Back to Life In Legacy Main Page Pages for Previous Weeks Celebrity Deaths Message Board
Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, March 26, 2016

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

Joe Garagiola, baseball catcher turned broadcasterKen Howard, versatile actor in film, theater, and TVGarry Shandling, actor and comedianGeorge Alvarado, terminally ill man whose son was booted off planeDavid Baker, jazz composer, musician, and music educatorLeroy Blunt, Missouri state legislator, father of US senator, and grandfather of former governorShannon Bolin, actress and singerHenri Bonneau, French maker of rare winesPeter Brown, actor in TV westerns and soap operasLeon H. Charney, entertainment lawyer who branched outJohan Cruyff, Dutch soccer starGlen Dawson, California mountain climberBob Ebeling, rocket engineer who tried to postpone disastrous 'Challenger' launchSantiago Erevia, Vietnam War veteran belatedly awarded Medal of HonorRob Ford, former mayor of TorontoRita Gam, movie and TV actressTom Gardner, longtime AP correspondent in RenoAndy Grove, former Intel CEOEarl Hamner Jr., creator of TV's 'The Waltons'Inge Hardison, sculptor of black historical figures and inventorsJim Harrison, author of 'Legends of the Fall' and other booksRobert Healey, frequent Rhode Island candidate and founder of Cool Moose PartyKazuko Hirabayashi, modern-dance choreographerAnker Jørgensen, former prime minister of DenmarkCharles Kaufman, musicologist who led NYC music schoolHarold J. Morowitz, biophysicist for whom no study was trivialOliver ('Butch') Mousseau, college hockey refereeEdgar ('Sonny') Mouton, Louisiana state legislatorJ. Russell Nelson, president of Arizona State UniversityJames Owens, Auburn's first black scholarship football playerGary Planos, golfer and PGA tournament host in HawaiiTrey Schwab, Marquette assistant basketball coach who became advocate for organ donor programNicholas Scoppetta, NYC fire commissioner who rebuilt department after 9/11David Smyrl, played Mr. Handford on 'Sesame Street'Fernando Solana, Mexican foreign ministerPeter Stanford, New Yorker who honored city's maritime historyMalik ('Phife Dawg') Taylor, lyricist and rapperLester C. Thurow, MIT economistKevin Turner, Alabama and NFL football playerLew Ward, Oklahoma oilman, founder and chairman of his own company

Art and Literature

Inge Hardison (102) sculptor whose bronze busts immortalized black historical figures, innovators, and ordinary people she characterized as “Our Folks.” A former actress, artist, and photographer, Hardison sculpted a cast-iron collection in the ‘60s that she called “Negro Giants in History,” which included George Washington Carver, W.E.B. Du Bois, Paul Robeson, and Harriet Tubman. She titled another series, featuring relatively obscure black inventors, “Ingenious Americans.” In 1981 Hardison’s bronze bust of Jackie Robinson was installed at the Jackie Robinson Recreation Center in Harlem. Another bust, of Frederick Douglass, was installed in 1983 in the reference room at Princeton University's Firestone Library. Hardison died of Alzheimer’s disease in New York City on March 23, 2016.

Jim Harrison (78) fiction writer, poet, outdoorsman, and reveler who wrote with affection for America's landscape and rural life and enjoyed mainstream success in middle age with his historical saga Legends of the Fall, made into a 1994 movie starring Brad Pitt. Harrison completed more than 30 books, most recently the novella collection The Ancient Minstrel, and was admired worldwide. He died in Patagonia, Arizona on March 26, 2016.

Business and Science

Henri Bonneau (77) producer of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, whose wines were as renowned for their beauty, complexity, and intensity as they were rare and hard to find. Working in a mold-ridden, dirt-floor cellar in the heart of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in Provence, France and using methods that might have been familiar to any of the 11 generations of winemakers in his family who preceded him, Bonneau produced powerful wines that recalled how Châteauneuf might have tasted a century or two ago. He died of diabetes in Marseille, France on March 21, 2016.

