Back to Life In Legacy Main Page Pages for Previous Weeks Celebrity Deaths Message Board
LIL-logo
Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, February 6, 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

 
Bob Elliott, half of comedy team Bob & RayJoe Alaskey, succeeded Mel Blanc as voice of Looney Tunes charactersFrank ('Chunki') Angotti, Harrison County (W. Va.) commissionerLeslie Bassett, Pulitzer-winning composerMyron Beldock, lawyer who won new trials for wrongly convicted menGil Carmichael, Mississippi politicianMiriam Cedarbaum, federal judge who presided over Martha Stewart's trialMarlow W. Cook, moderate Republican mentor to Sen. Mitch McConnellHenry S. F. Cooper, writer descendant of novelist James Fenimore CooperDart, white-sided dolphin at SeaWorld San AntonioJoe Dowell, '60s singerRobin Chandler Duke, US ambassador's widow and women's advocateElizabeth L. Eisenstein, historian who documented effects of printing press on Western civilizationMichael J. Feeney, New York journalistGregg Feinstein, head of US mergers and acquisitions for investment bank Houlihan LokeyMary Fiumara, Boston woman who appeared in classic '60s TV commercialBennie Georgino, LA boxing manager, promoter, and bail bondsmanDaniel Gerson, cowriter of Disney animated filmsDavid Hamill, longtime mayor of Ranson, W. Va.Dan Hicks, San Francisco musicianLinda Horan, New Hampshire cancer suffererLorna Jorgenson Wendt, tried to establish economic worth of corporate wivesFerd Kaufman, AP photographer who covered John F. Kennedy assassinationMurray Louis, dancer and choreographerAniseh Makhlouf, former first lady of Syria and mother of current President Bashar AssadDave Mirra, leading figure in BMXEdgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 astronautChristy O'Donnell, California lung cancer victim who campaigned for right-to-die lawDana Raphael, medical anthropologist who promoted breast-feedingDave Renwick, Scottish caddie who worked for three major golf championsJack Riley, West Point hockey coachSam Spence, composer of music for NFL filmsThelma Stoner, mother of Rutgers women's basketball coachGiacomo Tachis, Italian winemakerWilliam H. Tankersley, former CBS censorThomas Tigue, Pennsylvania state legislatorJohn Tishman, builder whose construction company built World Trade CenterBenoît Violier, French-Swiss chef of best restaurant worldwideGeraldine Waterhouse, Maine philanthropistEdgar Whitcomb, former governor of IndianaMaurice White, founder of Earth, Wind & Fire bandTerry Wogan, British radio and TV personality

Art and Literature

Henry S. F. Cooper (82) writer who defended the environmentalist legacy of his forebear, novelist James Fenimore Cooper (Last of the Mohicans, etc.), and pioneered reporting on space travel. A fifth-generation descendant of the early-19th-century author of historical fiction, Henry Cooper wrote eight books. He was a longtime writer for the New Yorker and was the author of Thirteen: The Apollo Flight That Failed. He died of lung cancer in Cooperstown, New York on January 31, 2016.


Business and Science

Gregg Feinstein (54) head of US mergers and acquisitions for the investment bank Houlihan Lokey and an adviser to shareholder activists. Feinstein was one of the few bankers who publicly advised shareholder activists on their campaigns, in which they targeted corporations they thought were undervalued and agitated for changes. He also advised companies that sought to defend themselves from hostile takeovers or activist investors. He died of a heart attack in New York City on February 6, 2016.

Mary Fiumara (88) best known as the mother who called for her son to come home for dinner in a classic Prince pasta TV commercial of the ‘60s. Fiumara was remembered for yelling “Anthony! Anthony!” from an open window of her apartment in Boston's North End neighborhood in the iconic TV spot. Her son in the commercial, played by 12-year-old Anthony Martigetti, who also lived in the neighborhood, races through the city’s streets before arriving home in time for a spaghetti dinner. The ad declared Wednesday was Prince Spaghetti Day and aired for 13 years in the Northeast. Fiumara died in Boston, Massachusetts on February 2, 2016.

Dana Raphael (90) proponent of breast-feeding and of the movement to recruit nonmedical caregivers to assist mothers during and after childbirth—attendants she called doulas. A medical anthropologist and a protégée of cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead, Raphael was among the first scientists to challenge milk formula manufacturers, linking a proliferating dependence on formula to high infant mortality rates in impoverished developing nations. She died of congestive heart failure in Fairfield, Connecticut on February 2, 2016.

