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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, September 21, 2013

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Scott Adams, Georgia and NFL offensive linemanKofi Awoonor, Ghanaian poet and statesmanRobert Barnard, British crime writerRabbi Philip Berg, founder of LA Kabbalah CentreD.J.R. Bruckner, critic and columnistBob Buckley, Louisiana sheriffCarolyn Cassady, widow of Beat generation’s Neal CassadyJohn Coughlin, brother of NY Giants coach Tom CoughlinJoy Covey, first CFODexter Douglass, Gore’s lawyer during 2000 election recountAllan Ellis, Chicago Bears cornerbackSusan Farmer, first woman elected to state office in Rhode IslandCecil Fergerson, art curator and activist for minority artistsTerrie Hall, ex-smoker in cautionary TV adsMarta Heflin, stage and film actressErnie Johnson, high school football coachJohnny Laboriel, Mexican rock singerJackie Lomax, British rock singerDr. Donald Low, Canadian physicianDr. Stephen Malawista, helped to discover Lyme diseaseKen Norton, second boxer to defeat Muhammad AliChin Peng, exiled Malaysian insurgentLes Plesko, creative writing instructorMarvin Rainwater, country songwriter and singerJohn Reger, Pro Bowl linebackerMarcel Reich-Ranicki, Polish-born German literary criticRichard C. Sarafian, TV and film directorBonita Spence, women’s basketball refereeStan Stephens, Alaskan tourism leaderPatsy Swayze, choreographer and mother of late actor Patrick SwayzeEiji Toyoda, former president of ToyotaJames van Sweden, landscape architectJohn Vanderhoof, briefly governor of ColoradoLt. Gen. James B. Vaught, led failed 1980 missionMichael Moses Ward, bombing survivorHiroshi Yamauchi, longtime president of Nintendo

Art and Literature

Kofi Awoonor (78) poet, diplomat, statesman, scholar, and cultural icon in his native Ghana. Awoonor was killed in the terrorist attack by Somali militants on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, where he had gone to have breakfast with his son, who was wounded, on September 21, 2013.

Robert Barnard (76) award-winning British crime writer known for skewering hypocrites, snobs, and prigs in his cast of characters as energetically as he dispatched murder victims. Barnard died in Leeds, England on September 19, 2013.

Carolyn Cassady (90) writer who was married to Jack Kerouac’s travel companion, Neal Cassady (d. 1968), a central figure in the Beat generation and inspiration for the character of Dean Moriarty in Kerouac’s On the Road. Carolyn Cassady had lived in England for many years. She died in Bracknell, southeast England, on September 20, 2013.

Cecil Fergerson (82) art curator and activist who advocated for minority artists. Fergerson had been in failing health for several years and was hospitalized in August with pneumonia. He died in West Los Angeles, California on September 18, 2013.

Les Plesko (59) Hungarian-born author and well-regarded instructor in creative writing at UCLA Extension. Plesko was found dead after apparently leaping to his death from a four-story building in Venice, California on September 16, 2013.

Marcel Reich-Ranicki (93) postwar Germany’s best-known literary critic who grew up in Poland and Nazi Germany and survived the Warsaw Ghetto. Reich-Ranicki died in Frankfurt,Germany on September 18, 2013.

James van Sweden (78) landscape architect who drew inspiration from the grand masters of painting to create vivid, naturalistic landscapes overflowing with grasses and wildflowers. Van Sweden died of complications from Parkinson’s disease in Washington, DC on September 20, 2013.

Business and Science

Joy Covey (50) tech executive who helped to take public as the Internet retailer’s first chief financial and strategy officer (1996-2000). The company went public on May 14, 1997 with an initial public offering price of $18; shares closed on Sept. 19, 2013 at a record $312.06. Covey was killed when her bicycle collided with a van that turned in front of her in rural San Mateo County, California on September 18, 2013.

Dr. Donald Low (68) public face of Toronto’s response to the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003 that killed 44 people and cost the city $1 billion in tourism. Low died after being diagnosed with a brain tumor earlier in the year, in Toronto, Canada on September 18, 2013.