Bob Ebeling (89) booster rocket engineer at NASA contractor Morton Thiokol in 1986 who spent 30 years filled with guilt over not being able to stop the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger. A handful of Ebeling's colleagues worried that the cold temperatures the night before the Challenger was set to launch would harm the rubber O-ring seals and allow burning rocket fuel to leak out of booster joints. Ebeling warned his boss the morning before the launch of the dangers that could face the Challenger if it was sent into space that day. He collected data that illustrated the risks and spent hours arguing to postpone sending the shuttle and its seven astronauts into space but could not convince NASA to postpone the launch. Ebeling died in Brigham City, Utah on March 21, 2016.

Andy Grove (79) Hungarian-born former Intel Corp. chief executive whose youth under Nazi occupation and escape from the Iron Curtain inspired an “only-the-paranoid-survive” management philosophy that saved the chip maker from financial ruin in the ‘80s. Grove was instrumental in building Intel into the world’s largest chip company during his 37-year career there. He was a visionary leader who helped to position Intel’s microprocessors as the central technology inside personal computers. His bet-the-company gamble—moving Intel from memory chips to microprocessors in the mid-’80s to serve what was still a fledgling personal computer industry—helped to rescue Intel from a financial crisis and set it on course to become one of the most profitable and important technology companies of all time. Grove survived prostate cancer in the mid-'90s but died of Parkinson's disease in Santa Clara, California on March 21, 2016.

Harold J. Morowitz (88) biophysicist who tackled mind-boggling enigmas ranging from the origin of life to the thermodynamics of pizza. Morowitz was a consultant to NASA on experiments conducted remotely on the surface of Mars and inside Biosphere 2, the world’s largest enclosed ecosystem. He died of sepsis in Falls Church, Virginia on March 22, 2016.

Lew Ward (85) Oklahoma oilman, founder and chairman of the Ward Petroleum Corp. who championed the industry locally and nationally. Ward also was active in Republican politics and a past president of the Independent Petroleum Association of America. He drilled his first well in 1963 and founded the Ward Petroleum Corp. in '71; the company has drilled hundreds of wells and operates more than 200 oil and gas properties, including in Colorado. During the oil boom from 1979–83, the company grew to more than 200 employees. Ward died in Enid, Oklahoma, where his company is based, on March 20, 2016.


David Baker (84) jazz composer and musician who founded the jazz studies program at Indiana University. Baker wrote more than 2,000 pieces of music and was nominated for a Grammy in 1979 and a Pulitzer Prize in ’73. In 2000 he was named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, the country's highest jazz honor. He died in Bloomington, Indiana on March 26, 2016.

Charles Kaufman (87) musicologist who led a faculty coup that spared the century-old Mannes College of Music in Manhattan from a troublesome merger in 1979, then restored it to fiscal soundness. After the faculty revolt, most of the school’s trustees were removed by the State Board of Regents and their successors turned to Kaufman to restore harmony. Over 16 years as Mannes’s leader, he moved the school from four cramped brownstones on East 74th Street to a building on West 85th Street that included concert halls, a library, and a dormitory. He expanded the faculty and created early-music preparatory and graduate programs and the Mannes Camerata, dedicated to performing medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music. He died of acute myeloid leukemia in Hillsdale, New Jersey on March 24, 2016.

J. Russell Nelson (86) former Arizona State University president (1981–89). During Nelson’s tenure, the ASU West campus opened and the Karsten Golf Course was built. He was chancellor at the University of Colorado at Boulder for three years before going to ASU and went back to the Colorado school in 1989 to be dean of the business college. He died of Alzheimer’s disease in Tempe, Arizona on March 23, 2016.

Lester C. Thurow (77) economist who earned a dedicated following through his long writing and speaking career and was known for his warnings about the growing income gap between rich and poor Americans. Thurow was a prolific author and took to TV and the lecture circuit, paying special attention to the income gap and globalization, which he contended would have a deleterious impact on American labor. He also taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for decades. In his writing, he tried to make the dry and difficult-to-grasp intricacies of the American economy accessible to a mass audience. Thurow died in Westport, Massachusetts on March 25, 2016.


