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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, June 12, 2021

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Lucinda Riley, Irish author and actressCamilla Amado, a Brazilian actressNoel Conway, United Kingdom Right to Die AdvocateDouglas Schoolfield Cramer, an American television producerLeonard Crow Dog, medicine man and spiritual leaderAlney Dale Danks Jr., Mayor of Jackson, MississippiDixie Dirk Dansercoer, a Belgian explorer, endurance athlete, and photographerJames Edward Fassel, American college and professional football player and coachRevaz Rezo Gabriadze, a Georgian theatre and film director, playwright, writer, painterJohn Gabriel, American actorLarry Gelman, American film and television character actorJames Mudcat Grant, American baseball pitcherAvi Har-Even, an Israeli rocket scientistFarhad Humayun, Pakistani singer, drummer, record producer, and video artistKirkland Laing, Jamaican-born, British welterweight boxer nicknamed “The Gifted One”Ernie Lively, American actor and father of actress Blake LivelySurekha Marie, an Indian film and television actressMichele Merlo, an Italian singer-songwriterAli Akbar Mohtashamipur, an Iranian Shia clericEi-ichi Negishi, Japanese chemist who won the 2010 Nobel Prize in ChemistryMansour Akram Ojjeh, a French Saudi Arabian-born entrepreneurAshok Panagariya, Indian neurologist, medical researcher and academicLibuse Safrankova, Czech actress.Ngangom Dingko Singh, Indian boxerShaleen Surtie-Richards, South African television, stage, and film actressIgor Nikolayevich Zhelezovski, Soviet and Belarusian speed skater

Art and Literature

Revaz Gabriadze (84) graduated from the Higher Scriptwriters' Courses in Moscow and worked as a correspondent for the newspaper Youth of Georgia. At some point Gabriadze became frustrated with lack of intellectual freedom in the Soviet Union, so he turned to puppet theatre as a way to tell his dramatic stories. In 1981 he founded the Marionette Theatre based in Tbilisi. His productions of Alfred and Violete, The Autumn of our Springtime, Ramona, and The Battle of Stalingrad brought the theatre international recognition. The theatre company has been touring around the world since the early 1990s. As a painter, he has participated in numerous exhibitions and his works hang in museums and private collections. Gabriadze’s has illustrated over 50 books. He has received many international awards, including Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Republic. Gabriadze died on June 6, 2021.

Business and Science

Dixie Dansercoer (58) in 1997–98, Dansercoer made a record-breaking crossing of Antarctica with Alain Hubert. In 2006, the European Space Agency commissioned Dansercoer and Hubert to measure snow cover in the Arctic to calibrate measurements taken with the CryoSat 2 satellite. The two left Arctic Cape, Siberia, on March 1, 2007. They reached the North Pole after 55 days and Greenland in another 51 days—the first time anyone had walked from Siberia to Greenland. In 2011–12, he ski-kited with Sam Deltour on the Antarctic ice cap on a pioneering 3,115 mile circular trajectory. In 2014, Dansercoer and Eric McNair-Landry completed the first full circumnavigation on the Greenland ice cap with 2,510 miles as the final distance. He held records or won prizes for high altitude mountain biking, windsurfing, ultramarathon running, and expedition filmmaking. Dansercoer died on June 7, 2021, during an expedition in Greenland. He died after falling into a glacier gorge. It is unclear if his body can be recovered.

Avi Har-Even (84) during his long military career, Har-Even held various research and development positions that saw advanced weaponry brought into the military’s arsenal. During which, he headed a group that was awarded the Israel Prize for security. After leaving the army, Har-Even began working for the Israel Aerospace Industries in 1982, leading a team that developed Israel’s Shavit satellite rocket launcher. Between 1995 and 2004, Har-Even directed the Israel Space Agency. Since 2008, he has been a research fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University. On May 11, 2021,Har-Even sustained significant burns and suffered from smoke inhalation when the hotel he was staying at, Efendi Hotel, was set on fire during Arab-Jewish rioting. He had been unconscious and attached to a ventilator since his arrival at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center succumbing to his injuries on June 6, 2021.

