Back to Life In Legacy Main Page Pages for Previous Weeks Celebrity Deaths Message Board
Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, January 16, 2016

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

David Bowie, British rock starAlan Rickman, British actor famed for villainous film rolesFrancisco Alarcón, Chicano poetRené Angélil, husband and manager of Canadian singer Celine DionLuis Arroyo, NY Yankees pitcherSheldon I. Ausman, LA civic leaderSylvan Barnet, editor of students' editions of ShakespeareWilkes Bashford, upscale San Francisco clothierBrian Bedford, classical British actor as King Lear and Lady BracknellEd Beyer, North Dakota's winningest boys' basketball coachJames Browning Jr., prosecutor who helped to convict Patty HearstNoreen Corcoran, actress on 'Bachelor Father'Jeanne Córdova, author, publisher, and lesbian activistWilliam A. Del Monte, last known survivor of 1906 San Francisco earthquakeDaniel Dion, brother of Canadian pop singer Celine DionMarie Garibaldi, first woman on New Jersey state Supreme CourtRichard Gilman, longest-serving president of Occidental CollegeGiorgio Gomelsky, rock impresarioDan Haggerty, TV actor and animal trainerJim Hannah, chief justice of Arkansas state Supreme CourtFrancis Hurley, former archbishop of Anchorage, AlaskaMonte Irvin, NY Giants outfielderBradley Jesson, Arkansas State Supreme Court justiceGeorge Jonas, Hungarian-born Canadian newspaper columnistAnna Laerkesen, Danish ballerinaMarvin Lipofsky, artistic glass blowerTed Marchibroda, coached Colts twiceDavid Margulies, stage and screen actorRex Morgan, Jacksonville basketball standoutGary Munsen, South Dakota high school basketball coachWilliam Needles, Canada's oldest working actorBob Oatley, Australian businessman and sailing enthusiastAlfred James Peaches, Navajo Code TalkerLawrence Phillips, football hopeful imprisoned for crimesDr. Dave Sime, hard-luck track and field runnerJim Simpson, radio and TV sportscasterAndrew Smith, Butler University basketball starDick Spady, cofounder of Dick's Drive-In chainLois Weisberg, Chicago civic leaderC. D. Wright, award-winning  poetErnest Yazhe, WWII Navajo code talkerLeonid Zhabotinsky, Olympian weight lifter

Art and Literature

Francisco Alarcón (61) Los Angeles-born Chicano poet and factory laborer who worked his way from East LA College and Cal State Long Beach to Stanford University in a prolific career as a bilingual poet, children's author, and professor at UC Davis. Once a finalist for California poet laureate, Alarcón was known for his poetry about immigrants, love, and the indigenous languages and traditions of Mexico, and for bilingual books of children's verse. He died of stomach cancer in Davis, California on January 15, 2016.

Sylvan Barnet (89) longtime professor of literature at Tufts University who edited the budget-priced Signet Classic editions of Shakespeare’s plays and poems used by countless students. Barnet published the Signet volumes through the New American Library in the ‘60s and '70s. He was general editor of the series and brought in such literary figures as W. H. Auden to write introductions. The books were originally priced at 50 cents each. Barnet also worked on books about Korean and Japanese art. He died of cancer in Cambridge, Massachusetts on January 11, 2016.

Marvin Lipofsky (77) founder of the studio-glass movement, which took blown glass from the realm of interior decoration and functionality and showed its potential as a fine-arts medium. Lipofsky died of diabetes in Oakland, California on January 15, 2016.

Lois Weisberg (90) Chicago civic leader whose decades of shepherding public arts projects to fruition deepened the cultural life and reputation of the city. Beginning in the '80s, Weisberg served two Chicago mayors—as head of the office of special events in the administration of Harold Washington, who died in office in 1987, and, from '89–2011, as the city’s commissioner for cultural affairs under Richard M. Daley. In those roles she was responsible for creating programs that featured hundreds if not thousands of performances and encouraged the participation of thousands if not millions of Chicagoans and visitors. Weisberg died of kidney failure in Miami, Florida on January 13, 2016.

C. D. Wright (67) award-winning poet renowned for her style and her passion for writing. A native of Mountain Home, Arkansas who often drew upon her childhood, Wright was a National Book Award finalist and winner of the National Book Critics Circle prize for her 2010 collection, One with Others. Her other books include Rising, Falling, Hovering, One Big Self, and Steal Away. A former poet laureate of Rhode Island, she was a professor of poetry at Brown University. She died unexpectedly in Barrington, Rhode Island on January 12, 2016.

