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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, July 31, 2021

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Rick Aiello, American film and television actorJosemith Bermudez, Venezuelan actress and TV personalityGeorge De Peana, Guyanese Olympic long-distance runner and trade union leaderCharles Dewisme, Belgian authorNikos Fokas, Greek poet, essayist, and translatorNancy Frankel, American sculptorPeter George, American weightlifter and Olympic and World championSaginaw Morgan Grant, Native American character actorMo Hayder, British authorJoseph Michael Mike Howe, American heavy metal singerNathan Joey Jordison, American musician and songwriterSardarni Mann Kaur, Indian track-and-field athleteRudi Leavor, Jewish community leaderCarl Milton Levin, American attorney and politicianRay McBride, Irish dancer and stage, film, and television actorJosé Alvarado Nieves, Mexican Professional wrestlerOrestes Ojeda, Filipino actor in movies and televisionNatty Petrosino, Argentine philanthropist and humanitarianJay Harris Pickett, American actorRonald Martin Popeil, American inventor and marketing personalityEddy Posthuma de Boer, Dutch photographer and photojournalistJean-Francois Stevenin, French actor and filmmakerLee Man Tat, Hong Kong billionaireDavid Von Ancken, American film, television director, and screenwriterThea Ruth White, American voice actress

Art and Literature

Charles Dewisme (102) better known by his pen name Henri Vernes. Vernes was born on October 16, 1918, in Wallonia, Belgium. After his parents separated, he was raised by his maternal grandparents. At age sixteen, he dropped out of high school and worked for a time as helper in his father's butcher shop, but eventually went back to school. During World War II, he served in the army's intelligence services. In 1946, he moved to Paris and wrote for a while for an American news agency and French newspapers. While a journalist in Paris, Vernes was asked in 1953 by publishing house Marabout to write a book series for young people. He published over 200 titles in the action and science-fiction genre selling over 40 million copies worldwide. Vernes also wrote the text of comic books and animated movies. Vernes used a number of other pseudonyms, including Jacques Colombo, Robert Davids, Duchess Holiday, C. Reynes, Jacques Seyr, Lew Shannon, and Ray Stevens, as well as his real name.Vernes died July 25, 2021.

Nikos Fokas (94) born on the Greek island of Kefalonia in 1927. Fokas was educated in Athens, Greece. In the 1960s he lived in London and worked for the BBC World Service. On his return to Greece he worked as a freelance journalist for the Greek division of the BBC World Service, Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation, until his retirement in 1982. Fokas has published numerous collections of poetry. The publication in 2002 of his Collected Poems: 1954-2000 brought his works to the attention of a wider audience. In 2005, he received the Grand Prize in Literature from the Greek Ministry of Culture and the Medal of Distinction in Letters from the Athens Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2010, a selection of his poems between 1981 and 2000 were published under the title “The Known”. Manuscripts of his poems, essays and translations, correspondence, notes, photographs, and some audio material are on display at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Fokas died on July 26, 2021, in Athens, Greece.

Nancy Frankel (92) was born in 1929 and raised in Washington, DC. She studied art at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Frankel earned her master's of fine arts degree at Columbia University. Frankel began sculpting while at Temple University. After earning her Master of Fine Arts, Frankel learned how to weld at the SculptureCenter, a not-for-profit, contemporary art museum located in Queens, New York. Although she practiced regularly in the years following World War II, it wasn’t until 1972 she found mainstream success. In 2019, the Katzen Arts Center at American University mounted a retrospective exhibition of Nancy Frankel's work—“Nancy at Ninety: A Retrospective of Form and Color." Frankel died on July 28, 2021, in her Kensington, Maryland home. Her 26-year-old roommate, Julia Birch, confessed to suffocating her and was charged with first-degree murder.

Mo Hayder (59) born Clare Dunkel on January 1,1962, in Essex, England. She left school and home for London shortly before her 16th birthday. She was a waitress at a nightclub and an amateur filmmaker while attending The American University and Bath Spa University. Hayder emigrated to Japan at age 25 and was a teacher of English as a foreign language in Tokyo. Hayder sent the manuscript of her first book to several agents and was accepted by leading literary agent Jane Gregory who secured her a two-book deal. This debut novel, Birdman, was published in December 1999 and was an international bestseller. Her second novel, The Treatment, was a Sunday Times bestseller and won the 2002 WH Smith Thumping Good Read Award. Her third novel, Tokyo, was published in May 2004 and was another Sunday Times bestseller. Her final book, The House of Sand, will be published in 2022, a year after her death. In December 2020, she was diagnosed with motor neuron disease. She died on July 27, 2021, from complications of the disease.

