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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, May 7, 2016

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Colette Abbott, wife of University of South Dakota presidentDr. Anne Deborah Atai-Omoruto, Ugandan doctor who helped to fight Ebola in LiberiaJean-Baptiste Bagaza, deposed president of BurundiBob Bennett, US senator from UtahHarriet Carell, mother of actor Steve CarellRamón Carlín, Mexican businessman who won first Whitbread Round-the-World Race in 1974Irene Ciuffoletti, Pennsylvania's oldest residentHarold Garfinkel, created basketball summer camp and recruiting serviceCharles Gatewood, photographer who focused on subculturesReg Grundy, Australian TV mogulDavid Hall, former Oklahoma governorKaname Harada, WWII Japanese fighter pilotMichael S. Harper, Brown University poetMargot Honecker, former first lady of East GermanyCandye Kane, blues, swing, and rock performerSylvia Kauders, late-blooming character actressMadeleine LeBeau, French actress who appeared in 'Casablanca'Frank Levingston, believed to be oldest US WWII veteranTom Libous, former New York state senatorJames Lovelace, Navy SEAL traineeUrsula Mamlok, German-born composerErnest Michel, Holocaust survivorNicolas Noxon, Emmy-winning documentary filmmakerAnne Pershing, Nevada newspaper editor and columnistCarl Fredrik Reutersward, Swedish painter and sculptorDoug Rhoads, ACC football officiating coordinatorAfeni Shakur, mother of rapper Tupac ShakurMaurice Sinet, French satirical cartoonistKwame Somburu, '60s radical activistBill Henry Toledo, former Navajo Code TalkerIsao Tomita, Japanese electronic keyboardistKen Towery, small-town Texas Pulitzer winnerRet Turner, Emmy-winning TV costume designerIrwin Weinberg, collector and dealer of rare stampsJane White, Nevada sports editor and reporter

Art and Literature

Charles Gatewood (73) photographer who focused on the subcultures of strippers, sex-club devotees, bikers, body piercers, and fetishists. Gatewood earned his first paycheck as a photographer when, working for a Swedish news agency, he photographed Bob Dylan at a 1966 news conference in Stockholm. The photograph, “Dylan with Sunglasses & Cigarette,” was syndicated to publications around the world. Gatewood later worked as a free-lancer for Rolling Stone, covering political demonstrations, gay pride parades, and the downtown music and arts scenes in New York. He died in San Francisco, California from injuries he sustained nearly a month earlier when he apparently jumped from the balcony of his third-floor apartment on April 8 after leaving several suicide notes, on May 5, 2016.

Michael S. Harper (78) poet whose jazzy poems combined his personal experiences as a black man with a larger view of a history shared by black and white Americans, and a finalist for the National Book Award in poetry in 1978. Harper’s gifts were on display in one of his earliest poems, “Dear John, Dear Coltrane,” an elegy composed just before saxophonist John Coltrane’s death in 1967. In 1970, after teaching at California State College (now University) in Hayward, Harper joined the English faculty at Brown University, where he remained until retiring in 2013. He died on May 7, 2016.

Carl Fredrik Reutersward (81) one of Sweden’s best-known modern artists and creator of the iconic statue of a revolver barrel tied in a knot. A painter and sculptor who spent time in New York, Reutersward was shocked by the 1980 shooting of former Beatle John Lennon, inspiring him to create the gun statue he called Non Violence. One version of it sits outside the United Nations building in New York, with others in various cities around the world. Reutersward played a key role in establishing modern art in Sweden. He died in Stockholm, Sweden on May 3, 2016.

Maurice Sinet (87) former cartoonist for the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, whose Paris offices were attacked in 2015 by Islamic terrorists. Sinet often created controversy with his blunt views; he was known for his anarchist and anticlerical positions. Better known by his nickname, “Sine,” he was fired by Charlie Hebdo in 2008 for a column targeting a son of then-President Nicolas Sarkozy that triggered accusations of anti-Semitism. Sinet challenged his dismissal and was granted damages for wrongful termination of contract. He had been fighting cancer for several years and died after undergoing surgery in Paris, France on May 5, 2016.