Leon H. Charney (77) entertainment lawyer who expanded his portfolio to become an author, a TV host, a real estate mogul, and a back-channel peace broker between Egypt and Israel. Charney had hosted The Leon Charney Report, a weekly public affairs program on cable TV in the New York area, since 1998. His law clients included comedian Jackie Mason and, briefly, convicted Israeli spy Jonathan J. Pollard. A self-made billionaire, Charney bought and developed Manhattan properties, wrote several books, and donated millions to hospitals and other charitable causes. But his most celebrated role was as a “spy for peace,” as he described himself, helping President Jimmy Carter to broker the Camp David peace accords that ended hostilities between Israel and Egypt in 1978. Charney had suffered several seizures and died in New York City on March 21, 2016.

News and Entertainment

Shannon Bolin (99) actress and singer best remembered as Meg Boyd, the loyal and heartsick wife left behind in the original 1955 Broadway production of the musical Damn Yankees and in the subsequent '58 movie adaptation. Bolin is shown above on the right in a scene from the stage show, with Ray Walston (left, as Applegate [the devil]; later of My Favorite Martian; d. 2001) and Robert Shafer as her husband Joe (d. 1981). Also starring Gwen Verdon, the hit musical told the story of a man who sold his soul to the devil for a chance to be young again and help the Washington Senators (now the Minnesota Twins) defeat the New York Yankees. Shannon Bolin died in New York City on March 25, 2016.

Peter Brown (80) actor who had starring roles on two TV westerns in the ‘50s and ’60s and later acted on soap operas. Brown played Deputy Johnny McKay on Lawman, seen on ABC from 1958–62. His character was the sidekick of Marshal Dan Troop, played by John Russell, tasked with bringing order to Laramie, Wyoming. He later starred as Chad Cooper, a Texas Ranger, in the 1965–67 NBC series Laredo. He also appeared in films, including Darby’s Rangers, Merrill’s Marauders, Summer Magic, Ride the Wild Surf, and Foxy Brown. As TV westerns fell out of favor, Brown found success on soap operas. He played Dr. Greg Peters on Days of Our Lives from 1972–78 and was seen on Loving in ‘83, The Young & the Restless from ‘89–91, and The Bold & the Beautiful from ‘91–92. He died of Parkinson's disease in Phoenix, Arizona on March 21, 2016.

Rita Gam (88) Pittsburgh-born actress who had a lengthy acting career in film and on TV. Gam starred with Gregory Peck in Night People (1954) and Shoot Out (1971) and with Jack Palance in Sign of the Pagan (1954). She also starred in the films Hannibal, King of Kings, and No Exit. Her TV credits included The Rockford Files and Mannix. Gam was a close friend of actress Grace Kelly (d. 1982) and was one of Kelly's bridesmaids when she married Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956. Gam died of respiratory failure in Los Angeles, California on March 22, 2016.

Tom Gardner (73) former Associated Press Reno correspondent. Gardner started his 40-year career with the wire service in Columbus, Ohio, where he worked as broadcast editor. He transferred to Reno in the late ‘70s and was a correspondent until he retired in 2007. He was known for his love of NASCAR racing, country music, and covering stories related to the weather. He died of cancer in Yerington, Nevada on March 25, 2016.

Earl Hamner Jr. (92) writer who drew upon his Depression-era upbringing in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia to create one of TV’s most beloved family shows, The Waltons. Although best remembered for that show, which aired for nine seasons and won more than a dozen Emmys, Hamner was also a best-selling novelist (Spencer’s Mountain), wrote eight episodes of the classic ‘60s TV show The Twilight Zone, and, as a screenwriter, adapted the children’s tale Charlotte’s Web into a hit 2006 film. He also created the long-running TV drama Falcon Crest and wrote for such other TV shows as Wagon Train, Gentle Ben, and The Wild Thornberrys. Hamner had recently battled pneumonia but died of bladder cancer in Los Angeles, California on March 24, 2016.

