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updated: 7/5/2014 6:11 PM

Notable deaths last week

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  • Louis Zamperini

      Louis Zamperini

  • Capt. Louis Zamperini (right).

      Capt. Louis Zamperini (right).

  • Richard Mellon Scaife

      Richard Mellon Scaife

  • Musician Paul Horn

      Musician Paul Horn

  • The Rev. Gerald Robinson

      The Rev. Gerald Robinson

  • Barry Moss

      Barry Moss

  • Ina May and Stephen Gaskin

      Ina May and Stephen Gaskin

  • Paul Mazursky

      Paul Mazursky

  • Walter Dean Myers

      Walter Dean Myers

  • Bob Hasting

      Bob Hasting

 
From Daily Herald news wires

• A Roman Catholic priest convicted of stabbing and strangling a nun 34 years ago in a hospital chapel will receive a funeral Mass, a church official said Saturday.

The Rev. Gerald Robinson remained an ordained priest after his conviction and his services will follow the usual protocol for a diocesan priest's funeral, the Rev. Charles Ritter, administrator for the Diocese of Toledo, said.

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Robinson, 76, died Friday. He had been serving a prison sentence of 15 years to life in what church historians have characterized as the only documented case of a Catholic priest killing a nun. He was arrested 24 years after the nun's death and found guilty in 2006 of stabbing and strangling Sister Margaret Ann Pahl at a Toledo hospital where they both worked.

• Louis Brown Jr., the father of O.J. Simpson's ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson, has died at his Southern California home, a family attorney said Saturday. He was 90.

Brown was the father of Nicole Brown Simpson, who was slashed to death in 1994 with friend Ronald Goldman. Her former husband, a football great, was acquitted of murder in the high-profile murder trial, which was televised live.

A civil jury found O.J. Simpson liable in 1997 for the deaths of his ex-wife and Goldman, providing a moral victory for grieving relatives who thought he got away with murder.

• The head of Ukraine's Orthodox Church has died at 78 after leading it for more than two decades during the tumultuous post-Soviet period.

Metropolitan Volodymyr, who had been credited with stabilizing the church, died Saturday "after a long illness," the church announced..

• Broadway and television casting director Barry Moss, who helped cast nearly 90 Broadway and touring productions, including the 1980 revival of "West Side Story," "Nine," "Torch Song Trilogy" and "The Who's Tommy," has died. He was 74.

Among his casting credits are the 1995 revival of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," "Titanic," "Woman of the Year," "My One and Only," "Black and Blue" and "Sweeney Todd," He also was the casting director for "The Cosby Show" and was a founding member of The Casting Society of America.

• Richard Mellon Scaife, the billionaire heir to the Mellon banking and oil fortune and a newspaper publisher who funded libertarian and conservative causes and various projects to discredit President Bill Clinton, has died. He was 82.

Scaife died early Friday at his home, his newspaper, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, reported. Scaife's death comes less than two months after he announced in a first-person, front-page story in his Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he had an untreatable form of cancer.

"Some who dislike me may rejoice at the news," wrote Scaife, who acknowledged making political and other enemies. "Naturally, I can't share their enthusiasm."

He was the grand-nephew of Andrew Mellon, a banker and secretary of the Treasury who was involved with some of the biggest industrial companies of the early 20th century. Forbes magazine estimated Scaife's net worth in 2013 at $1.4 billion.

The intensely private Scaife became widely known in the 1990s when first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton said her husband was being attacked by a "vast right-wing conspiracy." White House staffers and other supporters suggested Scaife was playing a central role in the attack.

• Paul Horn, the Grammy-winning jazz flutist and New Age music pioneer, has died at the age of 84.

Horn's career spanned five decades, 50 albums and five Grammy nominations. He played the flute, clarinet and saxophone in concert tours and recording sessions with such artists as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and Chico Hamilton.

His album "Jazz Suite on the Mass Texts" won Grammys in 1966 for best original jazz composition and photographic cover album.

• Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, a founder of the Jewish Renewal movement and a widely influential figure in contemporary Jewish thought and practice, has died in his Boulder, Colorado, home. He was 89.

Schachter-Shalomi started the renewal movement in the early 1960s as a way to use contemporary religious and political scholarship to re-examine Judaism after the Holocaust. The nondenominational movement draws on Judaism's prophetic and mystical traditions, and Schachter-Shalomi was heavily influenced by Buddhism, Sufism and the Catholic mystic Thomas Merton.

• Seventy years ago, the world was convinced that Louis Zamperini was dead.

There had been no word of the track star and former Olympian since his World War II bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean. The military told his parents he was dead, and an annual collegiate track competition named one of its races in his memory.

But Zamperini was alive, and very much so. After surviving 47 days in a life raft in shark-infested waters and enduring two years as a Japanese prisoner of war, Zamperini was liberated in time to attend the second running of the invitational mile that had been named in his memory. It was a story fitting for a man who lived a life on the edge of endurance, an ordinary man who did extraordinary things -- all while sustained by a hope and strength that at times seemed superhuman.

Zamperini, a war hero, Olympian and the subject of a celebrated book and upcoming movie on his harrowing story of survival against all odds, died after a long battle with pneumonia, his family said Thursday in a statement. He was 97.

Zamperini outlived almost all of those who watched him weave his way through his remarkable life, but the outpouring from those who came to know and love the man in his later years was as immediate and intense as the life he lived.

Laura Hillenbrand, the author of the best-selling book "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption," said over countless hours of interviews Zamperini became a surrogate grandfather and beloved friend who helped her cope with her own debilitating illness, chronic fatigue syndrome.

"In a life of almost unimaginable drama, he experienced supreme triumphs, but also brutal hardship, incomprehensible suffering, and the cruelty of his fellow man. But Louie greeted every challenge of his long journey with singular resilience, determination and ingenuity, with a ferocious will to survive and prevail, and with hope that knew no master," said Hillenbrand, whose book is being made into a movie directed by Angelina Jolie and is scheduled for a December release by Universal.

• Stephen Gaskin, a counterculture visionary who led a caravan of hippies from California to establish one of the country's longest lasting communes in rural Middle Tennessee and later sought the Green Party nomination for president, has died. He was 79.

A message on The Farm's website reads: "We mourn the passing of Stephen Gaskin, our founder and friend. Our community would not exist, were it not for his bravery and free spirit."

Gaskin, a Korean War veteran, was a writing instructor at San Francisco State College when his "Monday Night Class" on love, sex, politics, drugs and other non-traditional college topics became popular with hippie students.

In 1970, he led a caravan of about 320 hippies to 1,750 acres of rough ridge country where they founded the back-to-basics collective on about three square miles. It was meant to be an "experiment in sustainable, developmentally progressive human habitat," according to the website.

By 1980, The Farm's population had grown to more than 1,200 in Lewis County near Summertown. But a financial crisis a few years later led to a reorganization in which members began paying monthly dues.

Leigh Kahan, one of The Farm's founding members, said the reorganization "changed everything" because The Farm went from being a "true collective to being a true cooperative."

• Walter Dean Myers, a best-selling and prolific children's author and tireless champion of literacy and education, has died. He was 76.

A onetime troublemaker who dropped out of high school, the tall, soft-spoken Myers spent much of his adult life writing realistic and accessible stories about crime, war and life in the streets. He completed more than 100 books, his notable works including "Monster" and "Lockdown," and was the rare author -- black or white -- to have a wide following among middle-school boys.

Widely loved in the literary community and a leading advocate for diversity in children's books, he was a three-time National Book Award nominee and received five Coretta Scott King awards for African-American fiction. In 2012-13, he served as National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, a position created in part by the Library of Congress.

• Samuel Henry "Errie" Ball, who played in the first Masters, has died. The golf pro was 103.