Business and Science

Dr. Anne Deborah Atai-Omoruto (59) Ugandan doctor who went to Liberia at the height of the Ebola epidemic in 2014 and helped to turn the tide in the battle against the disease. At the request of the World Health Organization, Atai-Omoruto arrived in Liberia with a team of 14 Ugandan health workers. At the time the outbreak had reached the capital city, Monrovia. Nongovernmental organizations were pulling their workers out of the country, and many governments were unwilling to send medics. Eventually 4,810 people in Liberia died of the disease and 10,678 were infected, making the country the hardest-hit in the region. Atai-Omoruto and her team began training more than 1,000 Liberian health workers on how to manage Ebola patients and protect themselves from infection. She also managed a large treatment unit known as the Island Clinic, a joint initiative of the Liberian government and the WHO. Atai-Omoruto died of pancreatic cancer in Kampala, Uganda on May 5, 2016.

Irwin Weinberg (88) collector and dealer of rare stamps known for concocting publicity stunts to attract buyers. Weinberg once co-owned the world’s most expensive postage stamp: the 1-cent magenta from British Guiana, issued in 1856; it is the only such stamp known to exist. Weinberg bought it in 1970 for a group of investors for $280,000, a record at the time. In 1980 he sold it to John E. du Pont (d. 2010), an heir to the Du Pont chemical fortune, who paid $935,000 for the stamp at auction. Du Pont’s estate sold the stamp in 2014 for $9.5 million. Weinberg died in Kingston, Pennsylvania on May 2, 2016.


Colette Abbott (59) wife of University of South Dakota President James Abbott. Colette Pugh grew up in Pierre, attended USD, and married James Abbott in 1987; they have three adult daughters and two grandchildren. James Abbott became the school's 17th president in 1997 and presided over a period of substantial growth, including the school's transition to Division I sports. Colette Abbott had recently been diagnosed with cancer and was awaiting surgery when she died suddenly and unexpectedly in Vermillion, South Dakota on May 4, 2016.

News and Entertainment

Harriet Carell (90) mother of actor Steve Carell. Harriet Carell died in Acton, Massachusetts, one day before Mother’s Day, on May 7, 2016.

Reg Grundy (92) Australian TV mogul who helped to create the wildly popular Aussie soap opera Neighbours. Grundy began his career in radio before moving to TV, where his production company created some of Australia’s most beloved TV programs, including Sons & Daughters, Prisoner, and a slew of game shows. But he was best known for helping to bring the long-running drama Neighbours to screens across the globe. The show, which began airing in 1985 and launched the careers of several celebrities, including pop star Kylie Minogue, remains popular in many countries, particularly Britain. Grundy died in Bermuda on May 6, 2016.

Candye Kane (54) Los Angeles-raised blues, swing, and rock performer who preached self-acceptance and whose song “The Toughest Girl Alive” gained new meaning as she performed for years with cancer. Kane had been a phone-sex operator before emerging as a musician and recording more than a dozen albums. Her music earned an international following and championed LGBT people and others. She had been ill with pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer for about eight years and died in Los Angeles, California on May 6, 2016.

Sylvia Kauders (94) late-blooming character actress, many of whose bit parts in movies and TV series described her only as “old Jewish lady.” Lauders had worked for 30 years or so as Philadelphia’s director of special events when she took up acting professionally. She was about 60 at the time; making New York her second home, she found an agent and began auditioning. Before long she became a familiar face to film and TV viewers, playing scores of small but memorable roles. Filmgoers may remember her as the camera-toting tourist in Witness (1985) with Harrison Ford, as the pokey woman in the supermarket checkout line in American Splendor (2003) with Paul Giamatti, as Billy Crystal’s aunt in Analyze That (2002), as the woman who wields a broom against a space alien in Predator 2 (1990), and as Gussie, a tenant who appeals to a politician to avoid being evicted, in the Al Pacino drama City Hall (1990). Kauders died of a heart attack in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 5, 2016.