Giacomo Tachis (82) winemaker who transformed Italian winemaking in the ‘60s and ’70s with a series of innovative, French-influenced red wines from the Chianti region that became known as Super Tuscans. Tachis joined the Antinori winery in 1961 and soon began working with its owner, Piero Antinori, to introduce new grape varieties and such techniques as temperature-controlled fermentation and aging in oak barrels. Most notably, he helped to develop Sassicaia, Tignanello, and Solaia, top-quality wines that took the wine world by storm. He died in San Casciano in Val di Pesa, Tuscany of complications from Parkinson’s disease and heart disease, on February 6, 2016.

John Tishman (90) builder whose company worked on the World Trade Center in New York, the Century City complex in Los Angeles, and Walt Disney's EPCOT center in Florida among other high-profile developments. Tishman joined his family’s construction business in 1948 after serving in the US Navy and working as a schoolteacher. He later oversaw the construction of some of the nation’s largest buildings, including the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers and the 1,100-foot John Hancock Center skyscraper in Chicago. He died of respiratory failure in Bedford, New York on February 6, 2016.

Benoît Violier (44) French-Swiss chef who presided over a small Swiss restaurant named the best in the world in December 2015. A perfectionist known for his acumen in cooking game, Violier ran the Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville with his wife, Brigitte. It has been awarded three Michelin stars and in December took the No. 1 spot in La Liste, France’s ranking of 1,000 restaurants in 48 countries. Violier’s body was found at his home in Crissier, Switzerland, near Lausanne, an apparent suicide by gunshot, on January 31, 2016.


Education

Elizabeth L. Eisenstein (92) historian best known for her work on the seismic effect of printing on Western civilization—a novel contention when she began her research more than 40 years ago. A retired faculty member of the University of Michigan, Eisenstein was renowned for The Printing Press as an Agent of Change: Communications & Cultural Transformations in Early Modern Europe, first published in 1979. Spanning two volumes and nearly 800 pages, the work has been translated into many languages and remains in print. Eisenstein died in Washington, DC on January 31, 2016.


Law

Myron Beldock (86) lawyer who championed seemingly lost criminal causes but won freedom for various wrongly convicted men, including former boxer Rubin (“Hurricane”) Carter after he had served 19 years in prison for three murders in New Jersey. Beldock specialized in criminal and civil rights law and became nationally known for defending people who had already been convicted and imprisoned. He died in New York City on February 1, 2016.

Miriam Cedarbaum (86) federal judge who presided over Martha Stewart's criminal trial in New York. Cedarbaum was confirmed by the US Senate in 1986, when there were only two other district judges in Manhattan. She presided over hundreds of cases, including the trial of a man convicted in a failed plot to set off a car bomb in Times Square and the trial of domesticity expert Stewart, who was convicted of lying to the government about a stock sale. She declared her innocence and served five months in prison. Cedarbaum suffered a stroke and died in New York City on February 5, 2016.

Lorna Jorgenson Wendt (72) corporate wife whose divorce settlement in 1997 started a national conversation about the economic worth of corporate spouses. Jorgenson Wendt had been married for more than 30 years to Gary C. Wendt, then chief executive of the General Electric Capital Corp., when, in 1996, she learned that he planned to divorce her. The Wendts lived in Connecticut, not a community property state. Jorgenson Wendt estimated her husband to be worth more than $100 million and refused his offered settlement of about $10 million, demanding half of his net worth. She became a national symbol of the company wife as hard-working silent partner, appeared often on TV, and was featured on the cover of Fortune magazine in February 1998. Still, the court awarded her only $20 million. She died in Stamford, Connecticut of complications from multiple myeloma and plasma cell leukemia, on February 4, 2016.


News and Entertainment

Joe Alaskey (63) voice actor who succeeded legendary Mel Blanc (d. 1989) as cartoon characters Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck in various TV and film reprisals of the Looney Tunes through the ‘90s. Alaskey was also Yosemite Sam in the live-action and animated film Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). He was a self-taught impersonator who started doing impressions at age 5 and worked his way from radio gigs to Hollywood, where he also voiced Sylvester the Cat and Tweety Bird in videos, short films, and TV cartoons. He died in Green Island, New York on February 3, 2016.

Leslie Bassett (93) Pulitzer Prize-winning composer known for his resonant instrumentation, a master orchestrator who could coax a vast range of tonal colors from the instruments for which he composed. Bassett wrote works for symphony orchestra, chamber, and choral ensembles, solo instruments, and voice. At his death, he was Albert A. Stanley distinguished professor emeritus of composition at the University of Michigan, where he had taught from 1952 until his retirement in ’92. He won the Pulitzer in 1966 for “Variations for Orchestra,” premiered in the US by the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy in ‘65. Bassett died in Oakwood, Georgia on February 4, 2016.