Business and Science

Sheldon I. Ausman (82) one-time managing partner of Arthur Andersen in Los Angeles, where he tripled the size of the office to 1,500 over 12 years, with a long record of local civic work. Ausman was a chairman with KCET, the LA Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Music Center operating company, the LA Chamber of Commerce, and the 1993 LA Super Bowl, for which he organized a program to allow 700 low-income children to attend for free. He was also a founding board member of the LA Sports Council and a longtime champion of the Autry Museum of the American West. He died of pancreatic cancer on January 10, 2016.

Wilkes Bashford (82) clothier whose namesake emporium, Wilkes Bashford, is famous for having dressed affluent San Franciscans for the last 50 years. Bashford established his store as a high-end men’s shop near Union Square in 1966, a risky business move perhaps with hippiedom on the rise, although it rapidly paid off. He added women’s wear in 1978 and moved the store to its current location, in a seven-story townhouse at 375 Sutter Street, in '84. It was often given credit for being among the first local retailers to feature Italian designer labels like Versace and Armani. Bashford died of prostate cancer in San Francisco, California on January 16, 2016.

Jeanne Córdova (67) activist, author, and publisher whose magazine, the Lesbian Tide, chronicled the lesbian feminist movement of the ‘70s. A provocative, self-described “butch” who favored neckties and a close-cropped haircut, Córdova spent more than 40 years fighting for lesbian visibility in both the feminist movement and the male-dominated gay-rights movement. She died of cancer in Los Feliz, California on January 10, 2016.

William A. Del Monte (109) last known survivor of the San Francisco earthquake and fires of 1906. Del Monte was 3 months old when the earthquake struck in the early morning of April 18, 1906. His family was forced onto the streets to escape in a horse-drawn buckboard with fires burning on both sides. More than 3,000 people were killed in the earthquake and fires. Later a stockbroker, Del Monte died in Marin County, California on January 11, 2016.

Dick Spady (92) cofounder of Dick’s Drive-In whose string of classic burger joints have become a beloved ritual for many in the Seattle area. Spady and two partners opened the first of seven restaurants in 1954 in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood, offering 19-cent burgers and 10-cent Cokes. Over the years they opened four more fast-food restaurants in Seattle, one in Bellevue that later closed, and the most recent one in Edmonds in 2011. Spady bought out his business partners in 1991. He died in Seattle, Washington on January 10, 2016.


Richard Gilman (92) longest-serving president in Occidental College history. Gilman was president for 23 years before retiring in 1988. During his tenure, the Eagle Rock school's endowment grew from $11 million to $130 million. The number of full-time faculty members also increased, and several new buildings were completed, including a theater and residence hall. Athletic facilities were expanded when the college became a practice facility for athletes competing in the 1984 Olympics. Gilman died in Pasadena, California on January 15, 2016.


James Browning Jr. (83) lead prosecutor in the 1976 case that sent newspaper heiress Patty Hearst to prison in what was then one of the most sensational trials in US history. Browning won the case against Hearst, daughter of newspaper magnate Randolph A. Hearst, who was 19 when she was kidnapped in 1974 by a radical group known as the Symbionese Liberation Army, then joined their cause. Her participation in a group bank robbery raised questions about whether she was forced into crime or was a willing accomplice. Browning helped to secure her conviction against noted defense lawyer F. Lee Bailey. He died in the Tucson suburb of Oro Valley, Arizona after a fall, on January 12, 2016.

Marie Garibaldi (81) first woman to serve on the New Jersey Supreme Court (1982–2000) and the author in 1990 of an opinion requiring elite social clubs at Princeton University to admit women. Garibaldi wrote more than 225 opinions and served on dozens of committees. She died in Hackensack, New Jersey on January 15, 2016.

Jim Hannah (71) former Arkansas Supreme Court chief justice who led the court as it tackled high-profile cases involving voter identification, gay marriage, and school funding. Hannah was elected to the state Supreme Court in 2000, was elected chief justice in ’04, and was reelected to a full eight-year term in '08. He and another justice in 2015 accused other members of the court of delaying the lawsuit over Arkansas’s gay marriage ban by creating a separate case over which justices could hear the appeal. Hannah stepped down from the court in 2015 owing to unspecified health problems and died in Little Rock, Arkansas on January 14, 2016.

