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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, June 24, 2017

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Roger D. Abrahams, folkloristRichard Benson, photographer who made photographs look like paintingsHans Breder, University of Iowa artistMary Pearl Compton, West Virginia state delegateTony DiCicco, coach of US women's soccerYuri Drozdov, Soviet spymasterCarla Fendi, one of five Fendi sisters who started Italian luxury fur businessHerve Filion, winningest harness racerPete Flynn, longtime NY Mets groundskeeperMargaux Fragoso, author of 'Tiger, Tiger'Tim Hague, Canadian boxerEarl Hudson, trainer of Tennessee's canine 'Smokey' mascotsLoren Janes, Hollywood stuntmanAlbert ('Prodigy') Johnson, half of rapping duo Mobb DeepPat Killebrew, Virginia attorney and Washington Nationals fanEdward Kline, human rights activistMao Kobayashi, Japanese TV personalityFrank Kush, football coach at Arizona StateKetumile Masire, former president of BotswanaParker Lee McDonald, Florida Supreme Court justiceJohn F. McGee, media executiveSheila Michaels, feminist who boosted use of 'Ms.'Robert ('Skipper') Perry, South Carolina state legislatorGabe Pressman, legendary NYC broadcast journalistIvan Puhich, jockey's agentJohn R. Quinn, former archbishop of San FranciscoSister Alice Marie Quinn, aka 'Sister Sam'Sadie Riggs, Pennsylvania teenHope Ryden, photographer and writer on animal rightsDr. John E. Sarno, physician who wrote books on treating chronic painDarren Simpson, TV chef and food writerFrank ('Sandy') Tatum, former USGA presidentDavid Theno, food safety expertMary Valastro, mother of 'Cake Boss' reality star Buddy ValastroOtto Warmbier, US college student held in North KoreaRabbi Meir Zlotowitz, published Jewish prayer books and related material

Art and Literature

Richard Benson (73) stonecutter’s son with the skills of a master machinist who developed innovative techniques to print photographs with the artistic depth of paintings. Benson believed in the painterly impact of reproducing the work of photographers like Irving Penn, Lee Friedlander, and Helen Levitt on an offset printing press. A photographer himself—and a longtime teacher at Yale and for 10 years dean of its school of art—Benson was no stranger to the darkroom. But the offset press—and, later, inkjet printers—fueled his fascination with using new mechanical forms to recreate photographic images. He died of heart failure in Providence, Rhode island, on June 22, 2017.

Hans Breder (81) German-born artist whose interest in straddling the boundaries between disciplines led him to create the Intermedia Program, the first of its kind, at the University of Iowa in 1968. Drawn to conceptual art and the radical political performance art being practiced by the Viennese Actionists, Breder asked permission to create a program that would embrace video and performance art and encourage students to move back and forth across artistic frontiers—in general, to throw off all creative constraint. The program proved to be an incubator for both students and established artists, whom Breder invited to teach and work. He died of ischemic colitis in Iowa City, Iowa on June 18, 2017.

Margaux Fragoso (38) author of Tiger, Tiger, an account of her sexual abuse for 15 years, from age 7, by a 51-year-old pedophile. The book's title was borrowed from poet William Blake. The abuser, whom Fragoso called “Peter Curran,” ultimately committed suicide at age 66. A Lolita from Lolita’s perspective, the memoir was listed by several publications as one of the notable books of 2011. Fragoso died of ovarian cancer in Mandeville, Louisiana on June 23, 2017.

Hope Ryden (87) whose lifelike photographs of North American beavers, coyotes, mustangs, and other wildlife helped to elevate them into poster animals for conservation campaigns. Ryden in 1961 joined Robert Drew & Associates, a noted documentary production company, where she and her colleagues were in the vanguard of cinéma vérité filmmaking. By the early ‘70s she had become a full-time naturalist and animal-rights advocate, publishing books for adults and children lushly illustrated with her own photographs. Her advocacy was credited with encouraging the US Congress to pass legislation in 1971 protecting the populations of wild horses and burros in the West. Ryden died of complications from hip surgery in Hyannis, Massachusetts on June 18, 2017.

Business and Science

Carla Fendi (79) one of five sisters who transformed their family leather goods business into a global luxury fashion house long known for its furs. The sisters opened the first Fendi store in Rome’s historic center in 1964 and in ‘65 hired a young designer named Karl Lagerfeld who helped to catapult the Italian brand into global fame, with a focus on designing luxury furs. Each sister had her role, and Carla, as Fendi president, was the family business’s public face until they sold to the French luxury group LVMH in 1999. She was honorary president until her death in Milan, Italy on June 19, 2017.