Madeleine LeBeau (92) French actress best known for her small but impactful role in Casablanca (1942) as Rick’s pushed-aside girlfriend Yvonne who passionately sings “La Marseillaise” at a pivotal moment in the film. After appearing in one French film in the late '30s, LeBeau fled France in 1940 before the Nazi invasion. She appeared in minor roles in two Warner Brothers films before playing Yvonne, but her contract was terminated before Casablanca was released. She appeared in two more Hollywood features before returning to France after the war. She died in Spain after suffering a thigh-bone fracture, on May 1, 2016.

Ursula Mamlok (93) German-born composer who fled the Nazis and later established an esteemed career in New York. Mamlok, who moved back to Berlin in 2006, was for decades a fixture of the New York contemporary music scene. A longtime faculty member of the Manhattan School of Music, she was known in particular for her chamber music, piano works, and vocal pieces. Her compositions have been performed by some of the world’s leading soloists, orchestras, and chamber ensembles. She died in Berlin, Germany on May 4, 2016.

Nicolas Noxon (79) Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker whose subjects included wild animals, the remains of humanity’s ancestors, and the undersea wreck of the Titanic. Noxon wrote, directed, and produced or helped to produce many films for National Geographic, including The Great Whales (1978) and Tigers of the Snow (1997), both of which won Emmys. His most successful work was Secrets of the Titanic, released on video in 1986 and shown on TV in ’87. It followed Robert Ballard’s successful quest to locate the lost ocean liner miles beneath the surface of the North Atlantic in 1985. Noxon died of pancreatic cancer in Westlake Village, California on May 3, 2016.

Anne Pershing (71) longtime newspaper editor and columnist, known for championing social causes in the northern Nevada communities she covered. At her death Pershing was still writing her weekly “Grandma with Attitude” column in the Reno Gazette-Journal. She was found dead of suspected heart disease at her home in Reno, Nevada on May 5, 2016.

Afeni Shakur (69) mother of the late rap star Tupac Shakur. Alice Faye Williams changed her name to Afeni Shakur as an adult when she became a political activist and joined the Black Panther movement. She was pregnant with Tupac in 1971 and incarcerated while she and other Panthers faced conspiracy charges that were later dismissed. Afeni was an inspiration for her son's music and oversaw his music catalogue and legacy after his death in 1996 at age 25, victim of a drive-by shooting; his murder remains unsolved. Afeni Shakur died in Sausalito, California on May 2, 2016.

Isao Tomita (84) Japanese musician, widely considered the father of Japanese electronic music. In 1974 Tomita released an LP, Snowflakes Are Dancing, containing his electronic keyboard renditions of a string of Debussy pieces. The album sold hundreds of thousands of copies and was nominated for a Grammy. Tomita died in Tokyo, Japan on May 5, 2016.

Ken Towery (93) small-town Texas journalist who won the 1955 Pulitzer Prize for local reporting at the Cuero Daily Record for a series of articles exposing corruption at the Texas Veterans Land Board that helped to imprison longtime Land Commissioner James Bascom Giles. Before joining the newspaper, Towery had served with the US Army in the Philippines. He was captured by Japanese troops overrunning the island fortress Corregidor in 1942 and spent nearly four years as a prisoner of war. He died in Austin, Texas on May 2, 2016.

Ret Turner (87) Emmy-winning costume designer who worked with many of TV’s biggest stars in the ‘70s and ‘80s, including Lucille Ball, Perry Como, Carol Burnett, Andy Williams, and Cher. Turner partnered with two other designers whose fashions had become famous on red carpets and on TV and film screens, Bob Mackie and Ray Aghayan, and later designed for The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, The Donny & Marie Show, Mama’s Family, and the Carol Burnett series Carol & Company, along with Dolly Parton, Diana Ross, Dinah Shore, and the Kennedy Center’s 25th-anniversary show in 1996. He died in West Hollywood, California on May 4, 2016.

