Back to Life In Legacy Main Page Pages for Previous Weeks Celebrity Deaths Message Board
Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, October 29, 2016

Hold pointer over photo for person's name. Click on photo to go to brief obit.
Click on name to return to picture.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad al Thani, former emir of QatarJorge Batlle, former president of UruguayRobert E. Belfanti Jr., Pennsylvania state legislatorMark Bellinger, Nashville TV reporterNorman Brokaw, talent agentDavid H. Brooks, former CEO of body armor manufacturerPete Burns, British singer with band Dead or AliveJack T. Chick, cartoonist and evangelistAudley Coulthurst, former Tuskegee AirmanSophia Cranshaw, MTV producer, director, and writerKevin Curran, TV comedy writer and  producerHoward Davies, British theater directorJim Detterline, Rocky Mountain National Park climbing rangerTom Hayden, '60s antiwar activist and California state legislatorE. Lee Hennessee, pioneering woman in hedge fund industryBob Hoover, WWII fighter pilot and later test pilotPrince Mikasa of Japan, brother of Emperor HirohitoDr. W. Dudley Johnson, pioneer in cardiac bypass surgeryHerb Kent, longtime Chicago radio disc jockeyAngeline ('Angie') Kopka, former New Hampshire state legislatorSusan Lindquist, molecular biologistNguyen Ngoc Luong, Vietnamese journalistDolphus Morrison, breeder of thoroughbred racehorses, including champion filly Rachel AlexandraJohn D. Roberts, organic chemist who pioneered use of NMRRamon ('Chunky') Sanchez, Chicano musician, activist, and educatorMarge Sill, Nevada environmental activistPen Sovann, former Cambodian prime ministerVaino Spencer, California's first female black judgeJ. Barry Stout, Pennsylvania state legislatorJack Thompson, Connecticut state legislatorCarlos Alberto Torres, Brazilian soccer starBobby Vee, '60s pop idolCharles Wolf Jr., RAND Corp. economistJohn Zacherle, '50s–'60s TV horror-movie host

Business and Science

E. Lee Hennessee (64) pioneering woman in the male-dominated hedge fund industry and creator of one of the first indexes to track its secretive transactions. Hennessee was a frequent presence at industry conferences and was an early supporter of the industry association 100 Women in Hedge Funds. She started her hedge fund index, tracking which strategies were making or losing money across the industry, in 1987. That same year, while working for E. F. Hutton, she founded the Hennessee Hedge Fund Advisory Group, a division of Hutton. Hennessee was found dead of an apparent stroke at her home in West Palm Beach, Florida on October 29, 2016.

Dr. W. Dudley Johnson (86) surgeon who pioneered and popularized lifesaving cardiac bypass surgery and was considered a healer of last resort for heart patients around the world. In 1968 Johnson and his team experimented with sewing segments of veins from multiple arteries end to end and stitching them directly into the aorta, the body’s main artery, bypassing cardiac ducts where the flow of blood was impeded. His breakthrough, reported in 1969, defied skepticism within the medical profession and heralded a new era of successful double, triple, and quadruple bypass surgeries. He died of a stroke in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 24, 2016.

Susan Lindquist (67) molecular biologist whose work with yeast proteins opened new avenues to understanding gene functioning and degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Lindquist devoted most of her career, first at the University of Chicago and later at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to studying how proteins change shape during cell division to carry out genetic functions. That process, known as protein folding, can go awry, causing such neurological disorders as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s chorea, cystic fibrosis, and some cancers. Lindquist died of cancer in Boston, Massachusetts on October 27, 2016.

John D. Roberts (98) organic chemist who pioneered the use of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and other techniques to reveal the structures of molecules and the dance of atoms as they rearrange in chemical reactions. in the ‘50s Roberts played a crucial role in the explosive growth of physical organic chemistry, a field that studies the reactivity of biological compounds. One notable contribution was in popularizing nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, developed by physicists to understand chemical structures and reaction mechanisms. Roberts died of a stroke in Pasadena, California on October 29, 2016.