Earl Hudson (91) owner and trainer of Tennessee’s live canine “Smokey” mascots for over 20 years. Since 1994 Hudson and his wife Martha owned and trained the blue-tick coonhounds that serve as Tennessee’s live mascots. The Hudsons also owned a Knoxville drugstore where Hudson worked as a pharmacist. The responsibility for owning and training the Smokey mascots now falls to Hudson’s son and daughter-in-law, Charles and Cindy Hudson. Earl Hudson died in Knoxville, Tennessee on June 24, 2017.

Dr. John E. Sarno (93) physician at New York University whose controversial books on the psychological origins of chronic pain sold over a million copies, even while he was largely ignored or maligned by many of his medical peers. Revered by some and dismissed by others as a quack, Sarno maintained that most nontraumatic instances of chronic pain—including back pain, gastrointestinal disorders, headaches, and fibromyalgia—are physical manifestations of deep-seated psychological anxieties. His books, including the best-selling Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection, became popular largely through word of mouth. Thousands of people have claimed to have been cured after reading them. Sarno died of cardiac failure in Danbury, Connecticut a day before his 94th birthday and the release of All the Rage (Saved by Sarno), a documentary film about him, on June 22, 2017.

David Theno (66) respected figure in the food safety industry who was credited with helping to set new standards for leadership and management in food production and safety. Theno was recruited by Jack in the Box nearly 25 years ago amid a deadly E. coli outbreak. As he reviewed how the San Diego chain purchased, distributed, and prepared its food, Theno came to know the mother of a 6-year-old girl, Lauren Rudolph, who had become sick after eating a hamburger at a Jack in the Box in Carlsbad and died. She was the first of four children who lost their lives in a multistate E. coli outbreak that ultimately sickened 700 others who had eaten contaminated meat in 1992–93. A vice president and chief safety officer for the company for nearly 16 years, Theno died after being hit by a large wave while swimming with his 14-year-old grandson off the island of Lana’i in Hawaii, on June 19, 2017.


Roger D. Abrahams (84) one of the first folklorists to study the language and performance styles of black Americans as reflected in songs, proverbs, and riddles both old and new. Abrahams cast his net wide, exploring Anglo-American folk songs, jump-rope rhymes, and counting rhymes but devoted most of his scholarly energies to the African diaspora in the Caribbean and the US. In Deep Down in the Jungle: Negro Narrative Folklore from the Streets of Philadelphia (1964), he analyzed the street rhymes and repartée he observed and recorded in south Philadelphia. He died in Sunnyvale, California on June 20, 2017.


Pat Killebrew (68) longtime Virginia attorney and avid Washington Nationals fan. Killebrew died unexpectedly a day after watching Washington's relief pitchers lose a six-run lead in a loss against the Miami Marlins. In his obituary in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, his family said he “passed away peacefully at home...after watching the Washington Nationals relief pitchers blow yet another lead.” Killebrew's 25-year-old son, Jake, said he and his mother Rachel felt the good-natured obit was something they had to do because Pat Killebrew would have loved it. The eldest Killebrew died in Richmond, Virginia on June 20, 2017.

Parker Lee McDonald (93) former Florida Supreme Court justice who in 1984 wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race. McDonald was appointed to the state Supreme Court in 1979 by then-Gov. Bob Graham. He served 15 years on the court and retired after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70. He was nicknamed the “Whistling Justice” because a security guard stopped him on his first day and told him no whistling was allowed in the court building. McDonald told the guard he could do what he wanted because he was a justice. He died in Tallahasse, Florida on June 24, 2017.

News and Entertainment

Loren Janes (85) in film after film, Janes leaped from speeding trains, jumped from towering cliffs, and roared through city streets in gravity-defying car chases. That’s him flying headlong into a saguaro cactus in How the West Was Won. That’s him tumbling down a staircase alongside a drunken John Wayne in McLintock! And, yes, that’s him—not Steve McQueen—fishtailing down Taylor Street in San Francisco at 90 mph in Bullitt. In a career that spanned decades and with a résumé that included westerns, thrillers, comedies, dramas, and sci-fi, Janes was the body double for everyone including Kirk Douglas and Shirley MacLaine, the person the studio could count on when the script called for someone to be thrown from a window, dropped into the ocean, or shot dead outside a saloon. He died of Alzheimer's disease in Los Angeles, California on June 24, 2017.

