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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, April 23, 2016

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Prince (born Prince Rogers Nelson), rock superstarDoris Roberts, meddling mother on 'Everybody Loves Raymond'Brian Asawa, operatic countertenorPatricio Aylwin, first elected president of Chile after Pinochet dictatorshipQi Benyu, aide to China's Mao ZedongRon Brace, New England Patriots defensive tackleBettye Caldwell, early childhood educatorBill Campbell, football coach turned Silicon Valley management guruHattie Dickson, sister of black woman killed by white mob in 1969Isabelle Dinoire, recipient of first face transplantRonit Elkabetz, Israeli actress and filmmakerGuy Hamilton, British film director of four James Bond moviesJames Haughton Jr., civil rights advocateWalter Kohn, Nobel Prize-winning scientistHans Koschnick, German administrator of Bosnian cityJoanie ('Chyna') Laurer, former WWE starRichard Lyons, founding member of NegativlandLonnie Mack, guitarist and singerMichelle McNamara, crime writer and wife of comedian Patton OswaltRichard Mosk, California Court of Appeals justiceDr. Tom Muecke, former Baylor quarterbackDr. Norman C. Nelson, University of Mississippi Medical Center chancellorMilt Pappas, major league pitcherRobert Price, right, with then-newly elected Mayor John V. Lindsay of NYC in 1965Madeleine Sherwood, Canadian-born stage, film, and TV actressBanharn Silpa-archa, former prime minister of ThailandElton Spitzer, operated '80s new wave rock radio stationLes Waas, adman who wrote Mr. Softee jingleHorace Ward, Georgia's first black federal court judgeDwayne ('Pearl') Washington, Syracuse basketball starVictoria Wood, British comedianJacques S. Yeager, headed California construction company

Business and Science

Bill Campbell (75) former Ivy League football coach who became a management guru for Apple cofounder Steve Jobs and other Silicon Valley luminaries. Although he wasn't widely known outside Silicon Valley, Campbell played a pivotal role in shaping the direction of both Apple and Google, two of the world's most powerful companies. Before joining Apple, he spent six seasons as head coach of Columbia University's football team, compiling a 12-41-1 record, a .231 winning percentage more than double that of his three successors. As a student at Columbia, Campbell was captain and an offensive guard on the football team that went 6-3 in 1961, including a 6-1 record in the Ivy League that earned the university a share of the conference title with Harvard; it's still the only time Columbia's football team won the Ivy League. Campbell died of cancer in Palo Alto, California on April 18, 2016.

Isabelle Dinoire (49) Frenchwoman who received the world’s first partial face transplant. Dinoire’s life with a new face was a miracle to many but was also marred by infections, kidney trouble, and hypertension linked to her treatment. After being severely disfigured by her pet Labrador, Dinoire was given a new nose, chin, and lips in a ground-breaking 15-hour operation in 2005. But despite what the hospital described as a “remarkable” transplant, she had health issues for years linked to the medication she took to keep her body from rejecting the new face, and she underwent new surgery last January. Soon afterward doctors discovered a malign tumor. Independent doctors who followed her case said she had lung cancer that might have been linked to her treatment, or to her lifetime of smoking. She died more than 10 years after the operation that set the stage for dozens of similar transplants worldwide, on April 22, 2016.

Walter Kohn (93) Austrian-born American scientist and former refugee who shared a Nobel Prize in chemistry—a subject he had last formally studied in high school. As a teenager, Kohn had escaped to England from Nazi-occupied Vienna less than a month before World War II erupted, found himself shipped to Canada as an “enemy alien,” and later built a long, distinguished academic career in the US, becoming an American citizen in 1957. He was awarded the chemistry prize by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1998; at the time he was teaching at UC Santa Barbara. He shared the award with John A. Pople, a British-born mathematician at Northwestern University. Kohn was credited with a discovery that applied quantum mechanics and advanced mathematics to explain complex chemical reactions. He died of jaw cancer in Santa Barbara, California on April 19, 2016.

