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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, October 14, 2017

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Y. A. Tittle, longtime pro football starArmando Calderón Sol, former president of El SalvadorArthur Cinader, founder of J. CrewRobert de Zafra, physicist who studied ozone holeRoger Dubuis, master watchmakerRobert Fenn, speed-skating coachCeighton Hale, developed safer batting helmet for Little League playersBen Hawkins, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiverJohn L. Johnson, UCLA football teammate of Jackie RobinsonJerry Kleczka, former US congressman from WisconsinVincent La Selva, founder and conductor of New York Grand OperaWilliam J. Lombardy, chess championTom Mathews, liberal spokesman, strategist, and fund-raiserDavid Palazzolo, Michigan State Supreme Court crierJulian Ridlen, former Indiana state treasurerJean Rochefort, French film actorBob Schiller, TV comedy writerMarian Cannon Schlesinger, artist and first wife of Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.Ann Stephens, former first lady of MontanaGrady Tate, jazz drummer turned singerDaniel Webb, Chicago White Sox pitcherRichard Wilbur, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning poet

Art and Literature

Marian Cannon Schlesinger (105) feminist artist, writer, and eyewitness to history in the Kennedy White House as first wife of the president’s resident intellectual, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. Marian Schlesinger had lived in the same clapboard house a few blocks from Harvard Yard in Cambridge, Mass. since 1947. She once cooked gnocchi for her neighbor Julia Child and played tennis regularly until she was 85. Schlesinger hailed from an accomplished family; her father was a Harvard professor, her mother a novelist and an early advocate for Planned Parenthood. Marian Cannon was 8 when the 19th Amendment enfranchised women, and she canvassed with her mother for a female mayoral candidate. The Schlesingers divorced in 1970. Arthur remarried the next year and died in 2007; Marian did not remarry. She died in Cambridge, Massachusetts on October 14, 2017.

Richard Wilbur (96) two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and translator who delighted generations of readers and theatergoers with his rhyming editions of Moliere and his own verse on memory, writing, and nature. As US poet laureate in 1987–88, Wilbur was often cited as an heir to Robert Frost and other New England writers. He was regarded as a master of old-fashioned meter and language who resisted contemporary trends. He was also known for his translations, especially of Moliere, Racine, and other French playwrights. His rhyming couplets of Moliere's Tartuffe and The Misanthrope were often called the definitive editions of those classic 17th-century satires. Wilbur died in Belmont, Massachusetts on October 14, 2017.

Business and Science

Arthur Cinader (90) founder of J. Crew, the clothing retailer that rose to prominence marketing a classic preppy chic to upper-middle-income consumers. Cinader started J. Crew in the early ‘80s while running the Popular Merchandise Co., a business, founded by his father in Rye, New York, that used a catalogue to sell affordable clothing and home furnishings directly to consumers. At the time Cinader and his fellow executives at Popular Merchandise were closely following the success of other catalogue businesses like Lands’ End and L. L. Bean and believed they could capitalize on elegant but unpretentious women’s clothing by creating a subsidiary company. The new venture took the word “crew” from the water sport and affixed a J in front because it was thought to be graphically appealing; its first catalogue appeared in 1983. Cinader died in Santa Fe, New Mexico of complications from a fall, on October 11, 2017.

Robert de Zafra (85) physicist who helped to confirm that the chemicals in some aerosols and refrigerants were responsible for the expanding ozone hole over Antarctica. De Zafra, who taught at Stony Brook University for 38 years, contributed research at a crucial time in the growing understanding of ozone-layer depletion, traveling to Antarctica to take measurements with a spectrometer that he and his Stony Brook colleagues developed. His initial research trip there was in 1986. In September 1987, convinced of a human cause of ozone-layer depletion, world leaders finalized the Montreal Protocol, a global agreement that set a timetable for elimination of the harmful chemicals. De Zafra died in Stony Brook, New York of respiratory complications after surgery, on October 10, 2017.

Roger Dubuis (79) master watchmaker and cofounder of the Swiss brand that bore his name. Dubuis began his watchmaking career at Longines in the ‘50s, then moved to the high complications workshops at Patek Philippe, where he stayed for 14 years. In the ‘80s he set up his own watch and clock repair shop in Geneva. In the late ‘80s Dubuis was working with well-known movement designer Jean-Marc Wiederrecht on the Bi-Retrograde Perpetual Calendar Watch commissioned by Harry Winston when he met Carlos Dias, a businessman and watch designer. By 1995 Dias had convinced Dubuis to found the Société Genevoise des Montres, later renamed Manufacture Roger Dubuis. Together they produced some of the watch world’s most distinctive timepieces, recognizable by their signature oversized cases, transparent backs, imposing crowns, Roman numerals, and Celtic cross-styled tourbillon carriages, all of which are certified for their provenance and quality with the Poinçon de Genève, or Geneva Seal. Dubuis died on October 14, 2017.

