Back to Life In Legacy Main Page Pages for Previous Weeks Celebrity Deaths Message Board
LIL-logo
Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, February 6, 2021

Hold pointer over photo for person's name. Click on photo to go to brief obit.
Click on name to return to picture.
LIL-logo

 
Christopher Plummer, Canadian actor most famous as Cast. Von Trapp in 'Sound of Music'Robert A. Altman, Washington lawyerBruce Blackburn, graphic designer of NASA's 'worm'Rajie Cook, graphic designer of public information symbolsRennie Davis, one of Chicago  7Ruth Dayan. Israeli fashion designerDustin Diamond, actor on 'Saved by the Bell'Dianne Durham, first black woman to win USA Gymnastics national championshipAnne Feeney, folk singerBenedict J. Fernandez, photojournalistPat Filien, athletic director and head coach at Bryant & Stratton College in Albany, NYDr. Emil Freireich, cancer physician and researcherMaria Guarnaschelli, cookbook editorAlbert Hale, Native American politicianMllie Hughes-Fulford, NASA’s first female payload specialistGrant Jackson, 1979 World Series-winning pitcher for Pittsburgh PiratesLenore Janis, pioneering woman in construction industryRobert C. Jones, film editor and screenwriterJoy Kaiser, widow of diplomat Herbert Kaiser and cofounder of MESAB in South AfricaPatricia Lynch, investigative TV journalistDennis S. Mileti, expert on preparing for and reacting to catastrophic eventsCapt. Tom Moore, British WWII veteran who inspired donations for health-care workers in pandemicPete Noyes, news producer and investigative journalistJack Palladino, private investigatorDanny Ray, onstage 'cape man' to singer James BrownGeorge P. Shultz, former US secretary of stateLokman Slim, Lebanese publisher and critic of HezbollahBrayden Smith, five-time 'Jeopardy!' championLeon Spinks, heavyweight boxerJohn J. Sweeney, labor leaderJamie Tarses, TV programming executiveWayne Terwilliger, not the oldest baseball managerTony Trabert, tennis championRabbi Abraham Twerski, psychiatrist who focused on addictionYuval Waldman, violinist and conductorClaudette White, former chief judge for San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

Art and Literature

Bruce Blackburn (82) graphic designer whose modern logos became ingrained in the nation’s consciousness, including the four bold red letters for NASA known as the “worm,” and the 1976 American Revolution Bicentennial star. Blackburn’s career in design over 40 years involved developing imagery for clients like IBM, Mobil, and the Museum of Modern Art. But he was best known for the NASA worm, which has become synonymous with space exploration and the technological concept of the future itself. In 1974 Blackburn's New York-based design firm, Danne & Blackburn, was barely a year old and eager for a big project when he and his partner, Richard Danne, were approached by the Federal Graphics Improvement Program to rebrand NASA’s classic logo, which depicted a patriotic red chevron soaring across the stars. Known as “the meatball,” it evoked a vintage sense of space travel seen in science fiction comics like “Buck Rogers.” With the eyes of the world suddenly upon the agency in 1969 after the moon landing, NASA wanted to embrace a modern image. Blackburn died in Arvada, Colorado, near Denver, after a fall, on February 1, 2021.

Rajie Cook (90) often joked that museumgoers were more likely to encounter his artwork in their travels than a portrait by Matisse or a landscape by van Gogh. They saw it whenever they took an elevator or stopped in the restroom. In 1974 Cook & Shanosky Associates, a design firm started by Cook and Don Shanosky a few years earlier, won a contract to develop a set of symbols that could be universally understood and that would convey the kinds of information people in a public place might need—which restroom was for which gender, the location of the nearest elevator, whether smoking was permitted, and so on. The signage the two came up with, 34 pictographs (with others added later), is still in use today: The generic male and female figures, the cigarette in a circle with a red line through it, the minimalist locomotive and plane to signify train station and airport. But Cook’s artistic interests went well beyond utilitarian signs. By the time Cook & Shanosky folded in 2002, Cook had already begun creating three-dimensional sculptural assemblages—boxes incorporating found objects. He died in Newtown, Pennsylvania on February 6, 2021.


