Art and LiteratureR. Michael Brown
(78) designer who helped to preserve the lavish interiors of some of New York's most famous buildings, including Radio City Music Hall and Grand Central Terminal, by applying an expansion of the city’s landmarks preservation law. The razing in 1967 of the old Metropolitan Opera House at Broadway and 39th Street, whose golden core was masked by a hideous industrial yellow-brick façade, prompted the city to expand the jurisdiction of the fledgling Landmarks Preservation Commission to include building interiors. Brown died of lymphoma in Kingston, New York on June 16, 2016.Michelle Cliff
(69) Jamaican-American writer whose novels, stories, and nonfiction essays drew on her multicultural identity to probe the disruptions and historical distortions wrought by colonialism and racism. Cliff’s entire creative life was a quest to give voice to suppressed histories. She died of liver failure in Santa Cruz, California on June 12, 2016.Lois Duncan
(82) young-adult fiction writer. Duncan was best known for suspense novels for young adult readers and for children's books that were among nearly 50 published titles. Her thriller I Know What You Did Last Summer
and kids adventure Hotel for Dogs
were adapted into movies. Duncan moved to Albuquerque in 1962 and taught magazine writing at the University of New Mexico. Her most personal writing chronicled the mysterious 1989 killing of her daughter Kaitlyn Arquette in Albuquerque as Arquette drove home. The decades-long inquiry into the unsolved homicide was chronicled in two books. Duncan collapsed and died at her home in Bradenton, Florida on June 15, 2016.Gregory Rabassa
(94) translator of worldwide influence and esteem who helped to introduce Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Julio Cortazar, and other Latin American authors to millions of English-language readers. Rabassa was an essential gateway to the ‘60s Latin American “boom,” when such authors as Garcia Marquez, Cortazar, and Mario Vargas Llosa became widely known internationally. He worked on the novel that helped to start the boom, Cortazar’s Hopscotch,
for which Rabassa won a National Book Award for translation. He also worked on the novel that defined the boom, Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude,
a monument of 20th century literature. A longtime professor at Queens (NY) College, Rabassa died in Branford, Connecticut on June 13, 2016.Dr. Richard Selzer
(87) surgeon who turned his operating-room experiences into fictional stories that blended the gore, the beauty, and the absurdity of modern medicine. Selzer’s old-fashioned style infused short stories, essays, and memoir. His 1991 New York Times
magazine piece, “A Question of Mercy,” about an AIDS patient requesting assisted suicide, inspired a play of the same title by Tony Award-winning playwright and screenwriter David Rabe. Selzer gave up medicine and turned to writing full-time when he was 58. He died in North Branford, Connecticut, nine days short of his 88th birthday, on June 15, 2016.
Business and ScienceRobert Cox
(78) leading New York advertising executive who helped to transform “Just Say No” into the slogan of Nancy Reagan’s crusade against illegal drugs. An executive at several major ad agencies before starting his own firm, Cox was with the New York office of Needham, Harper & Steers/USA in the early ‘80s when it volunteered to collaborate with the industry’s charitable Advertising Council to execute a radio, TV, and print campaign directed at children for the National Institute on Drug Abuse. He died of a heart attack in Sherman, Connecticut on June 18, 2016.David T. Morgenthaler
(96) mechanical engineer who became an early figure in the modern venture capital industry. Morgenthaler worked in jet engine manufacturing and industrial metallurgy before he moved into investing, supporting new companies and entrepreneurs with his own money. Later he opened up his fund to outside investors. He founded his firm, Morgenthaler Ventures, in 1968, making early investments in several companies, including Apple Computer. But it was his investment in Manufacturing Data Systems, which provided programs to run machine tools, that netted him his fortune. He nvested $200,000 into the newly formed business in 1969, a stake that became worth $20 million after the company went public in ’76, then helped to orchestrate the company’s sale to oil-field services giant Schlumberger for just shy of $200 million in '81. Morgenthaler died in Cleveland, Ohio on June 17, 2016.Bob Paine
(83) ecologist best known for introducing the concept of “keystone species” who nurtured a generation of scientists. During the ‘60s Paine conducted experiments off the coast of Washington state that gave birth to the idea that certain “keystone species” play an outsized role in maintaining the diversity of their ecosystem. He showed that removing a top predator, a common sea starfish, from the shoreline caused dramatic changes. The mussels that the starfish feed upon took over and pushed out other species, lowering biodiversity. Paine died of acute myeloid leukemia, a type of blood cancer, in Seattle, Washington on June 13, 2016.
