Back to Life In Legacy Main Page Pages for Previous Weeks Celebrity Deaths Message Board
Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, March 18, 2017

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

Chuck Berry, rock 'n' roll pioneerDr. Tom Amberry, champion free-throwing podiatristSok An, deputy prime minister of CambodiaJohn Andariese, longtime NY Knicks broadcasterAndrew Becker, USAF captain killed in training flightGeorge Braziller, independent book publisherGeorge E. Bria, AP newsman who broke news of German surrender in WWIITrisha Brown, postmodern dance choreographerJerry Canterbury, disabled Ohio man whose case led to landmark court rulingAnatoly S. Chernyaev, former aide to Soviet leader Mikhail GorbachevCarl Clark, WWII hero belatedly honoredJames Cotton, blues harmonica masterChet Cunningham, prolific San Diego writerKika de la Garza, former US congressman from TexasMorton Deutsch, expert on conflict resolution and mediationHorst Ehmke, aide to former West German Chancellor Willy BrandtEugene Crum Foshee, Alabama state legislatorHugh Hardy, NYC architectJack Harris, producer of 'The Blob'John Herbers, 'NY Times' reporter who covered turbulent '60s–'70sDon Hunstein, photographer of covers for Columbia record albumsGershon Kekst, public relations pioneerPeter Kwong, Asian-American scholar and educatorTommy LiPuma, jazz and pop recording producerJason Messer, North Carolina teenagerRev. J. Donald Monan, Boston College president and chancellorFrederic Solis Nathan, NYC legal officerFelicia ('Auntie Fee') O'Dell, popular Internet cookRobin O'Hara, producer of independent filmsLouise Waxman Pearce, Jackie Kennedy's first curator for White House restorationRoyal Robbins, rock climbing iconWaymon Roberts, father of LA Dodgers manager Dave RobertsAmy Krouse Rosenthal, Chicago author and speakerDr. Lewis P. Rowland, neurologist who made discoveries in nerve and muscle diseasesCarolyn Rush, wife of US congressman from IllinoisDr. Norbert W. Sander Jr., physician and NYC Marathon winnerPrince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-BerleburgBoris V. Shekhtman, Soviet teacher of conversational RussianDave Stallworth, NY Knicks standoutRodrigo Valdes, Colombian boxing championJohn Van de Kamp, former California attorney generalMiloslav, Cardinal Vlk, Czech prelate forced underground by Communist regimeDerek Walcott, Nobel-winning Caribbean poetBill Walsh, 'Washington Post' copy editor and blogger on English usageEd Whitlock, running championSkip Williamson, underground comics cartoonistRonald G. Witt, Duke University historianBernie Wrightson, comic book artist

Art and Literature

George Braziller (101) independent and self-taught publisher for more than 50 years who supported early novels by Norman Mailer and Arthur Miller and released fiction by Nobel laureates Orhan Pamuk and Claude Simon. Braziller had stepped down as publisher at age 95 and turned over the company to his son, Michael. A high school dropout endowed with lifelong curiosity, George Braziller was often likened to his good friend and fellow maverick, Barney Rosset. Both were political leftists and champions of books from overseas, and both succeeded by breaking rules, although Braziller was never in Rosset's class as a troublemaker. While Rosset went to court to fight censorship of Tropic of Cancer and other works, Braziller concentrated on finding quality literature. He died in New York City on March 16, 2017.

Chet Cunningham (88) San Diego author who churned out 450 published books—Westerns, thrillers, military history, medical guides—including one he wrote in less than a week because a publishing house was desperate to fill an unexpected hole in its production schedule. Cunningham also nurtured other writers. He founded the nonprofit San Diego Book Awards in 1994 as a way to honor local writers, both published and unpublished. In the organization’s lean years, he would seek donations from people in the literary community, telling them that an anonymous donor had offered to match their gifts; Cunningham was the anonymous donor. He died in San Diego, California of complications from a fall, on March 14, 2017.

Hugh Hardy (84) architect who breathed new life into some of New York's most storied theatrical landmarks, among them Radio City Music Hall and the New Amsterdam Theater. Hardy's use of dramatic gesture is perhaps most evident in the townhouse at 18 West 11th Street in Greenwich Village, destroyed by an explosion in 1970 when it was being used by radicals as a bomb factory and rebuilt with a brick façade that seems to pivot—signaling the disruption of the tranquil row. Hardy fell on March 15 getting out of a taxi on Eighth Avenue across from the Joyce Theater, one of the many theaters and great public spaces that he restored or renovated. He and his wife had dinner anyway, then went to the Joyce for a dance performance. Hardy lost consciousness there and was taken to a hospital, where he died of a cerebral hemorrhage on March 16, 2017.

