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updated: 11/16/2013 5:15 PM

Notable deaths last week

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  • Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike McCormack claps his hands while shouting encouragement to his players during an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in the Kingdome in Seattle.

      Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike McCormack claps his hands while shouting encouragement to his players during an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in the Kingdome in Seattle.
    Associated Press/Dec. 13, 1982

  • NBC sideline reporter and former player Todd Christensen.

      NBC sideline reporter and former player Todd Christensen.
    Associated Press/Jan. 31, 1993

  • English composer Sir John Tavener receives a Lifetime Achievement Award.

      English composer Sir John Tavener receives a Lifetime Achievement Award.
    Associated Press/June 22, 2007

 
Daily Herald wire services

Hall of Fame offensive lineman Mike McCormack died Friday in Palm Desert, Calif. He was 83.

During his nearly 50 years in professional football, McCormack played, coached and held several executive positions, including president of the Carolina Panthers.

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McCormack spent 12 seasons with the Cleveland Browns, helping the franchise win NFL championships in 1954 and 1955. He played with Otto Graham and blocked for running back Jim Brown.

McCormack later coached the Philadelphia Eagles (1973-75), Baltimore Colts (1980-81) and Seattle Seahawks (1982). He served as president and general manager of the Seahawks.

A native of Chicago, McCormack made his mark in the NFL long before joining the Panthers in 1989.

USA Today named McCormack to its 75th anniversary all-NFL team, listing him as one of the best three tackles in league history.

William Weaver, one of the world's most honored and widely read translators who helped introduce English-language readers to the works of Umberto Eco, Italo Calvino and many other Italian writers, has died at age 90.

Raimondo D'Inzeo, an Italian equestrian rider who won an Olympic gold medal in 1960 and competed in eight consecutive games, has died. He was 88.

Former President Glafcos Clerides, who guided Cyprus into European Union membership and dedicated most of his 50 years in politics to trying to reunify the ethnically split island, has died. He was 94.

Alexander L. Morton, a Harvard-trained transportation economist who one day gave up his career for what he called a "joyous but chaotic" life of travel and adventure, died Oct. 12 at his home in Washington. He was 70.

At 42, Morton was well on pace in the ascension of his chosen career ladder. He had a doctorate in economics from Harvard, had taught at the Harvard Business School and was finishing a four-year assignment as director the office of policy and analysis at the Interstate Commerce Commission.

He then quit.

He had made enough money in real estate deals and investments to guarantee an independent income for himself. For his remaining 28 years, he was almost constantly on the move, visiting dozens of countries and often going off the expected paths from Western travelers.

On bicycle, he pedaled the length of the four main islands of Japan. He hiked in the Himalayan mountains, explored the game preserves of Africa, followed the headwaters of the Mekong River into Vietnam, climbed Mount Sinai at dawn and rode a train from Moscow to Beijing. On the spur of the moment, he once set out to climb Mont Blanc in the Alps, and he reached the summit wearing only sneakers as footgear.

With his penchant for poetry, Todd Christensen never fit the Raiders' renegade mold. But that didn't keep him from becoming one of the team's best all-time tight ends.

A five-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time Super Bowl winner, Christensen died from complications during liver transplant surgery Wednesday. He was 57.

Thomas Spackman, who led the Indiana Beach amusement park for decades, has died at the age of 100.

His father, Earl Spackman, founded what was then known as Ideal Beach along Lake Shafer near Monticello in 1926. Thomas Spackman became the park's CEO in 1945 and changed the name to Indiana Beach seven years later.

Numerous rides and other attractions were added during his time at the helm of the park, which became known for its infectious television and radio commercial jingle "There's more than corn in Indiana."

Indiana Beach was drawing about 750,000 visitors a year when the Spackman family sold it and two nearby campgrounds in 2008 to New York-based Morgan RV Resorts.

A New Mexico woman who sued so she could marry her longtime partner this summer in one of a cascade of same-sex weddings in the state has died.

Jennifer Martin Neuman-Roper, who lived in the community of Pojoaque near Santa Fe, had been suffering from terminal brain cancer and died on Friday at the age of 44, according to an obituary on DeVargas Funeral Home and Crematory's website.

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico issued a statement saying her participation in the group's freedom to marry case "helped open the door for thousands of same-sex couples to celebrate their love and commitment in marriage here in our state."

British composer John Tavener, whose career was boosted with the help of The Beatles and who often is remembered for the elegiac song performed as Princess Diana's coffin was carried out of Westminster Abbey, died Tuesday. He was 69.

Born and trained in London, Tavener composed the beautiful "Song for Athene" -- reworked as "Songs of Angels" -- that caught the public's mood at Diana's funeral.

His 1968 cantata "The Whale" brought him fame with the help of The Beatles, who released it on their Apple records label.

Tavener said he caught the attention of John Lennon and Yoko Ono at a party by playing a tape of his opera, "Notre Dames des Fleurs," inspired by Jean Genet's novel about a prisoner's sexual fantasies.

Tavener, whose work was championed by Prince Charles, received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II in 2000 for services to music.

Joaquin Hernandez Galicia, the once-feared boss of Mexico's powerful oil workers union, has died at age 91, his sons said.

Hernandez spent nearly nine years in prison after troops stormed his home and arrested him on manslaughter and weapons charges in 1989 in what the government described as a crackdown on corruption.

Hernandez was an old-style labor leader who became one of Mexico's most powerful and wealthiest men through patronage and strong-arm tactics.

But he ran afoul of newly elected President Carlos Salinas de Gortari. Hernandez's arrest was seen as bolstering the new president's power, but Amnesty International considered him a political prisoner.

Paul Moran, an Eclipse Award-winning turf writer who covered horse racing since the 1970s, has died. He was 67.

Moran was a mainstay at New York racetracks since joining Newsday in 1985. That year, he won a media Eclipse Award for a story on Daily Racing Form columnist Joe Hirsch. In 1990, he won another Eclipse for his story on Go for Wand's catastrophic injury in the Breeders' Cup Distaff that year. He was a president of the New York Turf Writers Association.

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