Politics and Military

Jean-Baptiste Bagaza (69) deposed president of Burundi, a landlocked but densely populated central African nation, who invested heavily in infrastructure but persecuted Catholics and did little to make his small, poor, and ethnically fractured country a stable democracy. Bagaza seized power in a 1976 coup and was ousted, also in a coup, in ‘87. He died in Brussels, Belgium on May 4, 2016.

Bob Bennett (82) former US senator (R-Utah, 1992–2010) who avoided the spotlight but earned a reputation as someone who knew how to get things done in Washington. Bennett was widely seen at home as politically moderate, which at times put him at odds with Utah's conservative Republican base. In 2015 he was diagnosed with cancer that started in his pancreas but had spread to his stomach and near his liver. He had a stroke on April 11 that paralyzed the left side of his body and left him unable to stand or swallow. He was receiving hospice care in Arlington, Virginia when he died on May 4, 2016.

David Hall (85) former Oklahoma governor who maintained his innocence long after an indictment complicated his public legacy. Hall served one term as a Democrat governor, from 1971–75, and was indicted on federal racketeering and extortion charges three days after leaving office. He was later convicted of bribery and extortion and served 19 months of a three-year sentence. Still he maintained his innocence and wrote a book about his experience. He was already hospitalized when doctors discovered a blood clot. Hall died after suffering a stroke, in La Jolla, California on May 6, 2016.

Kaname Harada (99) former fighter ace believed to be the last surviving combat pilot to fly for Japan at Pearl Harbor. Harada became an apostle of pacifism 50 years later out of remorse over the deaths he caused. He was credited by Japan with shooting down nine Chinese, British, and American aircraft on his own. He also shared 10 downings with other pilots in combat over Manchuria, Ceylon, Midway, and Guadalcanal from 1937–42. Harada died in Nagano, Japan, northwest of Tokyo, on May 3, 2016.

Margot Honecker (89) former East German first lady, widow of the country's second leader, Erich Honecker (d. 1994), who supervised the building of the Berlin Wall. Margot Honecker defended the now-vanished Communist country to the end. She had been education minister and dictated what children in rigidly orthodox East Germany learned for 26 years. She said youngsters must defend socialism “…if necessary, with a weapon in the hand.” Unrepentant about the country’s record of repression, she died in exile in Santiago, Chile on May 6, 2016.

Frank Levingston (110) Louisiana man described by several media outlets as the US's oldest World War II veteran, but that could not be independently confirmed. Levingston enlisted in the Army on October 6, 1942, less than a year after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. In December 2015, he was part of a group of veterans who traveled to Washington, DC for a ceremony marking the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Before the trip he was honored at a hometown ceremony. He died in Lake Charles, Louisiana on May 3, 2016.

Tom Libous (63) longtime New York state senator who helped to lead its Republican majority before his conviction in 2015 for lying to the FBI. First elected in 1988, Libous lost his seat as the Senate’s deputy majority leader after being convicted last July. Prosecutors said he lied to agents asking how his son Matthew got a $150,000-a-year law firm job. The conviction cost the Binghamton lawyer his Senate seat. He was sentenced to six months of house arrest and a $50,000 fine. Libous died of cancer in Endicott, New York on May 3, 2016.

James Lovelace (21) Navy SEAL trainee. Lovelace was in his first week of training as a SEAL after joining the US Navy about six months earlier. He was pulled out of a pool after showing signs he was having difficulty while treading in a camouflage uniform and a dive mask. The exercise is designed to assess students' competency, confidence, and safety in the water. Lovelace lost consciousness after being pulled out of the pool and was taken to a civilian hospital, where he was pronounced dead, in Coronado, California on May 6, 2016. Navy officials are investigating.

Kwame Somburu (81) ‘60s radical who vainly sought elective office as a perennial candidate of the Socialist Workers Party in New York and California. Born Paul Boutelle, he sold the Great Books of the Western World series door-to-door and voted straight Republican in 1956, then became a public school teacher who adopted the name of a Kenyan tribe and embraced a Trotskyite scientific socialism forged in anti-imperialism and class-conscious black nationalism. Somburu renounced violence but echoed Malcolm X’s credo of gaining black power “by any means necessary.” He died of kidney cancer in Albany, New York on May 3, 2016.

