Back to Life In Legacy Main Page Pages for Previous Weeks Celebrity Deaths Message Board
Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, June 8, 2013

Hold pointer over photo for person's name. Click on photo to go to brief obit.
Click on name to return to picture.

Esther Williams, star of ‘aqua-musicals’Walt Arfons, Ohio speed tinkererMartin Arnold, NY Times journalistRev. Will Campbell, white civil rights activistPaul Cellucci, governor of MassachusettsRudy Clay, mayor of Gary, IndianaCharlie Coles, Miami Ohio basketball coachJoey Covington, drummer with Jefferson AirplaneJohn Crawley, Alabama appeals court judgeHarold J. Cromer, ‘Stumpy’ of Stump & StumpyNiels Diffrient, indutrial designerArnold Eidus, concert violinist turned ad manEd Hotaling, journalist and authorGwen and Stephen HuneckDavid (‘Deacon’) Jones, LA Rams defensive endYoram Kaniuk, Israeli author and homeland criticJerome Karle, Nobel Prize winner in chemistryJiah Khan, Bollywood actressStephen LaFrance Sr., started USA DrugFrank R. Lautenberg, oldest US senatorBob Lyons, AP sports free-lancerPierre Mauroy, former French prime ministerRichard Ramirez, ‘Night Stalker’Piano C. Red, Chicago blues piano playerDavid Rogers, adapted others’ works for the stageSherwood B. Ross, bicycle manufacturerEugene Ruehlmann, former Cincinnati mayorTom Sharpe, British comic novelistWilli Sitte, East German painterJohn Strait, father of country music star George StraitMaxine Stuart, stage, film, and TV actressBishop Joseph M. Sullivan, Brooklyn clergymanBen Tucker, jazz bassistArturo Vega, spokesman for The RamonesEdward O. Whitfield, father of US congressmanChen Xitong, mayor of Beijing who supported Tiananmen Square crackdownMandawuy Yunupingu, Australian singer

Art and Literature

Niels Diffrient (84) industrial designer who combined elegance and efficiency in everyday objects, including telephones, cameras, airplane interiors, and, in the late ‘90s, office chairs that adjusted themselves to whoever sat in them. Shown above is Diffrient’s Freedom Chair. He died of cancer in Ridgefield, Connecticut on June 8, 2013.

Gwen Huneck (61) head of the Stephen Huneck Gallery at Dog Mountain, Vermont and widow of the late folk artist Stephen Huneck, whose paintings, sculptures, and wood cut prints of dogs celebrated his love of animals. Stephen Huneck committed suicide in 2010 at age 60; Gwen Huneck was found dead at her home in St. Johnsbury, Vermont on June 2, 2013.

Yoram Kaniuk (83) prize-winning Israeli author and harsh critic of his homeland. Kaniuk published numerous books, many of which were translated into other languages, about Holocaust survivors, the 1948-49 war that followed Israel’s creation in which he fought, and the Tel Aviv of his childhood. He died in Jerusalem, Israel on June 8, 2013.

Tom Sharpe (85) British comic novelist who satirized everything from apartheid to academe in a series of best-sellers, beginning with Riotous Assembly (1971). Sharpe, who suffered from diabetes, died in Llafranc, Spain on June 6, 2013.

Willi Sitte (92) one of East Germany’s most eminent artists and a key representative of communism’s preferred socialist realism painting style. Sitte’s paintings depicted factory workers or farmers as glamorized ideals of Communist heroes. He died in Halle, Germany on June 8, 2013.

Business and Science

Arnold Eidus (90) retired advertising executive who began his career as an internationally acclaimed concert violinist, performing on some of the world’s most renowned stages. Eidus later spent more than 10 years with Ted Bates & Co., a prominent mid-20th century New York ad agency, producing music for TV commercials. He died in Delray Beach, Florida on June 3, 2013.

Jerome Karle (94) scientist who shared the 1985 Nobel Prize in chemistry with a former college classmate for creating what is now an essential tool in the development of new drugs. The technique developed by Karle and Herbert A. Hauptman (d. 2011), called X-ray crystallography, is now routinely used by scientists to determine the shapes of complex molecules like proteins. Karle died in Annandale, Virginia on June 6, 2013.

Stephen LaFrance Sr. (71) businessman who built a Pine Bluff-based drugstore into a regional chain that he sold in 2012 for $438 million. LaFrance started USA Drug in 1968 and expanded until he had 144 stores in Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Tennessee, all of which Walgreen bought in 2012. LaFrance died in Pine Bluff, Arkansas on June 5, 2013.

Sherwood B. Ross (92) businessman who turned his father’s Brooklyn galvanizing company into Ross Bicycles, for many years America’s third-largest bike manufacturer, often selling more than 1 million bikes a year and trailing only Schwinn, the industry leader, and Huffy in sales. The company lost ground to foreign manufacturers in the ‘80s and went bankrupt in 1989. Ross died in Pembroke Pines, Florida on June 4, 2013.