Louise Waxman Pearce (82) decorative arts scholar who, as the first White House curator, helped First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy to restore the presidential mansion to its 19th-century historic splendor. Pearce joined the White House in late March 1961, only weeks after John F. Kennedy’s inauguration and Jackie's announcement of her plans to change the building’s interiors from the modern look of the renovation undertaken during Harry Truman’s presidency to one that reflected its early historic character. Much of the emphasis was on reviving the style of the White House after the completion of its reconstruction in 1817. Pearce had been treated for Alzheimer’s disease. She died in Charlottesville, Virginia one month before her 83rd birthday, on March 14, 2017.

Amy Krouse Rosenthal (51) popular author, filmmaker, and speaker who brightened lives with her generous spirit—and broke hearts when she wrote of being terminally ill and leaving behind her husband. Rosenthal completed than more 30 books, including journals, memoirs, and the best-selling picture stories Uni the Unicorn and Duck! Rabbit! But she started a very different conversation earlier this month with a widely read “Modern Love” column she wrote for the New York Times. In it, she told of learning about her fatal diagnosis and offered tribute to her husband, Jason Brian Rosenthal. The essay was titled, “You May Want to Marry My Husband.” Amy Rosenthal was diagnosed in 2015 with ovarian cancer. She died in Chicago, Illinois on March 13, 2017.

Derek Walcott (87) Nobel Prize-winning poet known for capturing the essence of his native Caribbean. Walcott received the Nobel Prize in literature in 1992. The academy cited the great luminosity of his writings including the 1990 Omeros, a 64-chapter Caribbean epic that it praised as “majestic.” His work earned him a reputation as one of the greatest writers of the second half of the 20th century. With passions ranging from watercolor painting to teaching to theater, Walcott's work was widely praised for its depth and bold use of metaphor and its mix of sensuousness and technical prowess. The poet himself compared his feeling for poetry to a religious avocation. Walcott retired from teaching at Boston University in 2007 and spent more of his time in his native St. Lucia, where he died on March 17, 2017.

Skip Williamson (72) creator of underground comics that merged his radical politics with his love of scatological humor. For the underground cartoonists of the ‘60s and ’70s, sex, drugs, profanity, and violence were as common as superheroes in mainstream comics, and Williamson was among the most provocative. His characters were often visual grotesques, like Snappy Sammy Smoot, a dandy with googly eyes, gigantic red (or pink) lips, pomaded black hair, and a delicate mustache. Williamson died of renal failure just 11 days after the death of his colleague Jay Lynch, in Albany, Vermont on March 16, 2017.

Bernie Wrightson (68) comic book artist known for his lush, intricate, otherworldly visions of horror and one of the creators of the popular DC Comics character Swamp Thing. Besides his comic book work, Wrightson did illustrations for horror magazines and novels, including several by Stephen King and Mary Shelley’s 1818 classic, Frankenstein. He also contributed character designs for films, including creatures, aliens, and ghouls for The Mist, Galaxy Quest, and the original Ghostbusters. Wrightson died of brain cancer in Austin, Texas on March 18, 2017.

Business and Science

Gershon Kekst (82) corporate adviser who counseled many of the biggest deal makers during the merger boom of the ‘80s and helped to form the modern financial public relations industry. For more than 50 years in PR, Kekst forged relationships with business moguls like Sanford I. Weill of Citigroup, Henry R. Kravis of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and bankers and lawyers who advised them on takeovers and other financial matters. Such was the dominance of Kekst and his firm that Kekst & Co. advised both Time and Warner Communications in their 1989 union, and both the Walt Disney Co. and Capital Cities in theirs in ’95. And what was once a PR niche that he pioneered has become a huge and profitable industry in its own right, with dozens of competitors now vying to advise on mergers and financial crises. Kekst died in New York City on March 17, 2017.

