Back to Life In Legacy Main Page Pages for Previous Weeks Celebrity Deaths Message Board
LIL-logo
Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, January 30, 2016

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

 
Abe Vigoda, sad-eyed character actorPaul Aiken, headed Authors GuildSigne Anderson, vocalist with Jefferson AirplaneYvonne Chouteau, ballerina and founder of dance schoolVincent ('Buddy') Cianci, corrupt but beloved mayor of Providence, RIAlice Denham, writer and former 'Playboy' centerfoldThornton Dial, self-taught sculptor and painterAlyce Dixon, oldest US female veteranDenise Duval, French soprano, muse and foremost interpreter of composer Francis PoulencChai, Seattle elephantFrank Finlay, Oscar-nominated British actorArtur Fischer, German inventor with mockup of his screw anchorFrancisco Flores, former president of El SalvadorGordon Goody, one of 'Great Train Robbery' gangBarney Hall, NASCAR radio broadcasterMarge Hearn, widow of LA Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn, with statue of him at Staples CenterJohn Jay Hooker Jr., Nashville lawyer and political figureGilbert Kahele, Hawaii state senatorPaul Kantner, cofounder of Jefferson AirplaneTommy Kelly, child actor turned educatorMichael J. Kennedy, criminal defense lawyerHoward Koslow, illustrator and designer of US postal stampsLinus Maurer, cartoonist friend of Charles Schulz, who borrowed his name for 'Peanuts' characterTerry Miller, Mississippi county officialDonald Milne, longtime clerk at Vermont StatehouseMike Minor, actor on 'Petticoat Junction'Marvin Minsky, MIT pioneer in artificial intelligenceRob Monaco, Vanderbilt offensive linemanConcepcion Picciotti, longtime Washington peace protesterGeorgia Davis Powers, Kentucky state senator and civil rights activistJack Reed Sr., Mississippi businessman and civic leaderJacques Rivette, French film directorPhilip J. Rock, headed Illinois State SenateRev. John D. Romas, pastor of church destroyed on 9/11Rusty Rose, former co-owner of Texas RangersKenny Sailors, Wyoming basketball star, first to use jump shotPaul Terasaki, developer of tissue-typing testRobert Tuggle, longtime Metropolitan Opera archivistTakeo Uesugi, landscape architect and gardenerColin :'Black') Vearncombe, British singerRichard P. von Herzen, explorer and oceanographerHenry Worsley, British adventurerSahabzada Yaqub Khan, Pakistani diplomat

Art and Literature

Paul Aiken (56) executive director of the Authors Guild who served for nearly 20 years (1995–2014) as the organization confronted such digital age issues as copyright, e-book royalties, and online selling. As executive director of the Guild, which represents thousands of published authors, Aiken had criticized the alleged “predatory practices” of Amazon.com, worked to help writers bring out-of-print books back in circulation, called for higher e-book royalties, and testified before Congress about online piracy. He had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and died in New York City just short of his 57th birthday, on January 29, 2016.

Alice Denham (89) writer and former Playboy centerfold (July 1956) who left a chronicle of her literary and sexual adventures in her 2006 memoir, Sleeping with Bad Boys: A Juicy Tell-All of Literary New York in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Denham hit New York in the early ‘50s, fresh from the University of Rochester, seeking literary fame and romance. A stunning beauty with a talent for repartee, she easily entered Manhattan’s literary salons and attracted a long list of editors, publishers, film producers, actors, and writers. Her conquests, she said, included actor James Dean; authors James Jones, William Gaddis, Evan S. Connell, and Philip Roth; and Hugh Hefner, whom she persuaded to feature her as a centerfold and reprint, as part of the package, her first published short story. Denham died of ovarian cancer in New York City, six days after her 89th birthday, on January 27, 2016.

Thornton Dial (87) self-taught artist who transformed discarded junk into sculpture and painted in bright colors and bold lines. Dial's work frequently dealt with history, politics, and race relations and is in collections including the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, and the High Museum in Atlanta. His drawings and painting are typically priced in the thousands of dollars in online art markets. Dial died near Birmingham, Alabama on January 25, 2016.

Howard Koslow (91) painter and illustrator who for more than 40 years designed many of the most recognizable stamps issued by the US Postal Service, including a 1994 series depicting famous blues and jazz musicians and 30 stamps depicting coastal lighthouses. Koslow died in Toms River, New Jersey on January 25, 2016.

