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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, May 28, 2016

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Burt Kwouk, actor in 'Pink Panther' filmsGiorgio Albertazzi, Italian theater and film actor and directorKenneth S. Axelson, J. C. Penney executive who helped to fix NYC's 1975 fiscal crisisAdolf Born, Czech artist and illustratorCassandra Butts, former deputy White House counselAny Cabrera, AP journalist who covered Latin AmericaCharles Clifford Cameron, North Carolina banking executiveLoris Francesco, Cardinal Capovilla, former secretary to Pope John XXIIIDonn Chappellet, Napa Valley winemakerSuzanne Corkin, neuroscientist who studied memory disorder of amnesiac 'H. M.'Michael Dann, '50s–'60s network TV programmerTom DeLeone, Cleveland Browns centerNancy Dow, mother of actress Jennifer AnistonHarriet, Minnesota eagle who visited veterans' hospitalsWaverly Easley, former president of Philadelphia TribuneHedy Epstein, Holocaust survivor and social activistJoe Fleishaker, 500-pound actor known for horror filmsMarcus Gordon, Mississippi state judge who presided over 'Mississippi Burning' trialCharles M. Harper, ConAgra executive who introduced Healthy Choice line of frozen foodsDon Horton, assistant football coach at NC State and Boston CollegeYang Jiang, acclaimed Chinese writerConnie Kopelev, right, and her wife, Phyllis Siegal, on their wedding dayMell Lazarus, cartoonist of two popular comic stripsJohn Margolies, photographer of America's kitschy roadside architectureFrank Modell, 'New Yorker' cartoonistAnne Marie Nzie, Cameroon singerTodd Oakes, Minnesota pitching coachAngela Paton, stage, film, and TV actressNanette Rainone, NYC feminist radio programmerTona Vives, mother of Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky RubioKenneth Walton, '80s FBI agent who headed NYC officeMorton White, Princeton philosopher and historian of ideasBob Williams, Notre Dame quarterback who later played for Chicago BearsVelimir Bata Zivojinovic, former Yugoslavia’s best-known film star

Art and Literature

Adolf Born (85) Czech painter, illustrator, cartoonist, caricaturist, and author of animated movies for children. Born's paintings and pictures have been displayed at exhibitions around the globe. He received various international rewards and honors, including the Grand Prix at the International Salon of Cartoons in Montreal and the Knight of the Order of Arts & Letters in France. In his homeland, he was loved by children for his animated movies, among them the Mach & Sebestova cartoon series about two schoolmates whose dreams become reality with help from a magical telephone receiver. Born died in Prague, Czech Republic on May 22, 2016.

Yang Jiang (104) Chinese writer known for her prolific output and marriage to an equally famous author, Qian Zhongshu (d. 1998), best known for his novel Fortress Besieged. Born in 1911, Yang became a household name in China for her novels, plays, essays, and translated works. She was the first to translate Don Quixote into Chinese, and her version is still considered the definitive one by many. In a 1981 collection of essays, Yang wrote on the daily lives of Chinese intellectuals during the chaos of the Cultural Revolution, when scholars and intellectuals were forced to perform hard labor. Her 2003 essay collection We Three, about her family life with her late husband and their daughter, was a best-seller. Yang died in Beijing, China on May 25, 2016.

Mell Lazarus (89) Brooklyn high school dropout who became a successful cartoonist, creating two popular comic strips, one about a mythically sweet schoolteacher and another modeled on his own demanding mother. Lazarus’s most enduring strip was “Miss Peach,” which ran in newspapers from 1957–2002. In 1970 Lazarus started a simultaneous strip, “Momma,” which revolved around “an aging widow,” as he put it, “desperately trying to retain control of her aging children.” Lazarus wrote and drew more than 33,000 strips; 400 newspapers still carry “Momma.” He died of Alzheimer's disease in Los Angeles, California on May 24, 2016.