Business and Science

Ruth Dayan (103) Israeli fashion designer and peace activist who was married to one of the country’s most revered generals. Dayan founded the Maskit fashion house in 1954, whose designs were inspired by the cultural heritage of Jewish immigrants and Israel’s Arab community. She was also an active proponent of peace with the Palestinians and supported charitable causes. The company employed new immigrants and eventually grew to be a major exporter. It has collaborated with Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, and Givenchy and boasts that one of its coats was worn by Audrey Hepburn. Ruth was the first wife of Moshe Dayan (died 1981), the one-eyed commander who led forces during Israel’s 1948 war of independence and was defense minister during the '67 war, when it rapidly defeated its Arab neighbors. They were married from 1935 until their divorce in ‘71. Ruth Dayan died in Tel Avi, Israel on February 5, 2021.

Dr. Emil Freireich (93) cancer doctor and researcher who helped to devise treatments for childhood leukemia that transformed the lives of patients thought to have little hope of survival. Freireich spent his career at the National Cancer Institute and MD Anderson, exploring for 60 years new treatments for cancer and training hundreds of doctors to follow in his path. When Freireich started work at NCI in Bethesda, Maryland in 1955, acute childhood leukemia was considered a death sentence. Entering the ward where the children were being treated, he recalled their hemorrhaging because their blood had virtually no platelets, the disc-shaped cells that clot blood. Freireich, a hematologist and oncologist, tested his hypothesis that the lack of platelets was causing the hemorrhaging by mixing some of his own blood with some of the children’s. Further testing, done to persuade his skeptics at the cancer institute, proved him right. Freireich died at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston on February 1, 2021.

Maria Guarnaschelli (79) book editor who helped to transform American cooking from a domestic chore to a cultural badge of honor and presided over a major revision of the popular book Joy of Cooking. In a career that began in the mid-‘70s, Guarnaschelli brought intellect and curiosity to the cookbooks she acquired and edited, while pushing American cooks and chefs, who had been conditioned to revere “continental” cuisines like French and Italian, to think beyond Europe. The first cookbook she shepherded became the first comprehensive Indian cookbook for American kitchens: Classic Indian Cooking by Brooklyn cooking teacher Julie Sahni. Published in 1980, it is still in print. At a time when the Mexican culinary tradition was little appreciated in the US, Guarnaschelli encouraged chef Rick Bayless to reproduce the recipes he had studied in Mexico. She died of heart disease in Manhasset, New York on February 6, 2021.

Millie Hughes-Fulford (75) NASA’s first female payload specialist, who conducted biomedical experiments on the physical toll of space flight on humans on board the space shuttle Columbia in 1991. Hughes-Fulford flew on the Columbia in June 1991, eight years after Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, flew on the Challenger. The experiments Hughes-Fulford conducted on the shuttle were only the start of her years-long examination into the effects of weightlessness on the body’s immune system and bone mass. Besides her work over nine days aboard the Columbia, which carried the Spacelab laboratory, she oversaw experiments on five shuttle flights (four to the Russian Space Station Mir and one to the International Space Station) and on a Russian Soyuz and two SpaceX missions (all to the international station). Fifteen of the 29 Apollo astronauts had infections in space or soon after they returned. In her experiments, Hughes-Fulford examined how weightlessness caused the suppression of T cells, the white blood cells that lead the immunological fight against disease. She had received a diagnosis of lymphoma in 2014, and cancer had recently been found in her esophagus. She died in Mill Valley, California on February 2, 2021.

Lenore Janis (86) force of nature in the New York construction industry who left thousands of cracks in the concrete ceiling of a male-dominated business. Janis was a founder and longtime president of Professional Women in Construction, which started as a small, all-volunteer nonprofit and became, under her leadership, a networking powerhouse for tens of thousands of women trying to navigate a career path that might seem purpose-built to exclude them. A creative organizer, Janis did more than just provide mentoring opportunities and meet-and-greet sessions—although she did plenty of that, too. Knowing that many deals in her industry were made on the golf course, she ran clinics to teach women how to play the game. She sent executives into high schools to recruit girls who might otherwise never have thought about a life in construction and doled out stories to young members of her trade group, lessons drawn on a life spent pushing open barriers. Janis died of Covid-19 in Brookfield, Connecticut on January 31, 2021.