John Strait (91) father of country music star George Strait. John Strait was a former junior high school math teacher who also worked a ranch outside the southwest Texas town of Big Wells, about 90 miles southwest of San Antonio. He died after being hospitalized for the past month, on June 4, 2013.

News and Entertainment

Martin Arnold (84) former reporter, editor, and columnist for the New York Times whose assignments took him to the invasion of the Dominican Republic, the mountains of the Yukon, the capital of ‘60s hippie culture, and the corridors of the publishing world. Arnold died of complications from Parkinson’s disease in New York City on June 4, 2013.

Joey Covington (67) former Jefferson Airplane drummer. Covington replaced Spencer Dryden as the Airplane’s drummer (1970-72). Before that he was with the Airplane offshoot Hot Tuna and played congas on the 1969 Airplane album Volunteers. Covington wasn’t wearing a seat belt when his car hit a retaining wall; he died at the scene in Palm Springs, California on June 4, 2013.

Harold J. Cromer (90s) hoofer and comedian who as Stumpy, half of the vaudevillian duo Stump & Stumpy, performed antic dance routines in clubs around the US after World War II and later on TV. Stump (James Cross, who died in 1981) & Stumpy were among the top comedy teams to play the black theater and nightclub circuit—including the Apollo Theater in Harlem and the Moulin Rouge in Las Vegas—from the ‘30s into the ‘50s. Cromer died in New York City on June 8, 2013.

Ed Hotaling (75) network news journalist and author of several books including They’re Off! Horse Racing at Saratoga. Hotaling worked in Iran, France, Greece, and Israel as a young man; he was later Middle East bureau chief at CBS and McGraw-Hill World News. Among other things, he covered the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War in 1967. He died of heart failure on Staten Island, New York on June 3, 2013.

Jiah Khan (25) Bollywood actress who, friends said, was depressed about her career and fearful for her future because she had not worked for the past three years. Khan was found hanged at her home in Mumbai, India on June 4, 2013.

Piano C. Red (79) Chicago blues piano player who performed with Muddy Waters, B. B King, Fats Domino, and Buddy Guy before being shot and paralyzed during a robbery in 2006. Red spent years driving a cab by day and playing in the city’s blues clubs at night. He died in Chicago, Illinois on June 3, 2013.

David Rogers (85) lyricist and book writer for the 1980 Broadway musical Charlie & Algernon, based on the novel Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. Rogers also adapted other novels and films into stage plays and musicals. He died of cardiac arrest in Westport, Connecticut on June 5, 2013.

Maxine Stuart (94) stage, film, and TV actress whose long career included memorable guest appearances on The Twilight Zone and The Wonder Years. In the early ‘50s Stuart was a regular on The Edge of Night, a now-defunct soap opera, and in the ‘90s appeared on The Young & the Restless. She died in Beverly Hills, California on June 6, 2013.

Ben Tucker (82) jazz bassist who performed with stars from Quincy Jones to Peggy Lee before he settled in the ‘70s in Savannah, where he became one of the Georgia city’s best-known working musicians. Also an avid golfer, Tucker was driving a golf cart across a road on Hutchinson Island, Georgia when a car slammed into him at high speed and killed him, on June 4, 2013. The driver was charged with vehicular homicide.

Arturo Vega (65) often called the fifth Ramone for serving as spokesman, logo designer, T-shirt salesman, lighting director, and omnipresent shepherd for The Ramones, the speed-strumming punk quartet that helped to rejuvenate rock in the mid-‘70s. Vega died in New York City on June 8, 2013.

Esther Williams (91) swimming star whose wholesome beauty, shapely figure, and aquatic skills launched an entire genre of movies—the MGM Technicolor "aqua musicals" of the ‘40s and early ‘50s. Williams’ Olympic aspirations were dashed when the 1940 Olympics was canceled because of World War II, so she settled for movie stardom, appearing in glittering swimsuit numbers that featured towering fountains, waterfalls, pools, lakes, slides, and water skis. She influenced swimwear fashion and synchronized swimming, the Olympic sport inspired by her cinematic water ballets. The widow of actor Fernando Lamas (d. 1982), Esther Williams died in Beverly Hills, California on June 6, 2013.

Mandawuy Yunupingu (56) former lead singer of the Australian indigenous band Yothu Yindi and one of the country’s most famous Aborigines. Yunupingu gained worldwide fame in the ‘80s and ‘90s with his hits "Treaty” and "Tribal Voice." He died of kidney disease in a tiny Outback Aboriginal settlement in the Northern Territory of Australia on June 2, 2013.

Politics and Military

Paul Cellucci (65) former governor (1997-2002) of Massachusetts. The University of Massachusetts School of Medicine’s ALS Champion Fund raised nearly $2 million under Cellucci’s leadership. He died of complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in Boston, Massachusetts on June 8, 2013.