Charles Wolf Jr. (92) economist, a founding dean of the RAND Corp.’s graduate school, and supervisor who tried to oust Daniel Ellsberg in 1969 before he leaked the secret Pentagon Papers. Wolf was among the first to predict the economic disintegration of the Soviet Union in the ‘80s. Joining RAND (a nonpartisan global research organization; the letters stand for research and development) as a senior economist in 1955, he was head of its economics department, founding dean of what became the Pardee RAND Graduate School, and a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He died of heart failure in Los Angeles, California on October 24, 2016.


David H. Brooks (61) founder and former chief executive of DHB Industries, America's leading supplier of body armor to the US military. Brooks was convicted in 2010 of securities fraud, conspiracy, and other charges for masterminding a $185 million stock swindle and using the proceeds to pay for personal luxuries. He died in prison while serving a 17-year sentence, days after being transferred to the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut from a federal detention center, on October 27, 2016.

Vaino Spencer (96) first female black judge in California and one of the longest-serving jurists in state history. Spencer served 46 years on the bench. She was appointed to Los Angeles municipal court in 1961 and served on the Superior Court and state appeals court before retiring in 2007. She died in her sleep in Los Angeles, California on October 25, 2016.

News and Entertainment

Mark Bellinger (56) longtime TV reporter in Nashville. Bellinger had worked for WTVF-TV for 23 years, specializing in crime and political coverage. He previously covered northern Idaho for KHQ-TV and KIDK-TV, including the 1992 standoff between federal agents and a white separatist family at Ruby Ridge. Bellinger, whom colleagues referred to as “The B,” was a Denver native who earned his journalism degree from the University of Colorado. He died of cancer in Nashville, Tennessee on October 27, 2016.

Norman Brokaw (89) talent agent who represented Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Clint Eastwood, and other top Hollywood stars. Brokaw ascended from the mailroom of the William Morris Agency to become its chief executive in 1989. Along the way he helped to steer actors to work in the fledgling TV industry in the ‘50s. His TV plan involved teaming up underutilized film stars with directors who were skilled at delivering low-budget movies within a few days. The formula led to the creation of early TV series such as Racket Squad and Public Defender. He later represented the producers behind hit shows such as The Andy Griffith Show, Gomer Pyle, and The Dick Van Dyke Show. Brokaw died in Beverly Hills, California on October 29, 2016.

Pete Burns (57) singer with the British band Dead or Alive that had success in the ‘80s. Burns was best known for his 1985 dance hit “You Spin Me ‘Round” and his appearances on reality TV shows including Celebrity Big Brother and Celebrity Wife Swap. He became famous in the ‘80s when Dead or Alive attracted wide attention with a string of successful singles. He started making changes to his appearance at an early age and was known for extensive cosmetic surgery that radically altered his look. He died suddenly in London, England after suffering a heart attack, on October 23, 2016.

Sophia Cranshaw (45) MTV producer, director, and writer honored for her campaigns against genocide, the stigma of mental illness, and other sweeping social crises. Cranshaw won the Governors Award Emmy in 2006 for “Campaign for Darfur,” a public service announcement narrated by Alicia Keys calling for action against genocide and abuse of women and girls in Western Sudan. “MTVU: Half of Us,” which focused on the prevalence and dangers of depression among college students, won a Peabody Award in 2007. Cranshaw was the writer, codirector, and coproducer of that project. She died of breast cancer in New York City, five days before her 46th birthday, on October 24, 2016.

Kevin Curran (59) comedy writer and producer who spent 15 years on The Simpsons. Curran joined The Simpsons in 2001 and in recent years had been coexecutive producer. Episodes he wrote included “Don't Fear the Roofer” (2005) and “The Winter of His Content” (2014). He won three Emmy Awards on that show and in 2010 was nominated for a Humanitas award for his episode “The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed.” In the ‘80s he was on the writing team of Late Night with David Letterman, where he shared in three Emmys. He also wrote for Married ... with Children, for which he was the uncredited voice of Buck the Dog. Curran died in Los Angeles, California on October 25, 2016.