Ei-ichi Negishi (85) graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1958 and did his internship at Teijin. He went on to study in the United States and obtained his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1963.In 1966, he became a postdoctoral associate at Purdue University, working under future Nobel laureate Herbert C. Brown. From 1968–1972, he was an instructor at Purdue. He discovered Negishi coupling, a process which condenses organic zinc compounds and organic halides under a palladium or nickel catalyst to obtain a C-C bonded product. For this achievement, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2010. Negishi died in Indianapolis, Indiana, on June 6, 2021. No funeral services took place in the United States, but his family plans to lay him to rest in Japan in 2022.

Mansour Ojjeh (68) Ojjeh was born in 1952 and was the son of Syrian born Saudi businessman Akram Ojjeh. His mother was French and he spent much of his childhood in France. Ojjeh studied at the American School in Paris, and then earned a business degree at Menlo College in northern California. He later studied law at the University of Santa Clara, before switching courses and earning a Master’s in Business Administration. He was the CEO and part owner of TAG, which owns 14.32 of the McLaren Group, assets of which include McLaren Automotive and the McLaren Formula One team. He also founded TAG Aviation, a major supplier of charter jet services worldwide, and bought the UK’s Farnborough Airport, along with a string of other business interests. In 2013, Ojjeh underwent a double lung transplant, having suffered with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. By 2014, he recovered and became even more involved with McLaren by taking on an executive role in early 2017. He died on the morning of June 6, 2021.

Ashok Panagariya (71) born in the Indian state of Rajasthan into a family of freedom fighters, his father was a pre-independence journalist. He graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery in 1972. In 1976, he became a Post Graduate in Internal Medicine from Sawai Man Singh Medical College. Panagariya was known for his research on nerve cells and neuromyotonia. He headed the department of neurology at the Sawai Man Singh Medical College and became the principal of the institution. He also served as vice chancellor of Rajasthan University of Health Sciences, as the president of Indian Academy of Neurology in 2010-2011, and was a member of the State Planning Board on Health. Panagariya received the Merit Award from the Government of Rajasthan in 1992 and in 2002, the Medical Council of India awarded him the Dr. B. C. Roy Award, the highest Indian award in the medical category. Panagariya had more than ninety publications in peer reviewed journals and has contributed to a text book on Neurology. He also wrote on health issues and the science of spiritualism. He died on June 11, 2021, due to COVID-19 complications.

News and Entertainment

Lucinda Riley (55) she spent the first few years of her life in the village of Drumbeg, near Belfast, before moving to England. At age 14, she moved to London to a specialist drama and ballet school. At 16, she landed her first major television role in the BBC adaptation of The Story of the Treasure Seekers, followed shortly afterwards by a memorable guest role in Auf Wiedersehen Pet. She remained a working actress for the next seven years, but her career was interrupted by a long bout of mononucleosis at age 23. This caused her to turn to writing, and her first novel Lovers and Players was published in 1992. Her work has since been published in 34 countries and more than 25 million copies of her books have been sold. Riley is also incredibly popular in the Netherlands and more than 3 million of her books have been sold. In 2016, producer Raffaella De Laurentiis purchased the television rights to her six-novel series The Seven Sisters. She died on June 11, 2021, after battling cancer for four years.

Camilla Amado (82) she was the daughter of teachers Henriette Amado and Gilson Amado. Her parents founded the defunct television station Televisão Educativa. She began her career on television in 1959, with a career that spanned over 60 years. The last television character she portrayed was in 2019. Throughout her career Amado starred in 28 films. For her performance in the movie The Wedding, Amado won the Kikito Gold award for Best Supporting Actress and the Special Jury Prize at the Gramado Festival. In addition to being an actress, Amado was a director and acting teacher. Camilla Amado died on June 6, 2021.

