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Life In Legacy - Week ending February 28, 2009

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Paul Harvey, talk-radio pioneerPablo Josue Amador, Miami opera singerDr. Mark H. Beers, geriatricianMaria Antonietta Berlusconi Beretta, sister of Italian premierOde Burrell Jr., '60s football player with Houston OilersIan Carr, Scottish trumpeterTom Cole, playwright and screenwriterPenelope and Peter Duff, terminally ill British couple who chose suicidePhilip José Farmer, celebrated sci-fi writerSverre Fehn, Norwegian architectEris M. Field, LA philanthropistArthur Hemingway, former USC fullbackBill Holm, Minnesota authorLeon Howell, last editor of religious journalAntoinette K-Doe, widow of New Orleans musicianJohnny ('Red') Kerr, former Chicago Bulls coachCapt. Molly Kool, first North American woman sea captainAlan Landers, former Winston ad modelPearl Lang, dancer and choreographerRobert E. A. Lee, Lutheran Church head of communications'Uncle' Al Lewis, host of long-running Cincinnati children's TV showAnn Bryan Mariano, Vietnam War journalistNoel Martin, graphic designerRhena Schweitzer Miller, daughter of Albert SchweitzerRyan Mouritsen, indie TV writerPaul Joseph, Cardinal Pham Dinh TungDorothea Holt Redmond, film production designerWendy Richard, British TV actressHarrison Richardson, former Maine state legislatorJerome Sacharski, helped to popularize T-ball as organized youth sportNell Soto, former California state senatorElmer Spencer Jr., Maryland child killerEssie Spilborghs, mother of Denver Rockies player Ryan SpilborghsTom Sturdivant, former NY Yankees pitcherClarence Swensen, former Munchkin actorWilbert A. Tatum, retired publisher of Harlem newspaperDavid G. Taylor, banking executiveNorm ('Stormin' Norman') van Lier, '70s Chicago Bulls star Martin Eli Weil, LA restoration architectHoward Zieff, film and TV commercial director

Art and Literature

Philip José Farmer (91) one of the most celebrated science fiction, fantasy, and short-story writers of the '60s and '70s. Farmer wrote more than 75 novels, including the Riverworld and World of Tiers series. He won the Hugo Award three times and the Grand Master Award for Science Fiction in 2001. He died in his sleep in Peoria, Illinois on February 25, 2009.

Sverre Fehn (84) Norwegian architect whose style of blending modern forms with Scandinavian traditions won him the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize. Most of Fehn's works are in Norway, including the white concrete Glacier Museum (shown above), hailed as a landmark in contemporary architecture. Completed in 1991, it stands on a plain carved by Norway's Jostedal Glacier at Fjaerland Fjord. Fehn died in Oslo, Norway on February 23, 2009.

Bill Holm (65) poet and essayist who wrote about a dozen books and traveled the world. Holm was an English professor at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, where he taught for 27 years before retiring in 2007. He died in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on February 25, 2009.

Noel Martin (86) nationally known graphic designer, one of the first to modernize art museum catalogues. Martin also simplified the cluttered look of industrial trade catalogues. He died of leukemia in Mason, Ohio on February 23, 2009.

Business and Science

Dr. Mark H. Beers (54) geriatrician whose research found that some widely used prescription drugs led to harmful and unnecessary side effects in the elderly. In the '80s, Beers and others investigated the use of mood-altering drugs among geriatric patients and concluded that psychoactive medications were probably being too freely prescribed. A diabetic since childhood, Beers had parts of both legs amputated in the '90s. He died of complications from diabetes, in Miami Beach, Florida on February 28, 2009.

Peter and Penelope Duff (80, 70) millionaire couple from Bath, England who became only the second British married couple to commit suicide together at the controversial Dignitas clinic in Switzerland. Retired businessman Peter Duff and wife Penelope were both suffering from terminal cancer when they committed suicide at the voluntary euthanasia clinic in Zürich, Switzerland on February 27, 2009.

Capt. Molly Kool (93) first woman in North America to be a licensed ship's captain who in the '30s and '40s hauled cargo up and down Canada's turbulent Bay of Fundy. Kool qualified as a captain at age 23 and spent the next five years in command of the Jean K, her father's 70-foot engine- and sail-driven scow. She died two days after her 93rd birthday, in Bangor, Maine on February 25, 2009.