Creighton Hale (93) physiologist who in the late ‘50s invented a batting helmet that gave Little League Baseball players better protection. Hale later rose to the top ranks of the organization as it grudgingly accepted girls. When he arrived at Little League as its first director of research in 1955, he measured the reaction times of pitchers, which led to moving the mound back two feet to reduce the frequency of their being hit by batted balls. Hale built a compressed-air cannon to fire baseballs at various speeds at a plastic helmet mounted on a wood model. Testing showed that the helmet could absorb a direct hit from a ball traveling at 90 miles per hour without cracking or being driven into a batter’s head. His dual-earflap helmet became mandatory for Little League batters and runners in 1961. Hale died in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, where the Little League has its headquarters, on October 8, 2017.


David Palazzolo (59) court crier of the Michigan State Supreme Court, the man who slammed the gavel and declared, “Hear ye, hear ye,” at the Court for more than 25 years. Palazzolo managed mail, printing, and building matters at the Court; but his public role was opening and closing official Supreme Court sessions. The justices didn’t take their seats until Palazzolo gave a traditional introduction, saying, “God save the United States, the state of Michigan, and this honorable court.” He died in Lansing, Michigan on October 14, 2017.

News and Entertainment

Vincent La Selva (88) founder in 1973 of the New York Grand Opera, which made its Central Park debut in ‘74 with a production of Puccini’s La Bohème in what was described then as the first fully staged, full-length opera in a New York park. For almost 40 years La Selva, doubling as the orchestra’s conductor, continued to deliver free summer concerts to hundreds of thousands of music lovers who could not afford the Metropolitan or New York City Operas. He also transformed an untold number of the uninitiated into opera fans. La Selva died of dementia in Parma, Ohio on October 9, 2017.

Jean Rochefort (87) French actor who starred in more than 100 movies over 50 years and was much loved by the French public. Rochefort, who started his career during the ‘50s, won three Cesar awards, the equivalent of the Oscars in the US. Instantly recognizable with his trademark mustache and dandy style, Rochefort was applauded for his versatility and great sense of humor. He died in Paris, France on October 9, 2017.

Bob Schiller (98) comedy writer whose credits reach back to TV’s infancy, including I Love Lucy and later Maude, All in the Family, and The Carol Burnett Show. Schiller began writing for TV in 1950 and in ‘53 formed a partnership with Bob Weiskopf, with whom he collaborated for nearly 50 years. Among their hundreds of TV scripts was the classic I Love Lucy episode that found Lucy Ricardo stomping grapes. The team also wrote for such ‘50s sitcoms as The Bob Cummings Show, December Bride, The Jimmy Durante Show, and The Ann Sothern Show. Their partnership continued through the ‘60s and ‘70s with such shows as Lucille Ball’s follow-up comedy The Lucy Show. which they cocreated, and The Red Skelton Hour, Flip Wilson’s variety show Flip, and Archie Bunker’s Place. Schiller had also written scripts for such classic radio series as Duffy’s Tavern, Abbott & Costello, and The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet. He shared writing Emmys with Weiskopf for All in the Family and Flip. Schiller died in Pacific Palisades, California on October 10, 2017.

Grady Tate (85) jazz drummer known for his work with Peggy Lee, Quincy Jones, Ella Fitzgerald, and many others and whose warm baritone led to a second career as a singer. Tate started drumming professionally in the late ‘50s and eventually became one of the busiest sidemen in jazz, recording with stars like Jimmy Smith, Stan Getz, Clark Terry, and Billy Taylor. In his later years, Tate sang more and played the drums less. He died of dementia in New York City on October 8, 2017.

Politics and Military

Armando Calderón Sol (69) former Salvadoran president. Calderón Sol governed El Salvador from 1994–99, after the signing of the ‘92 peace accords ended 12 years of civil war. El Salvador is now governed by a party made up of former leftist rebels who fought the government during the 1980–92 civil war. Calderón Sol was diagnosed with cancer in 2016 and died in Houston, Texas on October 9, 2017.

Jerry Kleczka (73) former US congressman, a liberal Democrat who represented a Wisconsin district, including his hometown of Milwaukee, for 20 years. A factory worker’s son, Kleczka represented Wisconsin’s 4th District from 1984–2005, winning 10 consecutive races. He retired from Congress and was succeeded by Democrat Gwen Moore. Before winning a special election to the US House in 1984 to fill the seat left vacant by the heart attack death of Democrat Clement Zablocki, Kleczka served in the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate. In Congress he was a member of the House Ways & Means Committee and later the House Budget Committee. He died in the Madison, Wisconsin area on October 8, 2017.

Tom Mathews (96) spokesman, strategist, and fund-raiser for liberal causes and candidates for more than 30 years, from the Peace Corps to John B. Anderson’s 1988 presidential campaign. With his partners at Craver, Mathews, Smith & Co., direct-mail specialists in Reston, Virginia, Mathews had raised, since 1970, millions of dollars to nurture both grass-roots groups and more established organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International, Emily’s List, Greenpeace, National Organization for Women, Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Wilderness Society. He died of an infection in Waterford, Virginia on October 14, 2017.