John Margolies (76) America's foremost photographer of vernacular architecture—the coffee shops shaped like coffeepots, the gas station shaped like a teapot (the Teapot Dome Service Station in Zillah, Wash.), and the motels shaped like wigwams, zeppelins, and railroad cars that once stood along America’s highways. Starting in the ‘70s, Margolies spent much of his life scouring backroads for those vanishing emblems of mid-20th-century enterprise, already imperiled by air travel, interstates, and big-box sprawl. Over more than 30 years and 100,000 miles he produced tens of thousands of images, resulting in several richly illustrated books, including John Margolies: Roadside America (2010). He died 10 days after his 76th birthday, on May 26, 2016.

Frank Modell (98) classically trained artist who contributed more than 1,400 cartoons to the New Yorker—usually, he said, “…of angry men and sexy women and dogs”—during an illustrious era for the magazine. For more than 50 years, beginning in 1946, Modell’s moon-faced characters leaped from the New Yorker’s pages in a constant state of exasperation or pandemonium, expressing readers' everyday vexations. Modell died in Guilford, Connecticut on May 27, 2016.

Business and Science

Kenneth S. Axelson (93) J. C. Penney executive who was foisted on New York City Hall as a deputy mayor during the 1975 fiscal crisis to restore integrity to the city’s extravagant budget. Axelson left after a year with his goal largely accomplished. At the time a senior vice president of finance and administration at the department-store chain, he was enlisted by Mayor Abraham D. Beame at the urging of Gov. Hugh L. Carey and the bankers and other bondholders who had precipitated the crisis by refusing the city’s routine request to borrow more money. As first deputy mayor for finance, Axelson profoundly influenced the administration’s grudging response to what Mayor Beame himself acknowledged were years of “fiscal gymnastics” that had burdened the city with a $3.3 billion cumulative deficit. Axelson died of chronic kidney failure in Rockport, Maine on May 23, 2016.

Charles Clifford Cameron (96) man credited with building Charlotte’s reputation as a banking hub before joining Gov. Jim Martin’s administration to help with budget matters. Cameron was chief executive of First Union from 1966–84, competing with North Carolina National Bank and Wachovia and turning Charlotte into a national banking center. After retiring from First Union, Cameron became Martin’s budget leader, working to create reserves to help the state in bad times. Cameron died in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 28, 2016.

Donn Chappellet 84) winemaker whose cabernets, produced at his Chappellet Vineyard, helped to establish the Napa Valley as a serious rival to Bordeaux. Chappellet began collecting serious Burgundies and Bordeaux when he was still in college but until he was in his 30s devoted most of his time to Interstate United Corp., a coffee-vending distributorship he cofounded in the mid-‘50s, which he helped to turn into the third-largest such business in the US, with more than 7,000 employees and a listing on the New York Stock Exchange. In 1966 Chappellet bought 320 acres at the eastern edge of the Napa Valley and built a winery on the property; it was only the second to be built in the Napa Valley since Prohibition, after the Robert Monday estate. The Chappellet winery released its first official cabernet vintage in 1969. Donn Chappellet died in St. Helena, California on May 22, 2016.

Suzanne Corkin (79) neuroscientist whose work with a famous amnesiac known as H. M. helped to clarify the biology of memory and its disorders. Corkin met the man who became a lifelong subject and collaborator in 1964, when she was a graduate student in Montreal at McGill University. Henry Molaison—known in published reports as H. M. to protect his privacy—was a middle-aged former motor repairman who had lost the ability to form new memories after having two slivers of his brain removed to treat severe seizures when he was 27. He died in 2008. Corkin died of liver cancer in Danvers, Massachusetts, six days after her 79th birthday, on May 24, 2016.

Charles M. Harper (88) executive who transformed a faltering food company called ConAgra into a global giant to rival Kraft and Kellogg. Harper's own health issues inspired the creation of the brand Healthy Choice. In 1985, when ConAgra‘s expansion was in full swing, Harper had a heart attack and was forced to change his eating habits. That led him to introduce a line of lower-calorie products, which ended up being called Healthy Choice. Harper died in Omaha, Nebraska on May 28, 2016.


