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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, July 28, 2018

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Maryon P. Allen, one of only two Alabama women to serve in US SenateJudith Appelbaum, wrote the book on book publishingDr. Robert M. Blizzard, endocrinologist who used hormones to boost children's heightTony Cloninger, former major league pitcherPat de Groot, Cape Cod painterMary Ellis, British WWII pilot who ferried bombers to front linesHoward Felsher, producer of TV game shows 'Tic-Tac-Dough' and 'Family Feud'Douglas Grindstaff, Emmy-winning sound editor on 'Star Trek'Elbert ('Big Man') Howard, cofounder of Black Panther PartyRaymond Hunthausen, retired archbishop of SeattleDr. Richard Jarecki, developed system for winning at rouletteJohnny Kline, former Harlem GlobetrotterKathy Kriger, owner of Rick's Café in Casablanca, inspired by 1942 classic filmArt Lee, guide and writer on fly fishingBruce Lietzke, golf championBill Loud, father of Loud family on PBS show, 'An American Family'Sergio Marchionne, CEO who saved Fiat and ChryslerHatidza Mehmedovic, leader of group that lost relatives in 1995 Srebrenica massacreAmy Meselson, NYC Legal Aid Society lawyerGuy V. Molinari, NYC politicianMary Jane McCaffree Monroe, social, press, and personal secretary to First Lady Mamie EisenhowerRene Portland, coach of Penn State's Lady Lions basketball teamMel Rosen, crossword  puzzle constructorGlen Roven, composer and conductorOksana Shachko, Ukrainian artist and cofounder of protest groupMai Skaf, Syrian actress who defied political suppressionTony Sparano, Minnesota Vikings coachVladimir Voinovich, dissident Russian novelistPatrick Williams, Grammy- and Emmy-winning composer

Art and Literature

Pat de Groot (88) painter who lived and worked at the tip of Cape Cod when her neighbors were geniuses and eccentrics—often the same person. De Groot had the carriage of royalty, or at least of someone who did not much care what you thought about her. Few of her neighbors in the East End of Provincetown, Mass. knew she was actually descended from American royalty: Isidor Straus of New York City, co-owner of Macy’s, who died on the Titanic. De Groot came late to painting, in her mid-40s. But for the next 40 years she was prolific, using a palette knife to etch dozens of layered, small-scale seascapes of Provincetown Harbor as seen from the home and studio she designed for herself and her husband, Nanno de Groot, in 1962. He died of lung cancer a year later. Pat de Groot died of a stroke in Brewster, Massachusetts on July 26, 2018.

Oksana Shachko (31) Ukrainian artist and a founder of Femen, a women’s rights group famous for its topless political protests. Shachko and several other activists from the university town of Khmelnytsky, Ukraine, founded Femen in 2008. After a few conventional protests, they decided to demonstrate topless, often with political slogans written on their bodies. At times braving icy temperatures, Femen members protested in Urkraine against sexual exploitation; in Davos, Switzerland—the scene of an annual conference of world political and business leaders—against income inequality; and, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, against policies of the Roman Catholic Church. Shachko was found dead from hanging at her home, a suicide in Montrouge, a suburb south of Paris, France, on July 23, 2018.

Vladimir Voinovich (85) Russian writer whose satirical novels, especially The Life & Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin (1969), angered Soviet authorities in the Leonid Brezhnev era, resulting in his banishment from the country for 10 years. Not until Mikhail S. Gorbachev and the glasnost era was Voinovich able to return. Although free to live and publish in modern Russia, he remained a dissident until the end, regularly voicing alarm about President Vladimir V. Putin and the revival of authoritarianism. He died of a heart attack in Moscow, Russia on July 27, 2018.

Business and Science

Judith Appelbaum (78) whose almost 60-year career in book publishing became a crusade to make the industry better—for writers, publishers, and readers. Appelbaum held numerous jobs in the book publishing industry. During the early ‘80s she was managing editor of Publishers Weekly and wrote the “Paperback Talk” column for the New York Times “Book Review.” But her best-remembered and most influential project may have been the 1978 book How to Get Happily Published: A Complete & Candid Guide. The book was published in five editions and sold more than a half-million copies. It led to the creation of Sensible Solutions, a consulting company for authors and publishers that she founded and ran in Mt. Kisco, New York, in Westchester County. Appelbaum died of ovarian cancer in Bedford, New York on July 25, 2018.