Kazuko Hirabayashi (82) Japanese-born modern-dance choreographer who was even more widely known as an exceptional teacher and mentor to many leading dancers. As a choreographer, Hirabayashi came to early notice in the ‘60s with a highly personal style that combined American modern dance and some ballet with a Japanese theatrical sensibility. Yet her own creativity in the two companies she founded and directed was eventually overshadowed by her international reputation as a teacher whose depth and dignity inspired extreme devotion from students at the Juilliard School and elsewhere. Hirabayashi learned she had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS; Lou Gehrig’s disease) in 2012, the year after she retired from Juilliard, where she had taught since 1968. She died in Harrison, New York on March 25, 2016.

Ken Howard (71) versatile character actor who starred on the ‘70s TV drama The White Shadow (1978–81) and was president of the Screen Actors Guild. Howard's career spanned 40 years in TV, theater, and film. The 6-foot-6 actor was a staple on TV, starring opposite Blythe Danner on Adam's Rib on ABC in the ‘70s and appearing as Kabletown boss Hank Hooper on NBC's 30 Rock some 40 years later. In early seasons of NBC's Crossing Jordan, which premiered in 2001, Howard played the father of star Jill Hennessy, a retired police detective who gave behind-the-scenes advice to his daughter, a crime-solving forensic pathologist. He played Thomas Jefferson on Broadway in 1776, a role he reprised in the ‘72 film. He died in Los Angeles, California, five days short of his 72nd birthday, on March 23, 2016.

Garry Shandling (66) actor and comedian who pioneered a pretend brand of self-focused docudrama with The Larry Sanders Show. Shandling moved from a short stint in the advertising business to comedy writing and standup. Then in the ‘80s he began to experiment with TV comedy with his first series, It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, a Showtime sitcom that called attention to its artificial nature with the actors routinely breaking the fourth wall. In 1992 he created his comic masterpiece with The Larry Sanders Show, which starred him as an egomaniacal late-night TV host with an anxiety-ridden show-biz life behind the scenes. Shandling died unexpectedly of a heart attack in Los Angeles, California on March 24, 2016.

David Smyrl (80) Emmy-winning actor best known for his 1990–98 role as Mr. Handford, the retired firefighter who ran Hooper’s Store on Sesame Street. Smyrl succeeded Leonard Jackson, who played a grumpier Handford. Smyrl was diagnosed with lung cancer in January. He died outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 22, 2016.

Malik ('Phife Dawg') Taylor (45) lyricist and rapper known as Phife Dawg whose witty wordplay was a linchpin of the groundbreaking hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest. Taylor was part of several rap classics with Tribe, including “Scenario,” ''Bonita Applebaum,” ''Can I Kick It?,” and “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo,” among others. He died of complications resulting from diabetes in the San Francisco Bay area on March 22, 2016.

Politics and Military

Leroy Blunt (94) former Missouri lawmaker, father of US Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and grandfather of former Gov. Matt Blunt. A dairy farmer and businessman, Leroy Blunt served four terms in the Missouri Legislature as a Republican House member from 1979–86. He died from the effects of a stroke he had a year ago, in Jefferson, Missouri on March 21, 2016.

Santiago Erevia (69) Vietnam War veteran and retired mail carrier who had been denied the US's highest military honor, the Congressional Medal of Honor, for 45 years because he was Hispanic. A 12-year Pentagon investigation, mandated by Congress, of discrimination in the awarding of the Medal of Honor found that the heroism of Erevia and 23 other Army veterans of World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars—most of them Hispanic—had been undervalued because of their race, religion, or ethnicity and thus denied the medal unjustly. Erevia, who single-handedly wiped out four enemy bunkers while his comrades lay wounded, was one of three such men still living who finally received the Medal in 2014; 21 others received it posthumously. Erevia died of a heart attack in San Antonio, Texas on March 22, 2016.

Rob Ford (46) populist former mayor of Toronto (2010–14) whose career crashed in a drug-driven, obscenity-laced downfall. Ford rode into office on a backlash against urban elites. He projected an image at odds with Canada’s reputation for sedate politics. His tenure as mayor of the country’s largest city was marred by revelations about his drinking problems and illegal drug use. He was repeatedly videotaped and photographed while intoxicated in public. His statements and actions became nightly fodder for TV comedians and an embarrassment to many of the suburbanites he championed. Nevertheless, he was later elected by a landslide to a city council seat. He died of cancer in Toronto, Canada on March 22, 2016.