Dr. Stephen Malawista (79) infectious-disease researcher who orchestrated the detective work that in the mid-‘70s led to the discovery of Lyme disease, which begins with the transmission of bacteria through the bite of a black-legged tick and can spread to muscles, joints, the heart, and even the brain. Malawista died of metastatic melanoma in Hamden, Connecticut on September 18, 2013.

Stan Stephens (78) Alaska tourism leader from Valdez. Stephens’ tourism business, now known as Stan Stephens Glacier & Wildlife Cruises, has operated in Prince William Sound for years. He died of a rare disease, amyloidosis, which causes a buildup of protein that damages the heart, in Anchorage, Alaska on September 21, 2013.

Eiji Toyoda (100) member of Toyota’s founding family who helped to create the super-efficient "Toyota Way” production method. A cousin of the Japanese automaker’s founder Kiichiro Toyoda, Eiji Toyoda was president (1967-82), engineering Toyota’s growth into a global automaker. He died of heart failure in Toyota City, central Japan on September 17, 2013.

Hiroshi Yamauchi (85) former president of Nintendo for more than 30 years (1949-2002) who led the Japanese company’s transition from traditional playing-card maker to video game giant. In 1992, Yamauchi bought the Seattle Mariners to save them from moving to Florida. He died of pneumonia in central Japan on September 19, 2013.

News and Entertainment

D.J.R. Bruckner (79) retired book and theater critic for the New York Times (1981-2005) who was previously a nationally syndicated political columnist for the Los Angeles Times. Bruckner died of cancer in New York City on September 20, 2013.

Marta Heflin (68) actress who appeared in Broadway stage musicals like Fiddler on the Roof, Hair, and Jesus Christ Superstar in the ‘60s and ‘70s and later in a string of Robert Altman movies. Heflin was the niece of ‘30s-‘60s Hollywood actor Van Heflin (d. 1971). She died in New York City on September 18, 2013.

Johnny Laboriel (71) Mexican rock ‘n’ roll singer and icon of the Afro-Mexicano community. Laboriel’s specialty was to reinterpret American hits of the ‘60s, classics like "Poison Ivy” and "Yakety Yak,” translated into Spanish. He died of prostate cancer in Mexico City, Mexico on September 18, 2013.

Jackie Lomax (69) British rock singer who, despite backing by the Beatles in the ‘60s, never became a star. Also a guitarist, Lomax came to the US and played session dates, toured as a backup musician, and performed in mostly small clubs. He died in his sleep in the Wirral, a peninsula in England across from Liverpool, on September 15, 2013.

Marvin Rainwater (88) classically trained pianist who turned to country music after accidentally losing part of a thumb while working in a garage as a teenager. Rainwater then took up the guitar and wrote and recorded the hit songs "Gonna Find Me a Bluebird” and "Whole Lotta Woman." He died of heart failure in Minneapolis, Minnesota on September 17, 2013.

Richard C. Sarafian (83) Hollywood director best known for the 1971 cult film Vanishing Point. Sarafian directed numerous other films and, earlier in his career, TV shows that included episodes of Gunsmoke, The Twilight Zone, and Batman. He was recovering from a broken back when he contracted pneumonia and died in Santa Monica, California on September 18, 2013.

Patsy Swayze (86) choreographer and dance instructor, mother of the late actor Patrick Swayze (d. 2009). Patsy Swayze taught dance for decades in Houston, Texas, where her students included Tommy Tune and Debbie Allen. She moved to southern California in 1980 after choreographing the movie Urban Cowboy. She died in Simi Valley, California on September 16, 2013.

Politics and Military

Bob Buckley (65) Union Parish (La.) sheriff who held the post for 24 years. Buckley was immediate past president of the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association. He died just four months after being diagnosed with rectal cancer, in Linville, Louisiana on September 17, 2013.

Dexter Douglass (83) one of the lead lawyers for then-Vice President Al Gore during the presidential election recount of 2000. Douglass died of bladder cancer in Tallahassee, Florida on September 17, 2013.

