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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, March 19, 2016

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Frank Sinatra Jr., son of legendary 20th century entertainerRalph David Abernathy 3rd, son of civil rights leaderHassan Aboud, Islamic State commanderBob Adelman, photographer who documented civil rights movementRoger Agnelli, Brazilian business executiveOmar al-Shishani, top Islamic State commanderSylvia Anderson, British cocreator of TV puppet show 'Thunderbirds'E. L. Boteler Jr., former Mississippi highway directorTerry Collins, former Ohio prisons directorAdrienne Corri, British actress best known for 'A Clockwork Orange'Meir Dagan, Israeli general and director of Mossad, Israel's spy agencyPaul Daniels, popular British magicianPeter Maxwell Davies, British composer, Master of the Queen's MusicLarry Drake, Emmy-winning actorTamara Grigsby, Wisconsin state legislatorGeoffrey H. Hartman, Yale literary critic and scholarRalph Johnson, North Carolina state legislatorJack Masey, USIA designerCyndimae Meehan, teen whose parents sought medical marijuana for her epilepsyNed Miller, country songwriter and reluctant performerJan Nemec, Czech film directorEarline Parmon, first black North Carolina state senator from Forsyth CountyPercy Pinkney, aide to California politiciansHilary Putnam, Harvard philosopherSeru Rabeni, Fiji rugby playerMartin Olav Sabo, US congressman from MinnesotaJoe Santos, TV character actor on 'Rockford Files'Sheila Schafer, widow of Medora, ND tourist town developerJerry Taylor, Arkansas state legislatorTray Walker, Baltimore Ravens cornerbackGuido Westerwelle, German foreign minister

Art and Literature

Geoffrey H. Hartman (86) literary critic whose work took in the Romantic poets, Judaic sacred texts, Holocaust studies, deconstruction, the workings of memory—and the very function of criticism itself. Hartman was Sterling professor emeritus of English and comparative literature at Yale University. Considered one of the world’s foremost scholars of literature, he was associated with the “Yale School,” a cohort of literary theorists whose work was rooted in deconstruction, the approach to analyzing the relationship between a text and its meaning that was advanced by 20th-century French philosopher Jacques Derrida. Hartman died in Hamden, Connecticut on March 14, 2016.

Jack Masey (91) designer for the US Information Agency whose model American kitchen, part of an exhibition in Moscow in 1959, provided the stage for an argument about communism and capitalism between Russian Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev and US Vice President Richard M. Nixon, one of the Cold War’s most memorable confrontations. In his nearly 30 years with the agency, Masey, an architect by training, presented a picture of American art, science, and industry and the daily life of ordinary American citizens to audiences around the world, many of them, during the Cold War years, suspicious of American culture and foreign policy. He made a point of engaging top architects and designers, including R. Buckminster Fuller and Charles and Ray Eames, to come up with imaginative buildings and sets to showcase nontraditional exhibition materials. Masey died in New York City on March 13, 2016.

Business and Science

Roger Agnelli (56) former banking executive who helped to turn the Brazilian company Vale into a global mining giant. Agnelli took over as president and chief executive at Vale in 2001 after nearly 19 years at one of the country’s largest banks, Banco Bradesco. Under Agnelli, Vale grew into one of Latin America’s biggest companies: the second-largest mining company in the world at the time, and the largest producer of iron ore. Agnelli expanded the company’s reach into markets in Asia, particularly China. He was ousted in 2011 after friction with the Brazilian government. Agnelli, his wife Andrea, and their grown children, Ana Carolina and João, were en route to a wedding in Rio de Janeiro when their Comp Air 9 turboprop monoplane slammed into two homes in São Paulo, Brazil just minutes after taking off, killing all aboard, on March 19, 2016.

Sheila Schafer (90) “first lady of Medora (North Dakota).” Schafer was the widow of the late North Dakota businessman and Medora tourist town developer Harold Schafer (d. 2001). She was credited with helping her husband to revitalize Medora. Her stepson was former North Dakota Gov. Ed Schafer. Sheila Schafer died in Bismarck, North Dakota on March 16, 2016.