Dennie S. Mileti (75) in early 2020 an opinion article in the Washington Post about the flailing American response to the emerging Covid-19 disaster quoted Mileti, an expert on how to prepare for and react to catastrophic events. “This might be the largest public information mess I’ve ever witnessed. It just breaks my heart. We know how to do emergency planning better than anyone on Earth, and it’s not there.” Ten months later Mileti himself became a Covid-19 casualty. He was director of the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado/Boulder from 1994–2003. He wrote a pivotal book in the field, Disasters by Design (1999), and was often quoted on the finer points of disaster planning and response. Reporters and government agencies sought him out for input on Hurricane Katrina, the catastrophic tsunami of 2004, even the potential impact of the temporary closing of a Los Angeles freeway. He died of Covid-19 in Rancho Mirage, California on January 31, 2021.

Jack Palladino (76) private investigator whose clients included presidents, corporate whistleblowers, scandal-plagued celebrities, Hollywood moguls, and sometimes suspected drug traffickers. Palladino suffered a devastating brain injury January 28 after a pair of would-be robbers tried to grab his camera outside his home in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district. He held onto the camera but fell and struck his head, and the photos he took before his attackers fled were used by police to track down two suspects, who have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon. In a career spanning more than 40 years, Palladino worked for a who’s who of the famous and the sometimes infamous, alternately hailed as a hero or denounced as a villain, depending on who his client was at the time. He was hired by Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign to put a lid on women who were coming forward to claim they had had sex with the future president. He was also the investigator for the family of a 14-year-old boy who received a multimillion-dollar settlement from Michael Jackson after accusing the entertainer of molesting him. Jackson was never charged with a crime in that case. Palladino died four days after being attacked outside his home, on February 1, 2021.

Lokman Slim (58) Lebanese publisher and vocal critic of the Shiite militant Hezbollah group. Slim was found shot dead in his car on February 4, 2021, a brazen killing that sparked fears of a return to political violence in Lebanon, a country gripped by social and economic upheaval. The body of Slim, a longtime Shiite political activist and researcher, was slumped over on the passenger seat with multiple wounds from gunshots fired at close range. He had been missing for hours, and his family posted social media messages looking for him. To his friends, Slim was a fearless critic of Lebanon’s powerful politicians, Hezbollah, and its allies Iran and Syria, and a major resource on the history of Lebanon’s civil war. His killing raised fears that Lebanon’s political tensions could turn into a new wave of assassinations. But critics accused Slim of sowing sedition, undermining national unity, and being a Zionist because of his criticisms of Hezbollah.

John J. Sweeney (86) spent 14 years steering the AFL-CIO through declining union membership and rising internal dissent. Sweeney was credited with transforming the US's largest labor federation into a political powerhouse more firmly aligned with the Democrat Party, and with civil rights, environmental, and antipoverty groups. After stepping down as president of the labor federation in 2009, Sweeney was the AFL-CIO’s president emeritus, offering advice to the group’s executive council, delivering speeches, and taking on other assignments. He died in Bethesda, Maryland on February 1, 2021.


Law

Robert A. Altman (73) Washington insider who survived a global banking scandal to reinvent himself as mogul of a multibillion-dollar video game conglomerate. Altman’s company was a household name among gamers who enjoyed the challenges of Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, Doom, and Rage. He was probably most widely known as the husband of Lynda Carter, who starred in the ‘70s TV series Wonder Woman. But he was also known as the defense lawyer who kept prominent political figures out of prison and as junior law partner of Clark M. Clifford, among the last of Washington’s 20th-century “wise men” with whom Altman became embroiled in accusations surrounding what was then the largest financial fraud in history. Altman was a law school prodigy when he joined Clifford’s firm and, having grasped the complexities of the Nixon administration’s wage and price controls, attracted major corporate clients. Altman died in Baltimore, Maryland of complications from a medical procedure on February 3, 2021.

