Culture

Obituaries

"Obituaries" Continued...

Issue: "Year in Review 2002," Dec. 28, 2002

April

John Robinson Pierce (April 2), 92, Bell Laboratories electrical engineer who coined the word transistor. He also played a key role in the development and launch of Telstar in 1962, the first active communications satellite.
John Agar (April 7), 81, Air Force sergeant who married Shirley Temple and became an actor; the couple appeared together in Fort Apache and Adventure in Baltimore. But alcoholism destroyed his marriage and ruined his acting career.
Annalee Davis Thorndike (April 7), 87, who made the hand-painted collectible dolls that bear her first name.
Dorothy Love Coates [born Dorothy McGriff] (April 9), 74, gospel singer and songwriter whose music was recorded by stars like Johnny Cash and Ray Charles. She was known for her rough, gravelly voice and her passionate performances.
Ivy Olson (April 7), 60, founder of Angel Networks Charities for hungry and homeless people in Hawaii and one of President Bush's 1992 "Thousand Points of Light." She was inspired to launch the charity after a stranger took her and her two sons into her home for Thanksgiving dinner. The story was dramatized in the 1994 pilot for the TV series Touched by an Angel.
Robert E. Rothenberg (April 10), 93, hospital surgery chief and medical author who during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II performed surgeries on casualties for nearly 60 hours without a break.
Roy Gustafson (April 12), 87, longtime associate evangelist with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Holy Lands tour guide.
Buck Baker (April 14), 83, one of NASCAR's greatest drivers, racing tutor, and winner of 46 Winston Cup races.
Staley Thomas McBrayer (April 14), 92, the newspaper publisher who invented the web offset press in 1954 and began moving the industry away from "hot type" and metal plates to printing from photographic images, slashing time and costs.
Rusty Burrell (April 15), 76, the bailiff in Judge Joseph Wapner's TV courtroom The People's Court. He was a real-life bailiff during a number of high-profile trials, including those of Charles Manson and Patty Hearst.
Byron White (April 15), 84, last surviving member of the Warren Court; he was considered a "swing" justice who typically voted with liberals on civil-rights cases (though he later opposed broad use of affirmative action as a remedy to past discrimination) and with conservatives on personal liberty and criminal justice issues. He dissented from the 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling.
Ruth Fertel (April 16), 75, who mortgaged her home on a hunch that she could run a restaurant and then watched it expand into the worldwide chain of Ruth's Chris Steak Houses.
Robert Urich (April 16), 55, Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the TV series Vega$ and Spenser: For Hire.
Walter Wurzburger (April 16), 82, a modern Orthodox rabbi, philosopher, teacher, and head of the Rabbinical Council of America.
Thor Heyerdahl (April 18), 87, Norwegian explorer, anthropologist, and author who tested his ideas about human migration by sailing in primitive vessels, including a 4,900-mile voyage across the Pacific on a raft named Kon-Tiki.
Del Sharbutt (April 26), 90, broadcast network announcer who became one of the most familiar voices on the air during the radio and early TV era. He was a spokesman for Campbell's soups, where he originated the familiar commercial, "Mmm-mm-good."
Ruth Handler (April 27), 85, co-founder of Mattel and creator of the Barbie doll. It debuted in 1959.
Aleksandr Lebed (April 28), 52, Russian provincial governor and general who in 1991 persuaded Boris Yeltsin to declare himself the military's supreme commander and rally the troops to thwart a coup attempt by hard-liners.

May

Peter Bauer (May 3), 86, Hungarian-born British economist who opposed foreign aid for poor countries.
Bruce Bassett (May 4), 66, Air Force engineer who developed the pressure suit used by pilots of the U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird U.S. spy planes.
Hugo Banzer (May 5), 75, president and former dictator who led Bolivia to democracy and helped wipe out cocaine production.
Otis Blackwell (May 6), 70, songwriter of hits made famous by Elvis ("Don't Be Cruel"), Jerry Lee Lewis ("Great Balls of Fire"), and James Taylor ("Handy Man").
Curtis Williams (May 6), 24, University of Washington football player who was permanently paralyzed during a game in October 2000.
Kevyn Aucoin (May 7), 40, master makeup artist whose clients included Cindy Crawford and Britney Spears.
Seattle Slew (May 7), 28, black thoroughbred that captured the 1977 Triple Crown.
Joe Bonanno (May 11), 97, Sicily-born Mafia don of one of New York's original five crime families.
Bill Peet (May 11), 87, Disney writer and illustrator (Dumbo) who wrote the screenplay for 101 Dalmatians and worked on Cinderella and Fantasia.
Dave Berg (May 16), 81, cartoonist who created Mad magazine's "The Lighter Side Of" comic strip that satirized aspects of American life for decades.
Joe Black (May 18), 78, the first African-American pitcher to win a World Series game (as a Brooklyn Dodgers hurler against the New York Yankees in 1952).
Walter Lord (May 19), 84, historian who penned the bestselling A Night to Remember, the definitive chronicle of the sinking of the Titanic and the basis for the 1997 film Titanic. He also wrote Day of Infamy, an account of the attack at Pearl Harbor.
Stephen Jay Gould (May 20), 60, revered Harvard paleontologist and science writer who argued that evolutionary change in the fossil record occurred suddenly rather than gradually.
Richard Mudd (May 21), 101, physician who was consumed with clearing the name of his grandfather, Dr. Samuel Mudd, who was convicted by a military court of conspiring in the assassination of President Lincoln. Dr. Mudd set John Wilkes Booth's broken leg after the murder.
Alexandru Todea (May 21), 89, Romanian priest and secretly consecrated bishop who became a symbol of Catholic resistance while spending more than 14 years in communist prisons.
Faye Dancer (May 22), 77, one of the greats of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League in the 1940s, known for her catching, hitting, and base stealing for the Minneapolis, Fort Wayne, and Peoria teams.
Paul Lindstrom (May 22), 62, educator, homeschooling pioneer, and patriotic pastor of the Church of Christian Liberty in Arlington Heights, Ill., for 38 years.
Sam Snead (May 23), 89, golfing's smooth-swing winner of seven major championships and a record 81 PGA tour events.
Mildred Benson (May 28), 96, author, under the name Carolyn Keene, of 23 of the first 30 Nancy Drew mystery novels.

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