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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, October 21, 2017

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Cornelia Bailey, unofficial historian of Georgia's Sapelo IslandDonald Bain, ghostwriter of 'Murder, She Wrote' novelsHoward Carroll, lower right, guitarist for Dixie HummingbirdsFay Chiang, Chinese-American poetDanielle Darrieux, French film and stage actressHelen DeVos, Michigan philanthropistRoy Dotrice, veteran British actorGord Downie, lead singer of Tragically HipDavid Dunn, Arkansas state legislator and lobbyistJohn Dunsworth, Canadian actor from 'Trailer Park Boys'Rita Henley Jensen, online journalistMychael Knight, fashion designer, finalist on 'Project Runway'Terry Laughlin, swimming coachFederico Luppi, Argentine actorMichele Marsh, NYC TV news anchorGary Ott, Salt Lake County recorderHarriette Thompson, senior marathon runnerWilliam Turnage, reinvented Wilderness SocietyJim Watson, crew member for NASCAR star Martin Truex Jr.Dennis Wayne, ballet dancer

Art and Literature

Donald Bain (82) pseudonymous author of the Murder, She Wrote novels, Margaret Truman’s Capital Crimes mysteries, and Coffee, Tea or Me?, the supposed memoir of two airline stewardesses. Bain relished writing incognito. Over 50 years as a ghostwriter, he published novels, biographies, westerns, and historical romances, mostly under fictitious names or credited to more marketable bylines; vanity memoirs attributed to corporate executives; and even long articles disguised as excerpts from nonexistent books. He died of congestive heart failure in White Plains, New York on October 21, 2017.

Fay Chiang (65) child of US Chinese immigrants whose poetry reflected her anxieties as a first-generation Chinese-American, her desire to etch Asian culture into American society, her involvement with organizations in Chinatown and on the Lower East Side of New York, and her battle with breast, and ultimately brain cancer over nearly 25 years. Chiang died in the Bronx, New York on October 20, 2017.

Business and Science

Mychael Knight (39) Georgia fashion designer, a finalist on the popular TV competition show Project Runway. Knight appeared on season 3 of Project Runway, which aired on Bravo in 2006, finishing fourth that year. He returned for Project Runway All-Stars, finishing eighth on the show that now airs on the Lifetime network. Knight had extensively shared his five-year struggle with irritable bowel syndrome, writing in now-deleted Facebook posts that he suffered chronic abdominal pain, a leaky gut, extreme fatigue, and exhaustion. He died outside Atlanta, Georgia on October 17, 2017.

News and Entertainment

Howard Carroll (92) lead guitarist for the Grammy Award-winning gospel group the Dixie Hummingbirds, which started as a quartet of students formed by James B. Davis in a Greenville, South Carolina high school in 1928. The group toured widely and recorded a cappella for the Decca label in the ‘30s, then relocated to Philadelphia in the ‘40s. After World War II, as the sound of gospel changed, the Hummingbirds added bass, drums, and guitar supplied by Carroll. They performed on Paul Simon’s “Loves Me Like a Rock” in 1973 and won a Grammy for their own version. The band’s influence extends well beyond gospel circles to artists including James Brown and Stevie Wonder. Carroll died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 17, 2017.

Danielle Darrieux (100) French actress whose movie and theater career spanned 80 years. One of France's best-loved actresses, Darrieux appeared in dozens of plays and more than 100 films during her long career. Generations of French moviegoers watched her mature from a fresh-faced teen into a radiant nonagenarian starring in films into her 90s. She died in Bois-le-Roi, France, south of Paris, on October 17, 2017.

