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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, February 10, 2018

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John Mahoney, actor who played Frasier's dadBen Agajanian, pro football place-kicking pioneerJarrod Bannister, Australian javelin throwerJohn Perry Barlow, Grateful Dead lyricistJeffrey Bell, conservative political theoristLerone Bennett Jr., historian and journalistFran Bera, racing pilot who set small-plane altitude recordSam Bloch, Holocaust survivor and activistReg. E. Cathey, actor on 'House of Cards' and 'The Wire'Rev. Peter M. Colapietro, NYC's 'saloon priest'Bevan Congdon, New Zealand cricket starRuth Cummings, mother of US congressman Elijah CummingsPatricia Frustaci, gave birth to septuplets after fertility treatmentsJohn Gavin, film actor and US ambassador to MexicoKenneth Haigh, British stage and film actorAndré Harvey, sculptor of bronze animal figuresJohann Johannsson, film composer and recording producerMickey Jones, TV and film character actorDavid Kernell, man who hacked Sarah Palin's emailJoe Knollenberg, US congressman from DetroitDonald Lynden-Bell, British theoretical astrophysicistEsmond Bradley Martin, expert on black market ivory tradeLiam Miller, Irish footballerWally Moon, early LA Dodgers outfielderRev. David Poindexter, promoted family planning to combat overpopulationTony Pomerleau, Vermont businessman and philanthropistGary Seear, New Zealand rugby starLovebug Starski, pioneering hip-hop disk jockey and rapperFrederieke Taylor, art collector, curator, and administratorAnne M. Treisman, cognitive psychologistWesla Whitfield, classically trained singer of Great American SongbookCatherine Wolf, experimental psychologistDavid Zwick, environmental activist

Art and Literature

André Harvey (76) sculptor of detailed, realistic bronze figures of animals whose works were exhibited by Tiffany & Co. in its Fifth Avenue flagship store, have been collected by museums, and were purchased by celebrities. Some of Harvey's sculptures are small, and some are enormous. Pigs, frogs, and turtles are special members of his menagerie, but he also sculpted penguins, manatees, cows, goats, and birds. There were depictions of humans, too, and a hornet's nest, a ginkgo leaf, and dry fruits called samara. Harvey died of acute respiratory distress syndrome in Wilmington, Delaware on February 6, 2018.

Frederieke Taylor (77) collector, curator, and administrator who exhibited her eclectic taste in contemporary art and architecture at the gallery she cofounded in Soho in 1993. A Dutch immigrant who arrived in the US in the early '60s, Taylor held a series of jobs that allowed her to help artists thrive. In Manhattan she was administrative and development director at the Institute for Architecture & Urban Studies, a think tank and studio, and executive director of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, which provides support and resources for artists. In Peterborough, New Hampshire she was director of the MacDowell Colony, a prestigious artists' retreat, and in Madison, Maine she directed the Skowhegan School for Painting & Sculpture. Back in New York, she was a board member and chairman of composer, singer, and interdisciplinary artist Meredith Monk's House Foundation for the Arts. Taylor died of cancer in New York City on February 7, 2018.

Business and Science

Patricia Frustaci (63) woman who made national headlines in 1985 when she gave birth to seven children but struggled with the financial and publicity fallout and with the heartache of seeing four babies perish. Frustaci was an English teacher in Riverside, California and already the mother of a son when she gave birth after undergoing fertility treatments. At the time it was the largest multiple birth in the US. But the babies were delivered 12 weeks prematurely by cesarean section and had several serious health problems. One girl was stillborn, and two boys and a girl died within weeks. Medical expenses soon topped $1 million. The family sued the fertility clinic and a doctor, alleging wrongful death of the four children and negligence that led to health problems for the surviving children. The clinic later settled the lawsuit without acknowledging any wrongdoing. Frustaci, who suffered from bipolar disorder and pulmonary fibrosis, died in San Diego, California on February 10, 2018.