Howard Davies (71) award-winning British theater director whose plays were celebrated in London's West End and on Broadway in New York. In Britain Davies won the Best Director Laurence Olivier Award three times for his work on The Iceman Cometh, All My Sons, and The White Guard. He was nominated three times for Tony Awards for his work on Broadway. He directed 36 productions at the National Theatre, beginning with Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in 1988. Davies was married to actress Claire Holman, who played pathologist Dr. Laura Hobson on the British TV series Inspector Lewis. He died of cancer in London, England on October 25, 2016.

Herb Kent (88) one of Chicago's earliest black disc jockeys who had a 70-year career, most recently on iHeartMedia's V103 FM Chicago. Kent was known as “The Cool Gent.” He started in radio in the late ‘40s, working at stations in the Chicago area. He was also active in the civil rights movement and helped to launch the careers of acts such as The Temptations and Smokey Robinson. Kent hosted his final broadcast on October 22. He died the next day in Chicago, Illinois on October 23, 2016.

Nguyen Ngoc Luong (79) South Vietnamese journalist who acted as guide and translator for American correspondents covering the Vietnam War in the '60s and early '70s. Although offered resettlement in the US after the fall of Saigon to Communist forces in 1975, Luong chose to stay in his native country. He died of complications from a urinary tract infection, in what was Saigon but is now Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on October 27, 2016.

Ramon ('Chunky') Sanchez (64) San Diego musician who gave voice to the barrio. Recognizable with his iconic handlebar mustache and guitar often in hand, Sanchez was an activist, artist, musician, and educator. He was among the many founders of Chicano Park in the Barrio Logan neighborhood and became one of its strongest protectors. Los Alacranes, the band he founded with his younger brother Ricardo, has been a fixture in San Diego’s Chicano social and political community since 1975. Sanchez died in San Diego, California two days before his 65th birthday, on October 28, 2016.

Bobby Vee (73) pop idol, a boyish, grinning ‘60s singer whose career was born when he took a Midwestern stage as a teenager to fill in after the 1959 plane crash that killed rock 'n' roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. (“The Big Bopper”) Richardson. Vee, whose hits included the chart-topping “Take Good Care of My Baby,” later helped a young Bob Dylan to get his start. Bobby Vee died of advanced Alzheimer's disease in Rogers, Minnesota on October 24, 2016.

John Zacherle (98) one of the first of the late-night TV horror-movie hosts, who played a crypt-dwelling undertaker with a booming graveyard laugh on stations in Philadelphia and New York in the late ‘50s and early ’60s. Zacherle inspired a host of imitators at local stations around the country. As Roland in Philadelphia and Zacherley in New York, he added grisly theatrics and absurdist humor to the entertainment on offer, which more often than not was of less than Oscar quality. He became a cult figure, making star appearances at horror conventions across the Northeast. Dressed in a long black frock coat decorated with a large medal from the government of Transylvania, Roland introduced and interrupted the evening’s film with comic bits. John Zacherle died in New York City on October 27, 2016.

Politics and Military

Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad al Thani (84) former emir of the tiny Gulf nation of Qatar who was deposed by his son in a bloodless palace coup. Sheikh Khalifa had not held power since 1995, when he was deposed by his son, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, while vacationing in Switzerland. Sheikh Khalifa oversaw a rapid modernization of his country, which accelerated after it began to exploit vast reserves of natural gas that have turned it into one of the world's richest nations per capita. Although he vowed to return to power after his ouster “whatever the cost,” he spent the next several years living in Europe and did not return to his homeland until 2004. He died in Qatar on October 23, 2016.

Jorge Batlle (88) scion of a political dynasty who had been groomed to be president of Uruguay since he was a teenager, got elected to a five-year term on his fifth try in 1999, then presided over a pro-American administration that survived a brush with bankruptcy. When he took office in 2000, Batlle was the country’s first civilian president since the military relinquished power in 1985 to seek the remains of dissidents who vanished in the ‘70s and ‘80s during an urban guerrilla war. He died in Montevideo, Uruguay less than two weeks after he suffered brain injuries in a fall and the day before his 89th birthday, on October 24, 2016.