Hilary Putnam (89) Harvard philosopher whose influence ranged across many fields of thought, including mathematical logic, philosophy of mind and language, epistemology and metaphysics. In the world of contemporary philosophers, Putnam was known for the breadth of his thinking, the vividness of his arguments, and his penchant for self-questioning and willingness to change his mind. He died of metastasized mesothelioma in Arlington, Massachusetts on March 13, 2016.


Terry Collins (63) former Ohio prisons director who oversaw more than 30 executions, then became an antideath penalty advocate in retirement. Collins was named state prisons superintendent in 2006, after nearly 30 years with the agency. Among his experiences was taking over as warden at the maximum-security Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville immediately after the 1993 prison riot that left nine inmates and a guard dead. He died of a heart attack in Chillicothe, Ohio on March 17, 2016.

News and Entertainment

Bob Adelman (85) free-lance photographer who documented the civil rights movement across the Deep South. Adelman volunteered his services as a photographer to the Congress of Racial Equality, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and other civil rights organizations in the ‘60s. His work put him on the front lines of the civil rights movement, frequently in the company of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., whom he called “Doc.” Adelman died in Miami Beach, Florida on March 19, 2016.

Sylvia Anderson (88) British cocreator of the cult classic sci-fi TV puppet show Thunderbirds. Anderson created the series about a high-tech rescue squad operating from a secret island with her late former husband Gerry Anderson, who died in 2012; the show made its debut in 1965. Sylvia Anderson also voiced and provided inspiration for the upper-crust character Lady Penelope—who like all the other characters in the series was a marionette. Anderson had a long career in TV, including working for HBO in Britain. She died in Bray, England, 30 miles (48 kilometers) west of London, on March 16, 2016.

Adrienne Corri (84) Scottish-born actress whose movie career lasted nearly 50 years and encompassed a wide range of roles. Corri was probably best known as the victim in an infamous rape scene in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971). She appeared in horror movies like Vampire Circus (1972) and in more prestigious fare like David Lean and Robert Bolt’s Oscar-winning Doctor Zhivago (1965) and her breakthrough film, The River, a 1951 drama set in India and directed by Jean Renoir. She died of a massive coronary in London, England on March 13, 2016.

Paul Daniels (77) magician best known for The Paul Daniels Magic Show that regularly attracted 15 million TV viewers in Britain and was sold to 43 countries. One of Britain’s best-known magicians, Daniels didn’t take up the trade full-time until he was 30. He also designed special effects for stage productions including Cats and Phantom of the Opera. He was hospitalized with a suspected stroke in February after falling at his home. The cause was found to be an inoperable brain tumor, and his terminal diagnosis was front-page news in many British papers. He died in Berkshire, England, 60 miles (95 kilometers) west of London, on March 17, 2016.

Peter Maxwell Davies (81) experimental, socially radical composer, Queen Elizabeth II’s official Master of Music, an honorary post he held for 10 years. Davies created about 300 works including 10 symphonies, the operas Taverner and The Lighthouse, and the music-theater piece Eight Songs for a Mad King, about the current queen’s troubled ancestor, George III. A strong environmentalist, Davies drew inspiration from the wind-swept Orkneys, where he lived for 40 years and where he founded the St. Magnus Festival, an annual arts event where many of his works were given their premieres. He also conducted orchestras including the BBC Philharmonic and the Royal Philharmonic. He died of leukemia on Scotland’s Orkney islands on March 14, 2016.

Larry Drake (66) actor who earned back-to-back Emmy Awards in 1988–89 for his sensitive portrayal of the mentally challenged office worker Benny Stulwicz on the drama series LA Law. Drake was proud of a career that spanned TV, film, and stage, including the 1990 movie Darkman. In a 1989 interview with the Associated Press, Drake said he portrayed Benny not as a stereotype but as a man with a full range of emotions. The actor had suffered from health issues related to his weight. His body was found at his Los Angeles, California home on March 17, 2016.

Ned Miller (90) country crooner and songwriter whose biggest hit, “From a Jack to a King,” was recorded by stars like Elvis Presley and Bobby Darin long after Miller stopped performing. Miller considered himself a songwriter more than a singer and had such bad stage fright that he sometimes asked friends to perform under his name. Many of his most successful compositions, like “Dark Moon,” were better known as hits for other artists. He died in Medford, Oregon on March 18, 2016.

