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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, October 20, 2018

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Paul Allen, cofounder, with Bill Gates, of MicrosoftJun Ashida, Japanese fashion designerAnthea Bell, British translatorCicely Berry, British actors' voice coachTodd Bol, Wisconsin man who started Little Free LibraryMario Buatta, interior decorator known as 'Prince of Chintz'Wanda Ferragamo, expanded late husband's shoemaking businessAra Guler, Turkish photojournalistDennis Hof, Nevada brothel owner running for state legislatureWalter D. Huddleston, Kentucky Democrat senator defeated by Mitch McConnellIan Kiernan, Australian competitive sailorWim Kok, former Dutch prime ministerWalter Kwok, Hong Kong tycoonDanny Leiner, directed 'Dude, Where's My Car?' and first 'Harold & Kumar' movieMsgr. Thomas P. Leonard, NYC priestGertrude Mokotoff Mann, late-blooming politicianVictor Marchetti, former CIA employeeDick Modzelewski, NFL defensive tackleLisbeth Palme, widow of assassinated Swedish prime ministerRabbi David M. Posner, NYC Jewish leaderMel Ramos, controversial artistDorcas Reilly, creator of green bean casserole recipeOsamu Shimomura, Nobel Prize-winning scientistAlbert {'Bert') Smiley 3rd, host of Mohonk Mountain House in  upstate New York

Art and Literature

Anthea Bell (82) British translator who, despite her best efforts to stay hidden, became a name herself in bringing works by Franz Kafka, Sigmund Freud, and other major writers to English audiences. For all her mastery of great literature, Bell was most celebrated in her native Britain for her translations of the French-language Asterix comic-book series, about a village of Gauls resisting Roman occupation. In collaboration with university lecturer Derek Hockridge, she made changes to the Asterix series that rendered it funnier for an English audience. Bell’s health had been in decline since she was left frail by a stroke in 2016. She died in Cambridge, England on October 18, 2018.

Todd Bol (62) Wisconsin man who founded the Little Free Library, a nonprofit that began with a dollhouselike box of free books in his front yard and ballooned into an international book-sharing and literacy project. Bol designed and built the first Little Free Library at his home in Hudson, Wisconsin in 2009 as a tribute to his mother, who was a teacher and book lover. Bol put up a miniature version of a one-room schoolhouse on a post outside his home, filled it with books, and invited neighbors to borrow them. They loved it, and the idea quickly caught on. Thanks to the power of a good idea, the allure of a book, and the wildfire of the Internet, the boxes have since popped up across the US and in more than 80 countries. The whimsical boxes, placed mainly in front yards, parks, and gardens, are designed to hold 20 to 100 books. Bol died in an Oakdale, Minnesota hospice of complications from pancreatic cancer, on October 18, 2018.

Mel Ramos (83) artist whose paintings featuring realistically depicted nude or underdressed women often left critics divided over whether they were clever Pop Art or something more akin to smut. Ramos also did several paintings of superheroes, for instance—but it was his works with female nudes that drew the most attention, and ire. There was “Miss Grapefruit Festival” (1964), with a nude woman sitting in a sea of grapefruits, the word “Sunkist” behind her. There was “Monterey Jackie” (1965), with a nude woman atop a block of cheese. Ramos painted naked women on candy boxes and inside glassware. One embraced a cigar, another a ketchup bottle. That seemed to put him in the territory of other Pop Artists of the period. But his nudes were realistic and sexual, and as second-wave feminism asserted itself late in the ‘60s, he found himself under attack, accused of exploiting women and playing to a prurient male perspective. Ramos died of heart failure in Oakland, California on October 14, 2018.