Douglas Cramer (89) a native of Louisville, Kentucky, Cramer began his career in advertising, serving as a broadcast supervisor on Lever Brothers and General Foods programs at Ogilvy & Mather in New York City. In 1962, he became Director of Program Planning at ABC Television. In 1966, he became vice president of television program development at 20th Century Fox. Cramer later became executive vice president in charge of production for Paramount Television in 1968, in which role he was responsible for such television shows as Star Trek, The Odd Couple, The Brady Bunch, and Mission: Impossible. Cramer left Paramount to form his own production company in 1971. One of the series his company produced was Wonder Woman. Cramer joined Aaron Spelling's production company in 1976. He was an executive producer on the long-running 1980s series Dynasty, its spin-off series The Colbys, and the 1991 miniseries Dynasty: The Reunion. Cramer produced 20 of the 22 miniseries adaptations of Danielle Steel's novels; the exceptions being Jewels (1992) and the first, Now and Forever (1983).Cramer was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Special– Drama or Comedy in 1975 for QB VII, and again for Outstanding Drama Series in 1982 for Dynasty. He died on June 7, 2021, of heart and kidney failure on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts.

John Gabriel (90) born Jack Monkarsh in Niagara Falls on May 25, 1931, to Jewish parents who operated a grocery store, he began acting while attending UCLA. Following service with the United States Air Force, he returned to Hollywood and broke into TV with appearances on the series You Are There and Patrol Car. He made his motion picture debut with a minor role in the film South Pacific (1958) and had more substantial parts in The Young Lions (1958) and The Hunters (1958). In addition to acting, he performed several songs on such TV programs as Hawaiian Eye and Surfside 6. Gabriel had the distinction of playing “The Professor” in the pilot for the TV series Gilligan’s Island (1963), however, when the series’ run began in 1964, he was replaced with Russell Johnson. He appeared in the John Wayne film El Dorado (1966) and co-wrote the picture’s title song along with Nelson Riddle. Gabriel booked the role of Dr. Seneca Beaulac on ABC’s Ryan’s Hope, which he played for the better part of 14 years. His daytime soap credits also include Generations, The Bold and the Beautiful, and Days of Our Lives. He received an Emmy Award nomination for Ryan’s Hope in 1980. His daughters Melissa and Andrea Gabriel both became actresses. Gabriel died on June 11, 2021, from complications from Alzheimer’s disease.

Larry Gelman (90) was born in Brooklyn, New York. Gelman appeared in over 25 American television series. He is best known for playing Dr. Bernie Tupperman on the TV series The Bob Newhart Show and Vinnie, the poker playing friend of Oscar and Felix, in the original TV series version of The Odd Couple. In 1976,Gelman appeared in the X-rated film Alice in Wonderland working under the name Larry Spelman. He also appeared in the adult comedy Chatterbox. He had many roles in films between the early 70s and 90s.On Broadway, Gelman portrayed Tambi Rothman in The Roast. His other stage activities included touring in a production of The Odd Couple and playing Albert Einstein in Einstein: A Stage Portrait. Gelman died on June 7, 2021.

Farhad Humayun (42) was born in the English Channel Island of Jersey. His mother is a legendary TV, theatre, and film actress and the foremost Pakistani scholar and academic who has won the Pride of Performance Award (the highest civil award) from the Government of Pakistan. His father was Pakistan's award winning English Cricket commentator throughout the 1970s until early 2000s. Humayun's maternal grandfather, S.A Rahman, was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the 1970s, while his paternal side traces back to the Qazi (Royal) family of Jalandhar (now Indian Punjab).Humayun started playing drums at age 14 and quickly built a name for himself in the underground movement in Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad in the early 1990s. Humayun was the drummer with the Pakistani band Overload which he founded in 2003.He has discovered, produced, and launched some of South Asia's top acts. Humayun won numerous awards for both his audio & video work and owned Riot Studios, the famous recording studio in Lahore. In October 2018, Humayun was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The singer announced a full recovery the next month after the tumor was removed successfully. Humayun died on June 8, 2021.