Joe Dowell (76) singer briefly popular in the early ‘60s who had a No. 1 hit with the ballad “Wooden Heart.” The song already had been a hit for Elvis Presley in Europe when Dowell’s version was released. It topped the Billboard chart in early September 1961. Dowell’s other songs included “The Bridge of Love” and “Little Red Rented Rowboat.” In later years he recorded commercial voiceovers and gospel songs. He suffered a heart attack and died in Bloomington, Illinois on February 4, 2016.

Bob Elliott (92) half of the enduring TV and radio comedy team Bob & Ray. For nearly 45 years, until the death of Elliott's comedy partner Ray Goulding in 1990, Bob & Ray entertained millions of radio listeners and TV viewers. They practiced a gentle, quirky brand of comedy that relied not on one-liners or boffo jokes but rather a deadpan delivery that relentlessly skewered pomposity and seriousness. They appeared on the Ed Sullivan and Steve Allen TV shows and won a regular spot on NBC’s Today show; they also appeared on Broadway in Bob & Ray, the Two & Only, and released record albums and books of their comedy sketches. Elliott was the father of actor/comedian Chris Elliott. He died in Cundy's Harbor, Maine, part of the town of Harpswell, on February 3, 2016.

Michael J. Feeney (32) former reporter for the New York Daily News and a past president of the New York Association of Black Journalists. Feeney won the national organization's Emerging Journalist of the Year Award in 2010. He was about to begin a job as an entertainment reporter at CNN.com when he fell ill. He had been hospitalized since January 26 and died five days later in New York City of complications from a staph infection of the kidneys, on January 31, 2016.

Daniel Gerson (49) cowriter of several Walt Disney animated films including Monsters Inc. and Big Hero 6. Along with Robert L. Baird and Jordan Roberts, Gerson cowrote Disney's Oscar-winning Big Hero 6, an animated superhero tale. Gerson got his start as a writer for the NBC comedy Something So Right and was a frequent contributor to Pixar Animation, cowriting both Monsters Inc. (2001) and its 2013 sequel, Monsters University. He died of brain cancer in Los Angeles, California on February 6, 2016.

Dan Hicks (74) musician whose work in the ‘60s helped to define San Francisco's psychedelic sound. The singer, songwriter, and bandleader began his musical career in San Francisco in the ‘60s, where he played drums for the rock band The Charlatans, which, along with Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead, had significant influence on the city’s music scene. Hicks formed the musically eclectic band Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks in the early ‘70s, which drew critical and commercial success by blending country, blues, jazz, swing, and humorous lyrics. He died in Mill Valley, California after a two-year battle with throat and liver cancer, on February 6, 2016.

Ferd Kaufman (89) photographer with the Associated Press in Texas who helped to cover the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Kaufman joined the AP in 1957 and was at Dallas police headquarters on November 22, '63, when detectives brought in Kennedy’s alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, after his arrest. Kaufman retired from the AP in 1977. He died in Dallas, Texas after several months of failing health, on February 3, 2016.

Murray Louis (89) son of a Brooklyn baker who won acclaim as a nimble dancer and a quirky choreographer. Louis and choreographer Alwin Nikolais (d. 1993) had been artistic collaborators for more than 40 years. As both a performer and a maker of dances, Louis was notable for his quick directional shifts, tiny darting gestures, and unexpected contrasts between rigidity and stillness. He died in New York City on February 1, 2016.

Sam Spence (88) composer for NFL Films who used strings, drums, timpani, horns, woodwinds, and trumpets to create a signature soundtrack for pro football. Spence wrote themes for hundreds of highlight reels and narrative documentaries that told the stories of NFL games, players, and seasons. He was the last survivor of four men, including Ed Sabol, his son Steve Sabol, and John Facenda, generally credited with popularizing the football highlight film and, consequently, pro football itself. Spence died a day before the Super Bowl, in Lewisville, Texas on February 6, 2016.

William H. Tankersley (98) CBS censor (mid-'50s to 1972) who defined broadcast standards for the network during a volatile period of change in mores on TV and in American society, doing battle with envelope pushers like Norman Lear (producer of groundbreaking sitcoms like All in the Family and Maude) and the politics-baiting Smothers Brothers. Under the Code of Practices, a set of ethical standards established in the early ‘50s and voluntarily agreed to by broadcasters, things like profanity, sexual references, disparagement of religion, and the depiction of drug use and drunkenness were closely monitored on all three networks. But the standards at CBS were considered stricter than the norm. Tankersley's job, he said, was not to protect the public so much as it was to guard the business and reputation of the company he worked for. He died in Scottsdale, Arizona on February 5, 2016.