Claudette White (49) was 8 when she read Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Dee Brown’s history of the conquest and massacre of Native Americans in the 19th century. Claudette refused to participate in her school’s celebrations for Columbus Day and spent the time in the library. That was the beginning of a life of service to her people. Judge White, a member of the Quechan tribal council and a former chief judge for the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, first joined the Quechan council when she was 23 and quickly became a part of the tribe’s successful efforts, along with environmental groups and others, to stop California, Arizona, and the Dakotas from placing a nuclear waste facility on land in the Mojave Desert that the Quechan and other tribes consider sacred. As a tribal judge, White practiced a judicial model known as restorative justice, which aims to heal and rehabilitate offenders and their victims as an alternative to punishment. She knew at first hand the cycle of trauma and abuse that can ravage Native American communities. She grew up on the Quechan reservation, 45,000 acres bordering Arizona, California, and Baja California, Mexico. Judge White died of Covid-19 in Yuma, Arizona on February 6, 2021.


News and Entertainment

Dustin Diamond (44) Saved by the Bell star Diamond was best known for playing Screech on the hit ’90s sitcom. Saved by the Bell aired from 1989–93, and its related shows included Saved by the Bell: The College Years, Good Morning, Miss Bliss, and Saved by the Bell: The New Class, on which Diamond starred. A sequel was launched on Peacock last fall featuring many from the original cast, including Paul Gosselaar, Mario Lopez, Elizabeth Berkley, and Tiffani Thiessen. Diamond was not included. He starred in a handful of reality TV series, including the fifth season of Celebrity Fit Club, The Weakest Link, and Celebrity Boxing 2. In December 2013 Diamond appeared in an episode of OWN’s Where Are They Now? and became a house member in the 12th season of Celebrity Big Brother. He was sued several times for delinquent taxes and in foreclosure proceedings for missing mortgage payments. He has appeared on reality TV shows, made a sex tape, and produced a tell-all documentary on Lifetime TV called The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story. In 2015 he was sentenced to four months in jail for his part in a Wisconsin barroom stabbing. He died after a three-week fight with cancer on February 1, 2021.

Anne Feeney (69) folk musician who played more than 4,000 shows over a 30-year career, appearing at peace protests, picket lines, and fund-raisers for progressive causes. Feeney, whose first public appearance came in 1969 at a demonstration against the Vietnam War, was a link between the protest singers of the ‘60s and the younger generations that emerged around the antiglobalization and antiwar movements of the early 2000s. Her admirers included both Pete Seeger and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, and she was just as comfortable playing a union hall as she was onstage at a punk club. She died of Covid-19 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on February 3, 2021.

Benedict J. Fernandez (84) “photo-anthropologist” who captured the persona of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the fervor of the King era’s protest movements before mentoring a generation of professional photographers. Fernandez became an award-winning photojournalist and documentarian by transforming adversities to his advantage. As a seasoned photographer, he taught disadvantaged city youth free of charge at the Benedict J. Fernandez Photo Film Workshop, which he established in the basement of Joseph Papp’s Public Theater in Manhattan. He later created the photography department at the Parsons School of Design/The New School. His mostly black-and-white photographs captured both the passion of civil rights and antiwar protests and the intimacy of King’s family at the dinner table. Shown above is one of his shots at a Vietnam War protest during the 1968 Democrat Convention. Fernandez died of heart failure in Oxford, New York on January 31, 2021.

Robert C. Jones (84) film editor of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and Love Story who won a screenwriting Oscar for the 1978 war drama Coming Home. Jones was known for his frequent collaborations with directors including Arthur Hiller and Hal Ashby. In the case of Hiller, the relationship lasted from the late ‘60s through the early ‘90s, a span during which Jones worked on projects including the 1970 Paramount Pictures classic Love Story. With Ashby, he edited such works as Shampoo and The Last Detail. He also worked with esteemed filmmakers including Warren Beatty and Stanley Kramer. Jones died on February 1, 2021.