EducationEarl H. Potter 3rd
(69) president of Minnesota’s St. Cloud State University. After spending more than 20 years in higher education administration across the country, Potter took the reins at the school in 2007. He was set to serve through at least June 2019 after accepting a three-year extension last winter. Potter was killed in a crash as he drove to the Twin Cities for a foundation board meeting. He was driving east on Interstate 694 in Brooklyn Center at about 5:30 p.m. when his SUV left the road and hit a guard rail. He overcorrected, causing the vehicle to flip several times and strike some cable barriers, on June 13, 2016.Lyntell Washington
(40) Baton Rouge school administrator who was found dead in a sugar cane field. Washington was pregnant with the child of a former coworker, who has been accused in her killing. Police have charged Robert Jovantie Marks with first-degree murder, first-degree feticide, child desertion, and aggravated kidnapping of a child. Marks is an assistant principal at Brookstown Magnet Honors Academy, where Washington worked as an instructional specialist. Her 3-year-old daughter was found alone June 9 near her mother’s blood-stained car. The little girl told detectives that “Mr. Robbie” hurt her mother. Washington was found dead in Iberville Parish, west of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on June 14, 2016.
(69) Pennsylvania animal cruelty officer who starred on two reality TV shows. Bengal was law enforcement director of Pennsylvania's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. His work was profiled on Animal Cops Philadelphia
on Animal Planet from 2008–09 and on National Geographic's Philly Undercover
in ’12. He was a Philadelphia police officer before spending 20 years advocating for animals. He died of a rare type of cancer in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania on June 18, 2016.Joaquin Jackson
(80) retired Texas Ranger who became an author and an actor. Jackson farmed and worked as a cowboy before becoming a state trooper. He joined the elite Texas Rangers in 1966 and retired in ’93. He published two books, One Ranger: A Memoir
and One Ranger Returns.
He also acted in several movies, including The Good Old Boys, Palo Pinto Gold,
and the 2015 film Wild Horses
with his friend, director and actor Robert Duvall. Jackson died of cancer in Alpine, Texas on June 15, 2016.Donald P. Shea
(90) one of two New York police officers who captured infamous bank robber Willie Sutton on February 18, 1952. Although Shea served 36 years with the New York Police Department and worked other important cases, none were as high profile as that one. Known as “Slick Willie” and “Willie the Actor” for his habit of carrying out robberies in various disguises, Sutton had escaped from prison three times, most recently in 1947. During his 40-year criminal career, he stole an estimated $2 million and eventually spent more than half his adult life in prison. After that arrest, both Shea and his partner, Officer Joseph J. McClellan, were promoted three ranks on the spot, to first-grade detectives. Shea died of pancreatic cancer in Freeport, Long Island, New York on June 17, 2016.
News and EntertainmentRubén Aguirre
(82) famous in Mexico for his portrayal of the towering “Profesor Jirafales,” the likable and often disrespected giraffe teacher on the ‘70s-era hit show El Chavo del Ocho.
Although the show was aimed at adults, it was popular with children. Grown actors played the children depicted in the show’s odd world; they included Roberto Gómez Bolaños—known as “El Chespirito,” a giant among Latin American humorists—who portrayed the iconic character, El Chavo. The adults-as-children device helped to lend the screwball comedy an edge and helped to usher in an edgier comedy in Mexico and elsewhere. But Aguirre’s character was gentler and gave the show its sentimental heart. The teacher’s on-air romance with Doña Florinda, whose affections he sought, and his signature expression “ta-ta-ta” became classic tropes of Latino popular culture. Aguirre, who had battled various complications of diabetes in recent weeks, was hospitalized in May, then released. He died of pneumonia in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, two days after his 82nd birthday, on June 17, 2016.Anahid Ajemian
(92) Armenian-American violinist known as a champion of new music. A founding member of the Composers String Quartet, Ajemian also had an active career as a soloist. Praised by critics for the sensitivity, lyricism, and tonal control of her playing, she was known for bringing to a wide audience music by composers including John Cage, Kurt Weill, Carlos Surinach, and Alan Hovhaness. Ajemian recorded extensively and gave the US or world premieres of many new works, several of which—among them Ben Weber’s Sonata da Camera and Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Violin with Percussion Orchestra—were written expressly for her. She died in New York City on June 13, 2016.Lee Stratton Anderson
(90) former publisher and editor of the Chattanooga
(Tenn.) Free Press.
