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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, June 25, 2016

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John Ashe, Caribbean president and UN ambassadorRaymond Bateman, New Jersey state legislatorBill Berkson, '60s poet and art criticFrank Chapot, champion Olympic show jumper and equestrian coachPaul Cox, Australian filmmakerBill Cunningham, 'New York Times' fashion and street photographerDan Daniel, NYC radio disk jockeyJerome Fisher, cofounder of Nine WestJack Fuller, Pulitzer Prize-winning CEO and editor of 'Chicago Tribune'Goetz George, German TV and movie actorLee Wesley Gibson, oldest living Pullman porterJames Green, professor, historian, and activistBenoîte Groult, French feminist and novelistGoro Hasegawa, created Othello board gameMichael Herr, journalist and screenwriterJim Hickman, batted for NY MetsPeter Hutton, experimental filmmakerWayne Jackson, trumpet player of Memphis Horns duoDonald Jelinek, crusading lawyerBill Jones, Hollywood photographer who focused on black celebritiesKenani Kaimuloa, collapsed at Las Vegas music festivalHal Lear, Temple University basketball starGordie Little, upstate New York radio broadcasterJulie Plawecki, Michigan state legislatorAdolph ('Herky') Rupp Jr., son of famed University of Kentucky basketball coachLauren Seitz, Ohio woman who died of rare infection after whitewater raftingEllen Soeteber, veteran US journalistVictor Stanculescu, Romanian general who turned against Communist dictator Nicolae CeausescuRalph and Carter Stanley, pioneer brothers of bluegrass musicSarah Teixeira, fitness instructorStaff Sgt. David Jonathan Thatcher, one of last two Doolittle RaidersGerald Walpin, former US inspector generalHerman Williams, Louisiana basketball recruitJohn F. Wolfe, Ohio newspaper publisher and philanthropistBernie Worrell, keyboardist of Parliament-FunkadelicAnton Yelchin, actor in 'Star Trek' movies

Art and Literature

Bill Berkson (76) poet and art critic who moved in New York's rarified '60s artistic circles. In his yet unpublished memoir, Since When, Berkson wrote, “I am almost certainly the only person who was at both the Woodstock Music Festival and Truman Capote’s Black & White Masked Ball at the Plaza Hotel in 1966.” Berkson produced more than 20 poetry collections. He died of a heart attack in San Francisco, California on June 23, 2016.

Bill Cunningham 87) longtime fashion photographer for the New York Times, known for wearing a blue jacket and riding a bicycle while taking pictures of everyday people on the streets of New York. Cunningham began publishing a regular series of photographs in the Times in 1978 after a chance photograph of Greta Garbo got the newspaper's attention. Between 1968–76 he worked on a whimsical photo essay of models in period costumes posing against historical sites of the same vintage. He had been hospitalized recently after suffering a stroke and died in New York City on June 25, 2016.

Benoîte Groult (96) leading French feminist and writer who drew attention with a sexually daring novel that explored an unlikely love affair between a Parisian intellectual and an uneducated Breton fisherman. Groult’s novel Les Vaisseaux du Cœur (Salt on Our Skin) (1988) was branded pornographic in some literary circles because of its vivid depictions of an extramarital affair and female sexuality. Set in France in the ‘60s, the book examines the complex emotional dynamics of the couple’s relationship in which their desire for each other cannot overcome the wide social divide between them. They each end up marrying someone from a similar background, yet they continue their affair for 40 years. The book sold hundreds of thousands of copies worldwide and was translated into 27 languages. In 1992 it was made into a film starring Greta Scacchi and Vincent D’Onofrio. It was released in the US as Desire. Groult died in Hyères, France on June 20, 2016.

Peter Hutton (71) experimental filmmaker noted for his masterfully photographed portraits of landscapes and cities. Hutton, who made his first films in the early ‘70s, spent over 40 years bringing motion pictures back to the moment when the Lumière brothers invented the medium in the 1890s. All his films were silent. Generally devoid of camera movement and montage, they suggest sketchbooks or photographic albums. Hutton died of cancer in Poughkeepsie, New York on June 25, 2016.

