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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, May 26, 2018

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Allyn Ann McLerie, with Ray Bolger in 'Where's Charley?' and late husband George GaynesPhilip Roth, prize-winning novelistClint Walker, star of TV's 'Cheyenne'Gordon M. Ambach, NY State education commissionerAlexander Askoldov, Soviet film directorAlan Bean, 'Apollo 12' astronautCamilla Dietz Bergeron, stockbroker turned antique jewelerGudrun Burwitz, daughter of WWII Nazi Heinrich HimmlerMildred ('Mama Dip') Council, known for her fried chickenTed Dabney, video game engineerAngelo Falcón, NYC Latino activistHerman D. Farrell Jr., New York State assemblymanCharlotte Fox, Mount Everest survivorDave Garcia, baseball player, manager, and scoutBill Gold, designer of classic movie postersRichard N. Goodwin, speechwriter for Presidents Kennedy and JohnsonJosé Hawilla, Brazilian sports marketing executiveBill Mallory, Indiana's winningest football coachCarol Mann, golf championJerry Maren, last surviving Munchkin from 'Wizard of Oz'Elaine Markson, literary agent for feminist authorsPatricia Morison, with Alfred Drake in Broadway's 'Kiss Me, Kate'Homer A. Neal, University of Michigan physicistRichard Peck, prize-winning children’s authorLuis Posada Carriles, CIA operative and Cuban exileRomana Raffetto, matriarch of family-owned Italian pasta businessRev. Dovey Johnson Roundtree, pioneering US military veteran, lawyer, and ministerGlenn Snoddy, recording engineerLaszlo Tabori, Hungarian distance runnerFaith Ryan Whittlesey, President Ronald Reagan's ambassador to Switzerland

Art and Literature

Bill Gold (97) created posters for Casablanca, A Streetcar Named Desire, Alien, Mystic River, and hundreds of other films that captured the intrigue, romance, and drama of Hollywood for nearly 70 years. Gold was a behind-the-scenes superstar whose work, mostly for Warner Bros. and Clint Eastwood’s Malpaso Productions, was displayed at theaters and in promotional campaigns across America from 1942–2011. His first assignment was a poster for Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), a tribute to Broadway song-and-dance man George M. Cohan starring James Cagney. Gold died of Alzheimer’s disease in Greenwich, Connecticut on May 20, 2018.

Elaine Markson (87) among the first women to own a literary agency and to further the careers of fledgling feminist authors. Beginning in the ‘70s, Markson took on radicals, women’s rights advocates, and other writers as loyal clients of her agency, which she ran from her third-floor Greenwich Village walk-up and which virtually doubled as an authors’ counseling service. Among them at one time or another were Salman Rushdie, Grace Paley, Andrea Dworkin, Peter Carey, Angela Carter, Abbie Hoffman, William Kunstler, Phyllis Chesler, Lucinda Franks, Neal Gabler, Neil Postman, and Donald Spoto. Markson died in New York City on May 21, 2018.

Richard Peck (84) prize-winning children’s author who drew upon his Illinois roots for such favorites as A Long Way from Chicago and its sequel, A Year Down Yonder. Peck was a prolific author who wrote dozens of books but didn’t start until his mid-30s when he decided to quit teaching. Willing from the start to address social issues, his debut novel Don’t Look & It Won’t Hurt was a story of teen pregnancy later adapted into the acclaimed independent film Gas Food Lodging. He received his highest praise for A Year Down Yonder, set in rural Illinois during the Great Depression and winner of the John Newbery Medal in 2001 for the year’s best children’s book. In 2002 he became the first children’s writer to be given a National Humanities Medal. His other books included The Best Man, A Season of Gifts, and The River Between Us, a National Book Award finalist. Peck died of cancer in New York City on May 23, 2018.

Philip Roth (85) prize-winning novelist and fearless narrator of sex, death, assimilation, and fate, from the comic madness of Portnoy’s Complaint to the lyricism of American Pastoral. The author of more than 25 books, Roth was a fierce satirist and uncompromising realist, confronting readers in a bold style that scorned false sentiment. He was an atheist who swore allegiance to earthly imagination, whether devising pornographic functions for raw liver or indulging romantic fantasies about Anne Frank. In The Plot Against America (2004), he placed his own family under the anti-Semitic reign of President Charles Lindbergh. In 2010, in Nemesis, he subjected his native New Jersey to a polio epidemic. He was among the greatest writers never to win the Nobel Prize but received virtually every other literary honor, including two National Book Awards, two National Book Critics Circle prizes, and, in 1998, the Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral. He died of congestive heart failure in New York City on May 22, 2018.