Anderson was hired as a reporter for the newspaper when he was 16 as World War II reduced the newsroom staff. It turned into a 70-year career, and he became editor in 1958 and president and publisher in ’90. He continued as editor of the Free Press
editorial page after the sale of the afternoon newspaper in 1998 and its merger with the morning Chattanooga Times
in ’99. Anderson died in Atlanta, Georgia on June 16, 2016.Attrell Cordes
(46) also known by the name Prince Be. Cordes formed the hip-hop duo PM Dawn in 1988 with his brother, Jarrett Cordes, also known as DJ Minutemix. Their best-known song was the 1991 “Set Adrift on Memory Bliss.” A No. 1 hit on the Billboard
Hot 100, the song was remade in 1997 by the Backstreet Boys. Another song, “I’d Die Without You” (1992), reached No. 3 on the Billboard
Hot 100. Cordes had been suffering from kidney disease, People
reported, and died in New Jersey on June 17, 2016.Ronnie Claire Edwards
(83) actress who played grocer Ike Godsey's prickly wife, Corabeth, on The Waltons.
Edwards joined The Waltons
in 1974 as high-strung Corabeth Walton, cousin to John Walton Sr. (Ralph Waite), and married Ike (Joe Conley; d. 2013). She had guest roles on other TV shows, including Dallas, Falcon Crest,
and Designing Women,
and appeared in films including The Dead Pool
and Nobody's Fool
and regularly on stage. She also wrote plays and books, including a 2000 memoir, The Knife Thrower's Assistant: Memoirs of a Human Target.
Edwards died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Dallas, Texas on June 14, 2016.Samantha Edwards
(37) former contestant in the 2003 Miss USA pageant from North Dakota. Edwards had since been working as a free-lance makeup artist. She was found dead at her home in north Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 14, 2016.Ann Morgan Guilbert
(87) actress who played the next-door neighbor on The Dick Van Dyke Show
and was seen recently on CBS's comedy Life in Pieces.
Guilbert’s recent TV appearances included a starring role on the hospital comedy Getting On
and a guest shot on Grey's Anatomy.
She was a regular as Grandma Yetta on the ‘90s sitcom The Nanny
and in the early ‘60s played Millie Helper, Laura Petrie's gabby neighbor, on the acclaimed Van Dyke
series. Guilbert had extensive theater credits, including the 2005 Broadway play, A Naked Girl on the Appian Way,
and productions of The Matchmaker, Arsenic & Old Lace, Waiting for Godot, To Kill a Mockingbird,
She died of cancer in Los Angeles, California on June 14, 2016.Mary Ann King
(82) Los Angeles host (1966–76) of the children's TV show Romper Room.
The program aired worldwide with local hosts in each city. During the show, King played learning games with children and urged them to be “Do Bees” who behaved well, not “Don't Bees” who played in the street or failed to clean their plates. Each episode ended with her holding up a mirrorlike frame and looking through it to name child viewers. Long after leaving the show, she carried the mirror with her because former viewers would ask her to say their names. King died in Chino Hills, California on June 16, 2016.Ron Lester
(45) actor perhaps best known for playing the loud, oversized lineman Billy Bob in the 1999 film Varsity Blues.
Lester told the online sports publication Grantland
in 2014 that he once weighed more than 500 pounds before undergoing gastric bypass surgery and shedding some 300 pounds. He said acting opportunities dried up after he lost the weight. His other film credits include roles in Not Another Teen Movie
and Good Burger.
In 2015 Lester announced that he was being treated for liver and kidney ailments. He had been hospitalized since February owing to liver and kidney complications. He was removed from a ventilator and died of organ failure in Dallas, Texas on June 17, 2016.Richard O. Linke
(98) longtime personal manager of Andy Griffith (d. 2012) and an associate producer of the TV series The Andy Griffith Show.
Linke was Griffith's manager for nearly 40 years and the actor's closest adviser for much of his career. He also managed the careers of other performers, including Jim Nabors, Ken Berry, Forrest Tucker, Frankie Avalon, and Bobby Vinton, and was a production consultant for another long-running series starring Griffith, the courtroom drama Matlock.
Linke died in Kona, Hawaii on June 15, 2016.Henry McCullough
(72) guitarist in Paul McCartney's band Wings. McCullough played with the Grease Band with Joe Cocker at Woodstock and worked at various times with Marianne Faithfull and Donovan. He also appeared on the original cast recording of Jesus Christ Superstar.