Eddy Posthuma de Boer (90) born on May 30, 1931, in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He started his career as an assistant with Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau, Netherlands largest newspaper, and subsequently worked forDe Volkskrant and Het Parool. As a photographer, he visited over 90 countries, and one time was a travel reporter for the magazine Avenue. He also documented the development of youth culture and paid particular attention to jazz and rock-‘n-roll music. Posthuma de Boer was mostly known for his portraits of writers, musicians, as well as of ordinary people. He was one of the most significant Dutch photographers of the post-WWII generation. In 1997, Posthuma de Boer was the recipient of Kees Scherer award. Posthuma de Boer died on July 25, 2021 in Amsterdam.

Business and Science

Peter George (92) born on June 29, 1929,in Akron, Ohio. George was the first 15-year-old to clean and jerk 300 pounds and was the youngest senior state champion of Ohio at 14 ½ years old. George won a gold medal at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki. He also received silver medals at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, and at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne. He won five World championships outside of the Olympics in 1947, 1951, 1953, 1954, and 1955. He placed second at the World Championships in 1949 and 1950, making a total of ten medals in World and Olympic competition. He also set four world records, three in the clean and jerk, and one in the total. After retiring from athletics he attended Kent State University, Ohio State University, and Columbia University. George became an orthodontist and pioneered treatments for sleep apnea. He has the patent for the Nocturnal Airway Patency Appliance (NAPA), a device preventing the stoppage of breathing during sleep. George died on July 27, 2021.

Ronald Popeil (86) born on May 3, 1935,in Manhattan. At age 17, he went with his grandparents to work for his father, Samuel Popeil, at his company's, Popeil Brothers, manufacturing facility in Chicago. At 18, Popeil attended the University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana where he joined Alpha Epsilon Pi before withdrawing after 6 months. After returning from college, Popeil continued to work and learn from his father, who was also an inventor and salesman of numerous kitchen-related gadgets such as the Chop-O-Matic and the Veg-O-Matic to major department stores. In 1964,Popeil founded his own company, Ronco. Popeil received the Nobel Prize in Consumer Engineering in 1993. He received the Electronic Retail Association's Lifetime Achievement award in 2001, and he is listed in the Direct Response Hall of Fame. In August 2005, he sold his company, Ronco, for $55 million. Ashley Tisdale and Jennifer Tisdale were his cousins. Popeil died on July 28, 2021, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after he had been sent there a day earlier for a medical emergency. No cause of death was given.

Lee Tat (92) born in Macau in 1929. Tat became the family firm’s third-generation chairman after taking over from his father in 1972. His grandfather founded Lee Kum Kee in 1888. In 1986, he bought his younger brother's 40 stake in the company. The company sells more than 200 sauces and condiments including its signature oyster sauce to over 100 countries. Lee Kum Kee never went public or disclosed financial data, as Tat insisted that it should remain a family-owned business. He was worth $ 17.4 billion, according to Forbes, which placed Tat sixth on its list of Hong Kong’s 50 richest people. The family also owns properties in London, Hong Kong, and mainland China, including the iconic Walkie Talkie building in England’s capital, which they bought for $1.8 billion in 2017. He died on July 26, 2021, in Hong Kong.

News and Entertainment

Rick Aiello (65) born on September 21,1955. By the time he was a teenager, his father was already a well-respected actor in Hollywood circles. He initially avoided pursuing the Hollywood lifestyle working as a nightclub bouncer, bartender, and club manager.Aiello got his first role in 1984 with Silent Madness, though he's most famously known for his roles in Do the Right Thing, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Sex and the City, and A Brooklyn State of Mind. He retired in 2016, last appearing in the film Nobody's Perfect. Aiello died on July 26, 2021 of pancreatic cancer in Warwick, New York. His death comes a little more than a decade after his brother, Danny Aiello III, who died from the same disease.

Josemith Bermudez (41) was born on January 20, 1980.Her television career began in 2001 when she hosted the RCTV program Ají Picante.Bermudez decided to pursue a career as an actress with roles in series such as La Invasora, Ciudad Bendita, and Tormentaenel Paraíso.She also did theater and music. In October 2016, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer; the doctors estimated she had two months to live. In 2018, she wrote her own monologue, “Dressed to Heal”, in relation to her experience with cancer. A year later she turned it into a book,What do you want of me? Bermudez was also a business woman, founding Josemith Cosmetics, which was launched in 2018. Bermudez died July 31, 2021, from ovarian cancer.