Business and Science

Paul Allen (65) cofounder of Microsoft with his childhood friend Bill Gates. Hall became a billionaire philanthropist who invested in conservation, space travel, arts and culture, and professional sports. Allen and Gates met while attending a private school in north Seattle. The two friends later dropped out of college to pursue the future they envisioned: a world with a computer in every home. They founded the company in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and their first product was a computer language for the Altair hobby-kit personal computer, giving hobbyists a basic way to program and operate the machine. After Gates and Allen found some success selling their programming language, MS-Basic, the Seattle natives moved their business in 1979 to Bellevue, Washington, not far from its eventual home in Redmond. Microsoft's big break came in 1980, when IBM Corp. decided to move into personal computers and asked Microsoft to provide the operating system. Allen died of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in Seattle, Washington on October 15, 2018.

Jun Ashida (88) Japanese designer who dressed everyday women and members of the Japanese monarchy in practical, sophisticated clothes. In designing his collections, Ashida sought to imbue Western styles with a traditional Japanese aesthetic. He fashioned brocade suits in the image of gakuran schoolboy uniforms and cut gowns from white silk faille, a material sometimes used to make wedding kimonos. He died in Tokyo, Japan on October 20, 2018.

Mario Buatta (82) one of the US’s leading interior decorators, widely known as the Prince of Chintz. Buatta was frequently referred to as exhibitionistic, self-promoting, and entertaining—descriptions he endorsed. But he was also serious about his profession, often working long hours seven days a week, and he was one of the few major decorators who, for a good part of his career, conducted his business with little or no staff. He was a longtime purveyor of the English country home, a style he adopted with enthusiasm when he started his own business in 1963. His client list ranged from the famous—Mariah Carey, Nelson Doubleday, Charlotte Ford, Billy Joel, Peter Duchin, and Malcolm Forbes—to the merely rich. But it was a commission he received in 1988—to work on Blair House, the official guest house for distinguished foreign dignitaries in Washington, with interior designer Mark Hampton—that brought him national prominence. Buatta died of pneumonia in New York City on October 15, 2018.

Wanda Ferragamo (96) stepped in to run her husband's shoemaking business after his death in 1960, then oversaw its expansion into a global luxury goods brand. When Salvatore Ferragamo died of cancer in 1960 at 62, Wanda, then 38, decided to take over the business herself despite having no experience working in the industry—or working outside the home at all. Over 50 years, first as president, then as chairwoman, Wanda Ferragamo oversaw the growth of the company from a small shoe-design and manufacturing concern in Florence into a leading luxury goods house that ranged beyond shoes to sell leather wallets, silk scarves, crystal flacons of perfume, and much more. When she inherited the business, it made 800 pairs of shoes a month; by 1981 it was making 60,000 a month besides selling handbags and men’s wear. Wanda introduced eyewear in the ‘90s and opened stores in New York, Hong Kong, Mumbai, and Mexico City. She died at her hilltop villa near Florence, Italy on October 19, 2018.

Walter Kwok (68) Hong Kong property tycoon who was kidnapped and held for ransom in 1997 and was later ousted in a family conflict from the business his father founded. Kwok was one of Hong Kong’s most prominent developers when he was targeted by a mainland gangster who had a plan to kidnap the city’s richest businessmen and ransom them for tens of millions of dollars. Gangster Cheung Tze-keung, known by the nickname Big Spender for his profligate ways in Macau casinos, kidnapped Kwok in September 1997, nearly three months after Hong Kong was returned to Chinese control. He was released a week later for a ransom of nearly $80 million. Kwok had been hospitalized since August after a stroke. He died in Hong Kong on October 20, 2018.

Dorcas Reilly (92) woman who created a Thanksgiving staple enjoyed by millions—the green bean casserole. Campbell Soup officials said Reilly was the driving force behind the popular dish, made with green beans and cream of mushroom soup and topped with crunchy fried onions. The company said it is the most popular recipe ever to come out of its corporate kitchen. The recipe’s website got 2.7 million visits during the 2017 holidays. Reilly was a Campbell Soup kitchen supervisor in 1955 when she combined the ingredients of the now-legendary green bean casserole for an Associated Press feature. In a 2005 AP interview marking the recipe's 50th anniversary, Reilly said she didn’t remember having a hand in it because the dish was among hundreds that were created during her time at Campbell’s. She also helped to create a tomato soup meatloaf, a tuna noodle casserole, and Sloppy Joelike “souper-burgers.” The green bean recipe is still a fixture on soup-can labels and TV commercials. Reilly died of Alzheimer’s disease in Haddonfield, New Jersey on October 15, 2018.