Patricia Lynch (82) investigative TV journalist who specialized in exposing cults and their leaders, including Lyndon LaRouche, a political extremist who ran for president eight times. Lynch was one of the first women to be named an investigative producer for NBC Nightly News, joining its investigative unit in 1977. In nearly 20 years at NBC, she won two Emmys and shared in an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University award for investigative journalism. Lynch focused on consumer-oriented issues and produced a series on abuses in nursing homes. But she also became interested in fringe groups that were run by charismatic leaders and that had developed reputations for bizarre activities or beliefs. In one instance she reported extensively on Rev. Jim Jones, who led more than 900 members of his People’s Temple of Disciples of Christ to mass suicide in the Jonestown massacre in Guyana in 1978. Her best-known work was her coverage of LaRouche, a perennial presidential candidate who started out on the far left of the political spectrum and moved far to the right. Lynch died of Alzheimer’s disease in New York City on February 3, 2021.

Pete Noyes (90) award-winning news producer and investigative journalist, Los Angeles TV news pioneer, and mentor to many colleagues and students who took his broadcast newswriting classes at USC and Cal State Northridge. Noyes began his journalism career at Stars & Stripes, the American military newspaper, while serving in the Army during the Korean War. During his decades-long career, he worked at KFMB-TV in San Diego, KOVR-TV in Sacramento, and in LA at City News Service, KNXT/KCBS-TV, KNBC-TV, KABC-TV, KTTV-TV, and KCOP-TV, along with the Fox network newsmagazine Front Page. He was honored with TV’s highest award, the Peabody. He also earned 10 Emmys, two Edward R. Murrow awards, and many Golden Mike Awards. He wrote several books, including Legacy of Doubt, which linked organized crime to the assassination of President John F, Kennedy. After retiring from the news business in 2008, Noyes published several other books, including The Real LA Confidential, in which he wrote about some of LA’s most notorious crimes, including the Manson family and O. J. Simpson murder cases. Noyes died in Westlake Village, California on February 1, 2021.

Christopher Plummer (91) for all the roles he embodied and for all the acclaim he earned during his long and distinguished career, Plummer found himself helplessly chained to Capt. Von Trapp, the imperious patriarch of the Trapp Family Singers in The Sound of Music (1965). The role rocketed him to stardom, opened doors in Hollywood, and ensured he would be fondly and forever remembered by filmgoers around the world. Yet the classically trained actor found Von Trapp a tired, one-dimensional, and wooden character and the film syrupy at best. A regal star with exquisite range, Plummer chalked up scores of theater roles and more than 200 film and TV credits during his storied career. The actor honed his craft on the New York stage in the ‘50s, during the golden era of American drama, and in London in the ‘60s, when he performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theater. Plummer died from a blow to the head as a result of a fall in Weston, Connecticut on February 5, 2021.

Danny Ray (85) singer James Brown's “cape man,” who opened thousands of concerts for Brown (died 2006) with a dramatic introduction and ended them by draping a sequined velvet cape over the singer’s body, only to have him burst forth in a paroxysm of soulful funk for one last encore. For more than 45 years, valet Ray rushed to help the Godfather of Soul during that climactic moment, in the process playing a crucial costarring role in Brown’s stage show. Whenever Brown collapsed with feigned grief during the song “Please, Please, Please,” Ray was there to comfort him (just in case he fainted from desperation). He died in Augusta, Georgia on February 2, 2021.

Brayden Smith (24) voracious reader and former captain of his high school quiz bowl team who became a five-time Jeopardy! champion on some of the last shows hosted by Alex Trebek. Smith had achieved a lifelong dream by winning Jeopardy! as a contestant on some of the final shows hosted by Trebek before he died in November 2020 at age 80 after a battle with cancer. Over six shows, Smith won five times, earning $115,798 and the nickname “Alex’s Last Great Champion.” Smith said he had been looking forward to competing on the show’s Tournament of Champions against his “trivia idols.” He died unexpectedly in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 5, 2021.