Robert Healey (58) Cool Moose Party founder, a legendary Rhode Island political figure who ran for lieutenant governor on a platform of abolishing the position and spent $36 on a gubernatorial campaign while capturing 21 per cent of the vote. Healey was an attorney who ran for either governor or lieutenant governor seven times from 1986–2014. He founded the Cool Moose Party in 1994 as an alternative to the two-party system that dominated state and national politics. He never won a statewide election, but his antiestablishment positions frequently earned him a large minority of votes. He was found dead at his Barrington, Rhode Island home on March 20, 2016.

Anker Jørgensen (93) former prime minister of Denmark loved by many Danes for his down-to-earth character but criticized for his handling of economic problems in the ‘70s and '80s. Jørgensen led Danish governments in 1972–73 and ‘75–82, a time when Denmark was marred by political turmoil and economic problems. He resigned in 1982 after failing to get support for tax increases and spending cuts he had proposed to deal with the ailing economy. He died in Copenhagen, Denmark on March 20, 2016.

Edgar ('Sonny') Mouton (86) former Louisiana state lawmaker, an adviser to two governors. An attorney, Mouton was elected to the Louisiana state House in 1964, then was elected to the Senate, where he served from 1966–80. He also was executive counsel to former Gov. Dave Treen and was an adviser to former Gov. Edwin Edwards. Mouton was principal author of the legislation that created CODOFIL, a major step forward for the preservation of the Cajun heritage. He also was directly responsible for such projects as the Lafayette Regional Technical Vocational Institute, University Medical Center, the Cajundome, and Cajun Field. Funding for hundreds of miles of roads and bridges within the state were secured under his tenure. He died in Lafayette, Louisiana on March 24, 2016.

Nicholas Scoppetta (83) former New York fire commissioner who rebuilt the city’s decimated fire department in the years after the September 11 attacks. Scoppetta was FDNY commissioner from 2002–10 under Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He bolstered the spirits of the nation’s largest fire department through what the mayor called “its darkest days”—the loss of 340 firefighters at the World Trade Center. He died of cancer in New York City on March 24, 2016.

Fernando Solana (85) Mexico's foreign minister while the North American Free Trade Agreement was negotiated and signed. Solana was foreign minister for President Carlos Salinas de Gortari from 1988–93. He worked on the free trade agreement that created what was then the world's largest free-trade block, boosting commerce among Mexico, the US, and Canada. Solana also served other Mexican presidents as education and commerce secretary and was in Mexico's Senate. He died in Mexico City, Mexico on March 23, 2016.

Society and Religion

George Alvarado (??) terminally ill Arizona man. Alvarado, his wife Christina Fabian, and their 7-year-old son Giovanni visited Washington state in February as part of a bucket-list wish of Alvarado. The family was on a flight from Bellingham bound for the Phoenix area when the boy had an allergic reaction to dogs on board. The family initially tried new seats, but an on-call doctor recommended they get off the plane. The family had no issue with being removed but did object to several passengers vigorously cheering and clapping when they left. Giovanni became extremely upset. George Alvarado died of esophageal cancer in Phoenix, Arizona on March 24, 2016.

Peter Stanford (89) New Yorker who turned a boyhood obsession with boats into a commitment to preserve the South Street Seaport and commemorate the city's maritime history with a museum and a parade of tall ships celebrating the US bicentennial in 1976. Since then, Stanford and his successors have struggled to transform the city’s original port on the East River into a festive destination for tourists and New Yorkers alike, complete with historic ships, nautical craftsmen, maritime exhibits, and shops and seafood restaurants centered on the old Fulton Fish Market. Stanford died of a stroke in Croton-on-Hudson, New York on March 24, 2016.