Business and Science

Jerome Fisher (85) helped to found Nine West, a women’s shoe company that imitated designer styles at affordable prices, and turned it into an industry juggernaut. Fisher and Vince Camuto began building the company that became Nine West in the ‘70s. On a trip to Brazil, Fisher realized that he could produce shoes inexpensively there, then ship them to the US, where they could be sold for considerably less than competitors’ shoes. Their first office in Manhattan was at 9 West 57th St., from which they derived the company’s name in 1977. In 1994, Nine West sold more than $630 million worth of women’s shoes and earned $60 million. Fisher died of a brain hemorrhage in West Palm Beach, Florida on June 23, 2016.

Goro Hasegawa (83) Japanese man credited with creating the Othello board game. Hasegawa came up with the idea for the game as a child and played it with milk-bottle caps when Japan was still poor and devastated by World War II. He proposed it to a manufacturer as an adult in 1972. His father, an English literature expert, was behind the title of the game, taken from Shakespeare's play. Since 1973, 24.75 million Othello sets have been shipped in Japan, not counting online and overseas sales. Hasegawa died in Kashiwa, Japan, a Tokyo suburb, on June 20, 2016.


James Green (71) self-described “activist scholar” whose view of organized labor’s violent birth challenged conventional visions of America as a classless society. Green taught at the University of Massachusetts/Boston and wrote six books and countless articles. For decades he also participated in protest politics, including the civil rights movement, and organized community history projects and training programs for labor unions. His best-known book, published in 2006, was Death in the Haymarket: A Story of Chicago, the First Labor Movement & the Bombing that Divided Gilded Age America, about the May 4, 1886 rally at Chicago’s Haymarket Square to protest the killing of several workers by police the day before during a strike at the McCormick Reaper Works to support an eight-hour workday and other demands. Green died of leukemia in Boston, Massachusetts on June 23, 2016.


Donald Jelinek (82) attorney who quit a Wall Street law firm to defend civil rights workers in the South and later inmates accused in the Attica prison revolt and Indians who seized Alcatraz Island to dramatize their grievances against the government. Jelinek was working at a law firm in 1965 when he volunteered to work during the summer for the Lawyers Constitutional Defense Committee of the American Civil Liberties Union, representing mostly workers from the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). As a civil rights lawyer in the South, he was shot at and was arrested once for practicing law without the permission of the Alabama bar. He also directed the Southern Rural Research Project, which documented rural malnutrition and sued the US Department of Agriculture to distribute surplus commodities to the hungry and to force recalcitrant county officials to participate in the federal food stamp program. Jelinek died of lung disease in Berkeley, California on June 24, 2016.

News and Entertainment

Paul Cox (76) award-winning Australian filmmaker. Cox wrote and directed the 2015 movie Force of Destiny, starring David Wenham, which follows the journey of a man who finds love while waiting for a life-saving liver transplant. The film was loosely based on Cox's own cancer battle before a transplant in 2009 pulled him back from the brink. His credits include 19 feature films and 12 documentaries. Cox said in 2015 that his transplanted liver had developed cancer. He died in Brisbane, Australia on June 19, 2016.

Dan Daniel (81) AM radio disk jockey who became familiar to New York rock ‘n’ roll fans in the ‘60s as Dandy Dan. Working for WMCA, Daniel was one of the Good Guys, a team of disk jockeys at the station that also included Jack Spector, Joe O’Brien, and Harry Harrison. WMCA changed its format to talk radio in 1970 after rock music fans, eager for more than Top 40 singles, had begun flocking to FM stations to hear a wider range of artists and songs from albums. Daniel later worked as a disk jockey for WHN and WYNY-FM and ended his career playing classic hits on WCBS-FM. He died in Larchmont, New York on June 20, 2016.

Jack Fuller (69) journalist who joined the Chicago Tribune as a 16-year-old copy boy, later won a 1986 Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing, and ultimately presided over the Tribune Co.’s $8 billion acquisition of Times Mirror in 2000. Fuller had been the Tribune’s editorial page editor, executive editor, publisher, and chief executive. He was president of Tribune Publishing, the newspaper division of the Tribune Co., when he oversaw the purchase that brought the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, the Baltimore Sun, the Hartford Courant, and other Times Mirror publications under the Tribune umbrella, in what was described as the largest acquisition in newspaper history. Retiring in 2004, he died of lung cancer in Chicago, Illinois on June 21, 2016.

