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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, March 3, 2018

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David Ogden Stiers, actor known for 'M*A*S*H'Sir Roger Bannister, first to run 3-minute mileJohn Brunetti, owner of Florida's Hialeah racetrackWilliam Henry Trotter ('Bucky') Bush, brother and uncle of US presidentsEnrique ('Quini') Castro Gonzalez, Spanish soccer starBarry Crimmins, stand-up comedianDorne Dibble, '50s Detroit Lions playerSteve Folkes, Australian rugby player and coachAlan Gershwin, said he was George Gershwin's sonJoe Gilmartin, longtime Arizona sportswriterFred Hayes, Utah state parks directorCynthia Heimel, humorous writer on battle of sexesSean Lavery, NYC Ballet dancer, coach, and administratorAnatoly Lein, chess grandmasterBarbara Lewalski, Renaissance scholar and expert on MiltonJesus Lopez-Cobos, longtime music director of Cincinnati SymphonyLuciano Benjamin Menéndez, Argentine generalGus Mijalis, Louisiana businessman and governor's friendHarvey Schmidt, composer of musical 'The Fantasticks'Sammy Stewart, Baltimore Orioles pitcherPenny Vincenzi, British novelist

Art and Literature

Cynthia Heimel (70) whose first book, Sex Tips for Girls, established her in the early '80s as a fearless and funny writer about men, feminism, female friendships, flirting, birth control, and lingerie. Heimel's confessional writing about sex and relationships preceded by more than 10 years that of Candace Bushnell, whose column about dating for the New York Observer led to the HBO series Sex & the City. Diagnosed with dementia in 2017, Heimel also suffered from depression. She died in Los Angeles, California on February 25, 2018.

Penny Vincenzi (78) British writer whose stories of romance, rivalry, and family secrets topped best-seller lists. Vincenzi worked as a journalist before publishing her first novel, Old Sins (1989). Her 17 novels and two story collections sold more than 7 million copies worldwide. Her last book, A Question of Trust, was published in 2017. Vincenzi died in London, England on February 25, 2018.


Business and Science

John Brunetti (87) horse breeder and owner of historic Hialeah Park racetrack since 1977. Brunetti feuded with nearby Gulfstream Park and Calder Race Course for the best racing dates. When the state of Florida stopped assigning dates in 1989, Hialeah was unable to compete with the other tracks and its prominence quickly faded. It opened in 1925, and its heyday was a showplace for celebrities, pink flamingos, and many of the sport's greatest horses. A statue of Citation stands as a reminder of the track's past. Hialeah continued in recent years with quarter horse racing and a casino. Brunetti remained active in local business and through his support of medical research and higher education. He died in Boca Raton, Florida on March 2, 2018.

William Henry Trotter ('Bucky') Bush (79) investor and the brother and uncle of presidents. Known as “Bucky,” the younger brother of President George H. W. Bush, uncle of President George W. Bush, and youngest son of Sen. Prescott Sheldon Bush of Connecticut was also active in Republican politics. He chaired George W. Bush's presidential reelection campaign in Missouri. At the time he recounted that he used to babysit the future 43rd president of the US. Bush also was cofounder and chairman of Bush O'Donnell Investment Advisers in St. Louis. Before that he was president of Boatmen's National Bank of St. Louis. He also served on the boards of numerous corporations and foundations, including WellPoint Inc., now Anthem, parent company of multiple Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurers. He died in West Palm Beach, Florida on February 28, 2018.

Gus Mijalis (83) Louisiana businessman and close friend of former Gov. Edwin Edwards. Mijalis's business interests included the century-old family-owned Farmers Seafood in Shreveport. He also served on the state Board of Regents for higher education. But Mijalis was best known as a friend, traveling companion, and, in the '80s, a federal court codefendant of Edwards, the high-living, four-term governor. Both men were indicted—and later acquitted—on federal charges involving health-care permits. Mijalis completed a 20-month prison sentence in 1997 after pleading guilty in '95 to bank bribery and fraud charges in an unrelated case. He died of heart disease in Shreveport, Louisiana on February 27, 2018.


Education

Barbara Lewalski (87) Renaissance scholar and expert on poet John Milton who became the first woman to be granted tenured and endowed professorships in the English departments at Brown and Harvard universities. Lewalski was an accomplished author, teacher, mentor to doctoral students, and a researcher who was named an honored scholar by the Milton Society of America when she was 46. In 2016 she received a lifetime achievement award from the Renaissance Society of America. Lewalski recently learned that she had congestive heart failure. She died of a heart attack in Providence, Rhode Island on March 2, 2018.