Les Waas (94) advertising legend behind the Mister Softee jingle heard from hundreds of ice cream trucks for more than 50 years. The Mister Softee song, written in 1960 for the company that had started in Waas’s Philadelphia hometown just a few years earlier, played from the company's ice cream trucks. Soon the song became ubiquitous with ice cream, summer, and fun as the opening notes became instantly recognizable to anyone within earshot. Both loved and loathed, the jingle remains a lasting part of the collective American childhood. In his more than 50-year career, Waas wrote and produced more than 970 jingles for advertisers. He died in Warminster, Pennsylvania on April 19, 2016.

Jacques S. Yeager (94) former University of California regent who ran a construction business that expanded California's highways and left a mark on the state's political landscape. Yeager was president of E. L. Yeager Construction Co., a company his father started in 1919 that became one of the state's largest contractors. In its earliest days, the company built parking lots and streets in San Bernardino, but it eventually moved on to more ambitious projects, building part of historic Route 66, the 15 Freeway, and the 91 Freeway. Yeager died in Riverside, California on April 20, 2016.


Bettye Caldwell (91) proponent of a prekindergarten program that prepared poor children for elementary school and inspired Head Start. Throughout her career, Caldwell campaigned for what she called “educare”—early-childhood programs that begin in infancy and are integrated into the school experience rather than being relegated to separate custodial day care. In the early ‘60s Caldwell, then director of the Children’s Center at Syracuse University, collaborated on a pilot project that suggested children born to poor families developed normally until they were about 1 year old, but then declined intellectually compared with their peers. That decline could be prevented or arrested, the project concluded, by creating an environment for learning without breaking the bonds between infants and their families. Caldwell died of heart disease in St. Louis, Missouri on April 17, 2016.

Dr. Norman C. Nelson (86) former chancellor of the University of Mississippi Medical Center. The medical school’s student union is named after Nelson, who retired in 1994 after 21 years at the university. Before moving to Mississippi as vice chancellor for health affairs, he was dean of the Louisiana State University medical school in New Orleans. Under Nelson, the Mississippi Medical Center grew from two health professional schools, a teaching hospital, and a small research program to four health professional schools, a major teaching hospital, a robust research program—and the largest funded physical plant expansion package in the state’s educational history; 10 new buildings were authorized and constructed during his tenure. He died in Brandon, Mississippi on April 21, 2016.


Richard Mosk (76) California Court of Appeals justice who over more than 30 years of public service investigated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, chaired the Motion Picture Association’s ratings committee, and served at The Hague. The longtime Los Angeles resident was the son of the late California Supreme Court Justice Stanley Mosk (d. 2001), who for decades was the most liberal voice on the Republican-dominated court and served longer than any justice in state history. Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Richard Mosk died in Benedict Canyon, California on April 17, 2016.

Horace Ward (88) civil rights lawyer who became Georgia's first black federal court judge. Ward challenged segregationist practices at the University of Georgia in the early ‘50s. He had earned degrees from Morehouse College and Atlanta University, which later became Clark Atlanta; but his application to the University of Georgia law school was rejected in 1951, despite his qualifications. He launched a legal challenge against the university that helped to pave the way for the civil rights movement. Ward served in the Georgia Senate between 1965–74 and was appointed to the federal bench in ‘79 by President Jimmy Carter. He took senior judge status in 1994 and retired from the Northern District of Georgia in 2012. He died in Atlanta, Georgia on April 23, 2016.

News and Entertainment

Brian Asawa (49) one of the world’s foremost countertenors—men with the approximate vocal range of mezzo-sopranos—whose repertoire ran from the Renaissance to Rorem. Of Japanese ancestry, California-born Asawa was one of only a handful of such singers to enjoy international renown and was among the relatively few Asian-Americans to attain stardom in the world of classical singing. He appeared on the stages of the Metropolitan Opera, the Paris Opera, the Mostly Mozart Festival, Carnegie Hall, and elsewhere. He died of heart failure in Mission Hills, California on April 18, 2016.