Albert ('Prodigy') Johnson (42) rapper, member of the hardcore New York hip-hop duo Mobb Deep. Prodigy found success in the '90s with fellow rapper Havoc in Mobb Deep. The duo's hits included “Quiet Storm” with Lil Kim, “Shook Ones (Part II),” and “Hey Luv (Anything).” Mobb Deep earned a platinum plaque for the 1999 album, Murda Muzik, which featured the memorable remix of “Quiet Storm,” still performed by Lil Kim on the road today. Mobb Deep also reached gold status with the albums Infamy, Hell on Earth, and The Infamous. Prodigy released several solo albums, including the gold-selling HNIC (2000). He had battled sickle cell anemia since birth and was in Las Vegas, Nevada for a performance when he died, on June 20, 2017.

Mao Kobayashi (34) former Japanese TV announcer and wife of popular kabuki actor Ichikawa Ebizo. Kobayashi was one of the most popular TV announcers in Japan. She met Ichikawa in 2008 during an interview she conducted for News Zero, a daily news program for which she was a presenter. The two were married in 2010 and had two children, a daughter, Reika (5), and a son, Kangen (4). Kobayashi withdrew from the TV world, but the family’s public appearances and the birth and raising of their two children were regularly reported in Japan. Kobayashi was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2014, but it was kept a secret for over 18 months until Ichikawa announced her condition at a press conference in June ‘16. Kobayashi was named on the 2016 edition of the BBC's 100 Women list of inspirational and influential women because she broke her silence about having breast cancer, which spread to her bones and lungs, and began writing a blog to help others. Her battle with cancer was covered constantly by Japanese media. She died in Tokyo, Japan on June 22, 2017.

John F. McGee (94) former media executive, a World War II veteran who was twice elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the Associated Press. McGee began his media career in his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina at the Evening Post Publishing Co. He moved to Charleston, W. Va. in 1970 to become president of Clay Communications and served on the Board of Directors of Thomson Newspapers until his retirement in ’90. McGee also served on the Board of Directors of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association and was president of the State Press Associations in both states. He died in Charleston, West Virginia on June 23, 2017.

Gabe Pressman (93) Emmy-winning journalist who still relished going to work at WNBC In New York after more than 50 years there. Pressman launched his 60-year broadcast career after stints at New Jersey's Newark Evening News and the New York World Telegram & Sun. He covered the 1956 sinking of the Italian ocean liner Andrea Doria, riots at the ‘68 Democrat National Convention, the Woodstock festival in ’69, and the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. He interviewed every New York City mayor since Robert Wagner in the ‘50s and every US president from Harry Truman to Bill Clinton. Other notables interviewed by Pressman included Fidel Castro, Martin Luther King Jr., Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, and Malcolm X. Last March 17 he covered New York's St. Patrick's Day Parade. He died in his sleep in New York City on June 23, 2017.

Darren Simpson (mid-40s) TV chef and food writer who at 21 was Britain's youngest-ever Young Chef of the Year. Northern Ireland-born Simpson worked at multiple restaurants in London, Ireland, and Australia and appeared on Australian TV’s My Restaurant Rules, Live This, and Ready Steady Cook. He had recently attempted rehabilitation at a clinic for alcoholism before ending up in a hospital, where he died of a heart attack near his home in Byron Bay, north of Sydney, Australia, on June 22, 2017.

Mary Valastro (69) mother of Cake Boss reality star Buddy Valastro. Mary Valastro was born in Italy in 1948 and immigrated to the US with her family when she was 6, settling in Hoboken, NJ. She married Bartolo Valastro in 1965, shortly after buying Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken. They had five children. Buddy Valastro took over the bakery in 1994. Mary Valastro died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS and Lou Gehrig's disease, a neurological disorder that affects the nerves controlling voluntary muscle movement, in Hoboken, New Jersey on June 22, 2017.

Politics and Military

Mary Pearl Compton (86) former West Virginia state delegate. Compton was a retired educator and was in the House of Delegates from 1988–2002. She died in Fairlea, West Virginia on June 21, 2017.