Robert E. Belfanti Jr. (68) former state lawmaker who spent 30 years in the State House representing central Pennsylvania. First elected in 1980 from the 107th District, Belfanti bucked Democrat leaders in a successful effort to save what was then Shamokin State General Hospital from divestiture and helped to secure funding for local highway projects such as the widening of Route 901 from Locust Summit to Interstate 81. Retiring from public service in 2010, he enjoyed spending time in later years with his family, especially his grandchildren, at a campground near Winfield. He died in Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania on October 29, 2016.

Audley Coulthurst (92) former member of the pioneering black aviation group the Tuskegee Airmen. Coulthurst enlisted in the Army in 1942 and became one of the first black military pilots in the US. Although Tuskegee Airmen faced discrimination in a segregated military, the fighter squadrons were among the most respected in World War II. After the war Coulthurst became a certified public accountant and was controller of the National Urban League. He died of cardiac arrest in Brooklyn, New York on October 27, 2016.

Tom Hayden (76) '60s antiwar activist whose name became forever linked with the celebrated Chicago 7 trial, Vietnam War protests, and his ex-wife, actress Jane Fonda. Once denounced as a traitor by his detractors, Hayden won election to the California Assembly and Senate where he served for almost 20 years as a progressive force on such issues as the environment and education. He was the only one of the radical Chicago 7 defendants to win such distinction in the mainstream political world. He remained an enduring voice against war and spent his later years as a prolific writer and lecturer advocating for reform of America's political institutions. He had suffered a stroke in 2013 and died in Los Angeles, California on October 23, 2016.

Bob Hoover (94) World War II fighter pilot who became an aviation legend for his flying skills in testing aircraft and demonstrating their capabilities in air shows. Early US jet-powered warplanes such as the P-80 and the F-84 were tested by Hoover, who then became a backup pilot in the Bell X-1 program and flew the chase plane when Chuck Yeager became the first to break the sound barrier in 1947. Hoover also tested the XFJ-2 Fury, developed for the Navy and Marine Corps, and the F-86 Sabre, a USAF fighter, among more than 300 types of aircraft he flew. He later brought his flying prowess to the public in aerobatic performances using such aircraft as North American Aviation's P-51 Mustang and Aero Commanders. His Shrike Commander 500S changed from an ordinary business-style propeller plane into an aerobatic star with Hoover at the controls during a so-called energy management routine. With both engines turned off, he would do a loop, roll, 180-degree turn, and land safely. He died in Los Angeles, California on October 25, 2016.

Prince Mikasa of Japan (100) younger brother of former Japanese Emperor Hirohito. Prince Mikasa was born in 1915. He was the uncle of current Emperor Akihito and was fifth in line to the throne. His brother Hirohito reigned for more than 60 years, during World War II and until his death in 1989. Mikasa had been hospitalized since May, initially because of pneumonia. His condition took a sudden turn for the worse, and he died in Tokyo, Japan on October 27, 2016.

Angeline ('Angie') Kopka (100) five-term New Hampshire state representative who once was the oldest legislator in the US. New Hampshire's Legislature has 400 House representatives and 24 senators, making it the third largest legislative body in the English-speaking world behind the US Congress and British Parliament. In 2008 the National Conference of State Legislatures reported that New Hampshire had the oldest and youngest lawmakers in the country in Kopka and Jeff Fontas, both Democrats from Nashua. Kopka was then 92; Fontas was 21. Kopka retired at 98. She died in Concord, New Hampshire on October 28, 2016.

Pen Sovann (80) former Cambodian prime minister who was installed, then imprisoned by the Vietnamese after they defeated the brutal Khmer Rouge regime. Pen was the country's first post-Khmer Rouge prime minister, holding the office from June–December 1981, when it was known as the People's Republic of Kampuchea. In late 1981 he was removed from power by the Vietnamese in an ouster triggered by his calls for the withdrawal of Vietnam's forces from Cambodia and was imprisoned for 10 years in Hanoi. He died from an illness in his hometown in southern Takeo province, Cambodia, on October 29, 2016.

