Back to Life In Legacy Main Page Pages for Previous Weeks Celebrity Deaths Message Board
Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, November 5, 2016

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

Kay Starr, singer who performed across pop chartsNatalie Babbitt, children's book author and illustratorZachary Boland, US Marine Corps recruit in trainingRalph J. Cicerone, atmospheric scientistBob Cranshaw, jazz bassistJames Galanos, fashion designer for America's social eliteTammy Grimes, Broadway's original 'Unsinkable Molly Brown'Bob Henry, founder of Texas water parkJohn Hicks, Ohio football starAndy Hill, Washington state senatorEllsworth Jackson, owner of LA limousine serviceWarren Judge, North Carolina legislative candidateRear Adm. Gene La Rocque, US Navy veteranMiranda Grace Lawson, Virginia toddler who choked on popcornStanford Lipsey, former publisher of 'Buffalo News'Joe Marquette, Pulitzer-winning news photographerDon Marshall, actor who starred on TV's 'Land of the Giants'Arnold Mesches, artist tracked by FBI for more than 25 yearsJohn Orsino, major league baseball catcher and first basemanKorkut Ozal, former Turkish government ministerJean-Jacques Perrey, French composer of electronic pop musicE. Barrett Prettyman Jr., Washington, DC lawyerCurly Putman, country songwriterDavid S. Seeley, lawyer and educatorRick Steiner, Broadway producer of 'The Producers' and other hitsMarek Svatos, Slovakian-born hockey playerAndreas Vgenopoulos, Greek business tycoonMiriam Weinstein, mother of Weinstein brothers who founded film company MiramaxStaff Sgt. David Whitcher, US Special Forces traineeVladimir Zeldin, world's oldest working actor

Art and Literature

Natalie Babbitt (84) author of the children's novel Tuck Everlasting. Babbitt also was an illustrator. Her 1975 novel is about a girl who stumbles onto a mysterious family that's discovered a magical spring that gives eternal life. With its themes of immortality, aging, and death, the novel was named an American Library Association notable book. It has been adapted into two movies, including a 2002 Disney film, and a Broadway play that had a brief run earlier this year. Babbitt had recently been diagnosed with lung cancer and died in Hamden, Connecticut on October 31, 2016.

Arnold Mesches (93) painter whose political activities were recorded by the FBI for more than 25 years in a thick dossier that he later used for his series The FBI Files. Mesches was a scenic artist in Hollywood when his work for the Communist Party came to the attention of the FBI in 1945. A file the bureau started began filling up quickly in 1946, when he dropped his work as a storyboard artist on a Tarzan film and took part in a strike against the studios. Over the years, agents and informers kept track of his day-to-day activities. In the late ‘90s Mesches obtained his file under the Freedom of Information Act and found 760 pages, with classified information ruled over in heavy black lines. He cut and pasted 57 of the documents into a series of collaged paintings first exhibited in 2003. He died in Gainesville, Florida on November 5, 2016.

Business and Science

Ralph J. Cicerone (73) president emeritus of the National Academy of Sciences and an authority on atmospheric chemistry and climate change. Cicerone was the 21st president of the NAS from 2005 until last June. He balanced advocacy for independent scientific advice with maintaining a dialogue with politicians and policymakers on major scientific issues. A leading atmospheric scientist, his research helped to shape environmental policy and science nationally and internationally. Among his achievements were the restoration and renovation of the NAS building on the National Mall, the creation of a $500 million Gulf research program after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and several studies on global climate change. He died unexpectedly in Short Hills, New Jersey on November 5, 2016.

James Galanos (92) fashion designer who spent decades dressing America’s social elite, most notably Nancy Reagan. Galanos earned the most accolades his industry had to offer, including several Coty Awards (was the youngest designer to win one, at age 30 in 1954), a lifetime achievement award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and a bronze plaque on Seventh Avenue’s Fashion Walk of Fame. He dressed the famous and the socially prominent—the ladies who lunched, from Park Avenue to Pennsylvania Avenue. He died in West Hollywood, California on October 30, 2016.

Bob Henry (89) man who founded the Schlitterbahn water park in central Texas. Henry and his family started Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels in 1979. The Henry family named the water park by combining the German words for slippery—schlitter—and for road—bahn. The company also has water parks in three other Texas cities—South Padre Island, Galveston, and Corpus Christi—and in Kansas City, Kansas. Bob Henry died in New Braunfels, Texas after a prolonged illness, on October 31, 2016.