Yuri Drozdov (91) Soviet spymaster who oversaw a sprawling network of KGB agents abroad. A World War II veteran, Drozdov joined the KGB in 1956 and was dispatched as a liaison officer with the East German secret police, the Stasi. In 1962 he took part in the exchange of Soviet undercover agent Rudolf Abel, convicted in the US, for downed American spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers. Working under diplomatic cover, Drozdov was KGB resident in China in 1964–68 and in the US in '75–79. In 1979 he came to head a KGB department overseeing a network of undercover agents abroad, the job he held until resigning in ’91. He died in Moscow, Russia on June 21, 2017.

Edward Kline (85) Yale math major who, bored with the department store chain he inherited, devoted his career to supporting Soviet dissidents in Russia and promoting their cause abroad. Kline became principal contact in the US for Andrei D. Sakharov, Nobel Peace Prize-winning Russian physicist and human rights campaigner who was confined in domestic exile in the Volga River city of Gorky, east of Moscow, from 1980–86. In collaboration with Robert L. Bernstein, president of Random House and himself a human rights advocate, Kline shepherded Sakharov’s memoirs into publication in the US and for worldwide distribution. He died of myasthenia gravis, a deterioration of the muscles, in New York City on June 24, 2017.

Ketumile Masire (91) former president of Botswana who led the country for nearly 20 years. Masire was Botswana's second president and was in office from 1980–98. He presided over the southern African country's economic growth and record of clean governance on a continent frequently buffeted by turmoil. The diamond trade and wildlife tourism are major sources of revenue for the country of 2 million people, which nevertheless faces poverty, a high HIV/AIDS rate, and other problems. Masire died in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana, on June 22, 2017.

Robert ('Skipper') Perry (77) former South Carolina state representative known for his candid humor. Perry was frequently seen around Aiken and the Statehouse grounds on his Segway. He represented Aiken for 10 years in the House, retiring in 2008. The Republican was an Aiken city councilman from 1971–87 and mayor pro tem from ‘89–99. The University of South Carolina graduate ran a liquor store and sold real estate in Aiken. His son, Richard Perry, is US Sen. Lindsey Graham's chief of staff. Skipper Perry died in Columbia, South Carolina on June 18, 2017.

Society and Religion

Sheila Michaels (78) feminist who changed the way modern women are addressed. Michaels introduced the honorific “Ms.” into common parlance. Working over the years as a civil-rights organizer, New York cabdriver, technical editor, oral historian, and Japanese restaurateur, she did not coin “Ms.,” nor did she ever claim to have done so. But with little initial support from the women’s movement, she was midwife to the term, ushering it back into use after decades of obscurity. Michaels died of acute leukemia in New York City on June 22, 2017.

John R. Quinn (88) archbishop of San Francisco in the ‘80s and ‘90s, a leading liberal voice on social and political issues who resolutely addressed the AIDS crisis. After the Second Vatican Council in the ‘60s, Quinn emerged as one of the church’s bright young talents, an eloquent speaker not only on doctrine and the church hierarchy but also on such urgent political matters as nuclear policy and social justice movements abroad. At 38 he became the youngest bishop in the US when Pope Paul VI appointed him auxiliary bishop of San Diego. After serving as bishop of Oklahoma City-Tulsa in 1971, he became the first archbishop of Oklahoma City in ‘72, when the diocese was divided in two, and spoke out against the death penalty and criticized extremists in the antiabortion movement. In 1977 he was named archbishop of San Francisco, California, retiring in 1995. He died there on June 22, 2017.

Sister Alice Marie Quinn (82) in 1977 Quinn, also known as Sister Sam, started what became St. Vincent Meals on Wheels with a single pot of stew served to 83 seniors in a church basement near MacArthur Park in Westlake, Calif. As executive director of St. Vincent Meals on Wheels, Sister Sam arose every morning before dawn for an hour of prayer, then got to work overseeing the preparation and delivery of nearly 3,500 meals to the city’s homeless, homebound, disabled, and terminally ill. A registered dietitian, she had noticed that many low-income, elderly people living in apartments near St. Vincent Medical Center, where she had been assistant dietary director, weren’t eating right. Days after celebrating her 82nd birthday, Sister Sam died of natural causes in Westlake, California on June 23, 2017.

Sadie Riggs (15) Pennsylvania girl who had a tough life made worse by school bullies. Riggs was in counseling and took medications for emotional issues complicated by bullying, much of it on social media. Policing social media bullying is difficult because schools don't have jurisdiction if it happens outside school hours. Riggs committed suicide by hanging, in Bedford, Pennsylvania on June 19, 2017.