Alan Landers (68) handsome model who posed for Winston cigarette ads and later sued the tobacco industry over his health claims. Landers was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1987 and had two cancerous lobes removed from his right lung; in 1993, doctors found cancer in his left lung. An emphysema diagnosis followed, and in 1996 he began having chest pains at a Senate hearing on smoking. He then underwent a double bypass to repair two blocked arteries. He died while undergoing treatment for throat cancer, in Lauderhill, Florida on February 27, 2009.

Rhena Schweitzer Miller (90) only child of Nobel Prize-winning humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer, who carried on her father's medical missionary work in the West African country of Gabon after his death in 1965. Miller died in Pacific Palisades, California on February 22, 2009.

David G. Taylor (79) banking executive who took over at Continental Illinois Bank in 1984 as the largest financial institution between the East and West coasts teetered on the brink of collapse. Continental weathered the crisis and in 1994 was acquired by BankAmerica. Taylor died of complications from Parkinson's disease in Rancho Mirage, California on February 23, 2009.

Martin Eli Weil (68) leading restoration architect and a past president of the Los Angeles Conservancy, involved in the restoration of landmark structures such as the El Capitan Theatre and the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Storer House in the Hollywood Hills. Weil died of a presumed heart attack; his body was found by a neighbor at his home in the Harvard Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, California on February 24, 2009.

News and Entertainment

Pablo Josue Amador (54) pianist and opera singer who sang tenor with the Greater Miami Opera chorus (now the Florida Grand Opera) and performed as a soloist at his church. Amador later became a musical director, arranger, and vocalist for Los Galileos, a six-member ensemble that had performed in dozens of churches around south Florida since 2001, and had recently taught piano to students of all ages at his family's upscale home. He shot and killed his wife Maria (45), their two daughters Priscilla (14) and Rosa (13), then himself in a murder-suicide at their home in South Miami, Florida on February 25, 2009.

Ian Carr (75) Scottish-born trumpeter, an early practitioner of jazz-rock fusion. Carr, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease, died of complications after pneumonia and a series of ministrokes, in London, England on February 25, 2009.

Tom Cole (75) playwright and screenwriter whose 1985 film Smooth Talk won the grand jury prize at what is now the Sundance Film Festival and helped to launch a teenage Laura Dern's career. Based on the Joyce Carol Oates story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?," the film was about the sexual awakening of Dern's conflicted teen, seduced by a stranger, played by Treat Williams. Cole died of multiple myeloma in Roxbury, Connecticut on February 23, 2009.

Paul Harvey (90) news commentator and talk-radio pioneer whose distinctive style made him one of the nation's most familiar voices. Known for his resonant voice and trademark delivery of "The Rest of the Story," Harvey had been heard nationally since 1951, when he began his News & Comment for ABC Radio Networks. He became a heartland icon, delivering news and commentary with a distinctive Midwestern flavor. He was credited with inventing or popularizing terms such as "skyjacker," "Reaganomics," and "guesstimate." In 2005, Harvey was one of 14 notables chosen as recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His death came less than a year after that of his wife and longtime producer, Lynne Harvey. Paul Harvey died in Phoenix, Arizona on February 28, 2009.

Antoinette K-Doe (66) widow of New Orleans musician Ernie K-Doe (d. 2001), self-styled "Emperor of the Universe" known for his 1961 No. 1 hit "Mother-in-Law." In 2005, Hurricane Katrina flooded the Ernie K-Doe Mother-in-Law Lounge, a club founded by the musician, but that didn't stop Antoinette K-Doe, who became a provider after the storm, cooking up pots of red beans and rice for anyone passing by the lounge. She died on Mardi Gras, a day she loved, in New Orleans, Louisiana on February 24, 2009.

Pearl Lang (87) dancer, a major exponent of Martha Graham's choreography who as a choreographer and teacher founded a distinguished company of her own, the Pearl Lang Dance Theater. The wife of esteemed character actor Joseph Wiseman, Lang died of a heart attack while recuperating from hip surgery in New York City on February 24, 2009.