Linus Maurer (90) cartoonist and illustrator whose friend and colleague Charles M. Schulz (d. 2000) borrowed his first name for Charlie Brown’s blanket-wielding best friend Linus in his “Peanuts” comic strip and cartoons. Maurer drew editorial cartoons for the Sonoma Index-Tribune and had a successful run with comics in his own right, with syndicated strips in the ‘60s and ‘70s called “Old Harrigan,” “Abracadabra,” and “In the Beginning.” He also created the “Challenger” puzzle that was syndicated in newspaper crossword sections. He had struggled with Parkinson’s disease and heart trouble late in life and died in Sonoma, California on January 29, 2016.

Takeo Uesugi (75) landscape architect who combined the principles of traditional Japanese gardens to the modernism of postwar California, where he carried out his ancestral legacy as a 14th-generation Japanese gardener. As a designer, Uesugi created landscapes that adapted the elements of a Japanese garden—rock, plants, and water—to the climate and lifestyle of southern California. Among his most significant projects are the restoration of the Japanese Garden at the Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens in San Marino, Pine Wind Garden at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center, and the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Diego’s Balboa Park. He died of cancer in West Covina, California on January 26, 2016.


Business and Science

Artur Fischer (96) German inventor who registered more than 1,100 patents, including the first synchronized camera flash and an anchor that millions of do-it-yourselfers use to secure screws into walls. A locksmith by training and an obsessive tinkerer, Fischer came up with his first patented invention in 1947. His other inventions included Fischertechnik model-making kits, cup holders with retractable lids, ventilation nozzles, and edible play-modeling material made from potato starch. He died in Waldachtal, in southwestern Germany on January 27, 2016.

Marvin Minsky (88) pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1958 who saw parallels in the functioning of the human brain and computers. Minsky viewed the brain as a machine whose functioning can be studied and replicated in a computer, and his work considered how machines might be endowed with common sense. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Boston, Massachusetts on January 24, 2016.

Jack Reed Sr. (91) Tupelo businessman who spoke out against Mississippi's segregationist culture and was a longtime advocate for public schools before losing a race for governor in 1987. After Army service in World War II and education, Reed returned to Tupelo to help run his family's businesses, including a department store founded by his father in 1905 and a garment factory. Family-owned Reed's Department Store continues to operate four locations in northeast Mississippi. Reed died in Tupelo, Mississippi on January 27, 2016.

Rusty Rose (74) former co-owner of the Texas Rangers with former president George W. Bush. Rose was publicity-shy even though he worked in the public arenas of finance and sports. He founded Cardinal Investment Co., a Dallas investment management and brokerage firm, in 1974. In 1989 he joined with Bush to purchase the Rangers. They sold the team in 1998. Rose died in Dallas, Texas on January 29, 2016 after a long battle with depression.

Paul Terasaki (86) philanthropist and pioneer in organ transplant medicine who invented a tissue-typing test that became an international standard for matching donors with recipients. Over 40 years Teriyaki donated a total of $58 million to his alma mater, UCLA, including a $50-million gift in 2010 that ranks among the largest the school has received. In recognition, the Terasaki Life Sciences Building opened in 2010, housing cell biology, neuroscience, and genomics laboratories. Teriyaki died in Beverly Hills, California on January 25, 2016.

Richard P. von Herzen (85) explorer who found that the deep sea conceals vast regions of simmering heat, helping to confirm the scientific view of the Earth’s crust as continuously in motion. For more than 50 years Von Herzen worked at the US's preeminent centers for ocean research—the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif. He died of vascular disease in Portola Valley, California on January 28, 2016.

Henry Worsley (55) British adventurer trying to become the first person to cross the Antarctic alone and unsupported. Worsley was trying to complete Ernest Shackleton's attempt of 1915 to cross the Antarctic via the South Pole. Shackleton's journey turned into a desperate survival mission after his ship, the Endurance, was trapped and sunk by pack ice, leaving his team stranded. Shackleton's successful bid to reach help at a remote South Atlantic whaling station and rescue his men is considered a heroic feat of endurance. Worsley's ancestor Frank Worsley was skipper of the Endurance on Shackleton's voyage. A former army officer, Henry Worsley was just 30 miles from the end of the almost 1,000-mile trek when he called for help and was airlifted off the ice on January 22. He died of organ failure at a hospital in Punta Arenas, Chile a day after undergoing surgery for bacterial peritonitis—an infection of the tissue lining the abdomen, which can lead to septic shock, on January 24, 2016.


Education

Tommy Kelly (90) former child actor from the Bronx, New York who at age 12 was chosen by producer David O. Selznick to play the title role in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1937) after a nationwide talent search. Kelly grew up to become an administrator for the Orange County, California school system. In the late ‘60s he spent several years on the staff of the Peace Corps, overseeing educational volunteers in Liberia, and later directed international schools in Liberia and Venezuela, afterward helping to administer overseas educational programs for the US Department of Agriculture. He died in Greensboro, North Carolina on January 26, 2016.


