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

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Franco Zeffirelli, Italian directorPat Bowlen, owner of Denver Broncos football teamMartin S. Feldstein, economist who advised presidentsGabriele Grunewald, US champion middle-distance runnerLee Hee-ho, former first lady of South KoreaJiggs Klara, food writer who popularized Indian cookingEdwin Kosik, retired federal judgeSylvia Miles, Oscar-nominated actressVelvel Pasternak, publisher of Jewish musicRichard Shaw, also known as 'Bushwick Bill' of Geto BoysPaul ('Lil' Buck') Sinegal, Louisiana guitaristBill Wittliff, screenwriter of 'Lonesome Dove'

Business and Science

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.


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

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.

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.

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.


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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