Osamu Shimomura (90) Japanese-born Marine biologist who won the Nobel Prize in chemistry. Shimomura and two American scientists shared the 2008 Nobel for the discovery and development of a jellyfish protein that later contributed to cancer studies. After earning a chemistry degree in Japan, in 1960 he moved to Princeton University in New Jersey, where he isolated the protein in samples of thousands of jellyfish taken from the US West Coast. The protein, known as Green Fluorescent Protein, lets off a glow when it is illuminated with ultraviolet light and has become a key tool in studying biological processes in cells. Shimomura died in Nagasaki, Japan on October 19, 2018.

Albert ('Bert') Smiley 3rd (74) hotelier who preserved Mohonk Mountain House in upstate New York as a 19th-century Victorian retreat while also nudging it gently into the next century. Bert Smiley was descended from the twin brothers, Albert and Alfred Smiley, who, beginning in 1869, transformed a 10-room tavern into a hilltop hotel with more than 260 guest rooms. In 1990 Bert, who had a doctorate in economics, and his wife, Nina, a psychologist, both took a career detour to run Mohonk, a sprawling resort on 7,500 acres at the edge of a lake on the Shawangunk Ridge, between the Hudson River and the Catskills, 90 miles north of New York City. To entice visitors in the winter, Smiley installed a skating rink in an open-air pavilion in 2001, and in ‘05 he built a spa for swimming, fitness, massages, and more. In 2011 he was instrumental in the transfer of 874 acres of the hotel’s property to the Open Space Institute, a nonprofit land preservation organization. He died of leukemia in Poughkeepsie, New York on October 16, 2018.


Victor Marchetti (88) former Central Intelligence Agency employee and coauthor of the first book, about the agency’s inner workings, that the federal government sought to censor before its publication. Marchetti worked for the CIA for 14 years as a Soviet-military specialist and executive assistant to deputy director Rufus L. Taylor. Disillusioned by what he saw as the agency’s unchecked excesses and its increasing involvement in attempted assassinations, coups, and cover-ups, he resigned in 1969. Marchetti and John D. Marks, a former State Department intelligence officer, then wrote a nonfiction book, The CIA & the Cult of Intelligence, ultimately published in 1974. A legal battle erupted over its publication and had far-reaching implications, establishing that government employees who have access to classified information can be prohibited for the rest of their lives from disclosing it or discussing it, even after they leave the government. Marchetti died of dementia in Ashburn, Virginia on October 19, 2018.

News and Entertainment

Cicely Berry (92) British voice coach whose exercises released actors’ minds to feel the sound and muscularity of Shakespeare’s verse for nearly 50 years as the Royal Shakespeare Co.’s voice director. Berry was not an acting teacher, but her work influenced the stage and screen performances of generations of British actors, including Sean Connery, Judi Dench, Emily Watson, and Patrick Stewart. Berry used her understanding of Shakespeare to help actors absorb the rhythms of his language and the weight of his words. It was not enough to grasp his literal meaning, she argued. One had to feel his vowels and consonants and to appreciate the beats of the iambic pentameter in which he wrote. Only then, she said, would an actor’s voice be capable of evoking Shakespeare’s poetry and musicality. Berry had recently had two small strokes. She died in Cornwall, England on October 15, 2018.

Ara Guler (90) Turkish journalist and photographer known as “the Eye of Istanbul” for his iconic black and white pictures of the city and its residents. Guler, from Turkey’s minority Armenian community, was born in Istanbul in 1928. In a career that spanned several decades, he worked for Magnum Photos, Paris Match, and Germany's Stern, among other organizations, interviewing and photographing politicians and artists, including Winston Churchill, Dali, and Picasso. Guler died of heart and respiratory failure in Istanbul, Turkey on October 17, 2018.