Donald Lynden-Bell (82) British theoretical astrophysicist who pioneered research into cosmic quirks like quasars and black holes and with colleagues contradicted the prevailing premise that the universe is expanding evenly. An expert in applying mathematical formulas to physics, Lynden-Bell was the first director of the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge. He shared the 2008 Kavli Prize for Astrophysics with Maarten Schmidt, a Dutch astronomer who first identified bright and powerful quasi-stellar radio sources, or quasars. Lynden-Bell, who explained their motion and energy source, broke new ground in elaborating on the theory that at the core of galaxies are gigantic black holes—powerful gravitational fields with a mass equal to millions of suns that keep matter or radiation from escaping. He died in Cambridge, England on February 6, 2018.

Esmond Bradley Martin (76) fixture on Kenya's wildlife scene, an eccentric American with a mass of white hair, known for meticulous work on the black-market prices of ivory and rhinoceros horn, now the victim in a murder mystery. For decades Martin studied ivory and rhino markets, his passion hardly fading with age. Once a United Nations special envoy on rhino conservation, he was considered a true expert on the ins and outs of the ivory and rhino horn trade, with deep contacts among traders, carvers, their families, and other researchers. Martin was found dead at his home in Nairobi, Kenya's capital, with a stab wound in his neck, on February 4, 2018.

Tony Pomerleau (100) Vermont man who rose from humble roots to become one of the state's major business figures and a prominent philanthropist. Pomerleau was a Newport schoolboy who later developed Vermont's first shopping centers. In 2012, business records showed Pomerleau family properties in 18 Vermont towns and three northern New York communities. He also became known for his charitable giving. For more than 30 years he sponsored a Christmas party for hundreds of low-income Burlington children. He donated $1 million to recovery projects from Tropical Storm Irene. Pomerleau died in Burlington, Vermont on February 8, 2018.

Anne M. Treisman (82) psychologist whose insights into how we perceive the world around us provided some of the core theories for the field of cognitive psychology. Treisman considered a fundamental question: How does the brain make sense of the bombardment of input it is receiving and focus attention on a particular object or activity? What she came up with is called the feature integration theory of attention, detailed in a much-cited 1980 article written with Garry Gelade in the journal Cognitive Psychology, then refined and elaborated on in later work. Treisman died of a stroke in New York City on February 9, 2018.

Catherine Wolf (70) experimental psychologist whose research focused on enhancing interactions between humans and computers—and who, after illness left her paralyzed, relied on her laptop to communicate, using a system that let her wiggle an eyebrow to pick out letters. Wolf's work at IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Westchester County, New York helped programmers to develop voice-recognition systems that, for example, let users compose text by speaking to a computer and banking customers make transactions by telephone. She died of sepsis, a complication of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease) in Katonah, New York on February 7, 2018.

David Zwick (75) member of Ralph Nader's “Nader's Raiders” who was instrumental in writing and securing passage of the Clean Water Act of 1972 and founded the advocacy group Clean Water Action. In 1971 Zwick was coauthor, with Marcy Benstock, of Water Wasteland, a lengthy report by Nader's Center for the Study of Responsive Law that found that US water pollution control efforts had failed miserably, Zwick then became involved in drafting the Clean Water Act of 1972, landmark environmental legislation that was subject to pressures from industries whose polluting practices it sought to curb, from local officials worried about federal intrusion, and more. He had various health problems, including several heart attacks late in 2017. He died in Minneapolis, Minnesota on February 5, 2018.


David Kernell (30) man who hacked the personal email account of former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin in 2008. Kernell was attending the University of Tennessee when he guessed security answers to enter Palin's Yahoo account. He changed the password, then posted the new password, family photographs, and some emails online. He served 10 months in prison for obstruction of justice after destroying evidence from his computer. He died in California of complications related to progressive multiple sclerosis, on February 9, 2018.