Johan Cruyff (68) Dutch soccer star who ranked alongside such global luminaries as Pele, Diego Maradona, Franz Beckenbauer, and Lionel Messi. Cruyff was one of the best footballers of all time and learned his trade at Ajax Amsterdam before joining the great Barcelona. He played 48 times for the Netherlands, scoring 33 goals, and was more famous for his skills than soccer statistics. He was the embodiment of “Total Football,” a soccer philosophy that embraced high-speed skills and the ability to turn defense into attack in a flash. Cruyff died in Barcelona, Spain after a five-month battle with lung cancer, on March 24, 2016.

Glen Dawson (103) mountaineer whose historic climb of the East Face of Mount Whitney in 1931 was not just the first-known ascent of the formidable route, it was also one of the fastest. Completed in just 3 hours and 15 minutes, the ascent was one of California's first technical climbs with ropes. Then only 19, Dawson made the groundbreaking ascent with buddies Robert Underhill, Jules Eichorn, and Norman Clyde. Dawson continued climbing for years until the death of a friend in a climbing accident convinced him to quit. He died in Pasadena, California on March 22, 2016.

Joe Garagiola (90) former Major League catcher who achieved more lasting fame as a sports announcer and TV host after his retirement from baseball. Garagiola’s nine-year baseball career was a modest one; his 57 years in broadcasting that followed made him one of the most popular figures in the sports world and beyond. He thrived as a glib baseball broadcaster and fixture on the Today show, leading to a nearly 30-year association with NBC. Garagiola played for the Cardinals, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Chicago Cubs. He broke in with the Cardinals, got four hits in Game 4 of the 1946 Series against Boston, and batted .316 overall as St. Louis beat the Red Sox in seven games. He broke into broadcasting in 1955 as a radio and TV analyst for the Cardinals and spent 27 years at NBC, paired with Tony Kubek as lead broadcast team from 1976–82, then with Vin Scully from ‘84–88. Garagiola died in Scottsdale, Arizona on March 23, 2016.

Oliver ('Butch') Mousseau (48) college hockey referee who also had officiating experience in the minors and Canadian juniors. Mousseau fell during pregame warmups in Grand Rapids on March 18 and struck his head on the ice at Van Andel Arena. He was not wearing a helmet and had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher. He was to have worked a semifinal game between Michigan Tech and Ferris State but died a week after the accident in Grand Rapids, Michigan on March 25, 2016.

James Owens (65) Auburn's first black scholarship football player. A fullback, Owens played for the Tigers from 1970–72. The New Orleans Saints drafted him in the 11th round of the NFL Draft after his senior season at Auburn. The university created the James Owens Courage Award in 2012 to honor current or former players who had persevered through adversity. Owens died of renal and heart failure after battling heart problems, in Auburn, Alabama on March 26, 2016.

Gary Planos (62) former director of the Chicago-based Western Golf Association who moved to Hawaii in the '70s. Planos became head pro at Kapalua and a favorite tournament host among Professional Golf Association Tour players when he ran the Tournament of Champions. He was found dead at his home in Kapalua, Hawaii on March 26, 2016.

Trey Schwab (50) former Marquette men’s basketball assistant who later worked as an advocate for the University of Wisconsin organ donor program. Schwab was hired under former Marquette coach Tom Crean after working for the Continental Basketball Association and the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves. He was diagnosed with an incurable lung disease shortly after arriving at Marquette and two years later underwent a double lung transplant. After recovering, Schwab became an outreach coordinator for the transplant program at University Hospital. He died in Madison, Wisconsin 12 years after receiving his transplant, on March 20, 2016.

Kevin Turner (46) former NFL and Alabama football player. Turner helped to lead the Crimson Tide to a national championship in 1992 and was drafted by the New England Patriots. He later played for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1995–99 and was diagnosed with the neurological disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS; Lou Gehrig's disease) in 2010. After the diagnosis Turner was president of the Kevin Turner Foundation, which seeks to show the connections between repeated brain trauma and ALS in athletes. He died in Vestavia Hills, Alabama on March 24, 2016.

Previous Week
Next Week

Return to Main Page
Return to Top