Danny Leiner (57) director who turned the wanderings of the wasted into two successful movies, Dude, Where’s My Car? and Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. Leiner had a knack for spotting talent. His first directing credit was on Time Expired (1992), a short film he also wrote whose stars included Edie Falco and John Leguizamo, then still early in their careers. Layin' Low, a 1996 comedy he wrote and directed, featured, besides Falco, Jeremy Piven, and his breakthrough film, Dude, Where’s My Car (2000), was among the earliest films of Ashton Kutcher, Seann William Scott, and Jennifer Garner. Leiner died of lung cancer in Los Angeles, California on October 18, 2018.

Politics and Military

Cornelius E. Gallagher (97) seven-term Democrat congressman from New Jersey and champion of civil liberties who was jettisoned from his seat by his own party in 1972 after his district was redrawn and he was charged with tax evasion. Serving in the House of Representatives from 1959–72, Gallagher was a strong supporter of privacy rights as the government grew more obsessed with secrecy and dependent on lie detectors and data gathering. An early advocate of Sen. John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential candidacy, he promoted bills to establish the Peace Corps and the Arms Control & Disarmament Agency and was the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee. In April 1972, Gallagher was indicted on charges of committing perjury, attempting to evade $102,000 in income taxes, and conspiring with former Jersey City Mayor Thomas J. Whelan and others to hide kickbacks. While he was well liked in Washington and popular in his hometown, Bayonne, like so many other New Jersey politicians, Gallagher wound up serving his last term in prison. He died of brain cancer in Monroe Township, New Jersey on October 17, 2018.

Dennis Hof (72) pimp who gained notoriety for an HBO series about his brothel business and fashioned himself as a Donald Trump-style Republican candidate for the Nevada state Legislature. Hof owned a handful of brothels in Nevada, the only state that allows them to legally operate. His Love Ranch brothel outside Pahrump was temporarily shuttered twice this year by regulators who said Hof failed to renew licenses and get proper permits for renovations. He was found dead at Love Ranch just hours after a weekend-long bash celebrating his 72nd birthday, on October 16, 2018. His name is on the November ballot; if he wins, another Republican will fill the vacancy.

Walter D. Huddleston (92) two-term Democrat senator from Kentucky whose loss in a reelection campaign put Mitch McConnell on the road to becoming a Republican power in the Senate. It was 1984 when McConnell, then a 42-year-old Republican judge and executive of Kentucky’s largest county, challenged Huddleston for the US Senate seat he had held for more than 10 years. McConnell’s TV commercials mocked Huddleston’s voting and attendance records by depicting baying bloodhounds on the hunt for an absentee senator. The ads were orchestrated by Roger Ailes, the political consultant who later built Fox News. They helped McConnell to squeak past Huddleston by barely 5,300 votes, or less than 1 per cent of the nearly 1.3 million cast. It was the most consequential upset of the 1984 national elections, leaving Huddleston as the only Democrat incumbent senator to lose his seat that year despite the resounding reelection victory of President Ronald Reagan, a Republican. Huddleston died in Warsaw, Kentucky on October 16, 2018.

Wim Kok (80) trade unionist-turned-politician who became prime minister of the Netherlands as one of a new breed of pragmatic Social Democratic leaders who swept to power in Europe in the ‘90s. Kok hitched his Dutch Labor Party to the right-wing Liberal Party and to the centrist Democrats 66 to form two ruling coalitions that steered the Netherlands to economic recovery, then strong growth from 1994–2002. He was an exponent of the moderate center-left brand of politics that Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain and US President Bill Clinton personified at the time. Kok died of heart failure in Amsterdam, the Netherlands on October 20, 2018.