Bradley Jesson (83) former Arkansas State Supreme Court justice. Jesson was appointed state Supreme Court chief justice in 1995 to finish the unexpired term of a retired chief justice and later was one of two special masters for the state Supreme Court in a lawsuit over state funding of schools. The masters eventually reported that the state was properly funding schools. Jesson also was legislative secretary to then-Gov. Dale Bumpers, chairman of the Arkansas Democrat Party, and a member and chairman of the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees. He died in Fort Smith, Arkansas on January 11, 2016.

News and Entertainment

René Angélil (73) husband and manager of award-winning Canadian singer Celine Dion, who discovered her when she was 12, guided her career to international success, and married her in 1994. By the late ‘90s and early 2000s, Dion's soaring voice had become dominant on the radio. The theme from Titanic, the smash “My Heart Will Go On,” has been her defining hit, among others that have sold millions of copies around the world. In 2002 she began her residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. First diagnosed with throat cancer in 1999, Angélil died in Henderson, Nevada, a suburb of Las Vegas, on January 14, 2016.

Brian Bedford (80) Tony-winning classical British actor whose stage work included roles by Shakespeare and Chekhov, a long relationship with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, and a memorable cross-dressing turn as dowager Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest on Broadway, which he also directed and for which he earned his seventh Tony nomination in 2011. Bedford won his only Tony in 1971 for a spectacular performance in Moliere’s The School for Wives. He died of cancer in Santa Barbara, California on January 13, 2016.

David Bowie (69) British musician who broke pop and rock boundaries with his creative musicianship, nonconformity, striking visuals, and a genre-spanning persona he christened Ziggy Stardust. Bowie’s hits included “Fame,” “Heroes,” and “Let’s Dance.” Long before alter egos and wild outfits became commonplace in pop, Bowie turned the music world upside down with the release of the 1972 album, The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars, which introduced one of music’s most famous personas. He turned 69 on January 8, the same day he released a new album called Blackstar. After battling cancer for 18 months, Bowie died in New York City two days later, on January 10, 2016.

Noreen Corcoran (72) actress who grew up before TV viewers in the '50s and '60s as a teenager during five seasons of the sitcom Bachelor Father, playing the orphaned niece of John Forsythe (d. 2010). Corcoran was one of eight children, most of whom were child actors. A younger brother, Kevin, who appeared in Disney's Old Yeller, died last October at 66. Noreen later had a starring role in the 1965 movie The Girls on the Beach and appeared on numerous TV shows. She died of cardiopulmonary disease in Van Nuys, California on January 15, 2016.

Daniel Dion (59) older brother of pop singer Celine Dion. The father of two daughters, Daniel was the eighth of 14 Dion children. The Dion siblings, including Celine, performed at their parents' small piano bar called Le Vieux Baril (The Old Barrel) in Charlemagne, Quebec. Daniel Dion, who had battled cancer for several years, died just two days after the death of his brother-in-law, René Angélil, in Terrebonne, Quebec, outside Montreal, Canada on January 16, 2016.

Giorgio Gomelsky (81) British-born rock impresario and record producer who gave the Rolling Stones their first exposure, managed the Yardbirds, and later championed an eclectic batch of progressive rock groups in the US. As the operator of Crawdaddy, a club in the London suburb of Richmond in the early '60s, Gomelsky booked the Rolling Stones for their first paid appearances, managed and produced the Yardbirds in their prime, brought the Animals from Newcastle, and organized one of the first blues festivals in Britain. His Marmalade record label recorded innovative artists like keyboardist Brian Auger, whose group the Trinity had a Top 10 hit in Britain with “This Wheel’s on Fire,” a song written by Bob Dylan and Rick Danko, in 1968. In 1978 Gomelsky moved to New York, where he organized the Zu Manifestival, a showcase for emerging progressive artists. He died of colon cancer in the Bronx, New York on January 15, 2016.

Dan Haggerty (74) bearded actor who starred in the film and TV series The Life & Times of Grizzly Adams, about a mountain man and animal trainer. Haggerty had minor roles in such films as Easy Rider and the Elvis Presley musical Girl Happy before playing the title role in the 1974 movie about Grizzly Adams. A short-lived TV show of the same title debuted in 1977. His other TV credits include The Love Boat and Charlie’s Angels. Haggerty had a lifelong affinity for wild animals and worked as a trainer for Walt Disney Studios. He died of spinal cancer in Burbank, California on January 15, 2016.

George Jonas (80) Canadian newspaper columnist whose book about Israeli counterterrorists was the basis for the 2005 film Munich, directed by Steven Spielberg. Born in Budapest and reared in a Hungary dominated first by the Nazis and later by the Communists, Jonas had lived in Canada since the mid-'50s and had written for the National Post since 2001. He became known as a writer for a wide-ranging body of work that included poems, plays, TV dramas and documentaries, opera libretti, and 16 books, including a novel, a true crime tale, a collection of essays about Islam, and a memoir. Jonas was known to have Parkinson’s disease and died in Toronto, Canada on January 10, 2016.