Julian Ridlen (77) former Indiana state treasurer. Ridlen was Logansport city judge before being elected state treasurer in 1978 and ’82. He later was elected to two terms as Cass County Circuit Court judge. He died in Indianapolis, Indiana on October 10, 2017.

Ann Stephens (90) former first lady of Montana. Stephens was first lady from 1989–93 while her husband, Stan Stephens, was governor. She was born in Minneapolis in 1927, and her family moved to Havre, Montana when she was 12. She married Stan Stephens in Havre in 1954. Ann Stephens died of cancer in Kalispell, Montana on October 8, 2017.


Robert Fenn (73) Milwaukee-based speed-skating coach who mentored two-time Olympic gold medalist Shani Davis. Fenn was also an accomplished speed-skater and won gold and bronze medals at the short-track world championships in 1976. He was born in New York and worked as a carpenter but became best known as a coach at the Petit National Ice Center in Milwaukee. He died unexpectedly in Waukesha, Wisconsin on October 8, 2017.

Ben Hawkins (73) former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver. A third-round pick of the Eagles in 1966, Hawkins spent eight of his nine NFL seasons in Philadelphia, where he played 102 games (67 starts) from 1966–73. He was tied for ninth in team history in receiving touchdowns (32), 10th in receiving yards (4,764), and 19th in receptions (261). His single-season career high of 1,265 receiving yards in 1967 is the fifth-best mark in team history. A former standout at Arizona State from 1962–66, Hawkins later coached in the US Football League for the Arizona Outlaws and the San Antonio Gunslingers. He died in Belmar, New Jersey on October 9, 2017.

John L. Johnson (96) former UCLA football teammate of Jackie Robinson who later founded the Cal State Dominguez Hills athletics department and was its golf coach for 45 years. Known as the original “Dr. J” after having earned a doctorate in education and administration from UCLA, Johnson played fullback and linebacker for a Bruins team that won its first 10 games in 1946 before losing to Illinois in the Rose Bowl. He later scored two touchdowns and was named Most Valuable Player of the Hula Bowl, the postseason all-star game for collegiate seniors. Johnson’s stardom came after serving as an airship pilot in the South Atlantic during World War II. He died in his sleep in Los Angeles, California on October 14, 2017.

William J. Lombardy (79) one of the most talented and promising chess players of his generation, winning titles and accolades while he was still a teenager. But Lombardy all but gave up the game at the height of his career to become a Catholic priest, although he later left the priesthood. Lombardy was the first American to win the World Junior Chess Championship—doing so with a perfect score, a feat that has never been duplicated—and led the US to victory over the Soviet Union in the 1960 World Student Team Championship, beating Boris Spassky, future world champion. Lombardy was later named a grandmaster, the World Chess Federation’s highest title. Born in the Bronx, New York, and a longtime resident of New York City, he collapsed and died suddenly while visiting a friend in Martinez, California on October 13, 2017.

Y. A. Tittle (90) Hall of Fame quarterback and 1963 NFL Most Valuable Player. Known as “The Bald Eagle” as much for his sturdy leadership as his prematurely receding hairline, Tittle played 17 seasons of pro football. He began with the All-America Football Conference’s Baltimore Colts in 1948 and finished with the NFL’s New York Giants. He played 10 years in between with the San Francisco 49ers but had his greatest success in New York, leading the Giants to three division titles in four years in a remarkable late-career surge. Tittle never won a championship but came to personify the competitive spirit of football, thanks to an iconic photo taken by Dozier Mobley during Tittle’s final season in 1964. The frame caught the then-37-year-old quarterback, who looked older than his years, after throwing an interception returned for a touchdown by Pittsburgh’s Chuck Hinton. Tittle is seen kneeling in exhaustion and pain from an injured rib, blood dripping down his face from a head gash. He was the first pro football player to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1954. He died in Stanford, California, 16 days short of his 91st birthday, on October 8, 2017.

Daniel Webb (28) former relief pitcher for the Chicago White Sox. Webb was 7-5 with a 4.50 earned run average in 94 games for the White Sox from 2013–16. He was drafted by Toronto in 2009 and traded to the White Sox after the ‘11 season in a deal for pitcher Jason Frasor. He made his major league debut in September 2013 at Yankee Stadium—the first hitter he faced was Derek Jeter, and Webb walked him. He made 57 appearances for the White Sox in 2014 and pitched 110 innings in his career, striking out 93. The right-hander pitched one inning in 2016, then had Tommy John (ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction) surgery in June. He was released by the White Sox after the season and did not pitch professionally during his recovery. Webb was killed in an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) accident in Waverly, Tennessee, about 70 miles west of Nashville, on October 14, 2017.

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