Ernie Lively (74) was born January 29, 1947, in Baltimore, Maryland. With a career spanning 50 years and over 110 credits to his name, Ernie got his first role in 1975 on The Waltons. He would go on to roles in TV shows like McCloud, The Dukes of Hazzard, Falcon Crest, Hangin' With Mr. Cooper, The X-Files, Murder She Wrote, The West Wing, That '70s Show, and many more. His film credits include playing Blake's father in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and its sequel. He also appeared in American Pie 2, Turner & Hooch, Passenger 57, The Beverly Hillbillies, and The Man in the Moon, among others. Lively previously suffered a heart attack in 2003, and was treated with stem-cell therapy as part of an experimental retrograde gene procedure. He died on June 10, 2021, in Los Angeles of cardiac complications.

Surekha Marie (66) Marie was born into a Christian family in Andhra Pradesh. Prior to her acting career, she obtained her Masters in English Literature. She found early fame with her debut role in the movie Thakara. She was a prominent lead actress during the 1980s. She produced one series and was the lead actress in another. She married in 1995 and decided to leave the film industry at that time to pursue business interests. She founded the production company Chennai Media Plus. Marie made a comeback, acting in the 2012 movie Masters. She died on June 6, 2021, from a heart attack.

Michele Merlo (28) born in Vicenza, Merlo started his career during the 10th season of X Factor. However he obtained notability during the 2017 edition of Amici. There he sang under the name of Mike Bird, the English translation of both his name and surname. He released his first album Cinemaboy, in 2019, while his second album CuoriStupidi was released in January 2020 with a total of nine songs. On June 3, 2021, Merlo was admitted to the hospital, but was released after being diagnosed with a common virus. Merlo died on June 6, 2021, in a different Bologna hospital where he had been admitted for a brain hemorrhage triggered by a sudden attack of leukemia. His family issued a statement denying reports that he had been vaccinated against COVID-19, and that his symptoms were due to a reaction to the vaccine.

Libuse Safrankova (68) Safrankova was born on June 7, 1953, in Brno and grew up in nearby Slapanice. After studying at the Brno Conservatory, she went to Prague where she began at Krejcov’s legendary Za branou Theater. In 1971, she made her film debut, but her breakthrough came in 1973 with the title role in the film Three Nuts for Cinderella, which is considered a Christmas film classic in many parts of Europe. In the 1970s and 1980s, she played leading roles in many fairy-tale films. Safrankova received the Czech Lion Award for best actress in a film. Safrankova was married to fellow actor Josef Abrham. She died in Prague, Czech Republic, from lung cancer on June 9, 2021—just two days after her 68th birthday.

Shaleen Surtie-Richards (66) Surtie-Richards was born in Upington, Cape Province, South Africa and educated both there and in Cape Town. Her father was a school principal. and her mother was a teacher. Trained as a kindergarten teacher, Surtie-Richards taught in Upington and Cape Town between 1974 and 1984. She played many roles in several amateur stage productions and was also active in productions of the South African Department of Education’s Theatre-in-Education. She launched her professional acting career in 1984. Surtie-Richards had a starring role in Egoli: Place of Gold. She appeared in most of the show's 18-year run. She also appeared in a number of other South African television programs. In 2000, she hosted her own talk show, Shaleen, on South Africa's M-Net channel. Surtie-Richards appeared on stage throughout South Africa and in London. During her career, Surtie-Richards won more than 40 awards. She was found dead on June 7, 2021, at a guest house in Cape Town where she had been filming.