News and Entertainment

John Perry Barlow (70) founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a former lyricist for the Grateful Dead. Barlow was known for his belief in cyber liberties and cofounded the EFF in 1990 to champion free expression and privacy online. He also wrote lyrics for Grateful Dead songs including “Touch of Grey” and “Brown-Eyed Woman,” among dozens of others. He died in his sleep in San Francisco, California on February 7, 2018.

Lerone Bennett Jr. (89) historian and journalist who wrote extensively on race relations and black history and was a top editor at Ebony magazine for decades. Bennett was outspoken in his writing, arguing that the history of black people in the US had been ignored or told only through a white filter. His best-known book was Before the Mayflower (1982), drawn from a series of articles for Ebony. In it he noted that the first blacks arrived in the colonies in 1619, the year before the Mayflower did, on a ship that reached Jamestown, Virginia. The book established Bennett as a leading scholarly voice during the racial ferment of the '60s. In 1966 he testified before a House Education subcommittee looking into racism and unrest and was blunt, tracing the turmoil of the times to an education system that did not prepare students to live in a multiracial society. He died of advanced vascular dementia in Chicago, Illinois on February 14, 2018.

Reg E. Cathey (59) actor whose distinctive baritone and memorable roles on hugely popular TV shows like House of Cards and The Wire won him legions of fans and an Emmy Award. Although he earned credits across dozens of TV shows and movies, it was Cathey's portrayal of Freddy Hayes—an empathetic, salt-of-the-earth barbecue pit owner whose restaurant provides a respite for Francis Underwood, the scheming politician on House of Cards—that earned him three Emmy nominations and one win for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. Cathey assumed a somewhat similar role on The Wire, playing a beloved newspaper editor turned political operative whose honesty and integrity are often sought out by the man he works for. Cathey died in New York City on February 9, 2018,

John Gavin (86) tall, strikingly handsome actor who appeared in Spartacus, Psycho, and other hit films of the '60s before becoming President Ronald Reagan's ambassador to Mexico. Unlike some who win ambassadorships as political favors and are sent to countries they know little about, Gavin arrived in Mexico in 1981 well equipped for the job. His father had invested in the country's mines, and ancestors of his Mexican-born mother were among California's first Spanish settlers. Gavin had often visited Mexico in his youth and was fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. He died in Beverly Hills, California on February 9, 2018.

Kenneth Haigh (86) English actor whose starring role in the play Look Back in Anger and his own persona defined the rebellious postwar “angry young man.” Haigh appeared in a dozen films, including Cleopatra (1963) with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, in which he played Brutus, and A Hard Day's Night (1964), in which he had a hilarious uncredited cameo role as a cocky TV producer interrogating Beatle George Harrison. He was also seen frequently on British and American TV, including as a ruthless corporate climber in the early-'70s series Man at the Top. But he was most acclaimed for his stage roles—and none more than that of Jimmy Porter, the antihero of John Osborne's Look Back in Anger. When the play opened in London in 1956, a publicist popularized the phrase “angry young men” to describe its focus: the disaffected generation that came of age in Britain after World War II. Haigh had reportedly been in a nursing home since 2003, after he swallowed a chicken bone in a restaurant and, briefly deprived of oxygen, sustained brain damage. He died in England on February 4, 2018.

Johann Johannsson (48) award-winning composer and producer who combined classical sounds and modern electronics on the acclaimed soundtracks for The Theory of Everything and Sicario. A native of Reykjavík, Iceland who started out as a rock guitarist, Johannsson won a Golden Globe and received Grammy and Oscar nominations for his score for The Theory of Everything, the 2014 film starring Eddie Redmayne as physicist Stephen Hawking. Johannsson also received an Oscar nomination for the 2015 movie Sicario. His score for Arrival, a 2016 release, brought him Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Grammy nominations. In 2017 he worked with Darren Aronofsky on Mother!, which starred Jennifer Lawrence. Johannsson also recorded several albums of his own, including Fordlandia and Orphee. He was found dead at his Berlin, Germany apartment on February 9, 2018.