Saginaw Grant (85) born on July 20, 1936, at the Indian Hospital in Pawnee, Oklahoma. He was a member of the Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma. During the Korean War, Grant was a member of United States Marine Corps. Grant appeared in numerous films and television shows. Grant played Grey Cloud, in a 1993 episode of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. He played the Gatekeeper in the 1999 film, Purgatory. In 2013, he had a role in the film The Lone Ranger and in the television series Breaking Bad. From 2012, Grant was a member of the American Indian Advisory Board at the San Diego International Film Festival. In 2018, his album "Don't Let the Drums Go Silent" won the Record of the Year from Native American Music Awards. On July 27, 2021, Grant died in his sleep from natural causes.

Joseph Hill (72) born on May 19, 1949, in Dallas, Texas. He attended Woodrow Wilson High School where he played the cello. Hill began singing for money with his brother Rocky at the age of 8. After Rocky formed a band with a drummer, he took up bass at the age of 13. Hill, his brother, and future fellow ZZ Top member Frank Beard played in local Dallas bands the Warlocks, the Cellar Dwellers, and American Blues. In 1968, the band decided to leave the DallasFort Worth area and relocate to Houston. At this time, Rocky left the band and Dusty and Beard joined guitarist/vocalist Billy Gibbons and formed ZZ Top. In 2000,Hill was diagnosed with hepatitis C and so ZZ Top canceled their European tour. Hill resumed work in 2002.Hill was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of ZZ Top in 2004.In July 2021, Hill was forced to leave a ZZ Top tour after a hip injury. Hill died on July 27, 2021, in Houston, Texas.

Mike Howe (55) born on August 21, 1965, in Taylor, Michigan. Howe started his career in music as the frontman of Detroit-based Hellion. Then in 1986, Howe signed with Heretic. After appearing on the band's debut album The Breaking Point, he departed to join Metal Church in 1988, replacing original singer David Wayne. Howe stayed with Metal Church until they split in 1996. In 2015, he rejoined the band again when they reunited. During his two-decade time out of the limelight, Howe supported his family doing carpentry. Howe died on July 26, 2021, in Eureka, California.

Nathan Jordison (46) born Nathan Jonas Jordison on April 26,1975, in Des Moines, Iowa. Jordison was given his first drum kit by his parents when he was eight years old. He grew up playing music and eventually joined a band called The Pale Ones in 1995, which would eventually become Slipknot. He was a member from their formation in until his departure in late 2013. While no official statement was made, sources say he was fired from the band; Jordison said he did not leave voluntarily. Jordison formed and found success with other bands, including Murderdolls, and later performed with other well-known acts like Metallica, Korn, and Rob Zombie. In January 2018, Jordison talked about suffering from acute transverse myelitis with symptoms starting in 2010. The neurological disease had temporarily cost him the use of his legs and caused him to be unable to play the drums before rehabilitation. He recovered with the aid of medical help and intensive work in the gym. Jordison died on July 26, 2021.

Ray McBride (69) born in 1952 in Galway, Ireland. McBride was educated at Claddagh National School and St Mary's College. He trained as an Irish dancer and won several All-Ireland medals. It was during his secondary schooling that McBride developed an interest in athletics and was awarded a scholarship to East Tennessee State University. While in Tennessee, McBride studied speech and drama and first became interested in acting. His first major part was the lead in The Playboy of the Western World in the Barton Theatre, in Avondale, Virginia. . McBride returned to Galway in 1978 and joined the new Druid Theatre Company. Over the following 20 years, he had a career in theatre, film, and television. McBride's career was severely curtailed when he was diagnosed with a cancer that affected his speech and balance in 1999. In recent times, McBride had been confined to a wheelchair and was unable to leave home without assistance. He died on July 27, 2021, due to complications from Covid-19.

Orestes Ojeda (65) born on January 3,1956,in Cagayan Valle, Philippines. Ojeda was 17 years old when he was persuaded to join show business. He was a graduate of the Philippine School of Business Administration. He was varsity basketball player in his college years, and he was bound to become a professional basketball player. However, he decided to pursue acting. In 1973, he starred in his first film,Zoom, Zoom, Superman!, as a supporting actor. He appeared in more than 115 movies and television shows in his 42-year career. Ojeda died on July 27, 2021, from pancreatic cancer.