Business and Science

Alan Bean (86) former Apollo 12 astronaut, fourth man to walk on the moon, who later turned to painting to chronicle the moon landings on canvas. Bean was the lunar module pilot for the second moon landing mission in November 1969. He spent 31 hours on the moon during two moonwalks, deploying surface experiments with Cmdr. Charles Conrad and collecting 75 pounds of rocks and lunar soil for study back on Earth. Bean died in Houston, Texas on May 26, 2018.

Camilla Dietz Bergeron (76) Wall Street investment analyst who also succeeded in the antique and estate jewelry business. In 1996 Bergeron opened a Manhattan store named Camilla Dietz Bergeron Ltd. on Madison Avenue near East 68th Street, where she placed her personal imprint on high fashion. Bangles in the store’s online catalogue range in price from an antique amethyst and seed pearl ring for $950 to a 10.37-carat emerald-cut diamond platinum engagement ring for $425,000. Although she suffered from multiple sclerosis, Bergeron died of mesothelioma in New York City on May 20, 2018.

Mildred ('Mama Dip') Council (89) North Carolina restaurant owner known as much for her generosity as for her fried chicken. The granddaughter of a slave, Council opened Mama Dip’s Kitchen in Chapel Hill in 1976 with $40 to purchase food and $24 for change. She moved to a larger space across the street in 1999. Originally the restaurant didn’t include “Mama” in its name. It did include “Dip,” a childhood nickname that 6-foot-2 Mildred Council got when she was young because her arms were long enough to dip water from barrels. She was nicknamed “Mama Dip” by basketball greats Michael Jordan and James Worthy, then college basketball players, who were in the restaurant and heard the family in the kitchen calling her “Mama.” They took to calling her “Mama Dip,” a name that stuck. She died of a stroke in Chapel Hill, North Cariolina on May 20, 2018.

Ted Dabney (81) electrical engineer who laid the groundwork for the modern video game industry as a cofounder of Atari and helped to create the hit console game Pong. Dabney brought arcade video games to the world with Atari, a start-up that he and a partner, Nolan Bushnell, founded in Sunnyvale, California in the early ‘70s. At a time when computers—the main arena then for programmers working to build games—could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece, Dabney spurned them altogether. Instead he tinkered in a workshop he had set up in his daughter’s bedroom and used plywood and fake mahogany paneling to build Atari’s first consoles. He used cheap TV components to create an interactive motion system and, in 1971, the world’s first commercial video game, Computer Space. Dabney died of esophageal cancer in Clearlake, California on May 26, 2018.

Homer A. Neal (75) US physicist who helped to shape education for physics undergraduates nationwide and led teams that took part in the hunt for the fundamental particles of matter. A longtime professor at the University of Michigan, Neal ran groups there that were involved in finding the top quark and the Higgs boson, the last remaining particles—or building blocks of matter—that were ascribed to the Standard Model of physics, a best-guess description of the subatomic world. Put forward in the ‘70s, the Standard Model theorized the existence of a dozen types of matter-related particles, including so-called quarks and leptons, and different types of force-related particles. Neal had a stroke in February from which he never recovered. He died in Ann Arbor, Michigan on May 23, 2018.

Romana Raffetto (85) daughter-in-law of Marcello Raffetto, founder in 1906 of Raffetto's in New York's Greenwich Village, a store and kitchen known today for 16 flavors of pasta and ravioli stuffed with a variety of fillings. Raffetto's sells both retail and wholesale to other markets and to hundreds of restaurants. Romana Raffetto was matriarch of the fourth generation of the family that still runs the business. She died of colon cancer in New York City on May 25, 2018.


Education

Gordon M. Ambach (83) as New York State education commissioner in the ‘80s, Ambach drafted what were then the nation’s most demanding academic standards for high school graduation. He developed a reputation for meticulousness during his 10 years as education commissioner, from 1977–87, and later as executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers in Washington. As head of that group, he helped to preserve the federal Department of Education by lobbying against a Republican campaign in Congress to abolish it. The centerpiece of Ambach’s tenure in Albany was his pivotal role in persuading the state Board of Regents in 1984 to approve a new set of academic standards as put forth in an Action Plan, which he had been instrumental in drafting. He died of a stroke in New Haven, Connecticut on May 25, 2018.