News and Entertainment

Barry Crimmins (64) outspoken comedian who, as a result of his own traumatic experiences in childhood, also became an outspoken opponent of child pornography and Internet services that enable it. Crimmins was a central figure on the Boston comedy scene as it blossomed in the '80s, not only performing but also booking comics for the Ding Ho, a Chinese restaurant on Inman Square, where he was largely responsible for establishing a comedy club in 1979. His stand-up material was full of strong opinions on politics and social issues, a style less familiar then than it is now. He died of cancer in Syracuse, New York on February 28, 2018.

Alan Gershwin (91) for 70 years or so, Alan Gershwin insisted he was the long-lost illegitimate son of composer George Gershwin, who, unmarried, died of a brain tumor in 1937 at age 38. With Alan's death, the curtain came down on what was surely the Gershwins' most bizarre show ever, revolving around whether the younger man was one of the greatest victims in American musical history, or a grifter running a long-term con, or someone suffering decades of delusion. Alan Gershwin died in a Bronx, New York hospital on February 27, 2018.

Sean Lavery (61) former New York City Ballet star whose dancing career was cut short when he was diagnosed with a spinal tumor. One of the company's most prolific male dancers until he was forced to stop dancing in the late '80s at age 30, Lavery later served the company as ballet master, coach, and administrator for more than 20 years, also serving as a right-hand man to NYCB head Peter Martins. Lavery retired in 2011. As a dancer, he originated or starred in roles from a wide swath of the company's repertoire, especially in works by George Balanchine. Lavery died in Palm Springs, California on February 26, 2018.

Jesus Lopez-Cobos (78) longest-tenured music director (1986–2001) in the history of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Spanish-born Lopez-Cobos led the orchestra in more than 500 performances, including in 1990 on its first Far East tour since 1967 and in '90 on its first US West Coast tour. He also made 26 recordings with the orchestra, most notably on Telarc. He died of cancer in Berlin, Germany on March 2, 2018.

Harvey Schmidt (88) composer of The Fantasticks, which made its debut when Dwight D. Eisenhower was still president and became the longest-running musical in history. Schmidt teamed up with lyricist, director, and storywriter Tom Jones on The Fantasticks and on the Broadway shows 110 in the Shade and I Do! I Do! “Try to Remember,” the best-known song from The Fantasticks, has been recorded by hundreds of artists over the decades, including Ed Ames, Harry Belafonte, Barbra Streisand, and Placido Domingo. Schmidt died in New York City on February 28, 2018.

David Ogden Stiers (75) actor best known for playing a surgeon on the M*A*S*H TV series, for which he received two Emmy nominations. Stiers played the aristocratic Maj. Charles Winchester 3rd on M*A*S*H, beginning in its sixth season, replacing Larry Linville after he left the series. Stiers' character, while arrogant, also showed an empathy and wit his predecessor lacked. He also did voice acting in several Disney animated films, voicing the character Cogsworth in Beauty & the Beast and characters in Lilo & Stitch and Pocahontas. He was also the voice of an announcer in George Lucas's 1971 feature directorial debut, THX 1138. Stiers had more than 150 film and TV credits, including appearances on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and several Perry Mason TV movies. He died of bladder cancer in Newport, Oregon on March 3, 2018.


Politics and Military

Fred Hayes (88) Utah's state parks director. Hayes became director in 2012 after starting with the parks system in 1982 as a seasonal ranger, then rising through the ranks. He previously worked as a teacher. His body was found at his home after he died unexpectedly in Heber City, Utah on March 2, 2018.

Luciano Benjamin Menéndez (90) former Argentine general, one of the most notorious oppressors during Argentina's era of brutal dictatorship, from 1976-83. Menéndez had been under house arrest since 2012 because of his health problems. He had received 14 life sentences—the most of any military leader from that era—for crimes that included homicide, torture, forced disappearances, and the kidnapping of a newborn. Overall Menéndez was sentenced 16 times, indicted in 49 cases, and under investigation in 25 more for crimes against humanity. Human rights groups say that some 30,000 people were killed or forcibly “disappeared” under the military junta that ran the country in those years. Roughly 500 newborns were believed to have been kidnapped from political prisoners. As head of the Third Army Corps from 1975-79, Menéndez was in charge of what the junta called antisubversive actions in 10 Argentine provinces. He never expressed regret for his actions. The use of force, he said, was necessary to combat “Marxist” forces. Menéndez died of bile duct cancer in Córdoba, Argentina on February 27, 2018.


