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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, June 15, 2019

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Franco Zeffirelli, Italian directorDr. Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, studied risk factors for age-related diseasesPat Bowlen, owner of Denver Broncos football teamBob Dorian, primetime host of American Movie ClassicsDavid Esterly, woodcarverMartin S. Feldstein, economist who advised presidentsGabriele Grunewald, US champion middle-distance runnerLee Hee-ho, former first lady of South KoreaSusannah Hunnewell, publisher of 'Paris Review'Michael Jaffee, cofounder, with wife Kay, of Waverly Consort, performers of early musicJiggs Klara, food writer who popularized Indian cookingMickey Kapp, record producer with Kapp Records, and Bill Dana as José JiménezEdwin Kosik, retired federal judgeWilliam Loverd, book promoter for Alfred A. Knopf publishersSylvia Miles, Oscar-nominated actressVelvel Pasternak, publisher of Jewish musicJoyce Pensato, late-blooming painterJim Pike, left, with Bob Engemann and Tony Butala as The LettermenHolly Prado, poet, fiction writer, and teacherCharles Reich, Yale professor who lauded '60s countercultureRaul Ruiz, journalist and Chicano activistRichard Shaw, also known as 'Bushwick Bill' of Geto BoysPaul ('Lil' Buck') Sinegal, Louisiana guitaristPeter Whitehead, Britsh documentary filmmakerBill Wittliff, screenwriter of 'Lonesome Dove'

Art and Literature

David Esterly (75) woodcarver inspired by the intricate work of 17th-century artisan Grinling Gibbons, widely considered one of the greatest woodcarvers in history. Esterly taught himself woodcarving, becoming so skillful that when some of Gibbons’ 300-year-old carvings were destroyed by fire, he was summoned to recreate them. He became not only an expert on Gibbons but also the maker of sought-after sculptures of his own. He died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease, in Barneveld, New York, a rural hamlet near Utica, on June 15, 2019.

Susannah Hunnewell (52) publisher of the Paris Review and a prominent member of its literary circles for 30 years. Hunnewell joined the magazine as an editorial intern in the late ‘80s when it was run out of an 8-by-14-foot office in the Upper East Side brownstone of its cofounder and editor, George Plimpton. Hunnewell remained associated with the magazine for the next 30 years, including a transformative and sometimes turbulent period after Plimpton’s death at 76 in 2003. During that time the magazine redesigned its pages, broadened its scope, and, in 2018, installed a woman as its top editor after one of Plimpton’s male successors resigned amid accusations of sexual misconduct toward female employees and writers. Hunnewell, who had earlier been Paris editor of the magazine, was named publisher in 2015, taking over from her husband, Antonio F. Weiss, an investment banker who had joined the government as a counselor to Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew in the Obama administration. Hunnewell died of cancer in New York City on June 15, 2019.

William Loverd (78) publicity-shy promoter of books who chaperoned the works of dozens of writers, first-time authors, and distinguished literary figures onto best-seller lists. Loverd was not an author, but his name could be found on the acknowledgments pages of books by John Cheever, Julia Child, Michael Crichton, John le Carré, Toni Morrison, V. S. Naipaul, Anne Rice, and John Updike, among others. Loverd spent his entire career at Alfred A. Knopf. He joined the publisher in 1965 and retired in 2002 as vice president and director of publicity at Knopf and director of corporate affairs for the imprint’s parent company, Random House. He died of oral cancer in Frankford, New Jersey on June 13, 2019.

Joyce Pensato (77) painter who took the Abstract out of Abstract Expressionism and added a little Pop, making large-scale black-and-white paintings that transformed popular cartoon characters into ambiguous, complex, and sometimes scary creatures. Pensato was a late bloomer: her art did not mature until after she turned 50, in the early ‘90s. Success in the form of a fully committed New York gallery arrived even later, when Petzel Gallery staged the first of several solo shows of her work in 2007. But Pensato had the joie de vivre and irreverence needed to make up for lost time. She started bleaching her hair blonde in the late ’90s and tended to dress like a punk teenager, in black leggings and black T-shirts emblazoned with band logos. She died of pancreatic cancer in New York City on June 13, 2019.