The Northern Ireland native was recruited to join the second version of Wings in 1971, and his guitar solo on “My Love” on the album Red Rose Speedway
marked a career peak; he improvised it in a single take. McCullough never fully recovered from a severe heart attack he suffered in 2012. He died on June 14, 2016.Michu Meszaros
(76) former circus performer who played ALF
on the popular NBC sitcom. Born in Budapest, Hungary, Meszaros stood less than 3 feet tall and since his teens had performed in numerous circuses, including the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. He had also appeared in films, including Big Top Pee-wee
and on TV. He was best known costumed as the extraterrestrial title character of ALF,
which aired from 1986–90. The character was voiced by Paul Fusco. Meszaros was rushed to a Los Angeles, California hospital several days ago after he was found unresponsive at his home, and had been in a coma since then. He died on June 12, 2016.Lincoln ('Chips') Moman
(79) Memphis producer, musician, and songwriter who helped Elvis Presley to engineer a musical comeback in the late '60s, then moved to Nashville to record Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and other top country performers. A fixture for decades on the Southern music scene, Moman hitchhiked from Georgia to Memphis as a teenager and worked at the fledging Stax Records in the ‘50s. He produced some of its first hits for the famous label, including “Last Night” by the Mar-Keys, “Gee Whiz” by Carla Thomas, and “You Don't Miss Your Water” by William Bell; Moman started his own studio, American Sound Studio, and formed the Memphis Boys studio band, which helped to define the Memphis sound of the ‘60s. He died of lung disease in LaGrange, Georgia on June 13, 2016.Janet Waldo
(96) actress who provided the voice for Judy Jetson and many other cartoon characters. Waldo was featured on the futuristic cartoon series The Jetsons,
which initially aired in the ‘60s. Her other credits included Josie on Josie & the Pussycats
and Fred Flintstone’s mother-in-law on The Flintstones.
Before The Jetsons,
Waldo had been an actress for decades, appearing on such sitcoms as I Love Lucy
and The Andy Griffith Show,
plus dozens of movies and radio programs. The veteran film, TV, and radio actress had been battling an inoperable brain tumor when she died in Encino, California on June 12, 2016.
Politics and MilitaryAmos Cormier Jr.
(70) president of Plaquemines Parish, La. Cormier was a teacher and a coach and had served on the Plaquemines Parish Council. He won the parish president's post in 2014. He had been hospitalized for two days while recovering from a procedure to clear a blocked artery when he died in Belle Chasse, Louisiana on June 16, 2016.Jo Cox
(41) British lawmaker. A former worker for international development charities who was married with two young children, Cox was elected to the House of Commons in the May 2015 general election. She had been one of the most outspoken lawmakers on the subject of the Syrian civil war and had been critical of Britain's reluctance to deepen its military involvement against the Islamic State group as part of efforts to end it. Cox was shot to death in the small town she represents, a tragedy that brought to a standstill the fierce campaign over whether Britain should leave the European Union. The Labour Party legislator was attacked in Birstall, northern England and was pronounced dead by a doctor less than an hour later, on June 16, 2016. A 52-year-old man has been arrested.Melvin Dwork
(94) World War II US Navy veteran who was discharged as “undesirable” when a partner exposed him as gay. The insult never went away. Dwork became a successful interior designer in New York, and he and a prominent choreographer were companions for many years. He eventually forgave the man who betrayed him, but not the Navy. In 2011, after years of trying to remove the blot on his record, Dwork, supported by advocates for gay and lesbian military personnel and veterans, won his point; the Navy officially changed his discharge to “honorable.” He died in New York City on June 14, 2016.Curtis Hofstad
(70) North Dakota Republican state legislator from Devils Lake. Hofstad was elected to the North Dakota House in 2006. He was a farmer and served on the state Water Commission from 2001 until he was elected to the Legislature. The Water Commission manages the state's water resources. Hofstad died of an apparent heart attack in Devils Lake, North Dakota on June 18, 2016.Kitty Rhoades
(65) secretary of Wisconsin's Department of Health Services. Rhoades had headed the department since February 2013 after serving as deputy secretary for two years. Before that she represented the Hudson area as a Republican in the Wisconsin Assembly for 12 years. While in the Legislature she cochaired the Joint Finance Committee. Rhoades died in Madison, Wisconsin after falling ill in the past week, on June 18, 2016.George Voinovich
(79) former Republican US senator (1998-2010), a two-term Ohio governor in the '90s who preached frugality in his personal and public life and occasionally bucked the GOP establishment. Voinovich was considered a moderate who opposed the size of former President George W. Bush's tax cuts and later questioned his war strategy in Iraq. He died in his sleep in Columbus, Ohio on June 12, 2016.