Anna Laerkesen (73) leading ballerina in the Royal Danish Ballet who, breaking a traditional mold, won international acclaim for her poetic originality as a dancer in the '60s and later as a choreographer. Laerkesen died in Copenhagen, Denmark on January 14, 2016.

David Margulies (78) veteran actor of stage and screen whose career spanned decades on Broadway and in numerous film roles, including the mayor of New York in Ghostbusters (1984) and its 1989 sequel. Brooklyn-born Margulies made his Broadway debut in the 1973 revival of The Iceman Cometh. He performed on Broadway a dozen more times, including as Roy Cohn in Angels in America. His numerous TV stints included playing Tony Soprano's lawyer, Neil Mink, on The Sopranos. Margulies died in New York City on January 11, 2016.

William Needles (97) Canada's oldest working actor who graced the stages of Broadway, London, and the Stratford Festival for almost 50 years. A member of the Order of Canada, Needles appeared in more than 100 productions at Stratford over 47 seasons, everything from Alice Through the Looking-Glass to Henry VI. His last performance on the Festival stage (shown above) was as Castruchio in The Duchess of Malfi in 2006. He was also a teacher of acting at UC Irvine for many years. One former student, Jon Lovitz, immortalized Needles with his classic Saturday Night Live character, Master Thespian. Needles died in Alliston, Ontario, Canada on January 12, 2016.

Alan Rickman (69) British actor, a classically trained stage star and screen villain in the Harry Potter series and other films. Rickman's film roles included Hans Gruber, the psychopathic villain who tormented Bruce Willis in Die Hard (1988); a deceased lover who consoles his bereaved partner in Truly Madly Deeply (1990); the wicked Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991); and a wayward husband in the 2003 romantic comedy Love Actually. Millions know him from the Potter films, in which he played Hogwarts teacher Severus Snape, either a nemesis or an ally—possibly both—to the teenage wizard. Rickman died of cancer in London, England on January 14, 2016.

Politics and Military

Alfred James Peaches (90) Navajo Code Talker who defended the US in World War II using a code based on the Navajo language that stumped the Japanese. Peaches was among hundreds of Navajos who served as Code Talkers. He was part of the 6th Marine Division from 1943–46. He died in Flagstaff, Arizona on January 16, 2016.

Ernest Yazhe (92) Navajo man who helped to stump the Japanese during World War II using a code based on his native language. Yazhe joined the US Marines when he was 19 and became one of the hundreds of Code Talkers who played a vital combat role by transmitting battlefield messages in an unbreakable Navajo-based radio code. He served on Guam and Okinawa and helped to repatriate Japanese prisoners of war in China after Japan surrendered. He was discharged in 1946 and moved to Utah, where he worked for Kennecott Utah Copper. He died of renal failure in suburban Salt Lake City, Utah on January 12, 2016.

Society and Religion

Francis Hurley (88) former Anchorage archbishop. Hurley moved to Alaska in 1970, when he was appointed auxiliary bishop of the Juneau Diocese. He was appointed archbishop of Anchorage in 1976, retiring from that role in 2001. In 2010 the long-retired Hurley presided over the funeral of former Alaska Gov. Walter J. Hickel. Several months later he presided over the funeral of former US Sen. Ted Stevens, who was killed in a plane crash. Hurley died two days before his 89th birthday in Achorage, Alaska on January 10, 2016.


Luis Arroyo (88) two-time All-Star pitcher who helped the New York Yankees to win the 1961 World Series. Arroyo was the first Puerto Rican-born player to appear for the Yankees. He joined them in 1960 and was a key part of their American League pennant-winning staff that year. The 5-foot-8 lefty was 15-5 with a big league-leading 29 saves, pitching 119 innings while making 65 relief appearances, then earned another victory in the 1961 Series against Cincinnati. He died in Puerto Rico a month after being diagnosed with cancer, on January 13, 2016.

Ed Beyer (77) legendary North Dakota high school boys' basketball coach. Beyer won 688 games and four state championships in 37 years of coaching, retiring in the late ‘90s as the winningest boys' coach in state history. He was a member of numerous halls of fame. He died in Hillsboro, North Dakota on January 10, 2016.