Goetz George (77) German actor much beloved for his role as a hard-nosed but good-hearted inspector in his country’s iconic Tatort TV crime series. George was especially popular for his role as tough working-class Inspector Horst Schimanski from Germany's industrial Ruhr Valley region, which he played 48 times in 32 years. He also starred in many movies, including his role as the Nazis’ death camp doctor Joseph Mengele in Nichts als die Wahrheit. George died in Berlin, Germany on June 19, 2016.

Michael Herr (76) author and Oscar-nominated screenwriter who documented the ravages of the Vietnam War through his classic nonfiction novel Dispatches (1977) and through such films as Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket. Herr was part of the New Journalism wave that included Tom Wolfe, Truman Capote, and Norman Mailer, who advocated applying literary style and techniques to traditional reporting. Herr died in Delaware County, New York on June 23, 2016.

Wayne Jackson (74) trumpet player who played standout horn lines on rock ‘n’ roll, soul, rhythm and blues, and pop mainstays along with Memphis Horns partner and tenor saxophonist Andrew Love (d. April 2012). Jackson and Love performed on recordings by numerous top-shelf artists, including Otis Redding, Elvis Presley, Neil Diamond, and U2. The Memphis Horns won the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in February 2012, only the second instrumental backup group in history to receive the honor at the time. The duo played together on 52 No. 1 records and 83 gold and platinum records. Jackson had been hospitalized and released June 7 before taking a turn for the worse and being readmitted June 20. He died of congestive heart failure a day later, in Memphis, Tennessee on June 21, 2016.

Bill Jones (81) celebrity photographer who chronicled the rise of black Hollywood at a time when mainstream publications often overlooked black entertainers. In 1997, at age 62, Jones was washing his car outside his Hyde Park home when a neighbor bludgeoned him with a baseball bat. Authorities called it an unprovoked attack. When he emerged from a month-long coma, he was paralyzed on his right side. At first he couldn’t recognize his loved ones or walk, and his speech was slow and labored. Jones was diagnosed with dementia believed to be caused by the brain injury he suffered in the 1997 attack. He died in Los Angeles, California on June 25, 2016.

Kenani Kaimuloa (20) California woman who attended all three nights of the Electric Daisy Carnival, a dusk-to-dawn dance, music, and entertainment festival at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Kaimuloa was hospitalized after collapsing in a parking lot while waiting with friends for a shuttle bus at about 6 a.m. on June 20. She died two days later of heatstroke and dehydration, in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 22, 2016.

Gordie Little (79) well-known northern New York state broadcaster, author, and historian. Little was the voice of local radio for over 30 years, wrote columns for the local newspaper, wrote several books, and was a popular teller of ghost tales at events around the area. He also served eight years as a crime-victims advocate; Little, who turned 79 a week ago, was rototilling his garden in his backyard at the top of a steep embankment that led down to the Saranac River. He was found dead in the water with the rototiller after having fallen backward into the river. The machine appeared to be in reverse gear. Little died in Morrisonville, New York on June 22, 2016.

Ellen Soeteber (66) veteran journalist, a former editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Soeteber also worked at the Chicago Tribune and was managing editor of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. She was hospitalized two weeks ago for an infection that proved untreatable and died in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on June 21, 2016.

Ralph Stanley (89) patriarch of Appalachian music who with his brother Carter (d. 1966) helped to expand and popularize the genre that became known as bluegrass. Although he influenced generations of musicians throughout his long career, Ralph Stanley brought his old-time mountain music into a new century when he was featured on the soundtrack for the popular film O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), for which he won one of his several Grammy Awards. Stanley was born and raised in Big Spraddle, Virginia, a land of coal mines and forests where he and his brother formed the Stanley Brothers and the Clinch Mountain Boys in 1946. Ralph Stanley died of skin cancer in Sandy Ridge, Virginia on June 23, 2016.

John F. Wolfe (72) longtime Ohio newspaper publisher whose family sold the Columbus Dispatch in 2015 and still owns TV and radio stations. Wolfe was credited with helping to bring professional hockey and soccer teams to Columbus, and his family was a minority owner of the Columbus Blue Jackets. He disliked the spotlight but used his businesses, philanthropy, and behind-the-scenes influence to help shape the capital, his hometown. His family owned the Dispatch for 110 years. Wolfe died of cancer in Columbus, Ohio on June 24, 2016.