Holly Prado (81) poet, fiction writer, and educator who championed what she came to see as Los Angeles's under-recognized literary scene. Prado walked away from the conventions of the working world as a young woman and decided instead to pursue her yearnings to be creative, first as an educator, then as a poet, a fiction writer, and a mentor to others who found inspiration in the written word. She was proofreading her latest book, Weather, at the time of her death in West Hills, California from sepsis and a kidney infection, on June 14, 2019.


Business and Science

Dr. Elizabeth Barrett-Connor (84) founded and led a 47-year study that identified sex differences in the risk factors for major diseases of aging. Barrett-Connor’s project was called the Rancho Bernardo Study of Healthy Aging, named for the San Diego suburb where its more than 6,000 participants had originally lived. It was begun in the early ‘70s as part of a dozen group studies on preventing heart disease. The study led to insights into the biology of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, bone health, and menopause. Barrett-Connor, then an associate professor at UC San Diego, was the only one who kept the study going beyond its initial funding—for decades. She insisted from the beginning that the research on aging include both male and female subjects. That method, unusual at the time, is now considered essential to disease research. Barrett-Connor died of cerebral small vessel disease in La Jolla, California on June 9, 2019.

Jiggs Kalra (72) food writer who helped to elevate Indian fine dining and threw the spotlight on little-known chefs, making their recipes accessible to generations of home cooks. Through his newspaper columns and cookbooks, Kalra sought to preserve and promote local culinary traditions at a time when Indian food was not considered haute cuisine. In India, eating out often meant going either to restaurants at five-star hotels or to fast food outlets. Regional dishes and ingredients were not seen on menus in big cities. Kalra wrote about innovative restaurants, unusual ingredients, and new and old techniques in Indian cuisine. With his encyclopedic knowledge of north Indian cuisine, he was frequently sought out by restaurants and hotels to perfect recipes and develop menus. His efforts to chronicle and promote Awadhi cuisine, based in the royal city of Lucknow, with its delicate pulaos, savory kebabs, and emphasis on slow cooking (known as “dum pukht”), is said to have changed Indian restaurant menus across the world. Kalra died of heart failure in New Delhi, India on June 11, 2019.

Velvel Pasternak (85) leading publisher of Jewish music who recorded and transcribed, and thus preserved, the melodies that had typically been passed along by tradition within Hasidic sects. Working out of his Long Island home, tape recorder in hand, Pasternak drove to the Borough Park and Crown Heights neighborhoods of Brooklyn, which have large Hasidic populations, and recorded the mostly unnotated music of the Modzitz, Lubavitch, Bobov, and Ger dynastic groups. The works were incorporated in his first book, Songs of the Chassidim (1968). In 1969 Pasternak flew to Israel, where he visited Hasidic enclaves like Bnei Brak and recorded another batch of songs that had never been published. The music was published as Songs of the Chassidim II. Music in the Hasidic world is an essential part of Sabbath and holiday meals, weddings, and other ceremonies, and individual sects may have their own distinctive nigurum, or religious melodies. Pasternak had a cardiac arrest in May and never recovered. He died in Oceanside, New York on June 11, 2019.


Education

Charles Reich (91) author and Ivy League academic whose The Greening of America blessed the counterculture of the ‘60s and became a million-selling manifesto for a new and euphoric way of life. Reich was a popular Yale University professor whose students included both Bill and Hillary Clinton and a respected legal scholar when a 39,000-word excerpt from The Greening of America ran in the New Yorker in September 1970, generating a massive volume of letters. The book was published a few weeks later and sold more than 2 million copies, making Reich a middle-aged hero for a rebellious generation despite scorn from both conservatives and liberals. Reich died in San Francisco, California on June 15, 2019.