Ronit Elkabetz (51) Israeli actress and filmmaker whose work earned her stardom in France and at home. Elkabetz won three of Israel’s equivalent of the Oscar. Her darkly comic roles made her a regular at the Cannes Film Festival for much of the past 15 years. She broke out of the French cinephile circle with Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalemm, nominated for a Golden Globe. Elkabetz died of cancer in Jerusalem, Israel on April 19, 2016.

Guy Hamilton (93) British movie director who directed four hugely popular James Bond films and raised the profile of the Bond movie brand through his work with actors Sean Connery and Roger Moore. Hamilton directed the Bond blockbusters Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, Live & Let Die, and The Man with the Golden Gun. He died on the Spanish island of Majorca on April 20, 2016.

Joanie ('Chyna') Laurer (45) World Wrestling Entertainment star who in the ‘90s became one of the best known and most popular female professional wrestlers in history. Tall, muscle-bound, raven-haired Chyna billed herself as the “9th Wonder of the World” because her wrestling predecessor Andre the Giant had already called himself the eighth. Chyna was a member of the wrestling squad that dubbed itself “D-Generation X,” often wrestled against men, and at one point was the WWE women's champion. After leaving the WWE in 2001, she posed for Playboy and appeared in adult films and on reality TV, including the shows The Surreal Life and Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. Chyna was found dead at her Redondo Beach, California home on April 20, 2016,

Richard Lyons (57) founding member of the subversive media-hacking band Negativland. Since the late ‘70s, Negativland has worked more as a collective with changing membership, using improvisation and audio waste and debris as raw materials. Its activities have included records, performances, and a radio show, Over the Edge, which has run continuously since 1981 on KPFA in Berkeley, California. Lyons died of nodular melanoma in Seattle, Washington on his 57th birthday, April 19, 2016.

Lonnie Mack (74) guitarist and singer whose instrumental recordings influenced guitar players including Stevie Ray Vaughan. Mack played sessions for record labels in Cincinnati with blues and rhythm-and-blues greats such as James Brown, Hank Ballard, and Freddie King. His 1963 instrumental recording of Chuck Berry’s “Memphis,” became a radio hit, and he followed that with “Wham!”—a tune that inspired the nickname “whammy bar” for the tremolo bar he had on his Gibson Flying V. He died in Nashville, Tennessee on April 21, 2016.

Michelle McNamara (46) crime writer and wife of comedian and actor Patton Oswalt (King of Queens, Ratatouille). McNamara founded the website True Crime Diary, which covers both breaking stories and cold cases. She died unexpectedly in her sleep in Los Angeles, California on April 21, 2016.

Prince (Rogers Nelson) (57) Minnesota rock musician who could play guitar like Carlos Santana or Jimi Hendrix, sing like James Brown, or turn out pop melodies worthy of Motown. But no one could mistake his sound for anyone but Prince. The talented and charismatic singer, songwriter, arranger, and instrumentalist drew on the history of modern popular music and created a gender- and genre-defying blend of rock, funk, and soul. With hits including “1999,” ‘‘Purple Rain,” and “Little Red Corvette,” Prince’s records sold more than 100 million copies and earned him Grammys and a 1985 Oscar for his music from the movie Purple Rain. He was found unresponsive in an elevator at his home, Paisley Park, in Chanhassen, Minnesota, a Minneapolis suburb, on April 21, 2016, and could not be revived. An investigation is pending.

Doris Roberts (90 actress who played the tart-tongued, meddling mother on CBS's Everybody Loves Raymond. Roberts won four Emmy Awards for her portrayal of Marie Barone on the show, receiving a total of seven nominations as best supporting actress for the sitcom. The 1996–2005 comedy about an affectionate but bickering extended family also starred Ray Romano, Brad Garrett, and Patricia Heaton. Peter Boyle, who played husband Frank Barone opposite Roberts, died in 2006. Roberts also appeared on stage and in a variety of movies, including The Rose, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, and Madea's Witness Protection. She died in her sleep in Los Angeles, California on April 17, 2016.