Mickey Jones (76) veteran character actor who played Rodney (“Hot Rod”) Dunham on Justified and construction worker Pete on the '90s sitcom Home Improvement. Jones worked steadily in TV from the '70s, with appearances on shows including Baywatch and T. J. Hooker and, more recently, Growing Up Fisher with J. K. Simmons and Newsreaders with Kumail Nanjiani. On the big screen, he was seen in Sling Blade, Tin Cup, and Starman. His Home Improvement role harkened back to his roots in entertainment. Pete was part of a company band, using an ad hoc drum set made up of empty plastic fuel cans and with screwdrivers as sticks. But Jones was a real-life musician. In the '60s and '70s he was a drummer with Trini Lopez, Bob Dylan, Johnny Rivers, and The First Edition with Kenny Rogers. His 2007 autobiography, That Would Be Me: Rock & Roll Survivor to Hollywood Actor, drew the first part of its title from the catch-phrase his character was known for on Tim Allen's Home Improvement. Jones died on February 7, 2018.

John Mahoney (77) actor who, as the cranky, blue-collar dad on Frasier, played against pompous sons Frasier and Niles. On Frasier, the hit Cheers spinoff that aired from 1993-2004, Mahoney played Martin Crane, a disabled ex-policeman who parked himself in a battered old armchair in Frasier's chic Seattle living room. Kelsey Grammer's Frasier and David Hyde Pierce's Niles, both psychiatrists with lofty views of their own intellect, squabbled constantly with their dad, but, when needed, the family closed ranks. Martin's beloved dog, Eddie, also took up residence to annoy the fussy Frasier. Mahoney, a British native who made Chicago his hometown, was a two-time Emmy nominee for Frasier, won a 1986 Tony Award for The House of Blue Leaves, and worked steadily in movies. He died in Chicago, Illinois on February 4, 2018.

Lovebug Starski (57) versatile disk jockey and rapper who was a key figure in the development and early evolution of hip-hop in the South Bronx throughout the '70s. Starski maintained that he was there when the phrase hip-hop was coined, trading the two words back and forth while improvising lines with Cowboy of the Furious Five at a farewell party. He incorporated the phrase into the DJ sets he was playing in the South Bronx, helping to solidify it as lingo of the scene and inadvertently providing the opening line to “Rapper's Delight,” the 1979 Sugarhill Gang song that took hip-hop out of parties and onto the radio. Starski died in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 8, 2018.

Wesla Whitfield (70) classically trained vocalist whose interpretations of the Great American Songbook were anything but standard. Whitfield trained as a coloratura soprano and sang with the San Francisco Opera chorus during the '70s but found the experience unfulfilling. After completing a performance she would often sneak off to sing in piano bars. Her career took hold at West Coast clubs like the Cinegrill in Los Angeles and the Razz Room and the Empire Plush Room in San Francisco. She later became a regular performer at the Oak Room in the Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan. In 1977 Whitfield was paralyzed from the waist down after being shot on a San Francisco street by a young boy, but continued to perform. She died of bladder cancer in St. Helena, California on February 9, 2018.

Politics and Military

Jeffrey Bell (74) conservative theorist who in 1978 transformed his campaign for tax cuts into a primary upset that toppled a liberal fellow Republican, US Sen. Clifford P. Case of New Jersey. Bell lost two other Senate bids, but his electoral record belied a national political influence on economic and social issues. He died of cardiac arrest in Annandale, Virginia on February 10, 2018.

Ruth Cummings (91) mother of US Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.). Ruth Cummings was born in Manning, South Carolina before her family moved to Baltimore. She was overseer of Victory Prayer Chapel, which she established in her home's basement before the congregation grew and moved into two churches in Baltimore. The church's programs include a food pantry, clothing drives, prison and nursing home ministries, and a scholarship fund in honor of her late husband, Robert Cummings Sr., who died in 2000. Ruth Cummings died in Baltimore, Maryland on February 5, 2018.