Ellsworth Jackson (??) owner of a South Los Angeles limousine company who every Thanksgiving gave away thousands of turkeys to needy families. For decades he owned Jackson Limousine Service, known for driving stars of movies and music. In 1982 Jackson bought 100 turkeys for senior citizens who couldn't afford holiday meals. He created the E. J. Jackson Foundation and in 1983 gave away 200 birds; in 1984 he bought 500. Soon the celebrities his company chauffeured started showing up to help hand out the turkeys as part of a community event. In 2015, more than 12,000 were given away. Jackson died in Los Angeles, California of an apparent heart attack, on November 1, 2016.

Andreas Vgenopoulos (63) Greek lawyer turned business tycoon. Vgenopoulos was vilified as the man who precipitated Cyprus's banking crisis in 2012, which led to a European Union bailout and a one-time levy on all uninsured bank deposits over €100,000. He was also accused of corrupt lending practices, first in Cyprus, then, last month, in Greece, a charge he denied. At the height of his success, Vgenopoulos acquired a string of businesses including Marfin Popular Bank, a passenger shipping firm, Greece's largest food company, a private clinic, and Greece's ailing state airline, Olympic, although in recent years their value has shrunk. He died of a heart attack in Athens, Greece on November 5, 2016.


David S. Seeley (85) lawyer and educator who devoted his career in government and academia to racially integrating US schools and to upgrading them through a collaborative movement involving students, teachers, parents, and community organizations. Seeley taught at the College of Staten Island, part of the City University of New York, from 1987–2003 as an education professor and a coordinator of the college’s Educational Leadership Program. He died on Staten Island, New York of myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disease, on October 30, 2016.


E, Barrett Prettyman Jr. (91) Washington lawyer who played crucial backstage roles in the US Supreme Court’s unanimous school-desegregation decision, the first expulsion by Congress of one of its members in more than a century, and the release of prisoners captured in the abortive Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. Prettyman crusaded against the death penalty, championed press protections, and prodded lawyers to provide free legal services to clients who could not afford representation. In a career that he began as a newspaper reporter, he clerked for Supreme Court Justices Robert H. Jackson, Felix Frankfurter, and John M. Harlan. Prettyman died in Washington, DC on November 4, 2016.

News and Entertainment

Bob Cranshaw (83) bassist heard in Broadway pit bands, on TV, and on thousands of jazz recordings—but probably best known as a longtime anchor in bands led by saxophonist Sonny Rollins. Cranshaw appears on more than a few jazz albums regarded as classics. He contributed to countless jingles and film scores and to albums by pop artists like Paul Simon. He was also a member of the first Saturday Night Live band and played in the bands on several late-night talk shows, notably those of Dick Cavett and Merv Griffin. As house bassist for the Children’s Television Workshop, Cranshaw could be heard on many songs featured on Sesame Street, including the show’s original theme song. He died of cancer in New York City on November 2, 2016.

Tammy Grimes (82) actress and singer who conquered Broadway at age 26, winning a Tony Award for her performance in The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and later had a distinguished stage career. Grimes was largely unknown in 1960 when she was cast as Molly, the rags-to-riches turn-of-the-20th-century socialite-philanthropist who survived the sinking of the Titanic. The show’s producers, who clearly considered the music and lyrics by Meredith Willson more marketable than their female lead, declined to put her name above the title, which meant that (because of the Tony regulations at the time) she could be nominated only in the featured-actress category. Her second Tony, for a 1969 revival of Noël Coward’s Private Lives, was for lead actress. The ex-wife of actor Christopher Plummer and mother of actress Amanda Plummer, Tammy Grimes died in Englewood, New Jersey on October 30, 2016.

Stanford Lipsey (89) longtime Buffalo News publisher. A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Lipsey was publisher of the Buffalo News for 29 years after being hired by owner Warren Buffett. Lipsey became publisher emeritus in 2012. He died in Rancho Mirage, California on November 1, 2016.

Joe Marquette (79) Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer who covered Olympics, Super Bowls, and the White House during a 50-year career. Marquette spent 10 years with the Associated Press and worked for several other news organizations, including United Press International, Reuters, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. In 1999, along with a team of other AP photographers, he won a Pulitzer in the category of feature photography for coverage of the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Marquette's career gave him a front seat to some of the most important events of the 20th and 21st centuries. He died in Tulsa, Oklahoma after a series of lengthy illnesses, on November 5, 2016.