Law

Gordon Goody (86) member of the British gang that pulled off the 1963 “Great Train Robbery.” Goody was sentenced to a 30-year sentence after being captured in the crime that saw thieves make off with £2.6 million ($3.7 million) from a Glasgow-to-London mail train. He was released in 1975 and set up a beach bar in Mojacar, Spain in '79. He died in Spain on January 29, 2016.

John Jay Hooker Jr. (85) larger-than-life Nashville political figure who spent his last days fighting to make physician-assisted suicide legal in Tennessee. Hooker had brilliant successes early in life as an attorney. Tapped in 1958 to prosecute the impeachment of a Chattanooga judge accused of accepting bribes from racketeers, he met Robert Kennedy, who was investigating the Teamsters union. Hooker later worked as special counsel to Kennedy after he became US attorney general and was one of the original investors in Hospital Corporation of America, a chairman of STP Corp., part-owner and publisher of the Nashville Banner, and briefly chairman of wire service United Press International. Hooker was also a serious Democrat contender for governor in 1966 and the party's nominee for governor in the '70 and '98 races. He died of metastatic melanoma in Nashville, Tennessee on January 24, 2016.

Michael J. Kennedy (78) criminal lawyer who championed lost causes and unpopular defendants—including mob boss John Gotti Sr., Black Panther cofounder Huey P. Newton, and LSD guru Timothy Leary—and finally won freedom for Jean S. Harris, convicted killer of Dr. Herman Tarnower, the Scarsdale Diet doctor. A staunch defender of the underdog and the First Amendment, Kennedy represented radicals including Rennie Davis and Bernardine Dorn. His clients also included Native American protesters at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, and the family of rogue real estate heir Robert A. Durst. Kennedy died of of pneumonia, which developed while he was being treated for cancer, in New York City on January 25, 2016.


News and Entertainment

Signe Anderson (74) vocalist and original member of the Jefferson Airplane who left the band after its first album,The Jefferson Airplane Takes Off (1966), and was replaced by Grace Slick. Anderson was a folk and jazz singer who had performed in groups since high school. She survived cancer in her 30s. She had been suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and died in Beaverton, Oregon on the same day that another Airplane member, Paul Kantner, died, on January 28, 2016.

Yvonne Chouteau (86) former principal dancer of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo who emerged as one of a celebrated group of dancers known as the American Indian ballerinas of Oklahoma. Chouteau was a founder of the School of Dance and dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Oklahoma, one of the leading institutions of its kind in the Southwest. She died of congestive heart failure in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on January 24, 2016.

Denise Duval (94) French soprano best known as the muse of her countryman, composer Francis Poulenc (d. 1963). Duval was also known for her recordings and concert performances of compositions by other French masters, including Ravel, Milhaud, and Massenet. She died in Bex, Switzerland on January 25, 2016.

Frank Finlay (89) British actor who was Oscar-nominated for his work alongside Laurence Olivier in Othello. Deep-voiced and capable of both charm and menace, Finlay was a founding member of Britain’s National Theatre company, played lothario Casanova in a 1971 TV series of the same title, and starred in the TV miniseries Bouquet of Barbed Wire, a portrait of a damaged family that was a scandalous hit in 1976. He played Iago, nemesis to Olivier’s Othello, onstage and in a 1965 film adaptation of the Shakespearean tragedy, for which he was Oscar-nominated as best supporting actor. He died of heart failure in Weybridge, southern England, on January 30, 2016.

Paul Kantner (74) one of the founding members of '60s San Francisco psychedelic rock band Jefferson Airplane. Kantner and singer Marty Balin formed Jefferson Airplane in the mid-'60s with musicians including Grace Slick and Jorma Kaukonen, scoring hits such as “Somebody to Love” and “White Rabbit.” The band split in 1972, and Kantner formed a spin-off group, Jefferson Starship. He died of multiple organ failure and septic shock after suffering a heart attack earlier in the week, in San Francisco, California on January 28, 2016.

Mike Minor (75) actor whose hunky Petticoat Junction character, crop duster Steve Elliott, was memorably introduced at the beginning of season 4, his plane crashing next to the train tracks as Petticoat’s trio of beauties are bathing in the water tower. Elliott was a character on the sitcom from fall 1966 until the series ended in ’70. He married Betty Jo on the show—and Minor married Linda Kaye Henning, who portrayed her sister Linda Jo, in 1968; they were divorced in '73. Minor also appeared on several TV soap operas and other series. He died in New York City on January 28, 2016.