Dr. Robert M. Blizzard (94) pediatric endocrinologist in the vanguard of mid-20th-century doctors who used hormones to boost the height of thousands of children. Blizzard, who achieved global renown in his field and was long associated with the University of Virginia School of Medicine, liked to say that he had helped to add 11 miles of height to the US population. He was referring not only to his own patients, hundreds of them, but also to those helped by a national agency he founded that increased the amount of height-promoting hormone available. Many of the recipients had been told they would never reach 4 feet, but with hormone shots they climbed to upward of 5 feet 3 inches. That success was tainted years later when some doses of human growth hormone were linked to a fatal brain disease, leading federal authorities to ban the use of the substance when derived from cadavers—a restriction Blizzard had come to endorse—and the introduction of a successful synthetic version. He died in Charlottesville, Virginia on July 22, 2018,

Dr. Richard Jarecki (86) German physician, a researcher at Heidelberg University who became the scourge of European gambling casinos in the ‘60s and early '70s by developing a system to win at roulette. Jarecki amassed more than $1.2 million, or more than $8 million in today’s money—until the casinos finally found a way to eliminate his edge. He then became a commodities futures trader in the US. He died of pneumonia in Manila, the Philippines, on July 25, 2018.

Kathy Kriger (72) when Kriger left the American diplomatic service after 9/11, she was alarmed at the global war on terrorism and wanted to make a symbolic stand for tolerance by investing in a Muslim country. When she arrived in Morocco, the entrepreneur in her saw a great business opportunity. She found that Rick’s Café, the cinematic gin joint from the 1942 movie Casablanca, did not actually exist. So she opened her own Rick’s Café, in 2004, in a converted old house in Casablanca’s Ancienne Medina, or old city, and ran the establishment for 14 years. Kriger had been hospitalized after having a stroke on July 24. She died two days later in Casablanca, Morocco on July 26, 2018.

Sergio Marchionne (66) charismatic and demanding chief executive who engineered two long-shot corporate turnarounds to save both Fiat and Chrysler from near-certain failure. Marchionne built the dysfunctional companies into the world’s seventh-largest automaker, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, almost by personal force of will, living on a corporate jet crossing the Atlantic to push employees to accomplish what most people thought was impossible amid a devastating global recession. Marchionne, who was Italian and Canadian, had revived Fiat by 2009 when he was picked by the US government to save US-based Chrysler from its trip through bankruptcy protection after being owned by a private equity company. He died after complications from shoulder surgery in Zürich, Switzerland on July 25, 2018.


Amy Meselson (46) Legal Aid Society lawyer in New York. Meselson dedicated her career to defending hundreds of vulnerable immigrants from deportation and helping them to navigate the gaps between the child welfare and national security bureaucracies. She recruited volunteers from corporate law firms to represent foster children in immigration cases and successfully lobbied for a special juvenile section in immigration court. Meselson worked in the immigration law unit of the New York Legal Aid Society from 2002–16, focusing on unaccompanied migrant children. She had recently become managing attorney of the Immigrant Justice Corps, a volunteer program to provide free counsel. Suffering from depression since she was a teenager, she committed suicide in New York City on July 22, 2018.

News and Entertainment

Howard Felsher (90) TV game show doctor who was fired because he went too far in fixing Tic-Tac-Dough in the ‘50s by feeding contestants clues, but scored a comeback 20 years later by helping to sustain Family Feud as a No. 1 hit. In 1959 Felsher was a star witness in a sensational congressional investigation into quiz show rigging. He admitted not only to meeting contestants in his Madison Avenue office, car, or Upper West Side home before they appeared on Tic-Tac-Dough and feeding them questions, answers, and other cues, but also to lying to a Manhattan grand jury when he denied doing so. He also acknowledged that he had coached as many as 30 contestants to make the same denials. He died in Tarzana, California on July 23, 2018.