Maurice White (74) founder of rhythm-and-blues funk band Earth, Wind & Fire. The band was founded by White, then a session drummer, in 1969 after he moved from Chicago to Los Angeles. The Grammy-winning band fused together R&B, gospel, funk, soul, and African sounds and produced numerous hits, including “Shining Star,” “Boogie Wonderland,” and “September.” White stopped touring with the band in 1994 owing to health issues but remained active in the songwriting and production of the group’s music. Earth, Wind & Fire was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. White died of Parkinson's disease in Los Angeles, California on February 3, 2016.

Terry Wogan (77) disk jockey and presenter on British TV and radio whose Irish brogue and sly humor made him a star for decades. Wogan was a staple of British broadcasting, best known for his long-running BBC radio morning show Wake Up to Wogan, his annual hosting duties for Britain's coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest, and his longstanding association with the Children in Need telethon. He died of cancer in London, England on January 31, 2016.


Politics and Military

Frank ('Chunki') Angotti (67) Harrison County (W. Va.) commissioner who had served more than 20 years in public service in elected and appointed positions. Angotti had recently filed to run for Harrison County circuit clerk. He suffered a heart attack on January 23 while clearing snow in his neighborhood during a storm that dumped more than 3 feet of snow in parts of the state. He died nearly two weeks later in Morgantown, West Virginia on February 4, 2016. It was the first death in the state associated with the storm.

Gil Carmichael (88) two-time Republican nominee for Mississippi governor in the ‘70s and head of the Federal Railway Commission under President George H. W. Bush. Carmichael was an early leader in the Mississippi Republican Party when Democrats dominated elected offices in the state. In 1972 he unsuccessfully challenged longtime Democrat US Sen. James O. Eastland. Carmichael ran for governor in 1975 and ‘79, losing first to Cliff Finch, then to William Winter, both Democrats. Carmichael was federal railroad administrator from 1989–93. He died of a heart attack in Meridian, Mississippi on January 31, 2016.

Marlow W. Cook (89) moderate one-term Republican senator from Kentucky who gave Mitch McConnell his start in Washington politics but later criticized the current Senate majority leader for moving sharply to the right. In the ‘60s Cook led a Republican resurgence in Jefferson County, which includes Louisville, ending a generation of Democrat dominance in a state where registered Democrats outnumbered Republicans two to one. He died of a heart attack in Sarasota, Florida on February 4, 2016.

Robin Chandler Duke (92) rags-to-riches grande dame who in 1962 married socialite ambassador (to El Salvador, Denmark, Spain, and Morocco) Angier Biddle Duke (d. 1995) and became one of America’s best-known advocates for women by championing reproductive rights and international family planning. Robin Duke was a cofounder of the US-Japan Foundation and a director of the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, the World Childhood Foundation, and the Charles A. & Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation; she was also a trustee of the Institute of International Education and an overseer of the International Rescue Committee. She died in Charleston, South Carolina on February 6, 2016.

David Hamill (71) longtime Ranson (W. Va.) mayor in his 29th year in office. Hamill was diagnosed with cancer of the liver bile duct more than a year ago. He issued a public letter in January in which he said his health was deteriorating. He died of cancer in Ranson, West Virginia on February 5, 2016.

Aniseh Makhlouf (86) Syria’s former first lady, widow of the late President Hafez Assad and mother of current President Bashar Assad. Makhlouf died in the Syrian capital of Damascus on February 6, 2016.

Edgar Mitchell (85) Apollo 14 astronaut who became the sixth man on the moon when he and Alan Shepard helped NASA to recover from Apollo 13’s “successful failure.” Mitchell later devoted his life to exploring physics, the mind, and unexplained phenomena such as psychics and aliens. One of only 12 humans to set foot on the moon, he said in later years that aliens visited Earth and faith healers were legitimate. He tried to communicate telepathically with friends at home during his Apollo mission and had an “epiphany” in space that focused him on studying physics and mysteries such as consciousness. He died in West Palm Beach, Florida on February 4, 2016.