Morton White (99) Princeton philosopher and historian of ideas whose theory of “holistic pragmatism” showed the way toward a more socially engaged, interdisciplinary role for philosophy. White was best known to generations of history and philosophy undergraduates as editor of two standard classroom texts. The first was The Age of Analysis (1955), an anthology of writings from key 20th-century philosophers, for which he supplied an introduction and commentary. The second, edited with his then-wife, sociologist Lucia White, was The Intellectual Versus the City: From Thomas Jefferson to Frank Lloyd Wright (1962). It surveyed the conflicted American attitudes about the merits of rural and urban life. White died in Skillman, New Jersey on May 27, 2016.


Marcus Gordon (84) Mississippi state judge who presided over the “Mississippi Burning” trial in 2005. Gordon sentenced Edgar Ray Killen to 60 years in prison after a mixed-race jury convicted the reputed former Ku Klux Klan leader of manslaughter in the 1964 kidnap-slaying of three civil rights workers in Neshoba County. The revival of the cold case from the civil rights era marked the first time state prosecutors had brought charges in what the FBI called the “Mississippi Burning” investigation. Killen was convicted on June 21, 2005—41 years to the day after the killings of Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman. Two days later, Gordon sentenced Killen to the maximum of 20 years on each of the three counts of manslaughter. Killen, now 91, remains in prison. Gordon was hospitalized after falling and breaking his hip in April. He died in Jackson, Mississippi on May 26, 2016.

Kenneth S. Walton (76) flamboyant official with the FBI who galvanized the agency’s New York office against violent political radicals and entrenched organized crime bosses in the early ‘80s. Walton died of throat cancer in Albuquerque, New Mexico on May 25, 2016.

News and Entertainment

Giorgio Albertazzi (92) Italian theater and film actor and director famed especially for playing, well into old age, the emperor’s role based on Memories of Hadrian. On stage, often in Shakespeare’s plays, Albertazzi worked with some of Italy’s most celebrated directors, including Luchino Visconti, for whom he debuted in 1949, and Franco Zeffirelli. He was most identified with a role he played more than 1,000 times and into his 90s in Italy and abroad—that of Hadrian, drawing on Marguerite Yourcenar’s popular book. He died in his native Tuscany, Italy, on May 28, 2016.

Giorgio Albertazzi (92) Italian theater and film actor and director famed especially for playing, well into old age, the emperor’s role based on Memories of Hadrian. On stage, often in Shakespeare’s plays, Albertazzi worked with some of Italy’s most celebrated directors, including Luchino Visconti, for whom he debuted in 1949, and Franco Zeffirelli. He was most identified with a role he played more than 1,000 times and into his 90s in Italy and abroad—that of Hadrian, drawing on Marguerite Yourcenar’s popular book. He died in his native Tuscany, Italy, on May 28, 2016.

Any Cabrera (60) veteran Associated Press journalist who covered many of Latin America's biggest stories during 33 years as a reporter and editor. Cabrera was news editor of the AP's Spanish-language news service, based in Mexico City. She worked with reporters across Latin America and some in Spain and the US. She had been complaining of feeling poorly the day before she died suddenly at her home in Mexico City, Mexico on May 23, 2016.

Michael Dann (94) one of the most powerful and effective programmers in network TV in the ‘50s and ‘60s, who brought The Defenders, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and 60 Minutes to the small screen, along with less prestigious but enormously popular shows like Hee Haw and The Beverly Hillbillies. Dann began his TV career at NBC, where he worked alongside Pat Weaver as he transformed the network and created such innovative programs as Today and Tonight. At CBS, where he rose to become head of programming in 1963, Dann proved an astute judge of audience appeal, a master of scheduling, and a shrewd marketer. He died in Boca Raton, Florida on May 27, 2016.

Nancy Dow (79) mother of actress Jennifer Aniston. Dow was a model who acted on TV in the ‘60s, including appearances on The Beverly Hillbillies and The Wild Wild West. Aniston told the Hollywood Reporter in 2015 that her relationship with her mother was strained at times, saying there were years when they didn't speak. She told the magazine that her mother was very unforgiving and held petty grudges. Dow was married twice; her first husband was Jack Melick, father of Aniston's half-brother John Melick. Her second was Aniston's father, soap opera star John Aniston. Both marriages ended in divorce. Dow died in Los Angeles, California on May 25, 2016.