Joe Knollenberg (84) former US congressman, a Republican who served suburban Detroit's Oakland County for 16 years after a career in insurance. Knollenberg was elected to Congress in 1992 at 59—his first elected office. He had been chairman of the Oakland County Republican Party, a district chairman, and president and founder of a local GOP club. In Congress he chaired the House Appropriations transportation subcommittee. Democrat Gary Peters, now a US senator, beat Knollenberg in November 2008. Knollenberg died of Alzheimer's disease in Troy, Michigan on February 6, 2018.

Society and Religion

Sam Bloch (93) fled the Nazi occupation of his Polish hometown with his mother and brother, joined the Jewish resistance that fought Germans in Belarus, and later helped to organize large public assemblages of Jewish Holocaust survivors. To Bloch, an executive at the World Zionist Organization in Manhattan for 50 years, the gatherings offered mass witness to the horrors of Nazism and evidence that survivors had reclaimed their lives out of what he called “the kingdom of death.” When nearly 6,000 survivors from two dozen countries met in Jerusalem in 1981—the first major gathering Bloch was involved in—he told the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, that those who died in crematories, were buried in mass graves, and fought in ghettos would not be forgotten. Bloch died of heart failure in the Rego Park section of Queens, New York on February 4, 2018.

Rev. Peter M. Colapietro (69) Roman Catholic priest whose late-night presence as a regular at celebrity hangouts contrasted with his low-key work in parishes in Manhattan. Colapietro was assigned to St. Malachy's Catholic Church, known as the Actors' Chapel, in 2015 after two years at the Church of St. Monica on East 79th Street. But he spent most of his career at Holy Cross Catholic Church on West 42nd Street, where he was pastor for 18 years and parish administrator for three. Colapietro—Father Pete to those who encountered him in or out of a church—became known as the “saloon priest,” partly because he had worked in bars before he joined the priesthood and partly because he was a regular at Elaine's, the celebrity hangout on the Upper East Side that closed in 2011. He died of emphysema in New York City on February 5, 2018.

Rev. David Poindexter (89) Methodist minister who worked with TV and radio producers worldwide to inject story lines into their programs about overpopulation. Over more than 30 years Poindexter brought his concerns about population growth to the attention of American network executives and foreign government officials, from sitcom producer Norman Lear to Indira Gandhi, prime minister of India. Population Communications International, the Manhattan-based nonprofit that he ran in the '80s and '90s, cajoled broadcasters into producing soap operas designed to change people's attitudes toward family planning in countries struggling with rapid population growth. Poindexter believed that advancing issues like overpopulation through the media—particularly in soap operas that offered not only entertainment but also clear messages and positive role models—was essential to moving people to use family-planning clinics. He died of a stroke in Portland, Oregon on February 8, 2018.


Ben Agajanian (98) when he played on the defensive line and place-kicked for the University of New Mexico, Agajanian held a job with a soft-drink bottling company to help with his college costs. One spring day in 1941, he was riding in the company's open freight elevator when a concrete wall crushed his right foot, severing four toes. He was told that he would walk with a limp and never play football again. But not only did he return to his college team, he also became a place-kicking pioneer in pro football. Agajanian was known as the pros' first career kicking specialist, kicking field goals and extra points for nine teams in three leagues over 13 seasons with a specially designed square-toed shoe. He died in Cathedral City, California on February 8, 2018.

Jarrod Bannister (33) former Olympic javelin thrower. Bannister won the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medal and placed sixth in the final at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. His personal best of 89.02 meters, set in Brisbane in 2008, remains the Australian record. His last major competition came at the 2011 world championships in South Korea, where he placed seventh in the javelin final. In 2013 Bannister was banned for 20 months by antidoping authorities for not disclosing his whereabouts to drug testers on three occasions. He died in the Netherlands, where he been living and training, on February 8, 2018.