Jamie Tarses (56) helped to bring Friends to NBC and broke the glass ceiling in network TV when she became top entertainment executive at ABC. Tarses was among the young program development executives at NBC who helped to create signature comedies such as Friends and Frasier that appealed to young, urban upscale viewers, which led the network to ratings dominance in the ‘90s. In 1996 Michael Ovitz recruited Tarses to be president of ABC’s entertainment division, making her the first woman to hold that title. Tarses, who was 32 when she took the job, had a tumultuous three-year run at ABC at a time when it was still being absorbed into the Walt Disney Co., which had acquired the network a year before she arrived. During Tarses’ tenure at ABC, the network’s successes included hit sitcom Dharma & Greg, writer-producer Aaron Sorkin’s Sports Night, The Practice from David E. Kelley, and Two Guys, a Girl & a Pizza Place, which introduced actor Ryan Reynolds. Tarses left ABC in 1999 and became an independent TV producer for several networks, turning out such shows as Happy Endings, Franklin & Bash, and My Boys. She died in Los Angeles, California after suffering complications from a cardiac event last fall, on February 1, 2021.

Yuval Waldman (74) violinist and conductor with interests in building musical bridges among countries and rediscovering neglected works composed under oppressive circumstances. Waldman was the son of Jewish parents who survived the purges in Ukraine during the Nazi occupation of World War II, and his childhood involved several dislocations before the family eventually settled in Bat Yam, a Tel Aviv suburb. His career in some ways reflected his multinational upbringing and his sense of music as a lifeline in a turbulent world. He conducted the New American Chamber Orchestra, an ensemble formed in the ‘90s and made up of Jewish émigrés from the former Soviet Union. In 2004 he founded Music Bridges International, which fostered concerts and educational programs that included music from different cultures—one program, for instance, featured American and Kazakh composers. Waldman died of coronary artery disease in Brooklyn, New York. He had also tested positive for the coronavirus shortly before his death on February 1, 2021.


Politics and Military

Rennie Davis (79) who lived out one of the more quixotic journeys of the ‘60s generation when he went from leading opponent of the Vietnam War, as a convicted member of the Chicago Seven, to spokesman for a teenage Indian guru. Davis was a leading figure of the antiwar movement. He joined the top ranks of the activist organization Students for a Democratic Society and the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam. In Chicago, Davis helped to organize antiwar activists, political radicals, and the theatrical revolutionaries known as Yippies with the aim of descending on the 1968 Democrat National Convention. In 1970, after a 4.5-month trial, all seven defendants were acquitted of conspiracy, but Davis and four others—Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, and Tom Hayden—were convicted of inciting to riot and sentenced to five years in prison. The verdicts were overturned on appeal, as were various contempt citations. Davis later became a convert and spokesman for guru Maharj Ji (born Prem Pal Singh Rawat). Davis died of lymphoma in Berthoud, Colorado on February 2, 2021.

Albert Hale (70) the Navajo Nation had only recently created a three-branch system of government similar to many other democracies, with a legislature, judiciary, and executive branch, when Hale was elected its second president in 1994. His election was just one chapter in a long and tumultuous political trajectory. He became known for asserting the sovereignty of the Diné, as many Navajos prefer to call themselves. He negotiated a settlement with the State of New Mexico that brought water to many Navajo villages. But his time in office was also marred by accusations that he had misused tribal funds and had an extramarital affair, prompting Hale, a Democrat, to apologize and resign in 1998. He returned to politics in 2004 when Janet Napolitano, then Arizona’s governor, appointed him to a vacant State Senate seat. In 2011 he was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives. During his two terms there, he emerged as a vocal advocate for Indigenous rights and securing greater tax revenues for Arizona’s tribal nations. Hale died of Covid-19 in Mesa, Arizona on February 2, 2021.