Bernie Worrell (72) “Wizard of Woo” whose keyboard sounds and textures helped to define the Parliament-Funkadelic musical empire and influenced performers of funk, rock, hip-hop, and other genres. Throughout the ‘70s and into the ‘80s, George Clinton’s dual projects of Parliament and Funkadelic and their various spinoffs built upon the sounds of James Brown and Sly & the Family Stone, among others, and turned out some of the most complex, spaced out, political, cartoonish, and, of course, danceable music of the era, elevating the funk groove. Worrell announced in early 2016 that he had stage 4 lung cancer. He died in Everson, Washington on June 24, 2016.

Anton Yelchin (27) actor who played the young incarnation of Chekov, an excitable officer on the Starship Enterprise in the rebooted Star Trek movie series. Yelchin was born in 1989 in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia, in what was then the Soviet Union, to Irina Korina and Viktor Yelchin, figure skaters who were superstars of the Leningrad Ice Ballet; six months later the family fled to live in Los Angeles. As a child actor, Anton made memorable appearances on TV shows like ER, The Practice, and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Yelchin was killed in Studio City, California when his car rolled backward down a steep driveway and trapped him against a brick mailbox pillar and a security fence, on June 19, 2016.

Politics and Military

John Ashe (61) former United Nations General Assembly president of the twin-island Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda who was facing criminal charges in a bribery case. Ashe served in the largely ceremonial post of president of the 193-nation assembly from 2013–14. He was accused in 2015 by US federal authorities of turning the position into a “platform for profit” by accepting more than $1 million in bribes. The alleged conspiracy involves six others, including a billionaire Chinese real estate mogul, two diplomats, and a humanitarian organization officer. Ashe pleaded not guilty to the charges. He died of a heart attack in Dobbs Ferry, New York on June 22, 2016.

Raymond Bateman (88) veteran state lawmaker who helped to create New Jersey's county college system and ran for governor in 1977. Bateman served in the Legislature for 20 years, including stints as Republican assistant majority leader and majority leader in both the Assembly and the Senate. He also served three terms as Senate president and more than 100 days as acting governor. After four years as executive director of the Republican State Committee, Bateman won an Assembly seat in 1958 and served there until he was elected to the Senate in '67. He cowrote and sponsored the 1962 legislation that established New Jersey's county-based community college system. As Senate president he also chaired a study commission that ultimately established the Delaware and Raritan Canal state park. He had recently contracted pneumonia after breaking his shoulder and died in Trenton, New Jersey on June 25, 2016.

Julie Plawecki (54) first-term Michigan state representative from Dearborn Heights. Plawecki was elected in 2014 to represent Dearborn Heights, Inkster, Garden City, and parts of Westland and Livonia. She was running unopposed in the August primary. Before becoming a state representative, she was a medical technologist and a teacher. She died of an apparent heart attack while hiking in Oregon on June 25, 2016.

Victor Stanculescu (88) retired Romanian general who organized the summary trial of Communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife. Stanculescu held a senior position in Ceausescu's regime, and the Communist leader dispatched him to crack down on demonstrators protesting against Ceausescu's rule, in the city of Timisoara in December 1989. Ceausescu's Defense Minister Vasile Milea fatally shot himself, and Stanculescu was promoted to defense minister. On December 22 he advised the Ceausescus to flee angry protests in a helicopter after the revolt spread to Bucharest. Stanculescu then turned against the Ceausescus and was a key organizer of the couples' trial. They were executed by firing squad after the summary trial on December 25, 1989. Stanculescu never expressed remorse for his role in the deaths of more than 1,300 demonstrators. He died of a stroke in Bucharest, Romania on June 19, 2016.

Staff Sgt. David Jonathan Thatcher (94) one of the last two surviving members of the Doolittle Raiders—who bombed Japan in a World War II attack that stunned that nation and boosted US morale. Thatcher's death leaves retired Lt. Col. Richard (“Dick”) Cole of Comfort, Texas as the only living airman from among 80 who took off from an aircraft carrier on 16 B-25 bombers to target factory areas and military installations in Japan on April 18, 1942. The mission lifted American spirits five months after Pearl Harbor. Thatcher was engineer-gunner aboard the plane nicknamed The Ruptured Duck. He suffered a stroke on June 19 and died three days later in Missoula, Montana, on June 22, 2016.