Don Marshall (80) one of the first black actors to have a starring role on an American network TV series, as a spaceship’s first officer stranded on a mysterious planet on Land of the Giants. The series, which ran from 1968–70 on ABC, was a sci-fi adventure about the passengers and crew of a small suborbital aircraft that crash-lands on a planet inhabited by humanoids 70 feet tall. Marshall starred alongside Gary Conway, who played the pilot. The producer was Irwin Allen, the man behind Lost in Space and other ‘60s sci-fi shows and later the mastermind of blockbuster disaster movies, including The Towering Inferno and The Poseidon Adventure. Over 30 years Marshall appeared in more than two dozen TV series, TV movies, and feature films. He died in Los Angeles, California on October 30, 2016.

Jean-Jacques Perrey (87) French composer and pioneer of electronic pop music who was best known for cowriting “Baroque Hoedown,” used as the music for the Main Street Electrical Parade at Disney theme parks. In the mid-‘60s Perrey teamed with American composer Gershon Kingsley to record two groundbreaking electronic pop music albums, The In Sound from Way Out and Kaleidoscopic Vibrations: Electronic Pop Music from Way Out! The latter included “Baroque Hoedown,” which became known to millions of people worldwide when it was used as the music for the Main Street Electrical Parade at Disneyland and other Disney theme parks. Perrey died in Lausanne, Switzerland on November 4, 2016.

Curly Putman (85) songwriter whose ballad with a twist ending, “The Green, Green Grass of Home,” became a worldwide hit for Tom Jones in 1967. Putman’s long string of country classics included “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” for Tammy Wynette and “He Stopped Loving Her Today” for George Jones. Putman turned out hundreds of songs, many of them country chart-toppers, in the early '60s. He was renowned as a song doctor who could transform a promising tune into a sure thing, and although he often wrote solo, many of his greatest hits were collaborative efforts. He died of congestive heart and kidney failure in Lebanon, Tennessee on October 30, 2016.

Kay Starr (94) self-described hillbilly singer who crisscrossed jazz, country, pop, blues, and rock ’n’ roll in the ‘50s with hits like “Wheel of Fortune” and ”Rock & Roll Waltz.” Starr, whose career began when she was a teenager and continued into her 80s, was a rarity: a singer who blossomed in the big-band era of the ‘30s and ‘40s, hit it big as a pop and country artist, and scored one of her biggest hits in the emerging rock scene of the mid-‘50s. When her style eventually faded from the pop charts, she continued to tour for decades, performing, to her surprise, to devoted crowds. Kay Starr died of Alzheimer’s disease in Los Angeles, California on November 3, 2016.

Rick Steiner (69) Broadway producer who compiled a string of box-office hits that included The Producers, Hairspray, and Jersey Boys. Steiner, who won five Tony Awards as a producer, was a Broadway anomaly with a colorful past in a wide assortment of businesses. He operated from his hometown, Cincinnati, and over the years assembled teams of investors that often included his childhood friends. Steiner had recently undergone open-heart surgery. He died in Cincinnati, Ohio on November 3, 2016.

Miriam Weinstein (90) mother of filmmakers Harvey and Bob Weinstein and an inspiration for the name of their first film company, Miramax—along with her late husband, Max. Miriam Weinstein was a part of her sons’ business from the beginning. After Miramax was founded in 1979, originally just to distribute independent films, she was the receptionist at the company’s first headquarters, at Madison Avenue and 48th Street. Miramax later became a division of the Walt Disney Co. in a $60 million sale, and Miramax films won Oscars in best picture for The English Patient, Shakespeare in Love, and Chicago. Miriam Weinstein died in Westport, Connecticut on November 2, 2016.

Vladimir Zeldin (101) Russian actor described as the world's oldest working actor. Zeldin shot to stardom with the role of a shepherd in They Met in Moscow. Shooting began a few months before the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. Then-26-year-old Zeldin was conscripted and sent to the front line before Josef Stalin's order recalled him to Moscow to continue the shoot. Zeldin, whose career spanned from iconic movie parts in the ‘40s to theater appearances in recent years, was due to appear on stage in early November. He died in Moscow, Russia on October 31, 2016.