Dr. Lewis P. Rowland (91) neurologist who made fundamental discoveries in nerve and muscle diseases. Rowland was a prolific researcher and writer, with nearly 500 published scientific articles that focused on devastating neuromuscular diseases, including muscular dystrophy, myasthenia gravis, and many rare syndromes. He took a special interest in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, which causes degeneration of nerves in the brain and spinal cord, leading to weakness, paralysis, and death. Rowland led research teams that delineated several uncommon diseases that had been poorly understood. He died of a stroke in New York City on March 16, 2017.


Peter Kwong (75) came to the US to be trained as an engineer but instead became an authoritative scholar on America’s Chinatowns and Chinese immigration. Kwong, who joined the faculty at Hunter College of City University of New York in 1993, was a distinguished professor of Asian-American studies and of urban policy and planning and a member of the doctoral faculty in sociology at the university’s Graduate Center. He was also a journalist, documentary filmmaker, and author. His career spanned the 1965 immigration act, which reversed 40 years of virtual exclusion of Asians, and the more recent gentrification of Manhattan’s Chinatown. He died of a heart attack in New York City on March 17, 2017.

Rev. J. Donald Monan (92) Boston College's first chancellor, credited with transforming the regional school into a national powerhouse. Monan was Boston College's longest-serving president. After stepping down in 1996 after 24 years as president, he became the school’s first chancellor. He helped to transform the Jesuit college from a financially strapped, predominantly male commuter school to a coeducational and nationally ranked university. The college currently has about 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students, and its endowment is among the largest in the nation. Monan died in Boston, Massachusetts on March 18, 2017.

Boris V. Shekhtman (77) Soviet émigré who taught conversational Russian to a generation of American journalists, diplomats, and entrepreneurs—from the grim lingo of Cold War aggression to the argot of capitalist negotiation. Shekhtman was instrumental in changing the way foreign languages were taught and in bringing a higher level of understanding to talks in which every word counts. He died of lymphoma in Silver Spring, Maryland on March 18, 2017.

Ronald G. Witt (84) historian who redrew the map of the Renaissance through studies that identified the first stirrings of Italian humanism in a period well before the birth of its traditional father, Petrarch. Witt was a disciple of German historians Hans Baron, who coined the term “civic humanism” to describe the political culture of 15th-century Florence, and Paul Oskar Kristeller, who emphasized the work of medieval rhetoricians in preparing the ground for Renaissance humanism. In his studies of humanist Coluccio Salutati, chancellor of Florence in the late 14th century, and in two sweeping works, In the Footsteps of the Ancients (2000) and The Two Latin Cultures & the Foundation of Renaissance Humanism in Medieval Italy (2012), Witt revised previous ideas about the evolution of Italian humanism. A longtime history professor at Duke University, he died of heart failure in Durham, North Carolina on March 15, 2017.


Frederic Solis Nathan (94) New York legal officer whose prosecution of the striking teachers’ union in the late ‘60s helped to transform its pugnacious president, Albert Shanker, into a national figure by sending him to jail for a month. As the city’s first assistant corporation counsel, Nathan was assigned by Mayor John V. Lindsay’s administration to enforce the new Public Employees Fair Employment Act, known as the Taylor Law, which prohibited work stoppages by state and municipal employees. It was the first test of the state law, which took effect on September 1, 1967. In court, union officials at first insisted that what occurred later that month—an effort to press their demands for higher wages and more control over their classrooms—was not a strike but a mass resignation. After 17 days, the longest stoppage in the school system’s history, State Supreme Court Justice Emilio Nunez disagreed; he fined the United Federation of Teachers $150,000 and held Shanker in contempt of court, sentencing him to 15 days, served over the Christmas holiday. Nathan died of Parkinson's disease in New York City on March 14, 2017.

John Van de Kamp (81) former California attorney general (1983–91), a public-defender-turned-politician who became Los Angeles County’s top prosecutor by defeating the man who sent Charles Manson to prison, prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi. Van de Kamp successfully pushed to pass America's first restrictions on assault weapons after a gunman killed five children at a Stockton school in 1989. He ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1990, losing in the Democrat primary to then-San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein, who was defeated by Republican US Sen. Pete Wilson in the general election. Van de Kamp had the distinction of serving as the first LA-based federal public defender from 1971–75, then as LA County’s top prosecutor from ‘75–82. He died in Pasadena, California on March 14, 2017.