Douglas Grindstaff (87) Emmy Award-winning sound editor who was pivotal in the creation of the indelible whistles, beeps, and hums in the original Star Trek TV series. Grindstaff had numerous sound credits to his name, including the Mission: Impossible TV series, Max Headroom, and Dallas. But it was his work in helping to bring the Starship Enterprise to life that had the most lasting impact, on decades of science fiction films and TV shows and generations of Trekkies. There was the whoosh of the automatic doors opening on the spaceship’s bridge, the coos of furry Tribbles in one of the show’s most famous episodes, and the unsettling wail of sirens when it was time to shift to red alert—not to mention the growl of the cartoonish reptilian alien Gorn and the high-pitched tinkling of a transporter beam. Grindstaff died in Peoria, Arizona on July 23, 2018.

Bill Loud (97) patriarch of the Loud family of Santa Barbara, California who bared their lives on the first reality TV show, An American Family, on PBS in 1973. Bill Loud (lower right above) was the philandering head of an affluent real-life household whose domestic dramas were captured in 300 hours of film and edited into 12 hour-long episodes. The show shocked American families; it showed Loud’s wife, Pat (lower left), bluntly discussing his adultery with her brother and sister-in-law; it showed her telling her husband to move out; it captured the Louds’ oldest son, Lance (top left), living an openly gay life in New York—startling images for many people at the time. The Louds had five children—Lance, Kevin, Grant, Delilah, and Michele—and the family was wealthier and more liberal than much of the country. The parents eventually divorced but resumed living together in their later years. Lance Loud died of hepatitis in 2001 at age 50. Bill Loud died in Los Angeles, California on July 26, 2018.

Glen Roven (60) versatile musician who conducted on Broadway when he was 19 and later became a prolific composer and an Emmy-winning music director. A virtuoso whose only formal training was the piano lessons he took while growing up in Brooklyn, Roven began his career while in high school as a rehearsal pianist for Pippin, which opened on Broadway in 1972. While still a teenager he became musical director of Sugar Babies, the tribute to burlesque starring Mickey Rooney and Ann Miller, which opened at the Mark Hellinger Theater in 1979. Roven remained with the show for all 1,208 performances over its nearly three-year run. Later he taught at universities and wrote music and literary criticism. He died of Legionnaires' disease in New York City on July 25, 2018.

Mai Skaf (49) Syrian actress who fled to France to avoid arrest after defying political suppression by President Bashar al-Assad. Skaf was jailed, accused of treason, and repeatedly harassed after joining peaceful demonstrations against the government beginning in 2011. Fearing further retaliation—she received death threats—she escaped to Jordan, then continued to Paris, where she had been living since 2013 in self-imposed exile. She died of a heart attack in Paris, France on July 23, 2018.

Patrick Williams (79) composer who wrote Grammy Award-winning arrangements and Emmy Award-winning scores for hit TV shows like Columbo, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Lou Grant. Williams blended jazz, classical, and pop in arrangements that were wholly his own. In composing for about 200 films and TV shows, he created scores that could be stirring or menacing, understated or dramatic, playful or dignified. Anyone who watched TV from the ‘70s through the early 2000s heard Williams’ work. He wrote music for The Bob Newhart Show, The Streets of San Francisco, The Days & Nights of Molly Dodd, The Simpsons, and Monk, among others, and for more than 100 TV movies. He was nominated for 22 Emmys and won four. Williams died of cancer in Santa Monica, California on July 25, 2018.

Politics and Military

Maryon P. Allen (92) one of only two women ever to serve in the US Senate from Alabama. Allen was appointed to fill her late husband’s seat in the US Senate just days after his sudden death in 1978. Allen, who was 52 at the time, served in the Senate for five months, starting in June 1978, less than two weeks after her husband, Sen. James B. Allen, a Democrat from Alabama, died of a heart attack at 65. Maryon Allen was appointed to fill the seat by Gov. George C. Wallace (died in 1998), a segregationist, until a special election could be held to fill the remaining two years of her husband’s term, his second in the Senate. A newspaper journalist known for her blunt wit, Maryon Allen was favored to win but lost In a Democrat primary runoff to Donald Stewart, who won the special election. She died in Birmingham, Alabama on July 23, 2018.