Madeleine Sherwood (93) Canadian-born stage, film, and TV actress best remembered as the strict but benevolent Rev. Mother Superior Placido in the ‘60s TV fantasy The Flying Nun with Sally Field. But Sherwood was better known to Broadway buffs for her 1953 breakout role in Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible, as Abigail, the minister's niece whose accusations of witchcraft trigger the Salem witch trials. She also reprised her stage roles in several film versions of plays by Tennessee Williams. She died at her childhood home in Saint-Hippolyte, Quebec, Canada, about 50 miles northwest of Montreal, on April 22, 2016.

Elton Spitzer (84) former food stand operator turned rock disk jockey. In 1982 Spitzer was running WLIR, a small rock-‘n’-roll radio station on the outskirts of New York that was struggling in a major market. Spitzer committed the station’s music menu to new sounds, loosening restraints on commercial radio deejays and giving them unusual freedom. The result was a phenomenon, as WLIR, broadcasting at a mere 3,000 watts from a studio in Hempstead on Long Island (its tower was in Garden City) made 92.7 FM a destination on the radio dial—especially for a youthful audience looking for a change from the album-oriented pop that blared from the region’s other, larger rock stations. Spitzer lost the station in 1987 when the Federal Communications Commission awarded the license to the frequency to another operator. He died of Parkinson’s disease in Baltimore, Maryland on April 17, 2016.

Victoria Wood (62) British comedian who blazed a trail for other female comics. Wood got her first break in 1974, winning the TV talent contest New Faces. As a woman from northwest England, she was an outsider in the world of British comedy but became a well-known standup and got her own TV show in the ‘80s with Victoria Wood as Seen on TV. One recurring segment was “Acorn Antiques,” a spoof soap opera complete with wobbly sets and even wobblier acting that many consider a comic classic. Wood won four British Academy TV awards, including acting and writing prizes for the 2006 drama Housewife, 49. In 2008 she was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II. Wood died of cancer in London, England on April 20, 2016.

Politics and Military

Patricio Aylwin (97) law professor who played a decisive role in restoring Chile’s democracy after 17 years of brutal dictatorship and was later elected president. Aylwin was at the center stage of Chilean politics for over 50 years, and despite being president, senator, and seven times head of his centrist Christian Democratic Party he often insisted he didn’t see himself as a leader. But Chileans viewed him as a key figure in efforts to prevent the bloody military coup that brought Gen. Augusto Pinochet to power, and they later elected Aylwin as the first president to follow the 1973–90 dictatorship. He died in Santiago, Chile on April 19, 2016.

Qi Benyu (84) Chinese Communist Party propagandist who climbed to power in the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution. Qi was an aide to Mao Zedong (d. 1976) and his powerful wife, Jiang Qing, and spent the rest of his life defending their legacy. He was the last surviving member of the Central Cultural Revolution Small Group, which Mao created in May 1966 to guide his tumultuous movement. To the end of Qi’s life, he revered Mao and remained unrepentant about the upheavals that erupted across China 50 years ago, even though he was purged by Mao, then jailed for nearly 20 years. He died of cancer in Shanghai, China on April 20, 2016.

Hans Koschnick (87) European Union administrator of the bitterly divided Bosnian city of Mostar. A Social Democrat, Koschnick governed the German city-state of Bremen from 1967–85. Internationally, he was probably best known for his tumultuous 20-month administration of Mostar, starting in July 1994 after months of brutal fighting. Koschnick was often caught between the divided city's feuding Muslim Bosniacs and Catholic Croats, between whom tensions remain today. In 1996 hundreds of Bosnian Croats attacked his armored car, firing 10 bullets into it, after his proposal to unify the city. He resigned a short time later. Koschnick died in Berlin, Germany on April 21, 2016.

Robert Price (83) political strategist who successfully managed John V. Lindsay’s (d. 2000) first mayoral campaign in New York in 1965 after delivering Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller his most crucial victory in a contested '64 presidential primary. Price followed Lindsay to City Hall as New York's youngest deputy mayor—at 33—in charge of operations. He served for barely a year, but in that brief tenure helped to negotiate an end to a 13-day strike by transit workers, the imposition of a city income tax, and increased financial concessions from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey in return for approval of a World Trade Center downtown. Price died of a brain hemorrhage in New York City on April 22, 2016.

