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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, December 2, 2017

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Jim Nabors, actor who played Gomer PyleEnrico Castellani, Italian artistIvan Chermayeff, graphic designerJerome Crowe, FBI agent who delivered ransom in Frank Sinatra Jr. kidnappingJoseph Crowley, longest-serving  president of University of Nevada/RenoJerry A. Fodor, philosopher of human mindRussell Frost, US contractor abducted in BaghdadMickey Gurdus, Israeli airwaves monitorBill Harris, former president of Ohio State SenateArmando Hart, Cuban education ministerLowell Hawthorne, founder and CEO of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & GrillJohn Hingsbergen, Kentucky public radio figureGary Ingram, former Idaho state legislatorMundell Lowe, jazz guitar masterCharles E. Merrill Jr., US philanthropist and educatorBud Moore, NASCAR Hall of FamerSurin Pitsuwan, Thai foreign ministerRobert ('Rip') Prichard 3rd, Mississippi circuit judgeWalter Reyes, Syracuse tailbackVincent Scully, Yale architecture historian and professorBob Seidemann, photographer and art director of '60s rock starsFatimah ('Shadia') Shaker, Egyptian actress and singerWarren Spannaus, former Minnesota attorney generalBill Steinkraus, US horse-show riderClemon Terrell, Hattiesburg (Miss.) parks and recreation directorPerry Wallace, Vanderbilt basketball player and law professorW. Marvin Watson, Pres. Johnson's chief of staffLes Whitten (right), cowriter with Jack Anderson of muckraking political columnKaren Wittmer Jekel, newspaper publisher

Art and Literature

Enrico Castellani (87) Italian artist, a member of Europe’s postwar avant-garde. Castellani participated in the movements and self-proclaimed groups that flourished on both sides of the Atlantic in the late ‘50s and ’60s, including Group Zero in Germany and the Cobra group in Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam, plus the circle around Yves Klein in France and the Neo-Concrete artists in Brazil. Many of those artists emphasized everyday materials and processes. Castellani’s art consisted of reliefs in the form of monochromatic canvases with row after row of protruding, tented points. He achieved that effect by hammering scores of carefully placed nails into wood supports, stretching the canvas over their protruding heads, then painting it, usually white but also silver, red, or black. He died of a respiratory illness in Celleno, Italy, near Rome, on December 1, 2017.

Ivan Chermayeff (85) graphic designer who forged some of the most recognizable corporate logos of the second half of the 20th century—including those of the cable channel Showtime, the publisher HarperCollins, the Smithsonian Institution, and Pan Am. Esteemed as one of the foremost graphic artists of his era, Chermayeff was a partner in the New York design concern now known as Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, which he cofounded in 1957. The firm, known for its sleek Modernist designs featuring bold primary colors, was among the first to convey corporate identity by means of abstraction, streamlining the fussier logos that had dominated the commercial landscape in the first half of the 20th century. Chermayeff died in New York City on December 2, 2017.

Bob Seidemann (75) photographer and art director known for his iconic images of ‘60s-era rock stars and for producing a controversial album cover featuring a partially nude pubescent girl for the band Blind Faith. Seidemann once photographed Janis Joplin wearing nothing but beads and captured the members of the Grateful Dead looking jaunty in black as they stood in front of a row of cookie-cutter houses in a Bay Area suburb. He died of Parkinson's disease on Mare Island, California on November 27, 2017.


Business and Science

Russell Frost (49) American who was abducted in Baghdad in 2016. Frost was working as a contractor in January 2016 when he and two coworkers, Amr Mohamed and Waiel El-Maadawy, were abducted in Dora, a mixed neighborhood that is home to both Shiites and Sunnis. Iraqi officials said they were in good health when they were handed over to the US Embassy in February 2016. The Americans have sued, alleging that Iran and a prominent Shiite cleric gave material support to their abductors. Frost lost more than 40 pounds in captivity because of dehydration and malnutrition, which caused kidney problems. He died in Wichita, Kansas on November 30, 2017.

Mickey Gurdus (73) for decades Gurdus commanded a battery of shortwave and FM radios, UHF and VHF receivers, tape recorders, and other devices from a swivel chair in his Tel Aviv apartment, all to intercept and record foreign news broadcasts, secret satellite transmissions, confidential military messages, and diplomatic conversations. He monitored the airwaves for the state-run Israel Radio and tipped his editor—and, sometimes, intelligence agents—to hijackings, invasions, and revolutions. He called himself a journalist, but his professional niche was so unusual that Israelis coined a Hebrew word for him: kashaveynu, or “our listener and correspondent.” Gurdus died of a heart attack in Yehud, Israel on November 28, 2017.