Society and ReligionMarjorie S. Fisher
(92) philanthropist known for supporting cultural institutions including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Fisher’s late husband, businessman Max Fisher, provided the lead $10 million bequest to expand the impact of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra with an office building and Orchestra Hall addition that opened in 2003. Since his 2005 death, Marjorie Fisher continued that support. In Florida she supported causes including children's health and recreation. During her leadership of the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation in Detroit, it committed more than $70 million in grants. Marjorie Fisher died in Palm Beach, Florida on June 12, 2016.Lorna Kelly
(70) one of the first female fine-art auctioneers in the world, attached in the ‘70s and afterward to Sotheby’s New York gallery. For years Kelly presided over the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of treasures. But in the early '80s, feeling a spiritual void, she left for India, where she tended terminally ill patients under the tutelage of Mother Teresa, the first in a series of charitable endeavors that occupied her from then on. Kelly died of a stroke in New York City on June 15, 2016.Phil Parker
(86) son of a Baptist preacher who said he had never tasted liquor until his Harvard graduate school classmates lured him into a cocktail lounge for the first time. After that, Parker wrote, he lived only to drink. Finally landing homeless on the then-squalid Bowery in Manhattan in the mid-’60s, he met a social worker, a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, who told him how she had sobered up. In 1974, just a few years after he stopped drinking, Parker founded a supported work program that over the next several decades helped countless other homeless alcoholics. He became a social worker himself, supervising the program at New York's Third Street Men’s Shelter just off the Bowery, and was later elevated to a managerial role, developing alcohol and drug abuse services for the city's Department of Social Services. Parker had been sober for nearly 48 years when he died of cancer in New York City on June 15, 2016.
(85) US mountaineer who led first-ascent expeditions of skyscraping peaks in the Himalayas and in Antarctica. Clinch died of cancer in Palo Alto, California on June 15, 2016.Curley Johnson
(80) football player who punted for the New York Jets in their Super Bowl victory in 1969. Johnson, who also played running back and tight end and returned kickoffs during his career, signed with the then-Titans as a free agent in 1961 and played for the Jets franchise through the ‘68 season. He set the franchise mark with a gross punting average of 45.3 yards, later twice broken in the 2000s. Johnson died in Granbury, Texas a day after celebrating his 61st wedding anniversary with his wife Janet, on June 12, 2016.George Lapides
(76) longtime fixture on the Memphis sports scene as a newspaper reporter, broadcaster, and team executive. Lapides hosted a sports talk radio show for 45 years and maintained that role until shortly before his death. He was sports editor of the Memphis Press Scimitar
until the paper folded in 1983. He spent a year as athletic director at Rhodes College and was an executive with the Memphis Chicks minor-league baseball team, then was sports editor for TV station WREG from 1995–2005. Lapides died of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a form of lung disease, in Memphis, Tennessee on June 17, 2016.Ron Mason
(76) coach who led Michigan State to a national title in hockey and won 924 games. Mason was Michigan State's coach from 1979–2002 and was the school's athletic director. He also coached Bowling Green and Lake Superior State, leading the Lakers to the NAIA title in 1972. He won nearly 70 per cent of his games and ranked second in wins among men's hockey coaches. His name is listed in the US Hockey, Michigan Sports, Michigan State, Lake Superior State, and St. Lawrence Halls of Fame. He died suddenly in Haslett, Michigan on June 12, 2016.Nate Thurmond
(74) Hall of Fame center and longtime Golden State Warrior. In 1996 Thurmond was voted one of the best 50 players in National Basketball Association history and was considered among the most dominating centers in the game. He spent almost 40 years playing and working for the Warriors. He played 11 of his 14 seasons with the Warriors, then worked as a community liaison and broadcast analyst. He held the franchise’s record for rebounds and minutes played and was a seven-time All-Star. The Warriors drafted Thurmond out of Bowling Green with the third overall pick in 1963 and retired his number 42 in ’78. Thurmond died of leukemia in San Francisco, California on July 16, 2016.Nate Thurmond
(74) Hall of Fame center and longtime Golden State Warrior. In 1996 Thurmond was voted one of the best 50 players in National Basketball Association history and was considered among the most dominating centers in the game. He spent almost 40 years playing and working for the Warriors. He played 11 of his 14 seasons with the Warriors, then worked as a community liaison and broadcast analyst. He held the franchise’s record for rebounds and minutes played and was a seven-time All-Star. The Warriors drafted Thurmond out of Bowling Green with the third overall pick in 1963 and retired his number 42 in ’78. Thurmond died of leukemia in San Francisco, California on July 16, 2016.Previous Week
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