News and Entertainment

Chuck Berry (90) rock ‘n’ roll’s founding guitar hero and storyteller who defined the music in such classics as “Johnny B. Goode,” ‘‘Sweet Little 16,” and “Roll Over Beethoven.” Berry’s core repertoire was some three dozen songs, his influence incalculable, from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones to virtually any group from garage band to arena act that called itself rock ‘n’ roll. While Elvis Presley gave rock its libidinous, hip-shaking image, Berry was the auteur, setting the template for a new sound and way of life. In his late 20s before his first major hit, Berry crafted lyrics that spoke to the teenagers of the day and remained fresh decades later. “Johnny B. Goode,” the tale of a guitar-playing country boy whose mother tells him he’ll be a star, was Berry’s signature song, the archetypal narrative for would-be rockers. Emergency responders summoned to his residence west of St. Louis, Missouri by his caretaker found him unresponsive. Attempts to revive Berry failed, and he was pronounced dead shortly before 1:30 p.m. on March 18, 2017.

George E. Bria (101) Associated Press newsman who flashed word of the German surrender in Italy at World War II's end and later became chief United Nations correspondent, a key news editor, and a widely published gardening columnist. As a young reporter, Bria bore witness to Benito Mussolini’s execution and covered the Nuremberg war crimes trials. Later, as a senior foreign news editor at AP’s New York headquarters, he helped to define and shape the day’s news and prepare generations of journalists to cover the world. Bria died in New York City on March 18, 2017.

Trisha Brown (80) choreographer and exemplar of the founding generation of American postmodern dance. Few dance inventors have so combined the cerebral and sensuous sides of dance as Brown did, and few have been as influential. Her choreography, showcased primarily in New York, helped to shape generations of modern dance creators into the 21st century. Brown had been treated for vascular dementia since 2011. She died in San Antonio, Texas on March 18, 2017.

James Cotton (81) Grammy Award-winning blues harmonica master whose sound backed such blues legends as Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson II, and Howlin' Wolf. The Mississippi Delta native had performed professionally since age 9. Cotton backed Muddy Waters in his landmark album At Newport on Chess Records. After going solo in the ‘60s, Cotton released almost 30 albums, including his 1996 Grammy Award-winning Verve album, Deep in the Blues. His most recent album, Cotton Mouth Man for Alligator Records in 2013, was nominated for a Grammy. Cotton died of pneumonia in Austin, Texas on March 16, 2017.

Jack Harris (98) film producer who cemented his place in Hollywood history with the 1958 horror film The Blob. Harris worked in marketing, publicity, distribution, and production across his long career. His first film, the B-movie The Blob, which starred Steve McQueen in his first leading role, became an enormous hit, grossing more than $3 million on a $110,000 budget and spawning a sequel and a remake. While the critical reception was lukewarm upon its release, The Blob remains a cult favorite today. Harris died in Beverly Hills, California on March 14, 2017.

John Herbers (93) reporter for the New York Times on national affairs who in covering the racial turmoil in the Deep South in the ‘60s demonstrated a rare blend of journalistic ingenuity and courage often associated with front-line war correspondents. In the political circus of Washington and in the cities and towns of a nation struggling with urban decay, the Vietnam War, and racial conflicts, Herbers often reported major news: antiwar protests, civil rights marches, the 1968 presidential campaign and the assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, the Watergate scandal, and the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon. Over 40 years, including 24 years with the Times, he also covered the passage and enforcement of civil rights laws, the rising influence of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and the plight of the poor and social unrest in the cities. Herbert died in Washington, DC on March 17, 2017.

Don Hunstein (88) staff photographer at Columbia Records (late '50s–1986) who in 1963 shot the iconic album cover of Bob Dylan and his girlfriend Suze Rotolo strolling past Greenwich Village cars and trucks for Dylan's second album, The Freewheeling' Bob Dylan. Hunstein's job meant being unobtrusive as he sat in on Miles Davis’s sessions for Kind of Blue or Billie Holiday’s for Lady in Satin at Columbia’s 30th Street Studio in Manhattan. He was there when the gang members from the Broadway musical West Side Story crammed around a single microphone to record the cast album; when Duke Ellington took a break to chat with Dizzy Gillespie and Billy Strayhorn; when Tony Bennett consulted with Mitch Miller, head of artists and repertoire for Columbia’s pop division; and when Dylan rehearsed before a house full of empty seats at Carnegie Hall. Hunstein died of Alzheimer’s disease in New York City on March 18, 2017.