Politics and Military

Leonard Crow Dog (79) was born in 1942 into a Sicanju Lakota family on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. He was a descendant of a prestigious traditional family of medicine men and leaders. The name Crow Dog is a poor translation of Kangi Shunka Manitou (Crow Coyote). His parents believed he would be a healer, so they did not send him to school. Therefore, he grew up not knowing how to read or write. At the age of seven, Crow Dog was initiated by four medicine men. Crow Dog became well known during the Lakota takeover of the town of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota in 1973, known as the Wounded Knee Incident. Shortly after the Wounded Knee incident ended, the federal government began prosecuting AIM leaders for various charges. They arrested Crow Dog as a suspect; he was first held at the maximum security unit at Leavenworth where he was placed in solitary confinement for two weeks. Afterwards, he was moved from one prison to another many times after he was convicted and sentenced to a long term in prison. The National Council of Churches took up Crow Dog's case and raised $150,000 for his appeal. However, his appeal was denied. When Crow Dog's defense team went before a judge to apply for a sentence reduction, they saw a long table stacked with letters and petitions from all over the world in support of Crow Dog. The federal judge ordered that Crow Dog be immediately released. He had already served nearly two years of his sentence. He wrote Crow Dog: Four Generations of Sioux Medicine Men. The memoir recounts family history through four generations of the Crow Dog family. Crow Dog died on June 6, 2021, in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Alney Danks Jr. (81) born on August 27, 1939, in Miami, Florida, his family moved to Jackson, Mississippi, in 1954. In 1963, Danks graduated law school at the Jackson School of Law and was admitted to the bar. In 1965, Danks first ran for city commissioner and lost. He ran for the Hinds County prosecutor position in 1968 and lost. However, in 1972 he won the election to become the Hinds County prosecutor. In 1977, he ran for the mayor office of Jackson, Mississippi, and won the position. He won re-election in 1981. Danks stopped being the mayor of Jackson in 1989, when he lost in a runoff election. He then returned to practicing law. In 2004, he formed a law firm with attorney Michael Cory, named Danks, Miller & Cory. Danks died of complications from a stroke on June 9, 2021.

Ali Mohtashamipur (74) studied in the holy city of Najaf, Iraq, where he spent considerable time with his mentor Ayatollah Khomeini. He also accompanied Khomeini during his period in exile in both Iraq and France. Mohtashamipur co-founded an armed group in Lebanon and Syria, aiming at assisting liberation movements in Muslim countries. Following the Iranian revolution, he served as Iran's ambassador to Syria from 1982 to 1986. He later became Iran's Minister of Interior. While ambassador to Syria, he is thought to have played a pivotal role in the creation of the Lebanese radical Shia organization Hezbollah. In 1989, the new Iranian President removed Mohtashamipur from the Iranian ministry of foreign affairs, this was seen as an indication of Iran's downgrading of its support for Hezbollah and for a revolutionary foreign policy in general. In August 1991, he regained some of his influence when he became chairman of the defense committee of Iran. In an Israeli assassination attempt targeting Mohtashamipur, he lost his right hand when he opened a book loaded with explosives. Mohtashamipur died on June 6, 2021, from COVID-19 in Iran.

Society and Religion

Noel Conway (71) Conway was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in November 2015. He had the degenerative form of the condition, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), with a life expectancy of two to five years from the date of his diagnosis. He only had movement in his right hand, head, and neck. Conway, a former lecturer, argued the current law is an unjustifiable interference with the right to respect for private life under the European Convention on Human Rights. However, in September 2018, his legal battle for reform ended when the Supreme Court rejected his bid to appeal against a High Court ruling that refused him the option of assisted dying.He wanted a doctor to be allowed to prescribe a lethal dose when his health deteriorated, but the current law means any doctor who did so risked fourteen years in prison. Conway died on June 9, 2021, at his home in Shropshire after making a decision to remove his ventilator with the support of his family and a local hospice.