Jay Pickett (60) born on February 10, 1961, in Spokane, WA. Pickett grew up in Caldwell, Idaho. By his college years, he was focused on becoming an actor. He received his BA degree in acting from Boise State University and his MFA in acting from UCLA with a focus in theater at both institutions. Pickett was a veteran of daytime soap operas, having appeared on Days of Our Lives as Dr. Chip Larkin, on the General Hospital spinoff Port Charles as Frank Scanlon, and as Detective David Harper on General Hospital.His career also included guest spots on primetime series like China Beach, Dexter, Desperate Housewives, The Mentalist, NCIS: Los Angeles and Queen Sugar. As an expert Western rider and roper, he later went on to write, produce, and star in the Western films Soda Springs and Treasure Valley, along with the short Snake River Rising, which he also directed. He was also the co-executive producer on the TV movies 16 and Missing andA Woman Deceived. Pickett died unexpectedly on July 30, 2021, while preparing to film a scene for the film Treasure Valley. A heart attack is suspected.

Jean Stevenin (77) born on April 23,1944, in Lons-le-Saunier, France. His career began in 1968 as a supporting actor in French cinema. In 1978, the actor went behind the camera for the very first time and directed his first feature film. At the rate of three films per year, Stevenin became a key figure in French cinema. In his 50 years of a long career, he acted in nearly 200 films, TV films, series and short films and directed three feature films. His work as a filmmaker earned him a Jean-Vigo Honorary Award, this award distinguishes independence of mind, quality, and originality. Stevenin died on July 27, 2021, at a hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.

David Von Ancken (56) born on December 5, 1964, in New York City. His career started with the 2001 short film Bullet in the Brain, which Von Ancken wrote and directed. It won Universal/Hypnotic Films’ Million Dollar Film Festival, as well as numerous other festival awards.He directed one feature film, which is the 2006 western Seraphim Falls.Von Ancken directed over 36 TV series such as The Shield, Person of Interest, The Following, Intelligence, House of Lies, MacGyver, The Crossing, and The Purge. He died on July 26, 2021, in California following a two-year battle with stomach cancer.

Thea White (81) born on June 16, 1940, in Newark, New Jersey. White moved to North Caldwell, New Jersey, with her parents when she was 12.She graduated high school and studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and the American Theater Wing. White began her career on several stage productions in Dallas, Texas. After marrying, White retired from acting and became a librarian at the Livingston Public Library in Livingston, New Jersey. She returned to acting when she was offered the role of Muriel Bagge on Courage the Cowardly Dog. She voiced Muriel during the entire series run, and reprised her role in the 2006 video game Cartoon Network Racing, the 2014 short The Fog of Courage, and in 2021 Straight Outta Nowhere: Scooby-Doo! Meets Courage the Cowardly Dog. White died July 30, 2021, from an infection at the Cleveland Clinic. She had undergone two liver cancer-related surgeries in the days leading up to her death.

Politics and Military

Carl Levin (87) born on June 28, 1934, in Detroit, Michigan. Levin graduated from Detroit Central High School in 1952 and attended Swarthmore College. He graduated with his Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1956. During his student summers he worked as a taxi driver and on an auto factory line. He then attended Harvard Law School, where he earned his Doctor of Law Degree in 1959. In 1978, Levin ran for the United States Senate, defeating Republican incumbent Robert P. Griffin. Levin was re-elected in 1984, 1990, 1996, 2002, and 2008. Levin became Michigan's senior senator in 1995, and he was the longest-serving senator in the state's history. At the time of his retirement, Levin was the fourth longest-serving incumbent in the U.S. Senate. He released his memoir, Getting to the Heart of the Matter: My 36 Years in the Senate in March 2021. In March 2021, Levin disclosed that he had lung cancer. He died at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit on July 29, 2021.