Roy Dotrice (94) veteran British actor. Dotrice was known for his role as Leopold Mozart in the Oscar-winning film Amadeus (1984) and for his many theater and TV roles. He won many accolades throughout his lengthy career including a Tony Award in 2000 for his role in the Broadway revival of A Moon for the Misbegotten. Dotrice was remembered for his role on the CBS-TV series Beauty & the Beast (1987–90) and won a BAFTA (British Academy of Film & Television Arts) best TV actor award in 1969 for his role on Misleading Cases. He gained many new fans later in his career as narrator for audiobook editions of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice & Fire series of novels, which helped to inspire the TV fantasy Game of Thrones, on which he appeared in 2012. Dotrice died in London, England on October 16, 2017.

Gord Downie (53) lead singer and songwriter of the Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip. Downie became a part of Canada's national identity with hockey, small towns, and the country's literature. Since The Tragically Hip's first album in 1987, the band has provided a soundtrack for the lives of many Canadians. “Ahead by a Century” and “Bobcaygeon” are among their best-known songs. Downie had been diagnosed earlier with brain cancer. He died in Toronto, Canada on October 17, 2017.

John Dunsworth (71) Canadian actor best known for his role as an alcoholic trailer park supervisor on the Netflix comedy series Trailer Park Boys. Dunsworth played Mr. Lahey on the show, which developed a cult following during its initial run on Canada’s Showcase from 2001–07 before being revived by Netflix in ’14. Dunsworth also had a recurring role as Dave Teagues for several seasons on the SyFy and Showcase series Haven. He died after a short and unexpected illness on October 16, 2017.

Rita Henley Jensen (70) after escaping an abusive marriage with two young children, Jensen became a well-regarded journalist and founded the digital news service Women’s eNews. She died of breast cancer in New York City on October 18, 2017.

Federico Luppi (83) Argentine actor well known for his performances in the dark fantasy films of Guillermo del Toro. Luppi’s career, which began in the mid-‘60s, included dozens of film and TV roles. He was blacklisted from Argentine productions for some years after he was openly critical of the government. Despite those difficulties, he remained a prolific actor, active in theater, TV, and film. Luppi died of a subdural hematoma in Buenos Aires, Argentina on October 20, 2017.

Michele Marsh (63) one of the women who achieved success in the male-dominated TV news industry in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. The popular five-time local Emmy Award winner was an anchor and correspondent on the CBS and NBC flagship stations in New York for more than 20 years. Marsh worked at WABI-TV in Bangor, Maine and KSAT-TV in San Antonio, Texas before joining New York stations WCBS in 1979 and WNBC in ’96. She left the industry in 2003. Her son, Emmy-winning John Paschall, works for NBC Sports. Marsh died of breast cancer in South Kent, Connecticut on October 17, 2017.

Dennis Wayne (72) ballet dancer who, starting in the ‘60s, danced with the Harkness Ballet, then became a principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet and the American Ballet Theater. In 1976 Wayne started his own company, Dancers, with the financial help of actress Joanne Woodward, a fan of ballet. They had been friends since Wayne, while still dancing with the Joffrey, had a small role in the film Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams (1973), which starred Woodward. It was Wayne’s only movie credit. Woodward, with whom he had one scene, encouraged his desire to form Dancers (originally called Dennis Wayne’s Dancers). She invested at least $400,000 to start the company and keep it going, and served on its board. Wayne died of respiratory failure in West Palm Beach, Florida on October 18, 2017.

Politics and Military

David Dunn (52) lobbyist and former Arkansas Democrat state representative who served on President Donald Trump’s Commission on Election Integrity. Dunn cofounded the government consulting firm Capitol Partners at the end of 2010 after he had served six years in the Arkansas House and as executive director of the Forrest City (Ark.) Chamber of Commerce. He worked in banking, insurance, and with the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission. As a legislator, Dunn worked with former Gov. Jim Guy Tucker on tax incentives for business development. He was appointed to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity after it was created in May by President Trump. Dunn died during surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm, in Little Rock, Arkansas on October 16, 2017.

