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updated: 11/17/2012 4:39 PM

Notable deaths last week

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  • Hindu nationalist party chief Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray.

    Hindu nationalist party chief Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray.
    Associated Press/April 10, 2002

  • Longtime broadcaster Marvin "Sonny" Eliot.

    Longtime broadcaster Marvin "Sonny" Eliot.

  • Helen Milliken stands next to her husband, Gov. William Milliken. She evolved into an outspoken advocate of women's rights, the environment and other issues close to her heart during her record 14 years as Michigan's first lady.

    Helen Milliken stands next to her husband, Gov. William Milliken. She evolved into an outspoken advocate of women's rights, the environment and other issues close to her heart during her record 14 years as Michigan's first lady.


Bal Thackeray, a Hindu extremist leader linked to waves of mob violence against Muslims and migrant workers in India, has died at 86.

Thackeray, a one-time cartoonist, formed the Shiv Sena -- which means Shiva's Army -- in 1966 in Maharashtra. The political party's main aim has been to keep people who are not from Maharashtra out of the state and stem the spread of Islam and western values.

Throughout his political career Thackeray was a powerful, rabble-rousing orator who routinely sanctioned the use of violence to propagate his political views. He was arrested at least twice for his inflammatory speeches and writing.

More recently his followers campaigned against the celebration of Valentine's Day in several Indian cities. They attacked shops and restaurants that allowed young couples to mark the day.

William Turnbull, a highly regarded British sculptor who drew inspiration from primitive forms, has died at age 90.

Turnbull's works were frequently extremely simple shapes, suggesting masks or totem poles. He was exhibited at the prestigious Hayward, Serpentine and Tate galleries in London and the Berggruen Gallery in San Francisco.

Helen Wallbank Milliken, Michigan's longest-serving first lady and a staunch supporter of women's rights and environment issues, has died. She was 89.

Early in her husband's political career, Milliken dutifully played the role of unassuming, supportive spouse. But she evolved into an outspoken advocate of issues close to her heart during a record 14 years as first lady.

She vigorously campaigned for abortion rights and the ill-fated Equal Rights Amendment. She also drew the wrath of the outdoor advertising industry when she criticized highway billboards shortly after her husband, Republican William Milliken, became governor in 1969.

Will Barnet, an artist who during an acclaimed eight-decade career depicted the Great Depression's victims in gritty prints, sojourned in abstraction and finally returned to a haunted and stylized realism for which he is best known, died in New York City at age 101.

In February, President Barack Obama awarded Barnet the National Medal of Arts. Barnet is best known for perspective-flattened scenes of domestic life, which he produced in oils and serigraphs starting in the 1960s.

Bernard Lansky, the Memphis retailer who helped a young Elvis Presley establish his signature clothing style of pegged pants, two-toned shoes and other flashy duds in the 1950s, has died. He was 85.

"I put his first suit on him and his last suit on him," Lansky was fond of saying.

The Lansky brothers often opened their store at night so Presley could avoid drawing crowds and took outfits to Graceland for him to check out.

Entertainers like B.B. King, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, ZZ Top, Kiss, and Hootie and the Blowfish also dropped by to shop.

Lawrence S. Pidgeon, a former Goldman, Sachs & Co. analyst who went to work for Warren Buffett's stock picker before founding his own investment firm, CBM Capital Inc., has died. He was 49.

He died on Nov. 13 at his Manhattan apartment, according to his father Harold Pidgeon. The cause was lung cancer, which was diagnosed in June.

"He never smoked or drank and did yoga and golf," his father said in an interview. "He treated his body like a temple."

Portrait artist Marshall Bouldin III, whose paintings have been displayed in the White House and in more than 400 public and private collections throughout the country, has died. He was 89.

Bouldin was once cited by The New York Times as "the South's foremost portrait painter."

Walt Zeboski, who chronicled Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign and a succession of California governors as a photographer for The Associated Press, has died. He was 83.

Mary Laver, wife of tennis great Rod Laver, has died after a long illness. She was 84.

David Durk, a New York City detective who helped expose widespread police corruption in the 1960s and '70s, has died at age 77.

Durk teamed up with fellow officer Frank Serpico to fight the so-called blue wall of silence that protected police misconduct.

Jack Gilbert, a prize-winning poet known for his clear and subtle verse, has died at age 87.

His many honors included the Yale Younger Poets prize for his 1962 debut, "Views of Jeopardy," and a National Book Critics Circle award for "Refusing Heaven." The Pittsburgh native also wrote the novels "My Mother Taught Me" and "Forever Ecstasy."

Forrest "Dew Drop" Morgan, a national bobsled champion and former manager of the U.S. Olympic team, has diedat age 90.

Sir Rex Hunt, who was governor of the Falkland Islands at the time of the Argentine invasion in 1982, has died. He was 86.

William Sword Jr., managing director of the Princeton, New Jersey-based investment bank founded by his father, was struck and killed on Oct. 29 by a tree toppled by the storm that swept across the Northeast. He was 61.

On the evening of Nov. 21, 1951, James L. Stone looked out from his hilltop outpost in Korea and sensed what was coming. He was an Army lieutenant whose eight months of combat experience were enough to alert him to the imminence of an enemy assault.

The attack began at 9 p.m. with artillery and mortar fire and raged through the night as hundreds of Chinese stormed the hill. By the next day, half the men in the platoon were dead and their 28-year-old lieutenant had been shot three times.

But the lieutenant survived to spend nearly 30 years in the Army, rising to the rank of colonel and receiving the nation's highest military decoration for valor.

Col. Stone died Nov. 9 in Arlington, Texas, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society announced. He was 89.

After the battle, Col. Stone was taken prisoner and held for 22 months, learning only after his release that he had been awarded the medal.

Television producer and executive Henry Colman -- whose credits include "The Love Boat," "Hawaii Five-O" and "Green Acres" -- has died at age 89.

Colman's career dates to early commercial television, where he started as production coordinator on the musical show "Easy Does It." In 1951, Colman became assistant to the director for "Kraft Television Theatre" and later worked on such series as "Robert Montgomery Presents" and "Colgate Comedy Hour."

Valerie Eliot, the widow of T.S. Eliot and zealous guardian of the poet's literary legacy for almost half a century, has died. She was 86.

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