Susan Farmer (71) first woman elected to statewide office in Rhode Island and a champion of efforts to end gender inequality in politics. A Republican, Farmer served two terms as secretary of state after winning the office in 1982 and stayed politically involved until her death from stomach cancer in Providence, Rhode Island on September 16, 2013.

Chin Peng (88) tough former Communist guerrilla who led a bloody but failed insurgency against British rule in Malaysia in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s. Chin also lost a legal battle in recent years to be allowed back into Malaysia. He died after decades in exile, in Bangkok, Thailand on September 16, 2013.

John Vanderhoof (91) former Colorado governor for only two years, a World War II fighter pilot, businessman, and bank executive. Vanderhoof was lieutenant governor in 1973 when then-Gov. John Love resigned to join the Nixon administration. But Vanderhoof lost his own bid for election to the office and left in 1975. He died in Denver, Colorado on September 19, 2013.

Lt. Gen. James B. Vaught (86) commander of the Carter administration’s disastrous April 1980 mission aimed at freeing more than 50 American hostages held in Iran. Vaught’s body was found in a pond in Conway, South Carolina, where he had drowned, apparently after falling out of his small boat, on September 20, 2013. An autopsy also revealed signs of cardiac disease.

Society and Religion

Rabbi Philip Berg (86) founder of the Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles, which attracted celebrity followers and controversy with its New Age and financially lucrative presentation of ancient Jewish mysticism. Berg had been in ill health since 2004, when he suffered a stroke. He died in Los Angeles, California on September 16, 2013.

Terrie Hall (53) North Carolina woman featured prominently in a graphic US government ad campaign to get people to stop smoking. A former smoker whose voice box was removed years ago, Hall took part in the campaign that showed how smoking-related cancer ravages the body. The "Tips from Former Smokers” campaign may have led as many as 100,000 smokers to quit. Hall died of brain cancer in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on September 16, 2013.

Michael Moses Ward (41) one of two survivors of the 1985 police bombing of the militant group MOVE in a Philadelphia neighborhood and at 13, the only child to make it out alive. Ward was found dead in a hot tub, the apparent victim of a drowning, aboard a cruise ship in the Caribbean, on September 20, 2013.


Scott Adams (46) former Georgia and NFL offensive lineman. Adams played for Georgia from 1985–88. He played six seasons in the NFL, beginning as an offensive guard with the Minnesota Vikings in 1992, and later played for New Orleans, Chicago, Tampa Bay, and Atlanta. Successful in the mortgage business, he died unexpectedly near Athens, Georgia on September 16, 2013.

John Coughlin (63) younger brother of New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin. John Coughlin had lived in New Jersey for more than 20 years, working in harness racing. He owned and operated Coughlin’s Stables at the Meadowlands. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage after hitting his head in a freak fall from a taxi, in Hackensack, New Jersey on September 16, 2013.

Allan Ellis (62) former Pro Bowl cornerback. A fifth-round draft pick out of UCLA in 1973, Ellis had 22 interceptions over seven seasons with the Chicago Bears. He was the first Bears cornerback to be selected to the Pro Bowl in 1977, when he matched his career high with six interceptions. He died in Chicago, Illinois on September 18, 2013.

Ernie Johnson (87) football coach who guided Pico Rivera’s (Calif.) El Rancho High School to three California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section championships in the ‘60s. Johnson died in San Juan Capistrano, California on September 15, 2013.

Ken Norton (70) boxer who in the ‘70s broke Muhammad Ali’s jaw in the ring, handing Ali only his second defeat. Norton died in Henderson, Nevada, a suburb of Las Vegas, on September 18, 2013.

John Reger (82) three-time Pro Bowl linebacker who starred for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Washington Redskins in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Reger died in Tampa, Florida on September 19, 2013.

Bonita Spence (51) longtime women’s basketball official who worked two Final Fours and refereed for 10 years in the WNBA. Spence worked every NCAA women’s tournament since 2000, including the Final Four in ‘01 and ’05. She officiated for 27 years, handling games in the Big East, Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 10, and Southeastern Conference. Spence also worked as a principal investigator in the New Jersey office of the public defender in Newark for more than 20 years. She committed suicide in West Orange, New Jersey on September 15, 2013.

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