Rudy Clay (77) mayor (2006-11) of Gary, Indiana, who inherited a city riddled with abandoned buildings, a declining population, and rampant violence. The city recorded 71 homicides during 2007, and although the number fell to 51 in ‘08, it remained among the highest per-capita murder rates in the nation. Clay died of prostate cancer in Gary, Indiana on June 4, 2013.

Frank R. Lautenberg (89) oldest US senator, a Democrat from New Jersey and a driving force behind the laws that banned smoking on most US flights and made 21 the drinking age in all 50 states. First elected in 1982, Lautenberg served nearly 30 years in the Senate. He died of viral pneumonia in a New York City hospital on June 3, 2013.

Pierre Mauroy (84) France’s Prime Minister (1981-84) who implemented radical social reforms, including cutting the work week, lowering the retirement age, and increasing the number of paid holidays; they helped to reduce poverty but led to higher inflation and a widening budget deficit, forcing a government U-turn. Mauroy resigned in 1984. He died of cancer in a Paris, France suburb on June 7, 2013.

Eugene Ruehlmann (88) former Cincinnati mayor (1967-71) who helped to build Riverfront Stadium along the Ohio River as a home for the Reds baseball team and the Bengals football team. It was demolished in 2002 as the Reds moved into the new Great American Ball Park; the Bengals had moved earlier into Paul Brown Stadium. Ruehlmann died in Cincinnati, Ohio on June 8, 2013.

Edward O. Whitfield (89) father of US Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.). The elder Whitfield was employed by the Louisville & Nashville Railroad and its successor companies, the Seaboard System Railroad and CSX Corp., for 44 years. He died in Hopkinsville, Kentucky on June 4, 2013.

Chen Xitong (82) mayor of Beijing who backed the military crackdown on the Tiananmen Square student-led democratic protests on June 4, 1989 but later expressed regret for the loss of life of hundreds, possibly thousands, of people. Brought down by scandal in 1995, Chen died of cancer two days before the massacre’s 24th anniversary, in Beijing, China on June 2, 2013.

Society and Religion

Rev. Will Campbell (88) white minister who drew acclaim for his involvement in the civil rights movement. Campbell was the Nashville representative of a prointegration operation called the National Council of Churches. He died of complications from a stroke he suffered in 2011, in Nashville, Tennessee on June 3, 2013.

John Crawley (73) retired state appeals court judge. Crawley was presiding judge on the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals before retiring in 2007. He was one of the first Republicans elected to Alabama’s statewide appeals courts and served two six-year terms. He died in Montgomery, Alabama on June 4, 2013.

Richard Ramirez (53) serial killer known as the "Night Stalker” who left satanic signs at murder scenes and mutilated victims’ bodies during a southern California reign of terror (1984-85). At a four-year trial, which ended in 1989, Ramirez was convicted of 13 murders and charges of rape, sodomy, oral copulation, burglary, and attempted murder. After more than 20 years on Death Row at San Quentin, he died of liver failure in Greenbrae, California on June 7, 2013.

Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan (83) retired bishop whose work on behalf of the poor and downtrodden for Catholic Charities in Brooklyn and Queens, New York, earned him national recognition. Sullivan was critically injured in a three-car collision on the Long Island Expressway on May 30 and was airlifted to Nassau University Medical Center, where he died eight days later, on June 7, 2013.


Walt Arfons (96) Arfons and his half-brother, Art (d. 2007), were the ultimate tinkerers. Working in garages adjoining their family’s feed mill and hardware store in Akron after World War II, they scooped up discarded automobile and truck parts and old aircraft engines and patched them together to build some of the fastest racecars of their time, dragsters of the ‘50s and jet-propelled cars that set world speed records on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in the ‘60s. Walt Arfons died of pneumonia in Akron, Ohio on June 4, 2013.

Charlie Coles (71) longtime Miami (Ohio) basketball coach, the school’s all-time leader in victories. The two-time Mid-American Conference coach of the year had 263 victories at Miami and was the MAC’s all-time leader in conference wins with 218. Coles coached Miami for 16 seasons (1996-2012) with a record of 263-224. He died in Oxford, Ohio on June 7, 2013.

David (Deacon) Jones (74) Hall of Fame defensive end, one of the Los Angeles Rams’s heralded Fearsome Foursome, which also included Merlin Olsen (d. 2010), Lamar Lundy (d 2007), and last survivor Rosey Grier, now 80. Jones died in Anaheim Hills, California on June 3, 2013.

Bob Lyons (73) sportswriter who covered Philadelphia sports legends from Bob Clarke to Reggie White during 35 years as a free-lancer for the Associated Press. Lyons had been president of his own editorial services and public relations firm in suburban Philadelphia since 1995. He died of heart disease in Meadowbrook, Pennsylvania on June 5, 2013.

Previous Week
Next Week

Return to Main Page
Return to Top