Thomas Tigue (70) former Democrat state representative from northeastern Pennsylvania. Tigue served 12 consecutive terms in the 118th Legislative District before retiring in 2006. A Marine Corps veteran who served in Vietnam, he chaired the House Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee and was a key player in developing the Military Family Relief Assistance Program. He died in Hughestown, Pennsylvania on February 1, 2016.

Edgar Whitcomb (98) former Indiana governor who escaped from a Japanese prisoner camp by swimming overnight during World War II, then made an around-the-world solo sailing trip while in his 70s. Whitcomb was governor from 1969–73, a tenure marked by ongoing disputes over spending and taxes. He died in Rome, Indiana on February 4, 2016.


Society and Religion

Dart the Dolphin (12) ailing Pacific white-sided dolphin at SeaWorld San Antonio. The park has five white-sided dolphins and 21 bottlenose dolphins. Dart died after veterinarians monitored him for a month for unspecified health-related issues. He was the park's fourth animal death since summer; he died in San Antonio, Texas on February 5, 2016.

Linda Horan (64) New Hampshire woman who was suffering from late-stage cancer when she won permission to buy medical marijuana in Maine before it was available in her home state. A retired telephone company worker and longtime labor activist, Horan was diagnosed in July 2015 with advanced lung cancer. A state law allowing medical marijuana was passed in 2013, but New Hampshire wasn't ready to begin issuing cards allowing people to use it by November ‘15, when Horan sued seeking access to it. Later that month, a judge ordered the state to issue Horan a card so she could get medical marijuana in neighboring Maine. She died in Concord, New Hampshire on February 1, 2016.

Christy O'Donnell (47) single mother with lung cancer who became a prominent figure in the California right-to-die debate. O’Donnell campaigned for a bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2015 to make it legal for the terminally ill to seek medical aid to end their lives. The law is expected to go into effect later this year, making California the fifth state in the US to provide such a right. O'Donnell wrote on Facebook that when she was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer in 2014, it had metastasized to her brain and later to her spine, rib, and liver. She died in Santa Clarita, California on February 6, 2016.

Geraldine Waterhouse (95) longtime Kennebunk, Me. philanthropist. Waterhouse's $1.5 million endowment sparked a fund-raising campaign to build the Waterhouse Center, an open-air pavilion with an ice rink. She was born in Canada and spent summer vacations at Kennebunk Beach with her family, then moved to Maine permanently in 1964. She also gave time and money to local causes such as the Animal Welfare Society. Waterhouse died in Kennebunk, Maine on February 6, 2016.


Sports

Bennie Georgino (95) hall of fame boxing manager, promoter, and bail bondsman said to personify the folk culture of Los Angeles's golden era of boxing. A son of Neapolitan immigrants, Georgino was a boxer and later an oddsmaker who took over managing Danny (“Little Red”) Lopez, a former featherweight champion, after Lopez’s manager, Howie Steindler, was found mysteriously beaten and suffocated in 1977. Georgino also managed former super-bantamweight world champion Jaime Garza. He died in Sun City, California on February 2, 2016.

Dave Mirra (41) leading figure in the world of BMX. A former host of the MTV show Real World/Road Rules Challenge, Mirra won more than 20 medals in the sport. He was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Greenville, North Carolina, a city he helped to transform into a center of the sport, on February 4, 2016.

Dave Renwick (62) Scottish caddie who worked for three major champions and was on the bag for Vijay Singh's greatest season. Renwick was regarded as one of the best caddies on tour. He worked for José Maria Olazabal for eight years, including his 1994 Masters victory. He also worked for Steve Elkington when he won the 1995 PGA Championship. Renwick had two stints with Singh, which covered all three of his majors. He was Singh’s caddie for seven of his nine victories in 2004 when the Fijian became the first PGA Tour player to earn $10 million in one season. Renwick died of stomach cancer on February 4, 2016.

Jack Riley (95) Army coach who in 1960 guided the US to its first Olympic gold medal in hockey. Riley compiled a 542-343-20 record at West Point during a 36-year college coaching career that started in 1950, transforming the Black Knights into an Eastern power. He led the Black Knights to 29 winning seasons, including a school-record 28 victories during the 1983–84 season, and was NCAA coach of the year in '57 and ’60. When he retired in 1986, he was second all-time in NCAA victories and currently ranks 18th. Riley died on Cape Cod, Massachusetts on February 3, 2016.

Thelma Stoner (??) mother of Rutgers women’s basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer, first basketball coach—male or female—to take three different schools to the NCAA Final Four (Cheyney, Iowa, Rutgers). Stoner died in Riverdale, Georgia on February 1, 2016.


Previous Week
Next Week


Return to Main Page
Return to Top