Banharn Silpa-archa (83) provincial political powerbroker who served a scandal-ridden 16 months as Thailand’s prime minister in 1995–96. Banharn was considered a master of pork barrel politics, making his home province of Suphanburi, in Thailand’s central rice-growing region, one of the country’s most developed and prosperous-looking. His domination of politics and business there led to it being dubbed “Banharnburi.” But his wily political ways played out badly at the national level. Critics charged that corruption and mismanagement of the economy during his stint as PM paved the way for the collapse of Thailand’s currency, sparking the 1997 Asian financial crisis. He died after an asthma attack, in Bangkok, Thailand on April 23, 2016.

Society and Religion

Hattie Dickson (70) black woman who watched a white mob kill her sister during race riots nearly 50 years ago in Pennsylvania. Dickson was driving when a mob of armed white youths confronted her family in York, Pa. in July 1969. Her 27-year-old sister, Lillie Belle Allen, was shot when she got out of the car to take the wheel from Dickson after their car got stuck at a railroad crossing. Allen’s killing went unpunished until prosecutors reopened the case in 1999. Eventually, 10 white men were charged. Two were convicted, and seven pleaded guilty or no contest; one, the city’s mayor at the time of the prosecution, was acquitted. Dickson, who had to wait over 30 years for justice, died in York, Pennsylvania on April 18, 2016.

James Haughton Jr. (86) civil rights advocate who challenged racial barriers to hiring at construction sites in the ‘60s and ‘70s and promoted programs to train black and Hispanic apprentices in the building trades. Haughton was best known for breaking with more moderate proponents of equal opportunity in hiring and housing to form what became known in 1969 as Fight Back, a group based in Harlem. Fight Back documented discrimination; staged boycotts, protests, and sit-down strikes; and filed lawsuits against contractors and unions that were closed to newcomers. Haughton died in New York City of a chronic urinary tract infection on April 17, 2016.


Ron Brace (29) former New England Patriots defensive tackle. The Patriots drafted Brace in 2009 out of Boston College. He played 39 games, starting seven, for the team during an injury-shortened career from 2009–12. He died in Springfield, Massachusetts from an irregular heartbeat combined with a heart condition caused by high blood pressure, on April 23, 2016.

Dr. Tom Muecke (52) former Baylor quarterback, a two-time all-Southwest Conference star in the ‘80s who later played seven seasons in the Canadian Football League. Muecke starred under coach Grant Teaff in 1982–85 and began alternating snaps with Cody Carlson in ‘83. He then played seven seasons in the CFL with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Calgary Stampeders, and expansion Shreveport Pirates before finishing his football career as a nonactive player with the NFL’s Houston Oilers. After retiring in 1994, Muecke studied optometry and practiced it for the last 10 years of his life. He died of an apparent heart attack in Friendswood, Texas, a Houston suburb, on April 23, 2016.

Milt Pappas (76) baseball player who came within a disputed pitch of throwing a perfect game for the Chicago Cubs in 1972 and was part of the lopsided trade that brought Frank Robinson to Baltimore. The right-hander won 209 games during his 17-year career with the Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta Braves, and Cubs, finishing with a career earned run average of 3.40 to go along with 1,728 strikeouts and 43 shutouts. He also hit 20 home runs. Pappas died in Beecher, Illinois on April 19, 2016.

Dwayne ('Pearl') Washington (52) Syracuse University basketball star in the '80s who excited fans with his remarkable ball-handling skills, an uncanny court sense, elusiveness, and the ability to make an amazing play at the most opportune time. Washington's signature move was the crossover dribble—the “shake-and-bake”—that froze defenders, then a drive to the basket for an easy layup past the big men on defense in the middle. He had been coping with medical problems since a brain tumor was first diagnosed in 1995. He had surgery in August 2015 to address a cancerous tumor and recently required around-the-clock medical coverage and a wheelchair to move around. Washington died in New York City on April 20, 2016.

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