Jacques Rivette (87) French director, a pioneer of New Wave film acclaimed for expanding the boundaries of movie making and for creating rich roles for actresses such as Emmanuelle Beart. Rivette was among the last survivors of a generation of directors that included François Truffaut who startled filmgoers and revitalized filmmaking in the '50s and '60s. He died of Alzheimer's disease in Paris, France on January 29, 2016.

Robert Tuggle (83) longtime archivist of the Metropolitan Opera who helped to create a digital database that includes details from every performance since the Met opened with Gounod’s Faust on October 22, 1883. Tuggle was the opera’s director of archives for more than 34 years and the author of The Golden Age of Opera (1983). At his death, he was working on a biography of Kirsten Flagstad, the Norwegian-born Wagnerian soprano. Tuggle was named archivist in 1981 after being director of education for the Metropolitan Opera Guild, a membership organization that supports the Met. He died of a stroke in New York City on January 24, 2016.

Colin ('Black') Vearncombe (53) British singer who had an '80s hit with “Wonderful Life” under the stage name Black. Vearncombe made 15 albums, published poetry, and staged exhibitions of his paintings in Ireland, where he had lived for many years. He never regained consciousness after a January 10 car crash near his home in southwestern Ireland and died 16 days later from injuries suffered in the accident, in Cork, Ireland on January 26, 2016.

Abe Vigoda (94) character actor whose sad-eyed face made him ideal for playing over-the-hill detective Phil Fish in the '70s TV series Barney Miller and doomed Mafia soldier Sal Tessio in The Godfather (1972). Vigoda'a death brought to an end years of questions on whether he was still alive—sparked by a false report of his death more than 30 years ago. Although he took it in stride, the question of whether he was dead or alive became something of a running joke. Vigoda worked in relative obscurity as a supporting actor in the New York theater and on TV until Francis Ford Coppola cast him in the Oscar-winning The Godfather. He died in his sleep in Woodland Park, New Jersey on January 26, 2016.


Politics and Military

Vincent ('Buddy') Cianci (74) former mayor of Providence, Rhode Island, the wisecracking political rogue who presided over the revitalization of his city during two stints in office (1975–84, '91–2002) cut short by criminal charges and a prison sentence for corruption. Despite his criminal record, Cianci was beloved by many in the city who credited him with resurrection of Providence from a decaying, Industrial-age relic to a 21st-century city with gondolas plying newly uncovered rivers. He was taping his weekly TV show, On the Record with Buddy Cianci, on January 27 when he had severe stomach pains and was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he died the next day, in Providence on January 28, 2016.

Alyce Dixon (108) oldest US female veteran. Dixon joined the military in 1943 and was among one of the first black women in the Army. As a member of the Women's Army Corps, she was stationed in England and France, where she served in the postal service as part of the 6888th Battalion. After leaving the Army, she worked at the Census Bureau and the Pentagon. She died in her sleep in Washington, DC on January 27, 2016.

Francisco Flores (56) former Salvadoran president whose five years in power (1999–2004) were tarnished by accusations of corruption and elitism. Flores was under house arrest on charges of embezzlement and illegal enrichment. He was accused of diverting more than $15 million, donated by Taiwan to help the victims of earthquakes in 2001. A court said $10 million of that went to the party backing him and the remainder to him. In a coma since undergoing emergency surgery, Flores died of a cerebral hemorrhage in the capital city of San Salvador, El Salvador on January 30, 2016.

Gilbert Kahele (73) Hawaii state senator. Kahele, who represented South Hilo on the Big Island, was appointed to the state Senate in 2011 by former Gov. Neil Abercrombie, then elected in '12. He worked to strengthen Hilo's economy and was instrumental in obtaining funding to build the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. He also was a staunch supporter of the School of Aviation at Hilo International Airport. Kahele died in Oahu, Hawaii on January 26, 2016.

Terry Miller (72) former Jackson County (Miss.) chancery clerk (1998–2016). Miller also was a Jackson County Port Authority commissioner and was past director of the Jackson County Economic Development Foundation. He died in Ocean Springs, Mississippi on January 26, 2016.

Donald Milne (81) longtime clerk at the Vermont Statehouse who started working there in 1960. Milne was first elected House clerk in 1993 and was reelected every session. He retired in October 2015 and died of cancer that was first diagnosed three weeks earlier, in Washington, Vermont on January 24, 2016.

