa Fe, New Mexico on December 5, 2010.

Mack Miller (89) trainer of champion thoroughbred horses for nearly 50 years who at age 71 saddled the 1993 Kentucky Derby winner, Sea Hero. Miller died of a stroke in Lexington, Kentucky on December 10, 2010.

Hank Raymonds (86) former Marquette University basketball coach. A former assistant coach under Al McGuire, Raymonds took over as head coach after McGuire’s departure in 1977 and coached until ‘83, compiling a career record of 126-50. He died of cancer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on December 6, 2010.

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