Law

Rev. Dovey Johnson Roundtree (104) North Carolina lawyer and minister who was instrumental in winning advances for blacks and women in mid-20th century America, blazing trails in the military, the legal profession, and the ministry. As an inaugural member of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (later the Women’s Army Corps), Roundtree became, in 1942, one of the first women of any race to be commissioned an Army officer. Attaining the rank of captain, she personally recruited scores of black women for wartime Army service. As a Washington lawyer, she helped to secure a landmark ban on racial segregation in interstate bus travel in a case that originated in 1952—three years before Rosa Parks refused to yield her seat in Montgomery, Alabama. As a cleric, Roundtree was one of the first women to be ordained a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She died in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 21, 2018.


News and Entertainment

Alexander Askoldov (85) Soviet-era director whose one film, The Commissar, was banned by censors in the late ‘60s for its sympathetic portrayal of a Jewish family, only to resurface 20 years later to great acclaim. Himself a Communist Party member and a former government film censor, Askoldov shot The Commissar in black and white in Kamenets-Podolsk, in western Ukraine. Based on the short story “In the Town of Berdichev” by Vasily Grossman, the film ultimately antagonized Gorky Film Studio in Moscow, where Askoldov worked. The party’s censors demanded that he diminish the Jewishness of the story and eliminate scenes, like a death camp march. Askoldov refused, and the film was banned and buried in the archive, with no expectation that it would ever be resurrected. But by 1987, a year after glasnost was instituted by Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev, Soviet authorities agreed to let Askoldov restore and show it. Among its awards was the Special Jury Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1988. Askoldov died in Gothenburg, Sweden on May 21, 2018.

Jerry Maren (99) last surviving Munchkin from the classic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz and the one who famously welcomed Dorothy to Munchkin Land. In an entertainment career that spanned more than 70 years, Maren portrayed The Hamburglar and Mayor McCheese in McDonald’s commercials, appeared in scores of films and TV shows, and made personal appearances as Little Oscar for Oscar Mayer hot dogs. But it was his role as one of the Lollipop Kids in The Wizard of Oz that always held a special place in his heart. He would show up regularly at film conventions, Munchkin gatherings, and other events honoring the cast over the years. He died in San Diego, California on May 24, 2018.

Allyn Ann McLerie (91) Canadian-born dancer and actress who drew attention on Broadway when she was 21 in Where’s Charley?, then became a familiar screen presence through numerous movie and TV roles. McLerie’s versatility served her well on Broadway, in the dance-marathon movie They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969), and on TV comedies like The Tony Randall Show, where she was Miss Reubner, hilarious assistant to Randall’s Judge Franklin. She also had a memorable supporting role on The Days & Nights of Molly Dodd, the NBC and Lifetime series. The widow of actor George Gaynes (Punky Brewster, died 2016), McLerie died of Alzheimer’s disease in North Bend, Washington on May 21, 2018.

Patricia Morison (103) actress and singer who in 1948 originated the role of an overemotional diva in Cole Porter's most successful Broadway musical, Kiss Me, Kate; replaced Gertrude Lawrence opposite Yul Brynner in The King & I; and appeared in films alongside Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. Morison died in Los Angeles, California on May 20, 2018.

Glenn Snoddy (96) studio engineer who was at the controls for the historic Nashville recording session that inadvertently produced the sound that became known as the fuzz tone. Although typically associated with ’60s rock—and maybe most famously with Keith Richards’ fat, buzzing guitar riff on the Rolling Stones’s 1965 hit “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”—the fuzz tone emerged from the studio session that produced country singer Marty Robbins’ ‘61 single “Don’t Worry.” A malfunction in the console through which the playing of electric bass guitarist Grady Martin was being transmitted caused the original fuzz-tone effect, Snoddy said in a video in 2014. The low, reverberant sound produced by Martin’s bass on “Don’t Worry,” which reached the country Top 10, was reminiscent of a rumbling car muffler. Snoddy later designed a device that could reproduce a fuzz tone on demand. He died in Murfreesboro, Tennessee on May 21, 2018.

Clint Walker (90) former merchant seaman and real-life Las Vegas deputy sheriff who roamed the West as a towering, solitary figure on Cheyenne, the first hour-long western on TV. Walker also appeared in The Dirty Dozen and other movies but was best known for Cheyenne, seen on ABC from 1955–63. He had supporting roles in Send Me No Flowers, a 1964 comedy with Rock Hudson and Doris Day, and None but the Brave, a '65 war movie with Frank Sinatra. His last film was Joe Dante’s Small Soldiers (1998), about high-tech toy soldiers that go on a rampage, in which he had a voice role along with some of his Dirty Dozen costars. Walker died of congestive heart failure in Grass Valley, California, on May 21, 2018.