James Fassel (71) Fassel graduated from Anaheim High School and played quarterback at Fullerton College, USC, and Long Beach State. He was drafted in the 7th round by the Chicago Bears in the 1972 NFL Draft. Fassel played briefly with The Hawaiians of the WFL in 1974, and became an assistant coach during the 1974 WFL season. He was the head coach of the New York Giants of the National Football League from 1997 to 2003. Fassel was offensive coordinator of other NFL teams, and as head coach, general manager, and president of the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League. He was the only UFL head coach who was active in the league since its inauguration and was the Locos' head coach when the league suspended play in 2012. Fassel died of a heart attack on June 7, 2021, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

James Grant (85) born in Lacoochee, Florida, on August 13, 1935. He was one of seven children. His father died when he was two years old. He attended Moore Academy, where he played football, basketball, and baseball. Grant was awarded a scholarship to play football and baseball at Florida A&M University. However, he dropped out during his sophomore year in order to support his family through financial difficulty. He was signed as an amateur free agent by the Cleveland Indians before the 1954 season. In 1965, Grant became the first black pitcher to win 20 games in a season in the American League and the first black pitcher to win a World Series game for the American League. He pitched two complete-game World Series victories in 1965, hitting a three-run homerun in game 6, and was named The Sporting News “American League Pitcher of the Year”. He later worked as a broadcaster and executive for the Indians, and also as a broadcaster for the Athletics. Grant dedicated himself to studying and promoting the history of blacks in baseball. Grant died on June 12, 2021.

Kirkland Laing (66) Laing fought 56 times in a twenty-year career—the highlight of which was a shock split decision win over Roberto Duran in September 1982. The fight was selected as Ring Magazine's upset of the year. He was a two-time winner of the British welterweight title and won the EBU welterweight title in 1990.Laing's boxing career was sporadic, as he often failed to deliver on his promise. He appeared under-prepared against less able fighters and indulged in drinking, drugs, and women. In the year following his victory over Duran, Laing went missing, blowing his earnings. Laing continued to fight until he was 40, and retired after a stoppage loss to future world champion Glenn Catley. After retiring, Laing continued to live in Hackney, and fell from his balcony in 2003 in circumstances that remain unexplained. Shortly after, a BBC documentary by Steve Bunce was aired. The short film showed Laing to be living life on the streets, although others who know him questioned the piece's accuracy. In 2009, Oliver Jarrat released the book The Gifted One Kirkland Laing Through the Eyes of Others, a detailed account of Laing's life and career which took the author six years to research and complete. Laing lived in East Yorkshire before his death on June 9, 2021.

Ngangom Singh (42) usually known as “Dingko Singh”, he was born on January 1,1979, in Manipur to a very poor family. Singh had to fight adversities from the beginning of his life, and was raised in an orphanage. Singh’s talent, efforts, and training began paying off when he won the Sub Junior National Boxing Championship in 1989 at the young age of 10 years. This achievement brought Singh to the attention of national coaches, who began to see him as a promising boxing star of India. He made his international boxing debut in 1997, and won the King's cup 1997 held at Bangkok, Thailand. He represented India at the 1998 Asian Games winning the gold, and at the 2000 Summer Olympics. To commemorate his excellence in the sport of boxing, Singh was honored with the prestigious Arjuna Award in 1998 and later in 2013 with the Padma Shri Award, the country's fourth-highest civilian award. Singh did not go professional like other boxers as he was an active member of the Indian Navy. He died of cancer on June 10, 2021, after a long battle with liver cancer.

Igor Zhelezovski (57) considered to be one of the best sprinters in the sport. His imposing physical appearance resulted in the nicknames Igor the Terrible and The bear from Minsk. Originally competing for the Soviet Union, then for the Commonwealth of Independent States, and finally for Belarus, he became World Sprint Champion a record number of six times—a record still unequalled. In Soviet times, he trained at Armed Forces sports society in Minsk. After ending his skating career in 1994, Zhelezovski became president of the skating union of Belarus, a position which he held for several years. Zhelezovski died of COVID-19 on June 12, 2021.

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