Lowell Hawthorne (57) founder and chief executive of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill. Hawthorne started the successful Caribbean fast food chain in 1989 by selling Jamaican beef patties, jerk chicken, and breads. He built the business into a national franchise with more than 120 restaurants in nine states. He once appeared in an episode of CBS’s Undercover Boss. Hawthorne had amassed a large amount of tax debt and was being sued by a former employee for lost wages. At his death his company was planning on building a new $37 million headquarters in Rockland County. He shot himself in the head at his Bronx, New York factory on December 2, 2017.


Education

Joseph Crowley (84) longest-serving president in the history of the University of Nevada at Reno. Crowley was president of UNR for 23 years, from 1978–2001. He was president of the NCAA from 1993–95 and was interim president at San Jose State University for a year after his formal retirement in January 2003. He later returned to that role at Nevada from December 2005 to June ’06. Crowley first joined Nevada's political science faculty in 1966. Most recently he worked as president of one of northern Nevada's first medical marijuana dispensaries. He was hospitalized earlier this month with pneumonia and died in Reno, Nevada on November 28, 2017.

Jerry A. Fodor (82) one of the world’s foremost philosophers of the mind, who brought the workings of 20th-century computer technology to bear on ancient questions about the structure of human cognition. A longtime faculty member at Rutgers University, Fodor was at his death the State of New Jersey professor of philosophy there. His work, begun in the ‘60s and dovetailing with linguistics, logic, semiotics, psychology, anthropology, computer science, artificial intelligence, and other fields, is widely credited with having helped to seed the emerging discipline of cognitive science. He died in New York City of complications from Parkinson’s disease and a recent stroke, on November 29, 2017.

Armando Hart (87) historic figure of the Cuban revolution who as education minister in the early ‘60s oversaw a huge literacy campaign aimed at ensuring that all Cubans could read and write. Designated education minister shortly after the 1959 revolutionary triumph that put Fidel Castro in power, Hart was put in charge of sending more than 100,000 volunteers across the island for the literacy campaign. He later was culture minister. He died of respiratory failure in Havana, Cuba on November 26, 2017.

Charles E. Merrill Jr. (97) American philanthropist and educator. A Harvard graduate, Merrill was the son of Charles E. Merrill, one of the founders of the Merrill Lynch & Co. banking firm. The younger Merrill served in the army during World War II, then devoted his life to founding schools and supporting the education of the underprivileged in the US, Poland, and the Czech Republic. He supported a middle school in Nowy Sacz, in Poland's southern Pieniny Mountains region, and sponsored the education of Polish students in the US. A writer and painter, Merrill financially supported the Polish Literary Institute to publish the writings of 1980 Nobel Literature Prize winner Czeslaw Milosz and other writers. In 2002 Poland's government awarded Merrill the Officers' Cross of the Order of Merit. He died in southern Poland on November 29, 2017.

Vincent Scully (97) Yale University scholar, an architecture historian and professor who inspired generations of students. Scully joined the Yale faculty in 1947 and remained for more than 60 years. He was known for his innovative ideas and compelling style as a lecturer, attracting standing-room-only audiences and often receiving ovations when he finished. He was a critic of urban renewal in the ‘60s and '70s and became a leading advocate of historical preservation, also reversing his early support for the Modernist style, calling it totalitarian. Scully died of complications from Parkinson's disease in Lynchburg, Virginia on November 30, 2017.


Law

Jerome Crowe (93) former Los Angeles-based FBI agent who delivered the ransom money in the Frank Sinatra Jr. (died 2016) kidnapping and led a SWAT team in the bloody Symbionese Liberation Army shootout. A lifelong law enforcement officer credited with assembling the FBI’s first SWAT team in LA, Crowe was also a noted firearms instructor, and the FBI Regional Tactical Training Center at the former El Toro Marine base in Irvine was renamed in his honor in 2011. In 1963 Crowe was handpicked to take the lead in a case that quickly captured the nation’s attention—the kidnapping of singer Frank Sinatra’s 19-year-old son. Crowe died of Alzheimer's disease in Hawthorne, California on November 26, 2017.

Robert ('Rip') Prichard 3rd (78) longtime south Mississippi circuit judge. Prichard retired in 2010 as Mississippi’s longest-serving trial judge. He was appointed in 1972 in a judicial district including Jefferson Davis, Lamar, Lawrence, Marion, and Pearl River counties. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. credits Prichard for helping to develop criminal court rules that the Supreme Court adopted in 2016. Prichard led a study committee that met from 2004–10. He won the state Bar’s award for judicial excellence in 2002. He died in Picayune, Mississippi on December 2, 2017.