Society and Religion

Rudi Leavor (95) born on May 31,1926, in Berlin, Germany. A turning point for Leavor’s family came in 1936 when two Gestapo officers arrived at their home as Leavor left for school. They took Leavor’s parents to the Lodge where they were members and, along with other members, ordered them to stand silently for hours. As Treasurer of the Lodge, Leavor’s mother was forced to hand over any money, after which they were released. The incident caused his parents to decide they had to leave Germany. To get the family visas, his father visited England five times and his mother visited three times. His father was able to secure permission to work as a dentist, and the family moved to Bradford on November 10, 1938. Leavor attended Bradford Grammar School, and later Leeds University where he trained to become a dentist. He later had a successful dental practice based in West Yorkshire, England. Other German Jewish refugees came to Bradford in 1939 as part of a Kindertransport, where the United Kingdom took in nearly 10,000 predominantly Jewish children from Nazi Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and the Free City of Danzig. Leavor became President and Chairman of the Bradford Reform Synagogue in 1975, and represented the Bradford Jewish community at civic events. In 2017, Leavor was awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen's Birthday's Honours List, for his work with the local Jewish community and in interfaith and community relations. He died on July 27, 2021.

Natty Petrosino (83) born in July of 1939 in Bahía Blanca, Argentina. She became a successful fashion model in the 1960s and acted in a number of minor roles in Argentine cinema and television. She studied at the University of Buenos Aires, enrolling at the schools of Medicine and Sociology, and obtaining a degree in the latter discipline. At the age of 28, an operation resulted in her being declared clinically dead, leading to a mystical experience from which she awakened resolved to devote herself to the poor, leaving her upscale life and donating her estate to assisting the indigent. She established the Saint Francis of Assisi Home for Pilgrims in 1978, extending the reach of her efforts to the mentally handicapped and homeless AIDS victims, and growing to serve an average of 7,000 hot meals daily. Petrosino became also known for her animal rights advocacy, keeping scores of abandoned dogs and cats. Petrosino was chosen as "International Woman of the Year" by the Autonomous Region of Valle in 2006, and was named an Illustrious Citizen of Bahía Blanca in December of that year. Petrosino was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize on March 2, 2009. Petrosino died on July 26, 2021 from Covid-19.


George De Peana (85) born on July 1, 1936, in Georgetown, Guyana. De Peana represented his country at the 1960 Summer Olympics. De Peana finished fourth in the 1959 Pan American Games 10000 meters and fifth in the 1959 Pan American Games 5000 meters. In 1957, he jointly won the Guyanese Sportsman of the Year award. De Peana migrated from Guyana in the 1970s to Jamaica where his first job there was as a Worker Education Officer with the International Labor Organization (ILO) which entailed developing and implementing education programs for Caribbean Labor Leaders (CLL). He then moved to Trinidad and Tobago where he continued to work with the ILO as a member of its Caribbean team; he was a Senior Worker Specialist. During this period, he acted as Director of the Caribbean office. When the CCL was experiencing financial constraints in 2002, De Peana mortgaged his house in Trinidad to help offset expenses. De Peana died on July 26, 2021.

Sardarni Kaur (105) born on March 1, 1916, in India. She did not start to pursue athletics until she was 93. In 2016, she became the fastest centenarian at a competition in the American Masters Games. In anticipation of the 2017 World Masters Games, Kaur trained regularly at Punjabi University, in hopes of improving upon her own world record which she set over the years. Her coach was her own son Gurdev Singh, who was 79 years old at that time. In the 2017 games held in Auckland, New Zealand, she completed the 100 meter sprint in 74 seconds. In 2019, she competed in Poland winning four events in her category—shot put, 60m sprint, 200m, and the javelin. She completed the 60m race in 36 seconds. In 2019, Kaur, at the age of 103, won gold in the 200 meter dash at 3:01.61 and shot put at 2.21 m at the December 2019 Asian Masters Championship in Malaysia. On March 8, 2020,International Women's Day, she was awarded the Nari Shakti Puraskar Award. This Award is presented to an individual woman that works toward the cause of women empowerment. The award was presented at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Presidential Palace of India in New Delhi, by the President of India. Kaur died on July 31,2021, from gallbladder cancer.

José Nieves (58) born on March 19, 1963, in Mexico City, Mexico. Nieves was a member of the Alvarado wrestling family. The Alvarado wrestling family spans three generations starting with Shadito Cruz followed by his 6 sons and a third-generation who have begun wrestling in recent years. Nieves is best known under the ring name Brazo de Plata, a name he had used since his debut in 1977. He is also well known for his appearances in WWE as Super Porky. Nieves has 5 children who have all followed in his footsteps—his sons, José working as Psycho Clown, and his two daughters Danah and Gloria Alvarado Nava, who wrestle as Goya Kong. Nieves died on July 26, 2021, the cause of death was a heart attack. Nieves’s girlfriend called his son Psycho Clown to tell him he was not breathing. Psycho Clown arrived at his father's house and performed CPR to no success.

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