Gary Ott (66) former Salt Lake County recorder. Ott served from 2001 until July ’17 when he was placed under his family's guardianship and resigned from office. He was elected to a six-year term ending in 2020 and was receiving a salary of $150,000 as questions arose about his mental capacity. Friends and elected officials raised concerns that he was being manipulated by his staff. County officials had no power to remove him from office, but Ott's family negotiated a deal for his resignation once his siblings were granted temporary guardianship. He died of Alzheimer's disease at a hospice facility in St. George, Utah on October 19, 2017.

Society and Religion

Cornelia Bailey (72) storyteller who fought to protect a vanishing slice of black culture on Sapelo Island, off the coast of Georgia. Bailey was among a shrinking number of people to have been born and educated on the island, where descendants of slaves have lived for generations, the isolation of island life allowing them to retain elements of West African traditions, language, and religion that have become known as Gullah-Geechee culture. That culture has been threatened over the decades by dispersion and, most recently, development pressures and high taxes. As the unofficial historian of Sapelo, Bailey was among the leaders of efforts to preserve and pass along the island’s heritage, ends that she furthered through advocacy, entrepreneurialism, and activities that included a fall cultural festival. Bailey died in Brunswick, Georgia on October 15, 2017.

Helen DeVos (90) philanthropist known for her support of children's health initiatives, Christian education, and the arts. Helen DeVos was the wife of Rich DeVos, who cofounded direct-sales company Amway and owns the Orlando Magic, and was the mother-in-law of US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Helen DeVos was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where a children's hospital is named in her honor. She married Rich DeVos in 1953 and volunteered her time, leadership, and the support of the Richard & Helen DeVos Foundation to an array of causes, including Christian churches and ministries. She died of a stroke after a recent diagnosis of myeloid leukemia, on October 18, 2017.

William Turnage (74) changed the Wilderness Society from a grass-roots organization devoted to protecting public lands to a more professional advocacy group in time to do battle against President Ronald Reagan’s environmental policies. Turnage had spent time in forestry school and as celebrated photographer Ansel Adams’ business manager when he was hired by the Wilderness Society as its executive director in 1978. He reinvented the society by phasing out the old guard on its staff and hiring economists, foresters, and lawyers who brought authority to its lobbying and studies. He died of stomach and esophageal cancer in Mill Valley, California on October 15, 2017.


Terry Laughlin (66) swimming coach who developed a popular method of swimming instruction that emphasized form over speed to help thrashing swimmers learn to glide through the water. Laughlin became a coach after competing as a swimmer in high school and college. Early on, while observing his swimmers in the pool, he noticed that those with the fastest times usually completed their laps with the fewest strokes, slipping through the water with ease instead of struggling against it. Laughlin studied the motions of the best swimmers, along with hydrodynamics, kinesiology, and ship design, to develop a better way to swim. In 1989 he first taught a class on what he called Total Immersion Swimming, which teaches swimmers, both novice and experienced, to balance their bodies in the water and use controlled motions that integrate the entire body. He died of metastatic prostate cancer in Albany, New York on October 20, 2017.

Harriette Thompson (94) North Carolina woman and three-time cancer survivor who ran her first marathon at age 76. The grandmother of 10 gained attention in 2015 when, at age 92, she set a world-record finish at the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon with a time of 7 hours, 24 minutes, and 36 seconds. Thompson ran her last race, a 5-kilometer (3.1 miles) event, in Charlotte in August. She had been in hospice care after she was injured in a fall on October 6 as she delivered gifts at a retirement community. She died 10 days later in Charlotte, North Carolina on October 16, 2017.

Jim Watson (55) one of the crew members for NASCAR star Martin Truex Jr. Watson was a long-time late model driver in his native Wisconsin and spent nearly 10 years with Roush Fenway Racing. He spent last season with HScott Motorsports before joining Truex's team in February. Truex, who earned the pole for the October 22 elimination race, was already assured of advancing to the next round of the playoffs by virtue of his victory at Charlotte. Watson died of a heart attack while in Kansas City, Kansas for the playoff race at Kansas Speedway, on October 21, 2017.

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