Perry Wallace (69) first black varsity basketball player in the Southeastern Conference. Wallace became an all-SEC player at Vanderbilt University. He was the SEC's first black basketball player to compete in a varsity game in 1967 and remained among the Commodores' all-time rebounding leaders. After graduating from Vanderbilt, he earned a law degree at Columbia University and was a law professor at American University. He also served in the US Justice Department and worked for the National Urban League. Wallace died of cancer in Rockville, Maryland on December 1, 2017.


News and Entertainment

John Hingsbergen (67) voice of public radio for most of central and eastern Kentucky. Hingsbergen was content manager for WEKU, a public radio station based at Eastern Kentucky University that could be heard in Kentucky and parts of Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. While Hingsbergen managed all the content that aired on the radio, he was best known to listeners as host of Eastern Standard, a weekly public affairs show that featured interviews with politicians, journalists, and advocates about public events and other pressing issues. He had been at WEKU since 2011, after a career that began in the greater Cincinnati area. He died suddenly in Frankfort, Kentucky on November 28, 2017.

Mundell Lowe (95) guitar master whose many musical partners included Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Charlie Parker, Benny Goodman, and the Everly Brothers. Lowe’s film and TV music credits included Hawaii Five-O, Starsky & Hutch, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask), and Billy Jack. His recording credits ranged from such jazz greats as Charles Mingus, Buddy Rich, and Carmen McRae, with whom he made seven albums, to rhythm and blues vocal dynamo Ruth Brown, Barry Manilow, and Johnny Ray, whose 1951 hit, “Cry,” featured Lowe. He died in San Diego, California on December 2, 2017.

Jim Nabors (87) comic actor who found fame in the role of amiable bumpkin Gomer Pyle in two hit TV shows of the '60s—The Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle, USMC—while pursuing a second career as a popular singer with a booming baritone voice. Nabors' rendition of “Back Home Again in Indiana” became an Indianapolis 500 fixture for more than 40 years. The song is a centerpiece of the pageantry leading to the race, and Nabors sang it 36 times between 1972–2014. Nabors' health had been declining for about a year, and his immune system had been suppressed since he underwent a liver transplant in 1994. He died in Honolulu, Hawaii on November 30, 2017.

Fatimah ('Shadia') Shaker (86) Egyptian actress and singer who captivated millions for decades with memorable singles and iconic film roles. Known throughout her career by her single stage name, Shadia had more than 100 films to her name and hundreds of singles in a career that stretched back to the late ‘40s. She belonged to an era in the Egyptian entertainment industry that critics and entertainers call the “beautiful” or “golden” age, a time that roughly stretched from the ‘40s to the ‘70s, when some of Egypt's best movies were produced. With her silky and playful voice and perfectly honed acting skills, Shadia was at the heart of that era, winning a fan base that stretched across the entire Arab world. Her film roles were diverse and engaging, ranging from willful country girls and city career women to comical portrayals of emotionally disturbed women and hopeless romantics. She suffered a stroke earlier this month and later went into a coma. Shadia died in Cairo, Egypt on November 28, 2017.

Les Whitten (89) investigative journalist who from 1969 shared a byline with Jack Anderson (died 2005) on “Washington Merry-Go-Round,” a nationally syndicated newspaper column that mercilessly exposed Washington’s foibles and frauds. Whitten once even spied on J. Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI. Also the author of nearly a dozen political thrillers and horror and science fiction novels, Whiitten died of sepsis in Adelphi, Maryland on December 2, 2017.

Karen Wittmer Jekel (65) former publisher of newspapers in Arizona and other states and a community leader in Scottsdale and the Mesa area. Wittmer Jekel was publisher of the East Valley Tribune in 2007 when she joined her husband, Lou Jekel, in retirement. The couple divided their time between Scottsdale and Cornville, Ariz. and Alexandria Bay, New York. Wittmer Jekel died six months after being diagnosed with bile duct cancer, on December 2, 2017.


Politics and Military

Bill Harris (83) soft-spoken US Marine veteran who brought charm and discipline to his tenure as president of the Ohio Senate. The Tennessee native joined the Ohio House in 1995 after a 23-year military career and success as a car dealer. Ohio Republican chair Jane Timken said he “embodied the American Dream.” Harris moved to the Senate in 2000 in a deal struck to defuse a brewing House leadership battle and was president from '05–10. He died in Ashland, Ohio on November 27, 2017.