Monte Irvin (96) New York Giants outfielder, one of the first outstanding black players in the major leagues and a Hall of Famer for his brilliance in the Negro leagues, where he spent most of his prime years before baseball’s color barrier was shattered. Irvin was 30 when he joined the Giants in 1949, two years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. He spent seven of his eight big league seasons with the Giants and one year with the Chicago Cubs in 1956. During his 20s, he played in the Negro, Mexican, and Puerto Rican leagues. He batted .300 or more three times with a high of .329 in 1953 and finished with a career average of .293 with 99 homers and 443 runs batted in. He died in Houston, Texas on January 11, 2016.

Ted Marchibroda (84) former NFL coach ('70s–'90s) who charmed players with his soft-spoken personality and his innovative concepts. Marchibroda coached the Indianapolis Colts twice—for five years in Baltimore and four years in Indianapolis—and was the only man to have coached both Baltimore franchises, the Colts and the Ravens. He died in Weems, Virginia on January 16, 2016.

Rex Morgan (67) former Jacksonville University basketball standout, a two-year starter who helped the Dolphins to reach the 1970 national championship game. After leading Jacksonville in scoring as a junior, Morgan helped the Dolphins to a 27-2 record in 1969-70 and the title game against John Wooden's UCLA Bruins. In five NCAA Tournament games that year, he averaged 20.4 points. He was a second-round draft pick by Boston in 1970 and spent two seasons with the Celtics. Morgan battled throat cancer for six years after being diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer in 2010. He died in Jacksonville, Florida on January 15, 2016.

Gary Munsen (72) longtime Mitchell (SD) High School basketball coach. Munsen coached for nearly 50 years and won a dozen state titles in girls’ and boys’ basketball. He retired after the 2012 boys’ basketball season with a combined total of 902 wins. He died of a heart attack in Mitchell, South Dakota on January 12, 2016.

Bob Oatley (87) America's Cup Challenger of Record aspirant in 2014 and owner of the eight-time Sydney to Hobart-winning yacht Wild Oats XI. Oatley made a fortune estimated at $1 billion as an exporter of coffee beans, a winegrower, and owner of the Hamilton Island resort in Queensland. He became a generous patron of sailing, supporting the Australian Olympic sailing team. He died in Sydney, Australia on January 10, 2016.

Lawrence Phillips (40) University of Nebraska and St. Louis Rams running back who derailed his own career—and his life—with a series of violent criminal acts off the field. Phillips was serving a 31-year sentence for crimes including domestic abuse and assault with a deadly weapon—a car. He was also a suspect in the choking death of his cellmate and facing a murder charge. He was found unresponsive in his cell at Kern Valley State Prison and died a suspected suicide in a hospital near Delano, California on January 13, 2016.

Dr. Dave Sime (79) world’s fastest sprinter who never won the Olympic gold medal, a victim of hard luck and the unforgiving rules of track and field. Sime achieved his greatest athletic renown in the mid-'50s when he broke or tied five world records outdoors and four indoors in the sprints and low hurdles. But an injury kept him from the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne. In 1960 in Rome, he finished an inch behind winner Armin Hary in the 100-meter dash and lost out again in the 4x100-meter relay when the American team was disqualified on a technicality. An ophthalmologist for 42 years, Sime died of a heart attack in Miami Beach, Florida on January 13, 2016.

Jim Simpson (88) radio and TV sportscaster. Simpson worked for NBC, ABC, CBS, and TNT, and when he joined ESPN in 1979, he gave the fledgling cable sports network instant credibility. In 1998 he won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Sports Emmy Awards. Simpson called 14 Olympics, 16 Major League Baseball All-Star games, six Super Bowls, and six World Series for TV or radio. He died in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 13, 2016.

Andrew Smith (25) Butler University basketball player who started 102 of his last 105 games, including the 2011 title game against Connecticut. Smith finished his college career with 1,147 points, 648 rebounds, and two national championship appearances and played with some of Butler’s best-known players before starting his own brief pro career in Europe. He was diagnosed with an aggressive form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma early in 2014. He died in Indianapolis, Indiana on January 12, 2016.

Leonid Zhabotinsky (77) record-breaking Ukrainian-born Soviet weight lifter who picked up Olympic gold medals in 1964 and '68 and was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s teenage idol. Zhabotinsky earned a bronze medal at his first Ukrainian state championship in 1957 and in '63 broke his first of 19 world superheavyweight records. In 1974 he set his last, with a snatch of nearly 409 pounds. He died in Zaporozhye, Ukraine on January 14, 2016.

Previous Week
Next Week

Return to Main Page
Return to Top