Joy Kaiser (90) because someone brutally beat their gardener, Joy and Herbert Kaiser discovered a calling that bolstered the ranks of black doctors and other medical professionals in South Africa at a pivotal time. Herbert Kaiser (died 2018) was a US diplomat in South Africa in 1972, during the apartheid era, when the couple’s gardener, a Zulu man named Gabriel, was attacked by private security guards because he had forgotten the pass that proved he had permission to live in the servants’ quarters of the elegant house the Kaisers occupied. The couple took Gabriel to a hospital for nonwhites in Cape Town. The overwhelmed, inadequate staff there made a vivid impression, one that the Kaisers were still pondering 10 years later when Herbert retired from the diplomatic service. In 1985 the couple tackled the core problem—a dearth of black medical professionals in the country—by founding Medical Education for South African Blacks (known by its acronym, MESAB), a nonprofit that helped some 10,000 South Africans of color receive training as doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, midwives, and more. Joy Kaiser died of Covid-19 in Palo Alto, California on February 3, 2021.

Capt. Tom Moore (100) British World War II veteran who walked into the hearts of a nation in lockdown as he shuffled up and down his garden to raise money for health-care workers. Capt. Tom, as he became known in newspaper headlines and TV interviews, set out to raise £1,000, equivalent to $1,364, for Britain’s National Health Service by walking 100 laps in his backyard. But his quest went viral and caught the imagination of millions stuck at home during the first wave of the pandemic. Donations poured in from across Britain and as far away as the US and Japan, raising some $40 million. For three weeks in April, fans were greeted with daily videos of Capt. Tom, stooped with age, doggedly pushing his walker in the garden. But it was his sunny attitude during a dark moment that inspired people to look beyond illness and loss. Moore died in London, England on February 2, 2021, after testing positive for the coronavirus

George P. Schultz (100) former secretary of state, a titan of American academia, business, and diplomacy who spent most of the ‘80s trying to improve Cold War relations with the Soviet Union and forging a course for peace in the Middle East. A lifeong Republican, Shultz held three major Cabinet positions in GOP administrations during a lengthy career of public service. He was labor secretary, treasury secretary, and director of the Office of Management & Budget under President Richard M. Nixon before spending more than six years as President Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state. Shultz was the second-longest serving secretary of state since World War II and had been the oldest surviving former Cabinet member of any administration. He died in Stanford, California on February 6, 2021.


Society and Religion

Rabbi Abraham Twerski (90) Orthodox rabbi, descendant of several Hasidic dynasties. Yet Twerski was also a psychiatrist and a respected authority on addiction who was drawn to the 12-step approach central to Alcoholics Anonymous, a program whose origns are Christian. Rabbi Twerski mixed an eclectic menu of treatments in his work as director of psychiatry at St. Francis Hospital in Pittsburgh. The Gateway Rehabilitation Center, which he founded, was named one of the top 12 rehabilitation clinics in the US by Forbes magazine in 1987. He also wrote 80 books, many on Jewish topics but many others on addictive thinking and the addictive personality, all of which enhanced his international reputation as an authority on addiction. What distinguished Rabbi Twerski from many other Orthodox therapists was his willingness to look outside his community. He died of Covid-19 in Jerusalem, Israel, where he had lived full-time for the past five years, on January 31, 2021.


Sports

Dianne Durham (52) first black woman to win the USA Gymnastics national championship, later denied a shot at the Olympics by an ill-timed injury. After winning the junior national champion in 1981 and ‘82. Durham was considered among the best female vaulters in the world when she entered the ‘83 senior championship. She became the top-ranked female gymnast in the country and a front-runner for the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics. That dream crashed when, after a series of other injuries, Durham landed awkwardly during her vault in the 1984 Olympic trials and severely sprained an ankle. She died of an unspecified illness in Chicago, Illinois on February 4, 2021.

Pat Filien (51) after nearly 25 years as an assistant coach of men’s and women’s basketball teams at seven colleges, Filien achieved his professional dream in 2018: He became a head coach. But he faced an unusual challenge. He was named not only to coach the first men’s basketball team at Bryant & Stratton’s campus in Albany, New York but also to take charge of the small college’s inaugural plunge into sports as its athletic director. Besides guiding the basketball team to an 18-10 record and the small-college US Collegiate Athletic Association tournament in the 2018–19 season, Filien oversaw the start-up of the school’s baseball team in ‘18 and the creation of the women’s basketball team and the men’s and women’s soccer teams in ’19. Pat Filien died of Covid-19 in East Greenbush, New York, near Albany, on February 4, 2021.