Tommy LiPuma (80) jazz and pop producer who won Grammys for collaborations with Natalie Cole and George Benson. In a career spanning 60 years, LiPuma’s productions won five Grammys and were nominated for 28 more, and saw sales of $75 million. His collaborating partners also included Paul McCartney and singer-keyboardist Diana Krall. LiPuma died in New York City on March 13, 2017.

Felicia ('Auntie Fee') O'Dell (59) South Los Angeles homemaker who became an Internet sensation for her foul mouth and fried food recipes. O’Dell won viral fame in 2014 after her son posted a 4-minute clip of her cooking some dough-covered “sweet treats for the kids.” She had landed in magazines, newspapers, and on TV shows, including Jimmy Kimmel Live! after her kitchen antics attracted attention; she was even cast in a reported role in an upcoming film. O’Dell’s fame came with some criticism. Some called her illiterate, unsanitary, and unscripted—a bad example for other black folks. They said her dishes—loaded with butter, sugar, and grease—would send people to an early grave. Despite the criticism, O’Dell stayed true to her style. She died of a heart attack in Los Angeles, California on March 17, 2017.

Robin O'Hara (62) producer of Tom Noonan’s What Happened Was …, a coproducer of Harmony Korine’s Gummo, and producer of other notable independent films. O’Hara got her start as a producer in the mid-‘80s at the Kitchen, the experimental performance space in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, where she was in charge of video distribution. She helped to produce the 1986 PBS special Two Moon July, which featured several artists prominent at the Kitchen, and later produced dance and performance videos for the PBS series Alive from Off-Center. She died of cancer in New York City on March 14, 2017.

Bill Walsh (55) copy editor at the Washington Post whose witty blog and books about grammar, spelling, and capitalization made him a popular voice on language. During his 20 years at the Post, Walsh was copy chief of the national and business sections. He wrote three books on copy editing; the most recent was Yes, I Could Care Less: How to Be a Language Snob Without Being a Jerk (2013). He died of bile-duct cancer in Arlington, Virginia on March 15, 2017.

Politics and Military

Sok An (66) deputy prime minister of Cambodia, one of PM Hun Sen’s closest political and personal allies. Sok An was trusted with the sensitive task of negotiating with the United Nations to hold an internationally assisted tribunal to try leaders of the Khmer Rouge for genocide and other crimes, and overseeing Cambodia’s role in it. Trials began in 2009 but so far have led to the convictions of just three defendants. Sok An had been absent from public life for several months, supposedly undergoing medical treatment for diabetes and other ailments. He died in Beijing, China on March 15, 2017.

Andrew Becker (33) US Air Force captain, one of three service members killed in a plane crash during a training flight in New Mexico. Becker was from the Detroit suburb of Novi. He died on March 14, 2017.

Anatoly S. Chernyaev (95) adviser to Mikhail S. Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, as he tried to refashion the Soviet Union’s relations with the West. As a close aide to Gorbachev on both foreign and domestic affairs, Chernyaev played a central role in his attempt to modernize and liberalize the Soviet Union and was with him at a vacation house during the short-lived coup against him in 1991 and when he stepped down at the end of that year. Chernyaev later became disillusioned by the rule in Russia of President Vladimir V. Putin. His diaries of Soviet politics from 1972–91 have become invaluable sources for historians, offering an insider’s account of Kremlin politics. Chernyaev had been treated for a respiratory ailment for several weeks before he died in Moscow, Russia on March 12, 2017.

Carl Clark (100) California veteran recognized 60 years after his bravery during World War II with a medal of honor that had been denied him because he was black. Clark finally received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal in 2012. He was serving as a Steward First Class aboard the USS Aaron Ward when Japanese kamikazes attacked the destroyer near Okinawa in May 1945. Six kamikazes hit the destroyer, with the blast from one plane so powerful that it blew Clark all the way across the ship. Although he suffered a broken collarbone in the attack, he was credited with saving the lives of several men by dragging them to safety. He also put out a fire in an ammunition locker that would have cracked the vessel in half. Even though the destroyer's captain acknowledged that Clark had saved the ship, it took more than 60 years for him to be recognized for his actions. He died in Menlo Park, California on March 16, 2017.

Kika de la Garza (89) former US congressman (D-Texas), a longtime chairman of the US House Agriculture Committee. De la Garza was the first Mexican-American to be elected to Congress from his heavily Hispanic, largely agricultural south Texas district in 1965. He was immediately assigned to the Agriculture Committee and retained that seat for his entire 32-year House tenure, becoming its chairman in 1981. He held the chairman's gavel until the Republicans took control of the House in 1995 and retired in ’97. De la Garza died in McAllen, Texas on March 13, 2017.