Gerald Walpin (84) former US inspector general fired by President Barack Obama over his handling of an investigation into a former NBA star and Obama supporter. Walpin was fired in 2009 as the inspector general who investigated AmeriCorps and other national service programs. His ouster followed an investigation of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, an Obama supporter and former pro basketball star, into the misuse of federal grants by a nonprofit education group that Johnson headed. Obama said he had lost confidence in Walpin. Gerald Walpin was crossing the street on the Upper East Side of New York City when he was struck and killed by an SUV on June 24, 2016.

Society and Religion

Lee Wesley Gibson (106) believed to have been the oldest living Pullman porter. Gibson began work as a coach attendant with Union Pacific Railroad in 1936 at the height of the Great Depression. He was later promoted to Pullman porter, one of the uniformed railway men who served first-class passengers traveling in luxurious sleeping cars. During a 38-year career, Gibson traveled the country, rubbing shoulders with celebrities and taking pride in the job, although it involved long hours and occasional indignities. He died in Los Angeles, California on June 25, 2016.


Frank Chapot (84) champion show jumper who competed in six Olympics before coaching the US to Olympic gold. Chapot earned a pair of silver medals while competing in six Games from 1956–76. He coached the US to its first team equestrian gold at the 1984 Los Angeles Games. His team won silver in 1988, and he continued to serve as US Equestrian Team coach until retiring after the 2004 Games in Athens. He died in Bound Brook, New Jersey on June 20, 2016.

Jim Hickman (79) baseball player who batted for the Mets during their early years, then became an All-Star for the Chicago Cubs. Hickman played in the outfield and at first and third base in a 13-year major league career. In his years with the Mets, from 1962–66, first at the Polo Grounds, then at Shea Stadium, he set several team milestones. He was the first Met to hit a grand slam, the first to hit three home runs in a single game, and the first to hit for the cycle—a single, double, triple, and homer in one game. Hickman was also the last Met to hit a home run at the Polo Grounds, connecting off the Philadelphia Phillies’ Chris Short on September 18, 1963. He died in Jackson, Tennessee on June 25, 2016.

Hal Lear (81) guard who starred for the Temple Owls in the ‘50s and still held the school record for points in a season. Lear scored a school-record 745 points as a senior in the 1955–56 season, and his scoring average of 24.0 that year ranks fourth in Temple history. Lear, Mark Macon, and Guy Rodgers were the only Temple players to average 20 or more points in two seasons. Lear had been retired after a 30-year career at Albert Einstein School of Medicine as an executive administrator of the Department of Psychiatry. He died in White Plains, New York from a recurrence of prostate cancer and the effects of spinal stenosis, on June 25, 2016.

Adolph ('Herky') Rupp Jr. (75) son of famed University of Kentucky basketball coach Adolph Rupp. The younger Rupp attended the University of Kentucky from 1958–62 and played freshman and varsity basketball for his father. After graduating he coached high school basketball at Louisville Atherton, Lexington Lafayette, and Shelby County but later became a full-time farmer. He died in Lexington, Kentucky after a 10-year battle with cancer, on June 22, 2016.

Lauren Seitz (18) Ohio woman who went whitewater rafting in North Carolina and died of an infection after being exposed to an amoeba naturally present in warm fresh water. The US Centers for Disease Control suspects Naegleria fowler, a one-celled organism that can cause primary amebic meningoencephalitis. The organism does not cause illness if swallowed but can be deadly if forced up the nose. Only 10 cases or so are reported each year, nearly all of them fatal. Seitz was drum major of the marching band at Westerville (Ohio) South High School and had recently graduated. She died in Charlotte, North Carolina on June 21, 2016.

Sarah Teixeira (35) fitness instructor who died after mountain biking in Phoenix amid extreme temperatures. Teixeira and two friends began mountain biking in north Phoenix around 6 a.m. Teixeira became unresponsive a few hours later. She was airlifted to a hospital where she was pronounced dead. She was one of several people in Arizona who died of heat-related causes last weekend, when temperatures were as high as 118 degrees. Phoenix Parks & Recreation officials rejected a proposal to ban hiking in extreme heat. Teixeira died of hyperthermia in Phoenix, Arizona on June 19, 2016.

Herman Williams (19) Louisiana-Lafayette basketball recruit. Williams was a standout player at Mariana High School in Jackson County, Florida, averaging 17 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists while leading the Bulldogs to 20 wins and a playoff appearance in his senior season. He died while playing basketball in his home state of Florida; he collapsed on a court in his hometown and could not be revived, on June 20, 2016.

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