Fran Bera (93) whose fascination with flight began when she took an airplane-themed carnival ride as a young girl in Michigan in the ‘30s. As a teenager Bera hitchhiked more than 30 miles to an airfield, where she worked odd jobs and saved for flight lessons. She earned her pilot’s license at 16, and by 24, the youngest allowable age, she became a designated examiner, allowed to certify new pilots. Bera later won more than a dozen air races; set an unbroken National Aeronautic Association record for highest altitude attained in a twin-engine Piper Aztec, pushing that turboprop plane to an altitude better suited for a jet; and, she said, she once flew a small plane from California to Siberia on a whim. She also oversaw more than 3,000 check rides, or licensing examinations, for new pilots and in the ‘80s stopped counting her flight hours after she had accumulated 25,000. She died of a stroke in San Diego, California on February 10, 2018.

Bevan Congdon (79) captain of the New Zealand cricket team in its first test win over Australia in 1974. Congdon played 61 tests in a 13-year career, scoring 3,448 runs at an average of 32.22 with seven centuries. He also took 59 wickets. He played in 11 one-day internationals, including NZ's first in the format in 1973 against Pakistan. His average of 56.33 in ODIs is still the best for an NZ batsman with a minimum of 10 innings. While he led his country to only one test victory, it was a momentous five-wicket win over Australia in Christchurch in 1974. Congdon was also a member of the NZ team that beat England in a test for the first time in 1978 at Wellington. His 176 against England at Trent Bridge in 1976 was his most famous test innings. He was struck in the face by England fast bowler John Snow when he was on 24 but later led NZ to the brink of a remarkable win; NZ reached 440, chasing 479 to win. A captain in 17 tests, Congdon died in Auckland, New Zealand a day short of his 80th birthday, on February 10, 2018.

Jim Garrett (87) father of Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett and a longtime scout for the club. The elder Garrett first joined the Cowboys as a scout in 1968 and spent 36 of the next 38 years coaching or scouting in the NFL, including the last 17 of his career with the Cowboys. He wrote the original scouting report on Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman, No. 1 pick in the 1989 draft. Jim Garrett was part of four Super Bowl teams in Dallas, including the championship teams from the 1992, '93, and '95 seasons. He was an assistant with the New York Giants, New Orleans, and Cleveland. He died in Dallas, Texas on February 9, 2018.

Liam Miller (36) former Ireland international and A-League player. Miller represented three clubs in Australia's A-League toward the end of his professional career. The former Celtic, Manchester United, and Leeds United midfielder played for Perth Glory, Brisbane Roar, and Melbourne City between 2011-14. He won the A-League title with Brisbane in 2014 and was a member of the Perth Glory side that was beaten by the Roar in the grand final in '12. Miller died of pancreatic cancer in Cork, Ireland, four days before his 37th birthday, on February 9, 2018.

Wally Moon (87) baseball player who became a celebrated figure in the early history of the Los Angeles Dodgers when he hit “moon shot” home runs over the short left-field screen at the LA Coliseum to help take an aging team to a 1959 World Series championship season. A left-handed-hitting outfielder, Moon was the National League's rookie of the year in 1954, batting .304 for the St. Louis Cardinals, and had several fine seasons afterward. But the Cards traded him to the Dodgers before the 1959 season when he was coming off an injury. In their second season in LA after leaving Brooklyn, the Dodgers still had a lineup with Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, and Carl Furillo from their “Boys of Summer” pennant-winning teams, but all were approaching the ends of their careers. When Moon was installed in left field, he emerged as something of a hero for fans who had long hungered for major-league baseball. He died in Bryan, Texas on February 9, 2018.

Gary Seear (65) All Blacks lock and back rower who kicked a long-distance penalty against France in Paris in 1977. Seear, who played 12 tests among 34 matches for New Zealand, made his test debut against France in a losing All Blacks performance in Toulouse in 1977. The next week he kicked a penalty goal from 45 meters at Parc de Prince to contribute to a 15-3 All Blacks win. Seear first played for the All Blacks in South Africa in 1976 but had to wait a year for his test debut. He died in Christchurch, New Zealand on February 8, 2018.

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