Ball's daughter, Leslie Adams Gogarty, says her father died at Martin Hospital South in Stuart, Florida. Ball was most recently director of golf at Willoughby Golf Club in Stuart.

He was a PGA of America member for 83 years, which the organization says is a membership record. Ball was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2011.

• An actor best known from the 1960s sitcom "McHale's Navy," has died. Bob Hastings was 89.

Hastings won fans on "McHale's Navy" as Lt. Carpenter, a bumbling yes-man. Other memorable roles were on "All in the Family" and "General Hospital."

• Paul Mazursky, the innovative and versatile director who showed the absurdity of modern life in such movies as "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice" and "An Unmarried Woman," has died. He was 84.

As a talented writer, actor, producer and director, Mazursky racked up five Oscar nominations, mostly for writing such films as "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice" and "Enemies, A Love Story." He also created memorable roles for the likes of Art Carney, Jill Clayburgh and Natalie Wood. Later in life, Mazursky acted in such TV series as "The Sopranos" and ''Curb Your Enthusiasm" and films such as "Carlito's Way" and "2 Days in the Valley."

Biographical material in this story was written by The Associated Press' late Hollywood correspondent, Bob Thomas.

• His family says a Nigerian politician who made front-page news when he was discovered drugged in a crate at a British airport has died in London.

The family said Umaru Dikko, 78, died at his London home Tuesday after suffering successive strokes.

Dikko made headlines around the world in 1984 when he was found in a crate marked for Lagos at London's Stansted Airport. He was assumed to be the victim of a kidnap plot by Nigeria's new military government, which accused him of embezzlement.

• Frank Cashen, the general manager who wore a signature bow tie and fashioned a New York Mets team that rollicked its way to the 1986 World Series championship, has died at 88.

Cashen was a longtime sports writer in his Baltimore hometown and went to law school before joining the Orioles and eventually becoming their GM.

• Ed Messbarger, who won 630 games in a 41-year college coaching career spent mostly at St. Mary's and Angelo State in Texas, has died. He was 81.

• The Rev. Alvaro Corcuera, who led the Legion of Christ religious order through the turmoil surrounding revelations that its founder was a pedophile and fraud, has died. He was 56.

Corcuera took over as superior in 2005, a year after the Vatican opened a secret sex abuse investigation into the Legion's founder, the Rev. Marcial Maciel. Even though the Vatican found Maciel guilty in 2006 and Legion officials opened their own internal investigation, Corcuera and the rest of the Legion leadership continued to publicly defend him as a saint until admitting to his double life in 2009.

Bobby Castillo, a former Dodgers and Minnesota Twins pitcher credited with teaching Fernando Valenzuela how to throw a screwball, died Monday in a Los Angeles hospital after a battle with cancer, the team announced. He was 59.

Castillo, also affectionately known as "Babo," pitched for the Dodgers from 1977-81, including in the 1981 National League Championship Series and the 1981 World Series, and in 1985, his last season in the majors. The right-hander was with the Twins from 1982 to 1984.

• Former Auburn tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen, a fan favorite who played on the 2010 national championship team, has died in a one-car crash in Georgia, state police said.

Authorities said Lutzenkirchen, 23, was ejected from a 2006 Chevrolet Tahoe when it overturned several times near LaGrange last Sunday morning. He was a passenger in the vehicle.

Meshach Taylor, who played a lovable ex-convict surrounded by boisterous Southern belles on the sitcom "Designing Women" and appeared in numerous other TV and film roles, has died of cancer at age 67.

Taylor got an Emmy nod for his portrayal of Anthony Bouvier on "Designing Women" from 1986 to 1993. Then he costarred for four seasons on another successful comedy, "Dave's World," as the best friend of a newspaper humor columnist played by the series' star, Harry Anderson.

Other series included the cult favorite "Buffalo Bill" and the popular Nickelodeon comedy "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide."

Taylor's movie roles included a flamboyant window dresser in the 1987 comedy-romance "Mannequin" as well as "Damien: Omen II."

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