Horst Ehmke (90) senior aide to former West German Chancellor Willy Brandt who helped to push through his policy of détente with the Communist bloc. A member of Brandt's center-left Social Democratic Party, Ehmke joined the Cabinet as justice minister in 1969 and a few months later became Brandt's chief of staff. He helped to implement Brandt's drive for reconciliation with the Communist bloc, the so-called “Ostpolitik.” Ehmke left the government when Brandt resigned in 1974 but remained in parliament until '94. He died in Bonn, Germany on March 12, 2017.

Eugene Crum Foshee (79) former lawmaker who spent six terms representing south Alabama in the Alabama Legislature. Foshee was a native of Red Level who represented Covington County in Montgomery. He served four years in the House and 18 years in the Senate before leaving the Legislature in 1994; he became a lobbyist afterward. Foshee died in Montgomery, Alabama on March 18, 2017.

Carolyn Rush (68) wife of Chicago Democrat US Rep. Bobby Rush. The couple were married for 36 years and had a blended family of seven children, including one son who is deceased, and 11 grandchildren. Carolyn Rush had been a community organizer, precinct captain, and a political strategist who had worked to end discrimination in housing and employment. She died of congestive heart failure in Chicago, Illinois on March 13, 2017.

Society and Religion

Jerry Canterbury (78) Ohio man left wheelchair-bound and bedridden when a relatively routine back operation paralyzed his legs when he was 19 and consigned him to a lifetime of urinary incontinence. Yet that surgery—with its horrific outcome—led to a landmark court ruling that fundamentally transformed how doctors deal with patients in evaluating the risks of potential treatment. Canterbury died of pulmonary disease in Hartville, Ohio, three days after his 78th birthday, on March 15, 2017.

Morton Deutsch (97) leading expert on conflict resolution and mediation. Deutsch's principles for thwarting another global military conflict were set forth in his book, Preventing World War III (1962), which provided a theoretical framework for various Cold War negotiations, for court decisions that voided legally sanctioned racial segregation in the US, and for Poland’s peaceful transition from Communist rule in 1989. The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory & Practice, which he edited in 2006 with two others, became a standard manual for dealing with labor, commercial, international, and marital disputes. Deutsch died in New York City on March 13, 2017.

Jason Messer (17) North Carolina teenager who slipped and fell more than 50 feet at Hanging Rock State Park in February. Messer, from Stokesdale, was hiking with three friends on February 18 when he fell from a ledge, breaking several bones and suffering a traumatic brain injury. He died a month later in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on March 17, 2017.

Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (82) German husband of Danish Queen Margrethe's younger sister Benedikte, second daughter of the late King Frederik and Queen Ingrid. Benedikte (72), who often represents Margrethe at official events, is 11th in the line of succession to the Danish throne—one of the world's oldest monarchies. The couple wed in 1968 in Denmark and had three children—Prince Gustav and Princesses Alexandra and Nathalie. Prince Richard died at the Berleburg Castle in central Germany where he and his wife lived, on March 13, 2017.

Miloslav, Cardinal Vlk (84) Prague cardinal who ministered clandestinely to Catholics for years while officially working as a window-washer during Communist rule in Czechoslovakia. Because the Communist regime at the time made theological studies impossible, Vlk worked at a car factory in the early ‘50s. In 1968, during the Prague Spring era of liberalizing reforms, he was ordained a priest when he was 36. He was forced to live underground in Prague from October 1978 through the end of ’88. For most of those years, Vlk worked officially as a window-cleaner in Prague while secretly performing his pastoral activity with small groups of lay Catholics. After Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution saw the nation end Communist rule and eventually become two countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Pope John Paul II made him a bishop in Ceske Budejovice in 1990 and in ‘94 elevated him to the rank of cardinal. Vlk died of cancer in Prague, Czech Republi on March 18, 2017.


Dr. Tom Amberry (94) retired Long Beach podiatrist who in 1993 completed 2,750 consecutive basketball free throws, stopping only when a janitor said it was time to turn off the gym lights and lock up. No one had ever done such a thing, at least not in the estimation of Guinness World Records, which keeps tabs on such feats. Amberry’s prowess at the free-throw line made him both a momentary celebrity and a commodity. He appeared on David Letterman’s TV show—again flipping in one perfect shot after another—and was sought out by coaches hoping he could help otherwise solid basketball players to fix the one glaring blemish in their game: the free throw. Tom Amberry died in Long Beach, California on March 18, 2017.