Gertrude Mokotoff Mann (100) was 71 when she became the first female mayor of Middletown, New York, then drew even wider attention more than 25 years later by marrying a 94-year-old man when she was 98. Mokotoff was a former biology professor at Orange County Community College (now known as SUNY Orange), where she started the first training program for electron microscopy technicians, all while raising four children. She had been married 61 years when her physician husband died in 2002. But Gertrude had never considered retirement, choosing instead, to “give politics a try.” She was twice elected an alderwoman in Middletown, winning her second election by a single vote. She later became City Council president before being elected mayor as a Democrat and in January 1990 began the first of two back-to-back two-year terms. In office she spearheaded the creation of a modern library and the restoration of the city’s historic Paramount Theater movie palace. In 2017 she married Alvin Mann. Gertrude Mokotoff Mann died of congestive heart failure in Middletown, New York on October 17, 2018.

Lisbeth Palme (87) widow of slain former Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme and a key witness to his unsolved murder over 32 years ago. Lisbeth Palme was married to Olof Palme, a key figure in Swedish postwar politics, from 1956–86. Olof Palme was gunned down February 28, 1986 after the couple left a cinema theater in Stockholm. Lisbeth was injured in the attack and later identified the shooter as criminal Christer Pettersson, who was convicted of Palme’s murder. The sentence was later overturned, leaving the murder an unsolved mystery. Lisbeth Palme died in Vallingby, Stockholm, Sweden on October 18, 2018.

Society and Religion

Msgr. Thomas P. Leonard (90) priest whose Roman Catholic ministry embraced babies with the virus that causes AIDS and homeless New Yorkers. Leonard revived both the congregation and the Byzantine church building of a struggling Upper West Side parish. In 1983 he was instrumental in the founding of Broadway Housing Communities, a nonprofit developer of affordable apartments for single adults and families in West Harlem and Washington Heights, where he was a pastor. In 1988, as a pioneer in the archdiocese in supporting AIDS patients, he helped to transform a vacant convent into the Incarnation Children’s Center, a residence in Washington Heights for so-called boarder babies who were HIV positive and had been languishing in hospital wards for months or even years. Leonard died in New York City after being injured in a fall, on October 18, 2018.

Rabbi David M. Posner (70) rabbi who served for 40 years at Temple Emanu-El on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, a flagship Jewish congregation in the Reform tradition since the 19th century. Posner was rabbi to some of New York's famous Jewish figures, including former mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, and officiated at many important funerals, including that of former Mayor Ed Koch in 2013. He was also known to reach out on a personal level to other religious leaders. He died in New York City of complications from Alzheimer’s disease, on October 19, 2018.


Ian Kiernan (78) record-breaking Australian sailor whose encounters with pollution in the seas led him in 1990 to found Clean Up Australia, later Clean Up the World, an organization dedicated to global cleanup efforts. In 1987, in a round-the-world yacht race, Kiernan set an Australian record for solo circumnavigation. It was during that race that he became aware of, and appalled by, the trash he saw in the Sargasso Sea, a region of the North Atlantic where four great currents converge. Today his organization engages millions of clean-up volunteers in more than 100 countries. Kiernan died of cancer in Sydney, Australia on October 17, 2018.

Dick Modzelewski (87) star defensive tackle who appeared in eight NFL title games with the New York Giants and the Cleveland Browns during the ‘50s and '60s. Modzelewski spent 14 years in the NFL, eight with the Giants that included six title games. He teamed with Andy Robustelli, Rosey Grier, and Jim Katcavage on one of the great defensive lines. Modzelewski also appeared in two championship games with the Browns. He joined the NFL with Washington in 1953 and played for Pittsburgh, never missing a game in his career. He coached in the NFL for 22 years, including the 1978 season as the Giants' defensive coordinator. He was an All-American in 1951 and '52 at Maryland and won the Outland Trophy in ‘52 as the nation's best lineman. Modzelewski died in Eastlake, Ohio, outside Cleveland on October 19, 2018.

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