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updated: 2/2/2013 5:02 PM

Notable deaths last week

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  • Democratic Mayoral runoff candidates Mario Cuomo, left, and Edward Koch talk to reporters in New York during the taping of their debate for NBC-TV's "Positively Black" show.

    Democratic Mayoral runoff candidates Mario Cuomo, left, and Edward Koch talk to reporters in New York during the taping of their debate for NBC-TV's "Positively Black" show.
    Associated Press/Sept. 16, 1977

  • FA classic Etch A Sketch

    FA classic Etch A Sketch

From Daily Herald wire reports

Earl Williams, the 1971 National League Rookie of the Year, has died. He was 64.

Williams earned the 1971 rookie award after hitting 33 home runs with Atlanta. He hit 28 homers the next year, then was traded to Baltimore after the 1972 season in a multiplayer deal that sent Davey Johnson to the Braves.

Andre Cassagnes, the inventor of the Etch A Sketch toy that generations of children drew on, shook up and started over, has died in France, the toy's maker said.

Cassagnes died Jan. 16 in a Paris suburb at age 86, said the Ohio Art Co., based in Bryan in northwest Ohio.

Then an electrical technician, Cassagnes came upon the Etch A Sketch idea in the late 1950s when he peeled a translucent decal from a light switch plate and found pencil mark images transferred to the opposite face, the Toy Industry Association said.

Thousands have offered their condolences via Facebook over the death of Barney, President George W. Bush's beloved black Scottish terrier.

Bush and his wife, Laura, released a statement Friday saying their famous 12-year-old pooch had died after suffering from lymphatic cancer.

In 1977, New York City was deep into its worst fiscal crisis ever. Riots erupted that summer during a blackout. And a fire in one of the most blighted, bombed-out parts of town that fall led Howard Cosell to announce during a World Series game at Yankee Stadium: "Ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is burning."

Into that mess stepped Ed Koch as the city's newly elected mayor. Within a few years, New York was back on firmer financial footing and the fears that the city was sliding into anarchy had given way to a new sense of energy and optimism.

Koch didn't do it all by himself, but is credited with hectoring, cajoling and noodging the city to make the hard decisions on its road back.

"The whole city was crumbling, and then we elected Ed Koch," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday during a ceremony marking the centennial of Grand Central Terminal, a once-crumbling edifice Koch helped save from the wrecking ball.

The brash, opinionated Koch, who led the city in the late 1970s and `80s with a combination of determination, chutzpah and humor, died Friday of congestive heart failure at age 88.

Melanie Welte, a journalist at The Associated Press who for more than two decades wrote, edited and often directed the cooperative's breaking news report in Iowa, has died. She was 53.

Her husband, David Welte, said she died after contracting pneumonia while awaiting a liver transplant.

Patty Andrews never served in the military, but she and her singing sisters certainly supported the troops.

During World War II, they hawked war bonds, entertained soldiers overseas and boosted morale on the home-front with tunes like "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B" and "I Can Dream, Can't I?"

Andrews, the last surviving member of the singing Andrews Sisters trio, has died at 94. She was the Andrews in the middle, the lead singer and chief clown, whose raucous jitterbugging delighted American servicemen abroad and audiences at home.

All three sisters were born and raised in the Minneapolis area.

Pianist and vocalist Ann Rabson, co-founder of the trio Saffire--The Uppity Blues Women, has died after a battle with cancer. She was 67.

A barrelhouse blues pianist, Rabson was also a songwriter and guitarist. She recorded eight albums with Saffire and one solo CD for Alligator Records. She made three solo albums for other labels.

Ceija Stojka survived three Nazi death camps and then found her life's work: Raising awareness of the Nazis' persecution of Roma -- also known as Gypsies -- in her art and her writings.

Stojka carried the horrors of those camps with her until she was in her 50s, speaking out in words and pictures only decades after she was liberated from the Bergen-Belsen camp at age 12.

Her death Monday at age 79 in a Vienna hospital was announced by her publisher.

Chuck Hinton, the last player for the Washington Senators to hit .300, and who later became the head baseball coach at Howard University and the founder of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, died Jan. 27 at his home in the District of Columbia. He was 78.

Borislav Milosevic, the brother of late Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic, has died aged 79.

Stefan Kudelski, the inventor of the first portable professional sound recorder, has died. He was 84.

Kudelski created the Nagra in 1951, and the invention was used by the radio, movie and television industries.

Kansas City civic leader Adele C. Hall, the wife of Hallmark Cards Chairman Donald J. Hall, has died. She was 81.

Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner, frontman for the hit-making funk music band the Ohio Players, has died. He was 69.

Xu Liangying, a renowned Chinese rights advocate, physicist and translator of Einstein, has died in Beijing. Xu was 92.

Zimbabwe's prominent political analyst Professor John Makumbe, an albino who also campaigned against prejudice toward the skin pigmentation condition, has died after a heart attack, colleagues say. He was 63.

Stanley Karnow, the award-winning author and journalist who wrote a definitive book about the Vietnam War, worked on an accompanying documentary and later won a Pulitzer for a history of the Philippines, died Sunday morning. He was 87.

A Paris-based correspondent for Time magazine early in his career, Karnow was assigned in 1958 to Hong Kong as bureau chief for Southeast Asia and soon arrived in Vietnam, when the American presence was still confined to a small core of advisers. In 1959, Karnow reported on the first two American deaths in Vietnam, not suspecting that tens of thousands would follow.

Into the 1970s, Karnow would cover the war off and on for Time, The Washington Post and other publications and then draw upon his experience for an epic PBS documentary and for the million-selling "Vietnam: A History," published in 1983 and widely regarded as an essential, even-handed summation.

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