John Andariese (78) New York Knicks broadcaster for more than 35 years. A star player at Fordham and member of the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame, Andariese started as a Knicks radio analyst in 1972 alongside Marv Albert. He later spent 12 seasons as a TV analyst for MSG Network from 1986–98 before returning to the radio side, retiring before the start of the 2012–13 season. Nicknamed “Johnny Hoops,” Andariese was honored with the Curt Gowdy Media Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014. He died in New York City on March 13, 2017.

Royal Robbins (82) US rock climbing icon who founded the outdoor clothing company bearing his name. Robbins was part of the Golden Age of Yosemite, a post-World War II time from roughly 1955–70, when a vagabond group of climbers lived in Yosemite and devoted their lives to climbing. They claimed several first ascents that were once deemed impossible like El Capitan and Half Dome. Robbins was also a major promoter of clean climbing techniques and equipment to avoid rock damage. He died in Modesto, California on March 14, 2017.

Waymon Roberts (68) father of Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. Born in Houston, the elder Roberts served in the US Marine Corps and retired as a master gunnery sergeant. At one time he was stationed in Japan, where he met his future wife, Eiko, and where his only son was born on Okinawa in 1972. Dave Roberts' childhood was spent moving from one military base to another before the family settled in San Diego. Waymon Roberts died in Glendale, Arizona on March 17, 2017.

Dr. Norbert W. Sander Jr. (74) only runner from New York City to win its marathon and the driving force behind building one of the world’s premier indoor track facilities, in Upper Manhattan. An accomplished collegiate runner, Sander was part of a small but fervent group of New Yorkers who embraced distance running and road racing before the running boom of the ‘70s. He won the New York City Marathon in 1974—when it was run entirely in Central Park—in 2 hours 26 minutes 30 seconds; about 500 runners participated. He was an internist with a specialty in sports medicine and a longtime member of the board of New York Road Runners, which organizes the NYC Marathon and other races. Sander had a heart attack at his home in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York and was taken to a Yonkers hospital, where he was pronounced dead on March 17, 2017.

Dave Stallworth (75) all-American basketball forward at Wichita State before joining the New York Knicks. Stallworth was on his way to a fine pro career when he was sidelined by a heart attack near the end of his second NBA season. Doctors doubted he would play again, but Stallworth rejoined the Knicks in October 1969 after missing two full seasons. He was remembered for his grit not only in overcoming the odds but also in helping to take the Knicks to the 1970 NBA championship, their first league title. Stallworth was runner-up for the NBA’s Rookie of the Year Award, behind the San Francisco Warriors’ Rick Barry. He died in Wichita, Kansas on March 16, 2017.

Dave Stallworth (75) all-American basketball forward at Wichita State before joining the New York Knicks. Stallworth was on his way to a fine pro career when he was sidelined by a heart attack near the end of his second NBA season. Doctors doubted he would play again, but Stallworth rejoined the Knicks in October 1969 after missing two full seasons. He was remembered for his grit not only in overcoming the odds but also in helping to take the Knicks to the 1970 NBA championship, their first league title. Stallworth was runner-up for the NBA’s Rookie of the Year Award, behind the San Francisco Warriors’ Rick Barry. He died in Wichita, Kansas on March 16, 2017.

Rodrigo Valdes (70) former world middleweight boxing champion. Valdes began his career in his native Cartagena in 1963 and later won 63 bouts, 43 by knockout, but lost eight times. He held middleweight titles from the World Boxing Association and the World Boxing Council with victories over Bennie Briscoe but suffered two title fight losses to Carlos Monzon. Valdes died of a heart attack in Cartagena, Colombia on March 14, 2017.

Ed Whitlock (86) retired mining engineer and masters running champion who broke three hours in the marathon in his 70s and last fall became the oldest person ever to run 26.2 miles in under four hours. British-born Whitlock trained in a cemetery near his home in Milton, Ontario, outside Toronto, running laps for three hours or more at a time. His records forced scientists and fellow runners to reassess the possibilities of aging and performance. Whitlock died of prostate cancer in Toronto, Canada, one week after his 86th birthday, on March 13, 2017.

Previous Week
Next Week

Return to Main Page
Return to Top