Otto Warmbier (22) American college student who on June 13 was released by North Korea in a coma after almost 18 months in captivity. US doctors described Warmbier’s condition as a state of “unresponsive wakefulness” and said he suffered a “severe neurological injury” of unknown cause. Warmbier was accused of trying to steal a propaganda banner while visiting with a tour group and was convicted of subversion. He was put before North Korean officials and journalists for a televised “confession” and was sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labor. He died six days after his release, in Cincinnati, Ohio on June 19, 2017.

Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz (73) Jewish scholar who took a small wedding-invitation print shop and turned it into ArtScroll Mesorah, the leading publisher of prayer books and volumes of Torah and Talmud in the expanding Orthodox Jewish world, books notable for their easily readable typography, instructions, and translations. Zlotowitz died of a liver ailment in Brooklyn, New York on June 24, 2017.


Tony DiCicco (68) coached the US to the 1999 World Cup title before an overflow Rose Bowl crowd in a landmark for women's soccer. DiCicco became US coach in 1994 and led the team to the gold medal at the ‘96 Atlanta Games, the first Olympics to feature women's soccer. Then he guided a team filled with superstars—women's sports trailblazers such as Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, and Michelle Akers—to the 1999 World Cup crown. In the final, the US beat China 5-4 on the winning penalty kick by Brandi Chastain in Pasadena, California before 90,185 fans, by far the largest attendance for a women's soccer game. DiCicco died of cancer in Wethersfield, Connecticut on June 19, 2017.

Herve Filion (82) for many years the winningest harness racer who ever steered a sulky. Canadian-born Filion came in first 15,179 times in 82,336 starts and held the record for most wins in a year—814, set in 1989. At his peak, he averaged about 16 races a day, six days a week, often traveling to different racetracks using helicopters and private planes. His winnings peaked at more than $5 million a year in 1988–89, and he retired in 2012. He died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Mineola, New York on June 22, 2017.

Pete Flynn (79) groundskeeper for the New York Mets who spent 50 years manicuring baseball diamonds from the Polo Grounds to Citi Field. Flynn began his tenure with the Mets during their inaugural season in 1962 at the old Polo Grounds. He was head groundskeeper at Shea Stadium from 1974–2001 and remained on the grounds crew until retiring in ‘11, two years after the team moved into Citi Field. One of Flynn's favorite memories was of driving The Beatles onto the field in front of 55,000 screaming fans for their famous concert at Shea Stadium in 1965. He died on June 20, 2017.

Tim Hague (33) former Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter known as “The Thrashing Machine.” Hague, who grew up on a farm in Boyle, Alberta, was a heavyweight trained in jiu-jitsu. He was 21-13 as a Mixed Martial Arts fighter before switching to boxing in summer 2016. He died in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada two days after he was critically injured when he was knocked out in a boxing match against former Edmonton Eskimos defensive end Adam Braidwood, on June 18, 2017.

Frank Kush (88) college Hall of Fame coach who took Arizona State University to national football prominence but was fired midway through his 22nd season when he was accused of trying to impede an investigation into an assault allegation lodged by a player. Kush had 19 winning teams. He was named national coach of the year in 1975, when Arizona State went 12-0 and gained the No. 2 national ranking. He took the Sun Devils to six bowl victories, sent dozens of players to the pros, and won seven Western Athletic Conference championships. In total, he won 176 games, lost 54, and had one tie. He died of dementia in Phoenix, Arizona on June 22, 2017.

Ivan Puhich (89) jockey's agent who represented such riders as Kentucky Derby winner Mario Gutierrez. Puhich represented Gutierrez in 2012 when the young rider won the Derby aboard I'll Have Another. Puhich also represented Tyler Baze, who won the Eclipse Award as the nation's top apprentice jockey in 2000; Marco Casteneda; and William Mahorney. Nicknamed “Big Ivan” for his 6-foot, 5-inch height, Puhich had been retired for several years. He died in San Diego, California on June 19, 2017.

Frank ('Sandy') Tatum (96) former US Golf Association president known for difficult US Open setups and a famous quote after the “Massacre at Winged Foot.” After the 1974 US Open at Winged Foot, won by Hale Irwin at 7-over par, Tatum—then chairman of the Championship Committee—said: “We're not trying to humiliate the best players in the world; we're simply trying to identify them.” The Rhodes Scholar and longtime San Francisco lawyer was an accomplished player, winning the 1942 NCAA individual title and leading Stanford to team titles in ‘41–42. He died in San Francisco, California on June 22, 2017.

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