Politics and Military

Zachary Boland (18) US Marine Corps recruit from Madison, Alabama. Boland was found unconscious in his bed at Parris Island (SC) Recruit Training Depot. Emergency responders transferred Boland to Beaufort Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead 90 minutes later. He was the second recruit to have died within eight months while training at the SC installation; 20-year-old Raheel Siddiqui died March 18 after falling 40 feet in a stairwell. The Marines said it was a suicide. Siddiqui's family linked his death to hazing. Boland died in Beaufort, South Carolina on November 4, 2016.

Andy Hill (54) key budget writer for the Washington state Senate. A former program manager at Microsoft, Hill was elected in 2010 to represent the 45th legislative district, which includes his hometown of Redmond. Hill, who became chairman of the Senate Ways & Means Committee in 2013, was currently serving a second term after his reelection in ‘14. He never smoked but was first diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009. The cancer ultimately spread to his lymph nodes and his other lung even after chemotherapy and radiation. After participating in a clinical trial at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, Hill had been cancer-free since early 2010. But in June he announced that he was battling a recurrence and began chemotherapy and additional treatment. He died in Washington state, 19 days after his 54th birthday, on October 31, 2016.

Warren Judge (??) candidate for House District 6 in the North Carolina General Assembly. The Democrat was running for an open legislative seat against Republican Beverly Boswell, a fellow Dare County commissioner. Boswell issued a statement through the state Republican Party that Judge would be remembered for his honesty, integrity, and commitment to public service after 16 years as a county commissioner. If voters choose Judge in the election, the local Democrat Party will determine who fills the legislative seat. Judge died in Manteo, North Carolina on November 5, 2016.

Rear Adm. Gene La Rocque (98) decorated US Navy veteran who spoke out against the wastes of war and was labeled a traitor by some. After retiring in the early '70s, La Rocque founded the Center for Defense Information, a private think tank described as both pro-peace and pro-military. The new organization began with three primary goals: to avert a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, to end the Vietnam War, and to monitor the influence of the military-industrial complex. As the center’s director, La Rocque continued his battle long after the first two goals had been achieved. He died in Washington, DC on October 31, 2016.

Korkut Ozal (87) former Turkish government minister and brother of Turkey's late president Turgut Ozal. Korkut Ozal, who trained as an engineer, was agriculture minister twice in the ‘70s and was briefly interior minister from 1977–78. He was elected to parliament as a legislator in 1995, two years after his brother Turgut's death. Korkut Ozal later chaired the small center-right Democratic Party from 1997 until his retirement from politics in 2001. He died in Istanbul, Turkey of respiratory and circulatory failure on November 2, 2016.

Staff Sgt. David Whitcher (30) US soldier from Bradford, New Hampshire. The combat veteran volunteered for US Army Special Forces training in 2014. Whitcher was a student in the Combat Diver Qualification Course at the US Army’s John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center & School. He died while dive training off Key West, Florida on November 2, 2016. His death is under investigation.

Society and Religion

Miranda Grace Lawson (2) Virginia girl whose parents went to court to block a hospital from performing a brain death test on the child. Miranda had been on life support since May, when she choked on a piece of popcorn. Her doctors said they were certain she wouldn’t recover and wanted to perform a test that they said would confirm she was brain dead. Her parents refused to allow the test, saying they worried it would harm her. Miranda Lawson died in Richmond, Virginia on November 1, 2016.


John Hicks (65) College Football Hall of Fame offensive lineman and former Ohio State star. Hicks won both the Outland Trophy and the Lombardi Trophy in 1973 as the nation's outstanding lineman. The right tackle finished second in Heisman Trophy voting that season. The former New York Giants player is also in the Ohio State athletics hall of fame and the Rose Bowl hall of fame. He died of diabetes in Ohio on October 30, 2016.

john Orsino (78) one of the San Francisco players who hit a record-tying five home runs in a 12-run ninth inning in a 1961 game at Cincinnati. A catcher and first baseman, Orsino spent seven seasons in the major leagues with the Giants (1961–62), Baltimore (1963–65), and Washington (1966–67), hitting .249 with 40 home runs and 123 runs batted in. His best season was 1963, when he homered in his first five spring training games with the Orioles and later batted .272 with 19 home runs and 56 RBIs. He died in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida on November 1, 2016.

Marek Svatos (34) former Colorado Avalanche player. Svatos was a native of Kosice, Slovakia. He played for the Avalanche from 2004–10 and played briefly for Nashville and Ottawa. He was found dead at his home in Lone Tree, Colorado, a Denver suburb, on November 4, 2016.

Previous Week
Next Week

Return to Main Page
Return to Top