J. Barry Stout (79) spent nearly 40 years as a Pennsylvania lawmaker. Stout was elected to the state House in 1971, where he served until he ran for the Senate and took that office in ’77. He remained in the Senate until he retired in 2010, becoming Democrat chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. Stout was proud of the Mon-Fayette Expressway and the Southern Beltway, two transportation projects meant to improve access to the Monongahela River Valley, which he served. He died in Bentleyville, Pennsylvania on October 29, 2016.

Jack Thompson (84) former Democrat 13-term Connecticut state representative from Manchester, known for advocating on behalf of children and the poor. A Korean War veteran, Thompson represented the 13th Assembly District from 1986–2012. For much of his tenure, the district included only Manchester, before part of Glastonbury was later added. Thompson previously was Manchester's mayor from 1971–75. He died in Manchester, Connecticut on October 26, 2016.

Society and Religion

Jack T. Chick (92) illustrator whose cartoon tracts preached fundamentalist Christianity while vilifying secular society, evolution, homosexuality, and the beliefs of Catholics and Muslims. Chick's pulpy, lurid cartoons combined traditional evangelism with frankly conspiracy-minded attacks. Along with other illustrators, he produced several hundred tracts over the decades. Latching onto the issues of the day, the tracts took aim at abortion, occultism, ecumenism, and other perceived evils. They portrayed everything from rock music to Dungeons & Dragons and Harry Potter as literal traps of the Devil. Very few photos of Chick exist because, he said, he was on too many hit lists. He died in Rancho Cucamonga, California on October 23, 2016.

Marge Sill (92) longtime environmental activist known as the “Mother of Nevada Wilderness.” Sill joined the Sierra Club shortly after graduating from Cal-Berkeley in 1949 and became a leading voice behind congressional passage of the Wilderness Act in ’64. Her advocacy work helped to lead to creation of Great Basin National Park in 1986 and passage of the Nevada Wilderness Protection Act in ’89. The latter protected 1,100 square miles of wilderness statewide, including Mount Charleston north of Las Vegas, the Ruby Mountains near Elko, and Reno's Mount Rose. Sill died in Reno, Nevada shortly after falling ill on October 23, 2016.


Jim Detterline (60) former Rocky Mountain National Park climbing ranger and respected mountain rescue specialist. Detterline was a park ranger from 1987–2009, including a stint as supervisory climbing ranger. He received the US Interior Department's Valor Award for helping to rescue two people from a frigid river in the park in 1995. He waded into the river to keep the victims from being washed over a waterfall while other rangers set up rescue gear. Detterline had been climbing alone in a series of rocky outcrops called the Ironclads. He was wearing climbing gear. His body was found with major injuries consistent with a fall. His border collie, Annie, stayed with him until he was found outside Allenpark, Colorado on October 25, 2016.

Dolphus Morrison (82) longtime horseman and breeder of the great filly Rachel Alexandra. Morrison was involved in thoroughbred racing for more than 30 years when he and trainer Hal Wiggins struck gold with Rachel Alexandra in 2009. The champion filly, named after a granddaughter of Morrison's, won the Preakness that year and became the face of his breeding program. Morrison ended his breeding operation in 2012. He died of Alzheimer’s disease in Columbia, Missouri on October 26, 2016.

Carlos Alberto Torres (72) teammate of Pele and captain of Brazil's World Cup-winning team in 1970. TV Globo employed Torres as a soccer commentator for SporTV. He was one of the best defenders of his generation and scored one of the most famous goals of the 1970 World Cup, blasting in a pass from Pele in the 4-1 win against Italy in the final. For many Brazilians, the goal against Italy was one of the best in history, demonstrating why many to this day still call him “The Captain.” His club career in Brazil was primarily with Santos, and he played later in the US for the New York Cosmos. He also played for Rio de Janeiro clubs Fluminense and Flamengo. Torres died in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on October 25, 2016.

Previous Week
Next Week

Return to Main Page
Return to Top