Jan Nemec (79) film director, a representative of the new wave of Czech cinema in the ‘60s. Nemec, along with other filmmakers including Milos Forman and Vera Chytilova, made movies that were a radical departure from Socialist realism, a typical Communist-era genre. His 1964 debut Diamonds of the Night, about two boys escaping from a transport to a Nazi death camp, was honored at a festival in Mannheim, Germany. His provocative 1966 masterpiece Report on the Party & Guests, targeting totalitarian power, angered the regime. After Oratorio for Prague, a documentary about the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia, Nemec was banned and lived in Germany and the US from 1974–89. He died in Prague, Czech Republic on March 18, 2016.

Joe Santos (84) actor who played Lt. Dennis Becker on The Rockford Files. Santos' career spanned more than 40 years, from a guest shot on Naked City in the early ‘60s through a recurring role on The Sopranos. But he was best known as Lt. Becker, pal and grudging helpmate of Los Angeles private eye Jim Rockford (James Garner) on NBC's The Rockford Files, which aired from 1974–80 and earned Santos an Emmy nomination. He died a few days after suffering a heart attack in Santa Monica, California on March 18, 2016.

Frank Sinatra Jr. (72) only son of the late Frank Sinatra (d. 1998) who carried on his famous father’s legacy with his own music career. Kidnapped and held for ransom when he was 19, Sinatra Jr. had already followed his dad into the music business by then. He eventually worked for his father as his musical director and conductor. In 2015 he performed the National Anthem at a New York Yankees game. The younger Sinatra died unexpectedly of cardiac arrest while on tour in Daytona Beach, Florida on March 16, 2016.

Politics and Military

Ralph David Abernathy 3rd (56) former Georgia state senator and namesake son of civil rights leader Ralph David Abernathy Jr. (d. 1990), a cofounder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and close friend of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The younger Abernathy was a Democrat in both the Georgia House and Senate. He was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2011 and was hospitalized for several weeks in ‘15 after it spread to his liver. He was two days short of his 57th birthday when he died of cancer in Atlanta, Georgia on March 17, 2016.

Hassan Aboud (30s) feared Islamic State commander and double amputee who led the jihadist group’s rank and file in a string of prominent battles in Syria. Aboud was admired by jihadists but despised by many Syrian rebels and activists, who accused him of betrayal and of organizing an assassination campaign against rebel leaders with whom he had collaborated before publicly defecting to the Islamic State in 2014. He was wounded near Khanaser, Syria when a vehicle he was traveling in struck a roadside bomb. He died two weeks later, on March 16, 2016.

Omar al-Shishani (30) top Islamic State commander and feared ethnic Chechen jihadi fighter. Red-bearded Shishani was one of the most prominent IS commanders who earlier was the group's military commander for the territory it controls in Syria; he later became commander of the group's ground forces. Wounded in a US airstrike earlier this month, Shishani died outside the IS group's main stronghold of Raqqa, Syria on March 14, 2016.

E. L. Boteler Jr. (96) former Mississippi highway director and state House member who went to prison after being convicted of embezzling public money. Boteler served in the state House from 1956–72, later becoming director of what is now the Mississippi Department of Transportation. There, he was indicted for stealing $200,000 in public money in 1975. He unsuccessfully appealed his case to the state Supreme Court but was paroled from prison in 1980 after only two years. He died in Leland, Mississippi on March 17, 2016.

Meir Dagan (71) former Israeli general and longtime director of the country’s spy agency. Dagan directed the Mossad from 2002 until he retired in early ‘11. Under his leadership, the Mossad reportedly carried out covert attacks against Iranian nuclear scientists and unleashed cyberattacks, including the Stuxnet virus, developed in cooperation with the US. That digital weapon reportedly delayed the Iranian nuclear program. Israel has never publicly confirmed any role in the Stuxnet attacks, but its involvement is widely assumed both inside and outside the country. Born in 1945 in Ukraine to Holocaust survivors, Dagan reached the rank of general in the Israeli army and was known for innovations in battling terrorism. He died in Tel Aviv, Israel on March 17, 2016.

Tamara Grigsby (41) former Wisconsin state representative. Grigsby dealt with cancer during her time in the Legislature, stepping down in 2013 after eight years representing a portion of Milwaukee. She later became community outreach coordinator in the office of Dane County Executive Joe Parisi and was recently appointed director of the county's new Department of Equity & Inclusion. She died unexpectedly in Madison, Wisconsin on March 14, 2016.