Georgia Davis Powers (92) giant in the fight for civil rights in Kentucky and the first black woman elected to the state Senate. Powers fought for fair housing and employment rights, became a close confidant of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and served 21 years in the state Senate. During Kentucky's civil rights movement, she was a founder of the Allied Organizations for Civil Rights and helped to organize a 1964 march in Frankfort—an event that attracted King, baseball legend Jackie Robinson, and folk singers Peter, Paul & Mary—to push for an end to racial segregation in public accommodations. In 1966 the General Assembly passed a civil rights law, making Kentucky the first southern state to do so. Powers died in Louisville, Kentucky on January 30, 2016.

Philip J. Rock (78) stoic and resolute face of the Illinois State Senate for more than 10 years. As Senate president from 1979–93, Democrat Rock was acclaimed as a brilliant statesman and a fair-minded gavel-wielder in an age when partisanship was less vitriolic. Elected in 1970, he led the upper chamber during economic turmoil and helped to negotiate two income-tax increases with Republican governors. He died in Springfield, Illinois on January 29, 2016.

Sahabzada Yaqub Khan (95) former military leader, foreign minister, and diplomat, Pakistan’s public face in international affairs for 30 years. Yaqub Khan helped to facilitate US President Richard M. Nixon’s overture to China in 1972. In the late '80s, as a United Nations-sanctioned envoy, he helped to negotiate the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan and the windup of the civil war in Nicaragua. He died in Islamabad, Pakistan on January 25, 2016.


Society and Religion

Chai the Elephant (37) one of two elephants at the center of a controversial move from Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo to Oklahoma City in 2015. Chai and Bamboo arrived at their new home in Oklahoma City last spring. The Oklahoma City Zoo announced over Twitter that female elephant Chai was found dead in the elephant yard, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on January 30, 2016.

Concepcion Picciotti (~80) protester who maintained a peace vigil outside the White House that was widely considered the longest-running act of political protest in US history. A Spanish immigrant, Picciotto was primary guardian of the antinuclear-proliferation vigil stationed along Pennsylvania Avenue for 30 years. She was quoted in 2013 as saying she protested to “stop the world from being destroyed.” Picciotti had recently suffered a fall. She died in Washington, DC on January 25, 2016.

Rev. John D. Romas (86) pastor of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Lower Manhattan, destroyed on September 11, 2001 by the collapse of the World Trade Center nearby. Romas held his small congregation together as its worship services moved to Brooklyn and instilled in his parishioners the hope that they would live to see their church rebuilt. Construction of the new St. Nicholas National Shrine began last fall at a site overlooking the National September 11 Memorial from an elevated park. Romas died of pancreatic cancer in New York City on January 24, 2016.


Sports

Barney Hall (83) broadcaster whose folksy delivery brought NASCAR racing to life for radio listeners across the country for more than 50 years. Hall called his first Daytona 500 in 1960 and missed “The Great American Race” just four times in 57 years. He was one of the original members of the Motor Racing Network staff and widely known as the “Voice of MRN.” He died in Daytona Beach, Florida on January 26, 2016.

Marge Hearn (98) widow of Los Angeles Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn, who died in 2002 at age 85, eight days before what would have been the couple's 64th wedding anniversary. The cause of his death was a head injury suffered three days earlier when he fell at his Encino home. Marge Hearn gave the acceptance speech for her husband at the Basketball Hall of Fame when he was inducted posthumously in 2003—the first broadcaster to be so honored. In April 2010 she attended the dedication of a bronze statue of her husband outside Staples Center. She died in Los Angeles, California on January 30, 2016.

Rob Monaco (54) four-year starting offensive lineman at Vanderbilt who briefly played in the NFL. Monaco played for Vanderbilt from 1981–84 and earned second-team Associated Press all-Southeastern Conference honors his senior year. He was part of the 1982 Vanderbilt team that went 8-4 and reached the Hall of Fame Bowl. He was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth round of the 1985 NFL draft and played for the Cardinals during that season. Monaco died in Branford, Connecticut on January 25, 2016.

Kenny Sailors (95) college basketball Hall of Famer credited by some with being the first to use the modern jump shot. Sailors led the University of Wyoming to the 1943 NCAA title. He was national player of the year and most outstanding player of that NCAA Tournament. Sailors said he developed the jump shot as a youngster while playing against his older, taller brother on a makeshift dirt basketball court on their Wyoming farm. He played for five years in the NBA for several teams, spending his last season in 1950–51 with Boston and Baltimore, averaging 17.3 points for Denver in the 1949–50 season. Sailors died in his sleep in Laramie, Wyoming on January 30, 2016.


Previous Week
Next Week


Return to Main Page
Return to Top