Al Lewis (84) host known as "Uncle Al" on a long-running Cincinnati children's TV show that aired nationally on ABC affiliates on Saturday mornings over two years in the late '50s. A Cincinnati TV icon, Lewis produced and starred in The Uncle Al Show, dressed in a straw hat and a bow tie and with an ever-present accordion. The show, which aired locally for 35 years (1950-85), combined music, education, drawing, and exercise activities for children. Lewis died in Hillsboro, Ohio on February 28, 2009.

Ann Bryan Mariano (76) journalist who covered the Vietnam War for Overseas Weekly and successfully fought Pentagon efforts to bar the pro-GI, antiestablishment newspaper to American troops in the war zone. Mariano died of complications from Alzheimer's disease in Belmont, Massachusetts on February 25, 2009.

Ryan Mouritsen (33) TV writer and producer of several pilot episodes of a handful of independent TV series, including Reba, Adopted, Libertyville, Roommates, and Rita Rocks. Mouritsen also made a cameo appearance in the black comedy crime thriller Clay Pigeons (1998). An experienced pilot, he was killed in an ultralight airplane accident in Torrance, California on February 27, 2009.

Dorothea Holt Redmond (98) illustrator and production designer who helped to visualize several Alfred Hitchcock films and worked with Walt Disney to design a private apartment in Disneyland's New Orleans Square. Redmond died of congestive heart failure in Hollywood Hills, California on February 27, 2009.

Wendy Richard (65) British actress whose 40-year TV career included roles as a sexy cockney shop assistant on the sitcom Are You Being Served? and a working-class matriarch on the soap opera EastEnders, both of which have aired in the US. Richard was diagnosed with breast cancer in the mid-'90s and again in 2002. In 2008 she learned that the disease had returned and spread. She died in London, England on February 26, 2009.

Clarence Swensen (91) little person who played a Munchkin soldier in the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz. Swensen regularly attended Wizard of Oz festivals and was among seven surviving Munchkin actors who were present when the group received a collective star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007. He had been in poor health since suffering a stroke in 2005 and died in Pflugerville, Texas on February 25, 2009.

Wilbert A. Tatum (76) retired publisher of the New York Amsterdam News, the Harlem-based newspaper that has covered the city's black community for a century. A diabetic, Tatum died of multiple organ failure in Dubrovnik, Croatia while on vacation there with his wife, on February 25, 2009.

Howard Zieff (81) film and TV commercial director whose movies included Private Benjamin and My Girl. Zieff was also credited with helping to make American TV commercials more entertaining in the '60s with witty vignettes, such as his "Spicy Meatballs" spot for Alka-Seltzer. He died of complications from Parkinson's disease in Los Angeles, California on February 22, 2009.

Politics and Military

Maria Antonietta Berlusconi Beretta (65) younger sister of Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's longest-serving premier since World War II. Beretta largely stayed away from the limelight, but Italian media remembered her as a patron of the arts and founder of a ballet school in Milan, Italy, where she died on February 26, 2009.

Harrison Richardson (79) Portland (Me.) trial lawyer, former state legislator, and one-time candidate for governor who played a key role in the enactment of both the state income tax and landmark environmental legislation. Richardson suffered a debilitating stroke last summer and died in Gorham, Maine on February 26, 2009.

Nell Soto (82) former California state senator who worked in citrus groves as a Depression-era child and was among the first Latino officials to fight for environmental protection. Soto was one of the first Latino women elected to statewide office from the so-called Inland Empire in southeast California. Retired from public office in 2008 after months of failing health, she died of complications from a December stroke, in La Verne, California on February 26, 2009.

Society and Religion

Eris M. Field (76) philanthropist, a cofounder of the Los Angeles Music Center and a significant contributor to Walt Disney Concert Hall. Field also launched the Grand Avenue Pedestrian Improvement Project. She had been in failing health with diabetes and cancer in recent years and died of lung cancer in Beverly Hills, California on February 28, 2009.

Leon Howell (73) author and essayist, last editor (1985-93) of the influential liberal-tilting journal Christianity & Crisis. Howell had suffered for years from a viral spinal infection that was never fully diagnosed. He died in Silver Spring, Maryland on February 26, 2009.