Law

Edwin Kosik (94) retired federal judge best known for sending two corrupt judges to prison for their role in a notorious Pennsylvania juvenile justice scandal. An Army veteran who fought in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II, Kosik was appointed to the federal bench in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan. He became a senior judge in 1996 and heard cases into his early 90s. Kosik presided over the “kids for cash” case, in which two local judges were accused of taking money from the developer of a pair of for-profit youth detention centers. The judges pleaded guilty to corruption charges in a deal with prosecutors that called for a sentence of more than seven years in prison. But Kosik rejected the plea bargain, saying the pair hadn’t fully accepted responsibility for their crimes. He sentenced one judge to 17 years and the other judge to 28 years in prison. The scandal led the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to dismiss thousands of juvenile convictions. Kosik died in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on June 13, 2019.


News and Entertainment

Bob Dorian (85) displayed his lifelong zest for old Hollywood films as the easygoing primetime host of the American Movie Classics cable channel for nearly 20 years. Dorian was the undisputed star of AMC from 1984 to around 2000, before the channel changed its focus to original series like Mad Men and Breaking Bad. He preceded by 10 years the arrival of Robert Osborne (died 2017) as popular host at the rival channel Turner Classic Movies. Dorian introduced films from the ‘30s–’50s, offering anecdotes that fed the appetites of movie lovers with memories of revered classics, B-movies, and serials. A gifted raconteur, he told stories—how director Frank Capra had pitched James Stewart to star in It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), the trouble Orson Welles had wearing the peg leg he used when he portrayed Long John Silver in Treasure Island (1972). Dorian was more a well-informed fan than a movie historian, as his enthusiasm for the films he discussed made clear. He died in Palm Coast, Florida on June 15, 2019.

Michael Jaffee (81) with his wife, Kay, Jaffee founded the Waverly Consort, which specialized in performing music from medieval and Renaissance times and helped to fuel a surge of interest in early music over the last 50 years. Jaffee was a graduate student at New York University in 1959 when he and a fellow student, Kay Cross, became intrigued by early choral and instrumental music. They tried recording repertoire so the whole class could hear it, and the seeds for the Waverly Consort were planted. The group, which varied in number depending on the type of concert, began performing in and around New York in the early ‘60s, with the Jaffees, who married in 1961, the driving force, Michael playing lute and guitar, Kay on recorder and other instruments. Michael Jaffee died in Patterson, New York after a fall while working outside on his property, on June 15, 2019.

Mickey Kapp (88) record producer who, after forging an improbable connection with several Mercury 7 astronauts, provided later space explorers with customized mixtapes to listen to during their historic flights. Kapp became unofficial music provider to the space-bound, thanks to José Jiménez, a fictional comic character with a thick south-of-the-border accent, created by comedian Bill Dana (died 2017), who was on the roster of Kapp Records, founded by Kapp’s father, David. Dana once said that the idea to turn José into a spaceman was suggested in 1960 by playwright Neil Simon, then a TV comedy writer. Dana developed a routine around the notion, and when he performed it at the San Francisco nightclub the hungry i, Kapp, working for his father’s company, captured it on tape and released it as a single. On a whim he sent copies to NASA, one for each of the seven Mercury astronauts. Alan Shepard, who made the first manned American spaceflight in May 1961, was a particular fan of José, and the connection was made. Kapp died of congestive heart failure in Carmel, California on June 11, 2019.

Sylvia Miles (94) actress and Manhattan socialite whose brief, scene-stealing appearances in the films Midnight Cowboy and Farewell, My Lovely earned her two Oscar nominations. Miles was a veteran actress but not a widely known name when she appeared onscreen for about 6 minutes in Midnight Cowboy (1969). In her only scene, she played a brassy Manhattan woman who invites an aspiring male prostitute from Texas, played by Jon Voight, up to her penthouse for sex but ends up taking money from him instead. In Farewell, My Lovely (1975), which starred Robert Mitchum as detective Philip Marlowe, Miles's screen time is only slightly longer as a down-on-her-luck entertainer who swaps information for a bottle of booze. Her appearances in real life were just as memorable for those who knew her. Miles died in an ambulance in New York City on the way to a hospital after complaining to a home health care worker that she wasn’t feeling well, on June 12, 2019.