Politics and Military

Gudrun Burwitz (88) daughter of top Nazi Heinrich Himmler, who led the Schutzstaffel (SS, “Protection Squadron”) in Nazi Germany during World War II. Herself a notorious postwar supporter of the extreme right, Burwitz took pride in her family name and made it her life’s mission to rehabilitate her father's reputation. A secret attempt by Himmler to negotiate Germany’s surrender led Hitler to fire him in late April 1945 and order his arrest. Hitler killed himself on April 30, and Himmler, who had fled—shaving his mustache, assuming an alias, and donning a black eye patch—was captured by the Allies on May 20 in Bremervörde, Germany. While in British custody he killed himself three days later by biting down on a cyanide capsule. Gudrun Burwitz died in Germany on May 24, 2018.

Angelo Falcón (66) political analyst known for wielding data as a weapon to force elected officials into taking action on behalf of New York's Latino community. Falcón was founder of the National Institute for Latino Policy, in recent years a one-man operation run out of his Brooklyn apartment. His institute was known for fastidious research and for a weekly newsletter in which he directed scathing criticism at those he felt were falling short on their commitment to Latinos. He had diabetes and was losing his sight. He died after suffering a heart attack in front of his home in Brooklyn, New York while waiting for a ride to dialysis treatment, on May 24, 2018.

Herman D. Farrell Jr. (86) longtime New York State Democrat assemblyman from Manhattan and one of the last survivors of Harlem’s political old guard. First elected in 1974 and retired when his term ended in 2017, Farrell was also chairman of the New York State Democrat Committee from 2001–06, the first black person to hold that post, and headed the fractious Manhattan party confederacy from 1981–2009, longer than any of his predecessors. Farrell distinguished himself from most politicians. Towering over his colleagues at 6 feet 4 inches, he dressed impeccably, was both candid and trustworthy, was endowed with a wry wit, and, untainted, survived the corruption and sexual scandals that doomed so many city and state officials. He died of heart failure in New York City on May 26, 2018.

Richard N. Goodwin (86) aide, speechwriter, and liberal force for the Kennedys and Lyndon Johnson who helped to craft such historic addresses as Robert Kennedy’s “ripples of hope” and LBJ’s speeches on civil rights and “The Great Society.” Goodwin was among the youngest members of President John F. Kennedy’s inner circle and among the last survivors. Brilliant and contentious, with thick eyebrows and a mess of wavy-curly hair, cigar-smoking Goodwin rose from a working-class background to the Kennedy White House before he had turned 30. He was a Boston native and Harvard Law graduate who specialized in broad, inspirational rhetoric. Goodwin died of cancer in Concord, Massachusetts on May 20, 2018.

Luis Posada Carriles (90) former CIA operative and militant Cuban exile accused of organizing a string of 1997 Havana hotel bombings and a ‘76 Cuban airline bombing that killed 73 people. Posada had been acquitted in 2011 by a federal jury in El Paso, Texas of lying to US officials about his role in the Havana bombings to win political asylum. He was among a core group of Cuban exiles the CIA trained in the early ‘60s in a failed effort to overthrow Fidel Castro’s fledgling Communist government. Unlike many others, he never renounced violence as a way to bring about change on the island. Diagnosed with throat cancer, he died in Hollywood, Florida on May 23, 2018.

Faith Ryan Whittlesey (79) former senior official in the Reagan White House and ambassador to Switzerland. Whittlesey was a staunch anti-Communist who came to work closely with Marine Lt. Col. Oliver L. North, who played a key role on Reagan’s National Security Council in the administration’s anti-Communist initiative in Central America. She was an early and enthusiastic supporter of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and remained a staunch ally. Like Trump, she opposed using America’s military might to change foreign governments except as a last resort to protect vital US national interests. Whittlesey died of liver cancer in Washington, DC on May 21, 2018.


Sports

Charlotte Fox (61) survivor of the deadly 1996 Mount Everest expedition. Fox was a fixture on the Aspen climbing and skiing scene from the early ‘80s until she moved to Telluride in 2007. She worked as a ski patroller at Snowmass from 1982 through the 2006–07 season. She also worked on the Telluride ski patrol but was retired. Friends who were staying with her during Mountainfilm weekend reportedly found her dead at the bottom of stairs at her home in Telluride, Colorado on May 24, 2018.