Mary Ellis (101) pioneering aviator and one of Britain’s last surviving World War II female pilots, who overcame public disapproval to fly hundreds of Spitfires and heavy bombers to the front lines. Ellis was one of the last two living members of the Air Transport Auxiliary, or ATA, which has since disbanded. Alone she ferried 400 Spitfires and 76 other kinds of aircraft to airfields during the war. She joined the ATA in 1941, a year after Britain allowed women to fly military aircraft, but they were still prohibited from involvement in combat missions. Her death leaves Eleanor Wadsworth, who lives in Bury St. Edmunds, England, as the last surviving ATA member. Mary Ellis died on the Isle of Wight on July 25, 2018.

Elbert ('Big Man') Howard (80) cofounder of the Black Panther Party who was a newspaper editor, information officer, and logistics genius behind the group’s popular social programs. Howard was one of six people who founded the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in Oakland in October 1966, along with Bobby Seale and Huey Newton. The political organization started out patrolling police for possible abuse against blacks. Later it became clear that the FBI had engaged in surveillance and harassment to undermine the party and incriminate its leaders. Howard quit the party in 1974, but in its active years he was editor of its newspaper and deputy minister of information. He traveled to Europe and Asia to set up chapters and was responsible for the social programs that made the party famous. Howard was the person who negotiated lower prices and organized refrigerated trucks for food giveaways. As a college administrator, he organized a program for jail inmates to take courses. He died in Santa Rosa, California on July 23, 2018.

Hatidza Mehmedovic (65) woman who headed the Mothers of Srebrenica association comprising relatives of the victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. Mehmedovic’s husband, two sons, and brother were among some 8,000 Muslim men and boys from Srebrenica killed when Bosnian Serb troops overran the eastern enclave in July 1995. The massacre is considered Europe’s worst carnage since World War II. The Mothers of Srebrenica group has fought for those responsible for the killings to be brought to justice. The United Nations war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has sentenced Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic and his military commander Ratko Mladic over the Srebrenica massacre and other atrocities during the 1992–95 war. Mehmedovic died in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, on July 22, 2018.

Guy V. Molinari (89) longtime New York politician and power broker whose pugnacious style often led to feuds with fellow Republicans. A lifelong resident of Staten Island, New York's most conservative borough, Molinari was a state assemblyman and five-term congressman in the ‘80s. He was also borough president. A former lawyer who also was a US Marine in the Korean War, Molinari won 10 straight elections before losing a race for Staten Island district attorney in 1995. He died of pneumonia in New York City on July 25, 2018.

Mary Jane McCaffree Monroe (106) social secretary to First Lady Mamie Eisenhower who helped to organize countless White House functions, then set down the protocols for reception lines, state dinners, and more as coauthor of a pivotal reference book. Monroe had served as personal secretary to Mrs. Eisenhower during the 1952 presidential campaign, and when Dwight D. Eisenhower won the election, she went to the White House with them. She served throughout President Eisenhower’s two terms (1953–61), acting as White House social secretary and the first lady’s personal and press secretary. In 1977 she put much of what she had learned and developed down on paper in Protocol: The Complete Handbook of Diplomatic, Official & Social Usage, written with Pauline Innes. Monroe died in Juno Beach, Florida on July 23, 2018.

Society and Religion

Raymond Hunthausen (96) retired Seattle archbishop whose outspoken support for nuclear disarmament, gay rights, and an expanded role for women in the church made him one of the most controversial US bishops. Hunthausen was bishop of Helena, Mont. from 1962–75 and archbishop of Seattle from ‘75–91. He was the last living American bishop to have participated in all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council, called by the pope in the early ‘60s to modernize the church. Hunthausen retired in 1991 at age 70 and returned to Helena, where he sometimes helped at the diocese by celebrating Mass and hearing confessions. He died in Helena, Montana on July 22, 2018.