Jim Pike (82) cofounder and lead singer of The Lettermen, whose lush vocal harmonies made the Grammy-nominated trio one of the most popular vocal groups of the ‘60s. Pike and Bob Engemann (died 2013), a college buddy from Brigham Young University, formed The Lettermen in Los Angeles in 1961 with fellow singer Tony Butala. Later that year the group had its first hit with the Grammy-nominated “The Way You Look Tonight,” which peaked at No. 13 on Billboard’s Hot 100. The Lettermen placed 19 more songs on Billboard charts over the next 10 years. Two made the Top 10, “When I Fall in Love” (1962) and the Grammy-nominated 1968 medley “Goin’ Out of My Head/Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.” Their last hit was “Everything Is Good About You” (1971). The Lettermen also earned Grammy nominations for best new artist of 1961 and for “A Song for Young Love” (1962). Pike died of Parkinson’s disease in Prescott, Arizona on June 9, 2019.

Raul Ruiz (78) journalist, professor, and longtime activist in the Chicano movement in southern California. Ruiz experienced a political awakening while taking college classes in Latin American history. He later founded underground newspapers that criticized police brutality, apathetic school administrators, and the mainstream media’s stereotypical depiction of Mexican-Americans. Ruiz coedited La Raza, a pioneering paper that documented Mexican-American life in the US. His photo of a sheriff’s deputy firing a tear-gas canister during a 1970 antiwar march ran on the front page of the Los Angeles Times and became an iconic image of the Chicano movement. Ruiz taught at Cal State Northridge for 45 years before retiring in 2015. He died in his sleep in Los Angeles, California on June 13, 2019.

Richard ('Bushwick Bill') Shaw (52) one-eyed rapper, known as Bushwick Bill, who with the Geto Boys helped to put the South’s stamp on rap with hits like “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” and “Six Feet Deep.” In an interview with TMZ, Bushwick Bill said he wasn’t afraid of dying, referencing one of his songs, “Ever So Clear,” from his 1992 solo album, where he talks about shooting himself in the head and losing an eye when he was high on drugs. The Houston-based Geto Boys was a trio consisting of Bushwick Bill, Scarface, and Willie D that launched in the late ‘80s. Their gritty verses punctuated by tales of violence, misogyny, and hustling made them platinum sensations and showed that rap had strength outside the strongholds of New York, where it got its start, and later Los Angeles. Bushwick Bill was the group’s most explosive member and played up his real-life chaos. He was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in February and died on June 9, 2019.

Paul ('Lil' Buck') Sinegal (75) guitarist whose mastery of zydeco and the blues made him a sought-after player heard on albums by Clifton Chenier, Buckwheat Zydeco, Allen Toussaint, and more. In a career that began when he was a teenager, Sinegal played on big stages around the world and in small clubs in southern Louisiana. He was a regular at the Ponderosa Stomp, a New Orleans music festival dedicated to rediscovering unsung artists and songs of the past. Sinegal was still playing until a few weeks ago despite substantial pain from a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder. He had put off surgery so that he could play at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in May. He died of a suspected heart attack in Lafayette, Louisiana on June 10, 2019.