Waverly Easley (91) former president of the Philadelphia Tribune, the US's oldest continuously published black newspaper. Easley spent 35 years at the Tribune, working as business manager, controller, executive vice president, and general manager. He was president and chief executive for his last 10 years, from 1979–89. He died in Spring City, Pennsylvania on May 28, 2016.

Joe Fleishaker (62) 500-pound actor known for his work in low-budget horror films. Fleishaker had appeared in several such films, including playing “The Toxic Avenger” in three Troma Productions films. He also made repeat appearances on the NBC comedy show Late Night with David Letterman. Fleishaker had worked as a computer programmer until about 2006. He had been in rehab facilities for several years after being diagnosed with congestive heart failure. He was hospitalized May 20 and died unexpectedly three days later in New York City on May 23, 2016.

Burt Kwouk (85) British-born actor who played martial arts expert Cato Fong in the comic Pink Panther films. Cato was a manservant whose job was to attack bumbling Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers) when he least expected it. Kwouk appeared in the James Bond films Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice and in the 1967 Bond spoof Casino Royale. He also had roles in the popular ‘60s TV series Secret Agent, The Avengers, and The Saint. Kwouk made screen appearances into his 80s, including a regular role on the long-running British sitcom Last of the Summer Wine. In 2011 he was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II for services to drama. He died in London, England on May 24, 2016.

Anne Marie Nzie (84) singer known as the golden voice of Cameroon. Nzie was known for her role in promoting Cameroon's Bikutsi music and for defending human rights. Her most cherished song in Cameroon, “Liberte,” was considered rebellious at the time that the country gained independence from France in 1960. Nzie had been ill since May 8; she died in Yaounde, Cameroon just two weeks before a planned concert by Cameroonian musicians in her honor, on May 24, 2016.

Angela Paton (86) actress best known for appearing with Bill Murray in Groundhog Day (1993). Paton played Mrs. Lancaster, the kindly, elderly, small-town innkeeper who played host to Murray on his never-ending day. She had 91 film and TV credits, nearly all of them after she was in her late 50s. Before that she had a long stage career based mostly in the San Francisco Bay Area, and founded a theater in Berkeley. She most recently appeared in a 2012 run of Harvey on Broadway. Her movie credits also include American Wedding (2003) and the 1997 Lolita remake. Paton died in Oakland, California, where she had been in hospice care after a recent heart attack, on May 26, 2016.

Velimir Bata Zivojinovic (82) former Yugoslavia’s best-known film star who was also popular in China. Zivojinovic was said to have played the most film roles in the former Communist-run multiethnic federation, mostly portraying partisan fighters battling the German Nazi occupation during World War II. His most famous movie, Walter Defends Sarajevo, made Zivojinovic a star in China. The 1972 film about partisan resistance in the city was one of the few foreign films shown in China at the time, offering a glimpse into the outside world. Zivojinovic was suffering from several chronic conditions and recently had a leg amputated. He died in Belgrade, Serbia on May 22, 2016.

Politics and Military

Cassandra Butts (50) former deputy White House counsel and a classmate and friend of US President Barack Obama. Butts was deputy counsel during Obama’s first year in office. She left the next year to serve as a senior adviser to the Millennium Challenge Corp. Obama nominated Butts in 2014 as US ambassador to the Bahamas; hers was one of several nominations that the Senate has failed to act on. Butts had suffered from a brief illness. Her sister found her dead in her Washington, DC home on May 26, 2016.

Nanette Rainone (73) reporter and programmer at New York radio station WBAI in the late ‘60s and early ’70s who created some of the first programs dedicated to feminism and women’s issues. Rainone was a volunteer at the station in 1969 when she developed the idea for Womankind, a feminist news and information radio show that included interviews. At the time feminism was struggling to earn a place in left-wing politics, where radical ideas still coexisted with sexist attitudes. Rainone hoped to overcome that paradox, taking a point of view shaped by her membership in groups like the Feminists and New York Radical Feminists. She died of breast cancer in New York City on May 23, 2016.