Gary Ingram (84) former Idaho state representative, original author of the state’s open meeting law and champion of public access in government. Ingram led the effort in 1974 to codify a simple but important Idaho value: the public's business ought to be done in public. He died in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho just a day after his 84th birthday, on November 30, 2017.

Surin Pitsuwan (68) former Thai foreign minister who nudged the Association of Southeast Asian Nations into becoming more of a regional peacekeeper and an advocate for human rights. A Muslim in a majority Buddhist nation, Surin was the global face of the association between 2008–12 as its 10 member nations began to integrate on a diplomatic level. Under Surin’s leadership, the association helped to introduce peacekeepers to mediate local insurgencies against the Indonesian government in East Timor and Aceh province before those conflicts spilled beyond provincial borders. By providing humanitarian assistance after a devastating cyclone in 2008, Surin opened the door to what he called “flexible engagement” with Myanmar to encourage its military junta to stop repressing ethnic groups in a long-running civil war. He died of a heart attack in Bangkok, Thailand on November 30, 2017.

Warren Spannaus (86) former Minnesota attorney general who ran for governor in 1982. Spannaus was known for promoting Minnesota's landmark gun-control law and his longtime friendship and professional partnership with former US Vice President Walter Mondale. The St. Paul native was elected attorney general in 1970 and reelected twice, serving until ’83. He won the Democrat-Farmer-Labor Party endorsement for governor in 1982 but lost in the primary to the eventual winner, the late Gov. Rudy Perpich. Gun-rights advocates created bumper stickers with the slogan “Dump Spannaus” when he ran for governor. He was a retired partner at the Dorsey & Whitney law firm. Spannaus died of cancer at a Minneapolis, Minnesota-area hospital on November 27, 2017.

W, Marvin Watson (93) World War II combat veteran who ran President Lyndon B. Johnson’s White House with the protective instincts of a loyalist, the privileged power of a confidant, and the efficiency of a drill sergeant. When he arrived at the White House in early 1965, Watson—a fellow Texan and proud “Johnson man” by his own description—had been a political ally of the president’s since Johnson’s successful run for the US Senate in 1948. In 1964 Watson had smoothed the way for Johnson’s nomination at the Democrat National Convention in Atlantic City, nine months after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Watson died in The Woodlands, Texas, near Houston, on November 26, 2017.


Sports

Bud Moore (92) NASCAR Hall of Famer, a World War II veteran awarded five Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars. Moore won the NASCAR title in 1957 as crew chief for Buck Baker and car owner titles in ‘62–63 with Joe Weatherly. He was the oldest living member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, inducted in 2011. Moore joined the military in 1943 as an 18-year-old machine gunner. He was assigned to the 90th Infantry Division, which landed on Utah Beach in France on D-Day. His unit was attached to Gen. George W. Patton's Third Army, which pushed to liberate Europe. NASCAR was formed in 1948, and Moore quickly found a spot in the sport after the war. He died in Spartanburg, South Carolina on November 27, 2017.

Walter Reyes (36) former Syracuse tailback, second all-time on the school's rushing list. A star in high school in Struthers, Ohio, the 5-foot-10, 210-pound Reyes ran low and used his impressive power, acceleration, cutting ability, and breakaway speed to befuddle defenders. He finished his college career with 3,424 yards rushing, behind only Joe Morris (4,299) at Syracuse. Reyes was married and working as a personal trainer and part-time at a florist in Youngstown, Ohio. After complaining of stomach pain for several days, he was hospitalized near his home in Campbell, Ohio, where he died on November 26, 2017.

Bill Steinkraus (92) one of America’s most celebrated horse-show riders and the country’s first to win an Olympic individual gold medal in any equestrian discipline. Widely considered one of the greatest riders in the history of equestrian sports, Steinkraus made all six US Olympic teams from 1952–72, missing only the ‘64 Games in Tokyo when his horse pulled up lame at the last moment. He won his record-making Olympic individual gold medal, in show jumping, in Mexico City in 1968. He also won team silver medals in Rome in 1960 and in Munich in ‘72, and a team bronze in ‘52 at Helsinki. His gold medal came aboard Snowbound, a strong-willed 9-year-old gelding. Steinkraus died in the Noroton section of Darien, Connecticut on November 29, 2017.

Clemon Terrell (54) longtime Hattiesburg parks and recreation director. Terrell played running back at the University of Southern Mississippi from 1980–83. He had worked for 16 years for Hattiesburg parks and recreation. He died in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on November 30, 2017.


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