Ralph Johnson (62) North Carolina State House member who suffered a stroke in February and died on the same day that he lost his Democrat primary election. Unofficial results show Johnson lost the March 15 primary to Guilford County school board member Amos Quick, who collected almost 72 per cent of the vote. Johnson was unable to actively campaign in recent weeks owing to his stroke. He died in Greensboro, North Carolina from complications related to the stroke, on March 15, 2016.

Earline Parmon (72) first black North Carolina state senator from Forsyth County. Parmon was elected to the State Senate in 2012 after serving as a representative in the State House of Representatives for 10 years. Before that she served 12 years on the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners. Most recently she worked as outreach director for Rep. Alma Adams, who represents the 12th Congressional District. Parmon died in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on March 15, 2016.

Percy Pinkney (78) first person to join Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) staff in 1992. As Feinstein’s Los Angeles field representative for 22 years, Pinkney oversaw issues affecting the black community until his retirement in 2014. He was a special assistant to Gov. Jerry Brown from 1975–82, leading his community relations department. He died In San Francisco, California on March 18, 2016.

Martin Olav Sabo (78) former Minnesota congressman who served 28 years in the US House. Sabo served on the House Appropriations Committee and helped to steer millions of dollars to the Twin Cities for projects including the Hiawatha Avenue light-rail line and the Minneapolis Veterans Medical Center. He announced his retirement in 2006 and was succeeded by fellow Democrat Keith Ellison, first Muslim elected to the House. Previously Sabo had served 18 years in the Minnesota Legislature, where he rose to House minority leader, then speaker. A longtime smoker who was on oxygen, he was having trouble breathing and was hospitalized last week. He died in Minneapolis, Minnesota on March 13, 2016.

Jerry Taylor (78) former Arkansas lawmaker. Taylor was a state representative for four years and a state senator for eight years, representing the Pine Bluff area. He also was mayor of Pine Bluff for eight years and a city councilman for 12 years. He retired in December 2012, having never lost an election, and died in Pine Bluff, Arkansas after battling progressive supranuclear palsy, a rare, incurable brain disorder, on March 19, 2016.

Guido Westerwelle (54) former German foreign minister who strongly advocated a culture of military restraint and opposed NATO’s military intervention in Libya in 2011. Westerwelle became foreign minister and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s deputy in 2009 after leading his pro-business Free Democratic Party—postwar Germany’s traditional kingmaker—to its best-ever election result and ending an 11-year spell in opposition. A skilled party politician and opposition leader, Westerwelle wooed voters with pledges of big tax cuts but was unable to push those through after entering Merkel’s government, and his party’s popularity slumped as it was blamed for frequent coalition infighting. He was diagnosed in June 2014 with acute leukemia and died in Cologne, Germany of complications related to his treatment, on March 18, 2016.

Society and Religion

Cyndimae Meehan (13) teenager whose parents moved her from Connecticut to Maine to get access to medical marijuana to treat a rare form of epilepsy. Connecticut doesn’t allow pediatric medical marijuana use, so Cyndimae's parents moved her to Maine to get access to medical marijuana to treat the girl’s frequent seizures. The family became medical marijuana advocates. Cyndimae Meehan died in Augusta, Maine on March 13, 2016.


Seru Rabeni (37) center or winger who played 30 tests and represented Fiji at two Rugby World Cups. Rabeni played for Fiji at the 2003 and ‘07 Rugby World Cups. He also represented Fiji at sevens, playing at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, and played for the Highlanders in Super Rugby and for England's Leicester Tigers. He died of an apparent heart attack in Nausori, Fiji on March 15, 2016.

Tray Walker (23) Baltimore Ravens cornerback who played one season in the NFL. A fourth-round 2015 draft pick, Walker played in eight games last season, mostly on special teams. He made only one tackle with Baltimore but made a lasting impression on those around him. He was riding a Honda dirt bike at night with no lights and wearing dark clothing when he collided with a Ford Escape in Miami, Florida on March 17. He died of his injuries a day later in a Jacksonville, Florida hospital, on March 18, 2016.

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