Society and Religion

Loris Francesco, Cardinal Capovilla (100) personal secretary to Pope John XXIII. Capovilla helped to prepare the Roman Catholic hierarchy for the opening of the Second Vatican Council. He was a priest when he met Angelo Giuseppe, Cardinal Roncalli, the future pope, in Venice in 1953. Roncalli had just been installed as patriarch of Venice in 1953. The two men formed an instant rapport. Roncalli engaged Capovilla as his private secretary and, after the death of Pius XII in 1958, as one of his representatives to the papal conclave convened to elect a new pope. After his election to the papacy, Pope John took his assistant with him to the Vatican. In early 2014, Pope Francis announced Capovilla’s appointment as cardinal. He died in Bergamo, Italy on May 26, 2016.

Harriet the Eagle (35) one of Minnesota’s most famous eagles. Harriet had lived at the National Eagle Center in Wabasha since 2000, two years after she suffered severe injuries in a collision with a vehicle that left her unable to fly and unable to return to the wild. She was a popular attraction at the Center. Her regular visits to veterans' hospitals landed her image on Minnesota’s Support Our Troops license plate. She was easily recognizable thanks to a feather tuft on her head, a result of her injuries from the 1998 accident. The Center said her visible injuries made her a symbol of hope for wounded warriors. Harriet was euthanized in Wabasha, Minnesota because of declining health, on May 25, 2016.

Hedy Epstein (91) Holocaust survivor who spoke widely about the persecution of the Jews in Germany and spent most of her adult life working for a broad range of social justice movements. Epstein died of cancer in St. Louis, Missouri on May 26, 2016.

Connie Kopelov (90) woman whose wedding to Phyllis Siegel in 2011 was the first legal same-sex marriage in New York. Kopelov and Siegel had been partners for 23 years when they were married by the city clerk on July 24, 2011—the same day that a state law took effect allowing same-sex couples to marry. That morning Kopelov (then 85) and Siegel (76) were the first couple through the door of the marriage bureau, on Worth Street in Lower Manhattan. Kopelov was in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease when she died in New York City on May 28, 2016.


Tom DeLeone (65) tough-nosed center who made two Pro Bowls during 11 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. DeLeone was the center for Cleveland’s “Kardiac Kids” team led by quarterback Brian Sipe, DeLeone, who played at Ohio State, started 104 games for the Browns. After his retirement DeLeone worked as a criminal investigator with the US Treasury Department and became a senior special agent within the US Customs Service. He was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2011 and died in Park City, Utah on May 22, 2016.

Don Horton (58) former North Carolina State and Boston College assistant football coach. Horton spent 10 years on Boston College's staff before following coach Tom O'Brien when he was hired by NC State after the 2006 season. Horton coached the Wolfpack's tight ends until May 2012, when he moved into an administrative position. After his Parkinson's diagnosis, his wife created a company that manufactures shirts with hidden magnetic buttons for people with disabilities. Horton died in Raleigh, North Carolina on May 28, 2016.

Todd Oakes (55) Minnesota pitching coach. Oakes joined the Gophers coaching staff in 1999, and 26 of his pitchers were drafted by major league teams, including three-time All-Star Glen Perkins with the Twins. Minnesota won its first Big 10 regular-season title since 2010 on May 21. Oakes died in Minneapolis, Minnesota after a four-year battle with leukemia, on May 26, 2016.

Tona Vives (56) mother of Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio. Vives was treated for lung cancer all through the last season, seeing doctors in both Spain and Minnesota. Rubio delivered his best NBA season for the Timberwolves in 2015 while trying to help his mother through the treatments. Vives died in Spain on May 25, 2016.

Bob Williams (86) starting quarterback when Notre Dame finished 10-0 and won the national championship in 1949. Williams' 161.4 passing efficiency rating in 1949 is tied for the best in school history. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1988. Williams played for the Chicago Bears for three years in a career interrupted by his service in the Navy during the Korean War. Later he started a construction company and worked in banking before retiring in 2000. He died of secondary Parkinson’s disease in Timonium, Maryland on May 27, 2016.

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