Tony Cloninger (77) former major league pitcher perhaps best known for hitting two grand slams in a game. Cloninger went 113-97 during 12 seasons in the big leagues, mostly with the Braves. The right-hander was 24-11 for Milwaukee in 1965, the club’s last season before moving to Atlanta. During the 1966 season, playing at Candlestick Park, he became the only pitcher to hit two grand slams in the same game. He drove in nine runs that day, in fact, getting three hits as the Braves routed San Francisco 17-3. He was a senior pitching adviser with the Boston Red Sox in 2004, then spent the next 14 seasons as a player development consultant. He died in Denver, North Carolina on July 24, 2018.

Johnny Kline (86) forward for the Harlem Globetrotters in the ‘50s who spent much of the ’60s addicted to heroin before becoming a drug abuse counselor and later an advocate for long-forgotten black basketball players. After about eight years of addiction, Kline recovered and resumed his education at Wayne State University in Detroit, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees and a doctorate in education. He formed the Black Legends of Professional Basketball Foundation, a small organization dedicated to bringing recognition to the game’s often-forgotten pioneers, raising money for them through annual banquets and urging the NBA and the Globetrotters to establish pensions for them. He died in Lebanon, Tennessee on July 26, 2018.

Art Lee (76) writer and guide who described the joys—and the tricks—of fly-fishing to generations of trout and salmon anglers. In his pursuit of fish, Lee preferred streamside tactics over science. In an age when the sport was growing more technical, he argued that knowing where fish hide, stalking them without spooking them, and casting to them perfectly were more important than carrying hundreds of flies to “match the hatch”—or imitate the exact insects on the water. For years he offered advice in nearly every issue of Fly Fisherman magazine. Lee suffered a heart attack at his home in Roscoe, New York on July 22 and was taken off life support three days later at a Middletown, New York hospital, on July 25, 2018.

Bruce Lietzke (67) fun-loving, fade-hitting Professional Golfers Association Tour winner whose practice regimen—or lack of one—spawned an often-told spoiled banana story. In 1984 Lietzke told caddie Al Hansen that he wouldn’t touch his clubs again until the ‘85 opener. The unbelieving Hansen put a banana in Lietzke’s golf bag as a test, only to discover the rotten fruit still there in January. Lietzke competed in 700 tournaments as a member of the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions and recorded a total of 20 victories. He won seven times on the senior tour, his last victory coming in the 2003 US Senior Open at Inverness. He died of brain cancer at his Athens, Texas ranch on July 28, 2018.

Rene Portland (65) coach who built Penn State into a women’s basketball powerhouse during a 27-year tenure. Portland coached the Lady Lions’ first All-Americans, who achieved their first No. 1 ranking and reached their first Final Four. Of her 693 wins, 606 came as coach of the Lady Lions. Penn State reached the 2000 Final Four in Philadelphia, upsetting Iowa State and Louisiana Tech before falling to eventual champion Connecticut in the national semifinals. Portland died in Tannersville, Pennylvania after a three-year fight with cancer, on July 22, 2018.

Mel Rosen (77) one of the longtime greats in crossword puzzles. Along with Stanley Kurzban, Rosen was the author of The Compleat Cruciverbalist, a pioneering manual on crossword constructing, published in 1981. For years it was considered the bible of the field. Rosen was an accomplished crossword constructor himself; 14 of his puzzles were published in the New York Times between 1994–2016, and he had 24 more puzzles published there before that, going back to 1970. Many of his puzzles were also published in Games magazine. He died on July 24, 2018.

Tony Sparano (56) Minnesota Vikings offensive linemen’s coach. Sparano began his NFL coaching career in 1999 as Browns offensive quality control coach. His first head-coaching opportunity came in 2008, when the Miami Dolphins hired him away from Dallas. Inheriting a 1-15 club, he engineered one of the more impressive year-over-year turnarounds in NFL history, guiding Miami to an 11-5 mark and American Football Conference East division title, the franchise's most recent AFC East championship. Sparano was hospitalized July 19 after complaining of chest pains, then released the next day. Two days later he collapsed and died at his home in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, on July 22, 2018.

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