Robert E. A. Lee (87) longtime head of communications for the Lutheran Church (1969-88) who helped to bring to the screen two highly regarded but controversial films—A Time for Burning, a landmark documentary about American race relations, and Martin Luther, a biography of the father of Protestantism that was banned in several places. Lee died of cancer in Baldwin, New York on February 27, 2009.

Cardinal Paul Joseph Pham Dinh Tung (89) retired archbishop of Hanoi, Vietnam. Pham's death came days after the Vatican and Vietnam said they now have a good basis for establishing diplomatic relations. Tensions have existed for years; Communist authorities closely monitor religious groups and insist on approving most church appointments. Pham had been under virtual house arrest while archbishop (1994-2005). He died in Hanoi, Vietnam on February 22, 2009.

Elmer Spencer Jr. (53) Maryland registered sex offender and child killer convicted in 2002 for the sexual assault, beating, and choking death of 9-year-old Christopher Ausherman in the dugout of an empty baseball field in November 2000. Despite a history of sex crimes, the mentally retarded suspect had been released from prison less than a week before the murder after serving about three years of a 10-year sentence. Spencer died at the Western Correctional Institution near Cumberland, Maryland on February 26, 2009.


Ode Burrell Jr. (69) football player at Mississippi State and with the American Football League's Houston Oilers in the '60s. Burrell played six seasons with the Oilers, including in the AFL All-Star Game in 1965. He finished his pro career in 1969 with 1,088 yards rushing and three touchdowns and 112 receptions for 1,379 yards and nine TDs. He coached high school and junior college football after his playing days. He suffered from complications of diabetes and died in Gautier, Mississippi on February 28, 2009.

Arthur Hemingway (48) former USC fullback paralyzed when he was hit by a car during football camp in his freshman season. Hemingway was walking on a sidewalk near the USC campus on Aug. 23, 1978 when he was struck by a stolen car driven by a 17-year-old fleeing police. He suffered severe head and internal injuries and a broken leg and spent four weeks in a coma. He underwent more than 20 operations, including brain surgery twice. He was left confined to a wheelchair and with slurred speech, but remained active, helping to coach San Diego-area football in the early '90s. He died in Oceanside, California on February 26, 2009.

Johnny ("Red") Kerr (76) Chicago Bulls' first head coach who won NBA Coach of the Year honors for leading the Bulls to the playoffs in the inaugural 1966-67 season. Kerr later spent more than 30 years as a broadcaster for the team. His death from prostate cancer was a double blow for the Bulls, after the death the same day of Norm Van Lier, one of the most popular players in Bulls history, in Chicago, Illinois on February 26, 2009.

Jerome Sacharski (93) former teacher and coach at Albion (Mich.) Public Schools (1951-80) who helped to popularize T-ball as an organized youth sport. T-ball helps youngsters to develop baseball skills; they hit balls placed on adjustable tees at home plate rather than pitched balls. The game's exact origin is unclear. Albion in 1956 became one of the nation's first communities in which T-ball was played as an organized sport. Sacharski died in Albion, Michigan, about 85 miles from Detroit, on February 27, 2009.

Essie Spilborghs (57) mother of drafted Major League baseball center outfield player Ryan Spilborghs. Essie Spilborghs suffered from rheumatoid arthritis and a debilitating lung ailment and had half a lung removed because of a dangerous microbacterial infection. She died in Denver, Colorado on February 27, 2009.

Tom Sturdivant (78) pitcher who took the New York Yankees to a victory in Game 4 of the 1956 World Series on the day before Don Larsen's perfect game. On Oct. 7 in the 1956 series, Sturdivant threw a complete game in a 6-2 win against the Brooklyn Dodgers to even the best-of-seven series at 2-2. He set the stage for Larsen's perfect game, the only one in World Series history. Sturdivant later pitched for Kansas City, Boston, Washington, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and the New York Mets. He died in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on February 28, 2009.

Norm van Lier (61) All-Star guard and standout defensive player for the Chicago Bulls in the '70s and later a sports broadcaster in the city. On the same day as the death of former Bulls coach Johnny Kerr, Van Lier was found dead at his home in Chicago, Illinois on February 26, 2009.

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