Grant Jackson (78) pitching in the 1979 World Series for the Pittsburgh Pirates—a free-wheeling team whose theme song was Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family”—Jackson was splendid. A left-handed reliever, he had given up no runs in the Pirates’ three Series losses to the Baltimore Orioles when he entered the decisive Game 7 in the bottom of the fifth inning. Baltimore was leading, 1-0, with two outs and two runners on base. Jackson retired eight Orioles in a row before walking two men in the eighth—by then the Pirates had pulled ahead—and was relieved by the closer, Kent Tekulve. The Pirates won the game, 4-1, and the Series. With his two and two-thirds innings of relief, Jackson earned the win. With a sinking fastball, slider, curveball, and changeup, he compiled an 86-75 record and had a 3.46 earned run average and 79 saves over 18 seasons. Jackson, who pitched for five other teams, including the Orioles, in his 18-year career, died of Covid-19 in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania on February 2, 2021.

Leon Spinks (67) won Olympic gold, then shocked the boxing world by beating Muhammad Ali to win the heavyweight title in only his eighth pro fight. A lovable heavyweight with a drinking problem, Spinks beat Ali by decision in a 12-round fight in 1978 to win the title. He was unranked at the time and picked as an opponent because Ali was looking for an easy fight. He got anything but that, with an unorthodox Spinks swarming over Ali throughout the fight on his way to a stunning win by split decision. The two met seven months later at the Superdome in New Orleans, with Ali taking the decision that time before a record indoor boxing crowd of 72,000 and a national TV audience estimated at 90 million people. Spinks lost the rematch to Ali in New Orleans and fought for the title only once after that, when he was stopped in the third round in 1981 by Larry Holmes. He continued fighting on and off into the mid-‘90s, finishing with a record of 26-17-3. He died of prostate and other cancers in Henderson, Nevada on February 5, 2021.

Wayne Terwilliger (95) got his first run batted in, in professional baseball, when he was beaned with the bases loaded in a 1948 minor league game. He became a baseball “lifer” and was still in uniform in 2010, closing out his career at age 85, a coach hitting fungoes in batting practice to minor leaguers. Terwilliger spent 62 years in pro ball. A major league second baseman before becoming a coach and manager, he was devoted to his craft with no expectation that it would ever make him wealthy. Twig, as he was known in the baseball world, managed the Fort Worth Cats to the 2005 championship of the Central League, an independent professional circuit, at age 80. He was a coach with the team for five years after that. Terwilliger didn’t come close to Connie Mack as baseball’s oldest manager. But Mack, who managed the Philadelphia Athletics for 50 years, also owned the team, so he could stick around in the dugout until he fired himself at age 87. Terwilliger played for nine seasons in the major leagues, with five teams. On the 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers, he backed up Jackie Robinson at second base. Terwilliger died of bladder cancer in Weatherford, Texas, near Dallas, on February 3, 2021.

Tony Trabert (90) five-time Grand Slam singles champion and former No. 1 player who had successful careers as a Davis Cup captain, broadcaster, and executive. Trabert won three of the four major singles titles in 1955, including Wimbledon and the US Nationals without losing a set. He was ranked No. 1 in singles in 1953 and ’55 and won five Grand Slam titles in men’s doubles, including four with Vic Seixas. Trabert won all his major titles as an amateur before he became a barnstorming professional and part of the long fight for open tennis. He said the highlight of his career was helping the US beat Australia in the 1954 Davis Cup final. As Davis Cup captain, Trabert led his team to titles in 1978 and ’79. He was a broadcaster for more than 30 years, including for CBS at the US Open. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1970. In 2001 he began an 11-year stint as president of the Hall. Trabert died in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida on February 3, 2021.


Previous Week
Next Week


Return to Main Page
Return to Top