Dave Garcia (97) hard-hitting second baseman in the ‘40s and ‘50s who managed many of the teams he played for, through minor-league outposts like Wilkes-Barre, Sioux City, and Oshkosh. But Major League Baseball was not calling him. So, with his family growing, Garcia retired as a player-manager and moved into scouting—then returned to managing in the minor leagues, adding Fresno and Salt Lake City to his late-‘60s posts. But finally a major-league team, the San Diego Padres, hired him as a coach in 1970, a stint he followed with two managing jobs: first with the California Angels, then with the Cleveland Indians. Garcia became a revered elder to generations of players and coaches. He devoted himself to baseball while working in obscurity in the minors, as a teammate and manager of future major leaguers. When he became a major league manager—one of the first Hispanics to hold the job—his was a baseball life outside the spotlight but doggedly loyal to the game to the end. He died in San Diego, California on May 21, 2018.

José Hawilla (74) Brazilian sports marketing executive who testified for the prosecution in a corruption scandal at Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). Hawilla founded the Traffic Group, Brazil’s largest sports marketing company. US authorities arrested him in 2013 on charges of bribing senior soccer officials to secure commercial rights for tournaments. Hawilla pleaded guilty in 2014 to racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, and obstruction of justice but agreed to help police and pay a fine of $151 million. His testimony led to the arrest of high-ranking FIFA officials and former heads of the South American and Brazilian Football Confederations. He died of respiratory problems in São Paulo, Brazil on May 25, 2018.

Fred Kovaleski (93) international tennis star whose career became his cover in the ‘50s while he was working as a spy for the CIA. Kovaleski was well into his career on the tennis circuit, having played at Wimbledon and in tournaments abroad and in the US, when he joined the CIA in 1951 and began training in spycraft at Camp Peary, near Williamsburg, Virginia. Wiithin three years his ability to play tennis and speak Russian became essential when Yuri Rastvorov, a KGB lieutenant colonel and avid tennis player, defected to the US. Rastvorov—a major espionage asset who revealed important information about the KGB and the Soviet government—defected in Tokyo and was taken to a CIA safe house in Potomac, Maryland, where agents interrogated him for hours every day for months. Kovaleski, his handler, did not participate in the interrogations, but at night they talked, and the information he gleaned went into his reports. Kovaleski died of prostate cancer in New York City on May 25, 2018.

Bill Mallory (82) football coach who led Colorado to the Orange Bowl and became the winningest football coach in Indiana history. Mallory went 69-77-3 and took Indiana to six bowls from 1984–96. Indiana has played in only 11 bowl games in its history. Mallory’s blunt assessments and earthy phrases made him a favorite around Bloomington, Ind., where he was a perfect complement to basketball coach Bobby Knight. In 1987 Mallory became the first to win the Big Ten’s coach of the year award in consecutive years. He was 168-129-4 overall as a head coach with stops at Miami (Ohio; his alma mater), Colorado, and Northern Illinois. At Colorado, Mallory’s team won a share of the Big Eight championship in 1976 and reached the Orange Bowl, where the Buffaloes lost to Ohio State; but he was fired two seasons later after going 35-21-1 over five years. Mallory died from a brain injury suffered in a recent fall, in Bloomington, Indiana on May 25, 2018.

Carol Mann (77) two-time major golf champion who won 38 Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour titles. Mann’s major titles were the 1964 Women’s Western Open Invitational and the ‘65 US Women’s Open. She won 10 tournaments in 1968 and was LPGA president from '73–76. She was an analyst for men’s and women’s golf on ABC, ESPN, and NBC was inducted into the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame and the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1977. She died in The Woodlands, Texas on May 20, 2018.

Laszlo Tabori (86) Hungarian runner. In 1955 Tabori became the third man to break the 4-minute barrier in the mile and later coached distance runners at USC. He joined Roger Bannister and John Landy as the only men to break the 4-minute barrier, with a time of 3 minutes, 59 seconds, on May 28, 1955. That same year Tabori held the 1,500-meter world record with a time of 3:40.8. He was also a member of the world record-setting team in the 4-x-1,500 relay. He finished fourth in the 1,500 and sixth in the 5,000 at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. After the games, Tabori and his coach, Mihaly Igloi, defected to the US and eventually settled in Los Angeles, California, where he died of complications from abdominal surgery, on May 23, 2018.


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