Bill Henry Toledo (92) Navajo Code Talker. Toledo enlisted in the US Marine Corps in 1942, helping to use the Navajo language to outsmart the Japanese in World War II. He served in the Pacific corridor during the war and spent three years as a Code Talker. He was active in the Navajo Code Talker Association later in life. He died in Grants, New Mexico on May 5, 2016.

Society and Religion

Irene Ciuffoletti (113) woman believed to be Pennsylvania’s oldest resident. The Gerontology Research Group, which tracks people older than 110 worldwide, said Ciuffoletti was Pennsylvania’s oldest resident and fourth-oldest in the US. She was listed as the 16th oldest person overall. She was born in 1903 in Santa Arsenio, Italy, and emigrated to New Kensington, Pa. in 1912. She married in 1922 and never remarried after her husband, Emilio, died in ‘57 at age 66. Irene Ciuffoletti was preceded in death by four of their five sons. She died in Greenburg, Pennsylvania on May 7, 2016.

Ernest Michel (92) Holocaust survivor who escaped death at Auschwitz because of a calligraphy course he had taken at his father’s insistence. Michel's penmanship became flawless, and the Nazis used that skill to falsify the death certificates of his fellow inmates, hoping to hide the actual cause of death: extermination. Michel eventually escaped his captors on a death march between concentration camps, immigrated to the US in 1946, and worked for Jewish causes. He raised hundreds of millions of dollars for the United Jewish Appeal, helped to persuade the Mormon Church to stop the posthumous baptizing of Holocaust victims, and convened a world gathering of more than 6,000 fellow survivors in Jerusalem in 1981. He died of dementia in New York City on May 7, 2016.


Ramón Carlín (92) Mexican washing-machine magnate, a 50-year-old sailboat skipper of little experience when he entered—and won—the first Whitbread Round-the-World Race, a death-defying competition of more than seven months and 27,000 nautical miles across storm-tossed and near-frozen seas. Seventeen yachts of varying styles and dimensions set out from Portsmouth, England on September 8, 1973 for the first Whitbread competition, a much-ballyhooed regatta often called the first fully crewed sailing race to circumnavigate the globe. Now known as the Volvo Ocean Race and last held in 2014–15, the first race was something of a novelty. Some 3,000 spectator boats followed the contestants out of Portsmouth harbor. Carlín's yacht Sayula II finished in 133 days 13 hours, nearly two days sooner than the runner-up. He died in Mexico City, Mexico on May 5, 2016.

Harold Garfinkel (86) creator of one of basketball's top summer camps and recruiting services. Garfinkel ran Five-Star Camp in Honesdale, Pennsylvania from 1966–2008. It was a typical sports summer camp, except that the campers were some of the top high school players in the country and the counselors were college players and college coaches—when they were allowed to attend before NCAA rules ended it. Among the camp attendees were Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Moses Malone, and just about every player looking for outstanding competition in the offseason. Garfinkel died of lung cancer in New York City after being hospitalized with pneumonia, on May 7, 2016.

Doug Rhoads (71) former Atlantic Coast Conference football officiating coordinator. Rhoads spent nearly 30 years as an on-field official in the ACC before taking over as the league’s coordinator of football officiating in 2007. He retired in February 2015 and was replaced by Dennis Bennigan. Rhoads died of pancreatic cancer in Greensboro, North Carolina on May 5, 2016.

Jane White (51) former longtime Beatrice (Neb.) Daily Sun sports editor and reporter. White was well known throughout southeast Nebraska for her coverage of high school and University of Nebraska/Lincoln sports. She won several awards from the Nebraska Press Association for her photography and writing. She was among the organizers of the MUDECAS basketball and volleyball tournaments hosted by Beatrice for area schools. The MUDECAS boys basketball tournament is the longest-running tournament in the state. White died of complications after surgery in Lincoln, Nebraska on May 5, 2016.

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