Sports

Sir Roger Bannister (88) as a medical student at Oxford in 1954, Bannister electrified the sports world and lifted postwar England's spirits when he became the first athlete to run a mile in under 4 minutes. On May 6, 1954, he put on his spikes and ran four laps around a cinder track in 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds, for one of the defining sporting achievements of the 20th century. The image of the young Bannister—head tilted back, eyes closed, and mouth agape as he strained across the finishing tape—captured the public's imagination, made him a global celebrity, and boosted the morale of Britons still suffering through austerity measures. Bannister soon retired from competition and had a long and distinguished career in medicine, and his mark was broken over and over again, with the world record for the mile now at 3:43.13; but he was a national hero to the end. Knighted for his medical work in 1975, Bannister died in Oxford, England on March 3, 2018.

Enrique ('Quini') Castro Gonzalez (68) Spanish soccer player known as Quini who was also remembered for being kidnapped at gunpoint. Quini—the name is a diminutive of Enrique—finished five seasons as leading scorer in Spain's first division while playing for Sporting de Gijón and for F. C. Barcelona. Over his career Quini scored 219 goals in 448 matches. He also represented Spain in two World Cups and scored eight goals in 35 matches for the national team. His abduction occurred on March 1, 1981 after a crushing victory over the Alicante club Hércules. Spanish media coverage was intense as the search for him went on for 25 days. The kidnappers eventually asked for a ransom, which negotiators agreed to pay into a secret Swiss bank account. Spanish and Swiss police identified the holder of the account as a Spanish electrician, and he was arrested when he arrived at the bank to collect part of the ransom. After the man confessed, the police found Quini, unharmed, on March 25 locked in the basement of a car workshop in the northeast city of Zaragoza. He died of a heart attack in Gijón, Spain on February 27, 2018.

Dorne Dibble (88) two-way player at Michigan State who was on two Detroit Lions title teams in the '50s. Dibble played defensive end and receiver under Michigan State coach Biggie Munn. In 1950 the Spartans finished in the Associated Press top 10 for the first time. In two seasons at Michigan State, Dibble caught 16 passes for 363 yards. The Lions drafted him in 1951. He missed the 1952 season to serve in the US Air Force, then was back with the Lions from '53-57. He was part of NFL championship teams in 1953 and '57; in six NFL seasons he caught 146 passes for 2,552 yards and 19 touchdowns. Dibble died in Northville, Michigan on March 1, 2018.

Steve Folkes (59) won premierships as a player and coach with the Canterbury Bulldogs in Australia's National Rugby League and played five tests for Australia. Folkes played 245 premiership matches for the club between 1978-91, appearing in six grand finals and winning four. He coached the club between 1998-2008 in 288 NRL games, winning the premiership in '04. He played nine State of Origin matches for New South Wales and five tests for Australia between 1986-88, touring Britain with the undefeated Kangaroos team in '86. He also coached the Australian women's rugby league team. Folkes died of cardiac arrest in Sydney, Australia on February 27, 2018.

Joe Gilmartin (88) sports columnist for the old Phoenix Gazette for more than 30 years and member of the Pro Basketball Writers Hall of Fame. Selected Arizona sportswriter of the year a record 16 times, Gilmartin remained a fixture in Phoenix sports, contributing to the websites of the Suns and the Arizona Diamondbacks. He died in Phoenix, Arizona on February 27, 2018.

Anatoly Lein (86) Russian-born American chess grandmaster who was among the world's top 30 players at his peak, won two of the most prestigious tournaments in the US, and recorded victories against some of the game's greatest players. Lein earned the international master title, the second highest in chess, from the World Chess Federation, the game's governing body, in 1964 and became a grandmaster in '68. At the time there were only about 100 grandmasters. In 1969, according to unofficial rankings compiled by OlimpBase, a well-respected chronicler of the game's history, Lein was tied for 24th in the world. In the official rankings of the federation, which began in 1971, he peaked at No. 38 in July '73. Lein died in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, 13 days after the death of his wife, on March 1, 2018.

Sammy Stewart (63) former Baltimore pitcher who helped the Orioles to win the 1983 World Series before falling into a life of crack cocaine addiction and arrests. Known as the “Throwin' Swannanoan” for his hometown in North Carolina, Stewart became an instant hit in Baltimore. The right-hander with a big fastball set a major league record by striking out seven straight batters in his major league debut in 1978 against the White Sox at Memorial Stadium. With flowing hair and a bushy mustache, a country twang, and a penchant for telling funny stories, Stewart was widely popular with his Baltimore teammates. His career ended in 1987, and off the field his life spiraled out of control. He was arrested dozens of times as he dealt with addiction to crack cocaine. He pawned his championship ring, was homeless, and spent more than six years in prison before being released in 2013. He was found dead at his home in Hendersonville, North Carolina on March 2, 2018.


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