Peter Whitehead (82) British filmmaker whose movies both captured and helped to define that moment in time labeled the Swinging ’60s, replete with early footage of the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, and other rock groups. Whitehead began drawing attention in film circles when he took his camera to a 1965 festival at Royal Albert Hall in London that featured both British and American poets, including Adrian Mitchell, Michael Horovitz, and Allen Ginsberg. The resulting film, Wholly Communion, captured what turned out to be a seminal event in the emerging counterculture movement. It also earned Whitehead an invitation to accompany the Rolling Stones on a tour of Ireland, resulting in an hour-long documentary, Charlie Is My Darling (1966), and some short promotional films that anticipated music videos. The documentary is full of behind-the-scenes clips of the band members intercut with snippets of fans trying to articulate what attracts them to the group. Whitehead died of multiple organ failure in London, England on June 10, 2019.

Bill Wittliff (79) screenwriter who cowrote the script for the 1989 miniseries Lonesome Dove. Wittliff was also writer and director of the 1986 film Red-Headed Stranger, shared screenplay credit on the 1979 film The Black Stallion and The Legends of the Fall (1994), and wrote the screenplays for the 1981 film Raggedy Man and The Perfect Storm (2000). He died of a heart attack in Austin, Texas on June 9, 2019.

Franco Zeffirelli (96) Italian director who delighted audiences around the world with his romantic vision and extravagant productions, most famously captured in his cinematic Romeo & Juliet and the miniseries Jesus of Nazareth. While Zeffirelli was most popularly known for his films, his name was also linked to the theater and opera. He produced classics for the world’s most famous opera houses, from Milan's La Scala to the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and plays for London and Italian stages. Zeffirelli made it his mission to make culture accessible to the masses, often seeking inspiration in Shakespeare and other literary greats for his films and producing operas aimed at TV audiences. Claiming no favorites, he once likened himself to a sultan with a harem of three: film, theater, and opera. He died in Rome, Italy on June 15, 2019.


Politics and Military

Martin S. Feldstein (79) conservative Harvard economist and a former chief economic adviser in the Reagan administration who was unafraid to publicly disagree with fellow White House officials. Feldstein had a long career teaching at Harvard, where he nurtured many of today’s top policy-makers. He later counseled the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama and for 30 years, from 1977–2008, was president of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a once-sleepy think tank that under his leadership became a gathering point for economists, particularly those focused on policy-oriented work. Feldstein rose to prominence early in his career as he sought to take serious economic research out of the classroom and apply it to public policy. He died of cancer in Boston, Massachusetts on June 11, 2019.

Lee Hee-ho (96) former first lady of South Korea who inspired her husband, President Kim Dae-jung, in his pro-democracy campaign against the military dictatorship and used her influence to expand women’s rights in a deeply male-dominated country. Throughout almost 50 years of marriage, Lee helped Kim to shape his political vision as he became a symbol of South Korea’s struggle for democracy and its dream of reconciliation, and eventual reunification, with North Korea. A Nobel Peace Prize laureate who died in 2009, Kim treated Lee as a political partner, crediting her with making it possible for him to survive torture, a death sentence, and an assassination attempt to become the first opposition leader to win the South Korean presidency. Lee died in Seoul, South Korea on June 10, 2019.


Sports

Pat Bowlen (75) owner of the Denver Broncos. Bowlen transformed the team from also-rans into NFL champions and helped the league to usher in billion-dollar TV deals. He was the first owner in NFL history to oversee a team that won 300 games—including playoffs—in 30 years. They had as many Super Bowl appearances (seven) as losing seasons, and Denver is 354-240-1 since he bought the club in 1984. Under his stewardship, the Broncos won Super Bowls in 1998–99 and 2016. Bowlen died of Alzheimer's disease in Englewood, Colorado on June 13, 2019.

Gabriele Grunewald (32) one of the US's top middle-distance runners. Grunewald was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma—a rare form of cancer in the saliva glands—in 2009 while running for the University of Minnesota. After surgery and radiation therapy, she finished second in the 1,500 meters at the 2010 NCAA championships. She kept on running through three more bouts with the disease, forging a career as a professional athlete and US champion while enduring surgeries, radiation treatments, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. In 2014 she was US indoor 3,000 champion. She died in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 11, 2019.


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