Ward Cuff - Standout running back at Marquette who went on to play 10 seasons in the NFL, nine with the New York Giants with whom he won an NFL title in 1938, died Dec. 24 in Vallejo, CA at age 89.
Hank Luisetti - Basketball player who was a huge star for Stanford in the 1930’s who innovated the one-handed shot that changed the game forever, died Dec 17 on San Mateo, CA at age 86.
Charley Lupica - Cleveland Indians fan who gained notoriety in 1949 by sitting on a flagpole platform for 117 days when the Indians were in seventh place, vowing not to come down until the Indians were in first place or had been eliminated from the playoffs (the Indians finished third and Lupica kept his vow), died Dec. 24 in Westlake OH of complications after breaking both hips at age 90.
Gordon McCarter - NFL from 1974 until 1995, who is best remembered for a game in Sept. 1995 when Steelers coach Bill Cowher chased him across the field to shove a Polaroid photo into his shirt pocket, showing that Pittsburgh did not have 12 men on the field during a field-goal attempt (McCarter was suspended for one game for upholding that decision), died Dec. 20 in Cleveland at age 71.
Richie Regan - Basketball player, coach and athletic director at Seton Hall University, who was a star guard on the 1953 NIT championship team, died Dec. 24 in Neptune, NJ of congestive heart failure at age 72.
Stanley Rosenfeld - Sports photographer known for his powerful images of yachting, particularly the America’s Cup, who contributed to more than 20 books and hundreds of magazine articles on yachting, died Dec. 23 in Miami at age 89.
Ray Wietecha - NFL center for the New York Giants for 10 seasons from 1952 to 1962, including a league championship in 1956, died of an aneurysm on Dec. 14 in Phoenix at age 74.
Art and Literature
Lamont Bland - Artist who specialized in portraits of children and the elderly, whose paintings are known for their realism, died of prostate cancer on Dec. 26 in Upper Marlboro, MD at age 54.
Susan Goodrich - Painter known for her gem-like oil paintings that often contained elaborate visual puns, and frequently took up to a year to complete, and whose work has been displayed in galleries all over the U.S., died of bone cancer on Dec. 22 in Milwaukee at age 69.
Lucy Grealy - Poet and author best known for her 1994 memoir "Autobiography of a Face", about her experience growing up with an extreme facial disfigurement and the multiple surgeries to correct it, died Dec. 18 in Manhattan, possibly a suicide, at age 39.
Jose Hierro - Spanish poet known for his gravelly voice and shaved head, whose “New York Notebook” won the Cervantes Prize in 1998, died Dec. 21 of respiratory failure in a Madrid coffee shop at the age of 80.
Politics and Military
Paul Douglas - Much-decorated Brigadier General of the Air Force and WW2 flying ace, who downed 3 enemy planes on one mission on two different occasions, and was awarded two Distinguished Service Crosses among other awards, died Dec. 26 in Fort Hood, TX at age 83.
Desmond Hoyte - President of Guyana from 1985 to 1992 who took over after the death of socialist prime minister Forbes Burnham and transitioned the government to a democracy, died Dec. 22 of heart failure in Georgetown, Guyana at age 73.
John Kyl - Republican congressman from Iowa who served from 1959 to 1964 and again from 1966 to 1972, and who is the father of Arizona Senator Jon Kyl, died Dec. 23 from heart disease and diabetes in Phoenix at age 83.
Asif Ramzi - Pakistani militant who was wanted in the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl and the June 2002 bombing of the U.S. consulate, accidentally blew himself up on Dec. 19 in a suspected explosives warehouse in Karachi where he claimed he was planning a “massive terrorist attack”. His age was not stated.
Social and Religion
Virginia McKnight Binger - Multi-millionaire heiress to the 3M fortune and the wealthiest woman in Minnesota, who ran the charitable McKnight Foundation, and owned a Florida racehorse farm, and five Broadway theaters in New York, one of them named for her, died Dec. 22 in Wayzata, MN at age 86.
Sonny Carson - Controversial and extreme black activist known for leading disruptive protests and boycotts, and who classified himself as “anti-white”, died Dec. 20 in Manhattan after two months in a coma after a heart attack. He was 66.
Dr. John A. Davis - Black activist who instigated many well-known civil rights confrontations since the 1930’s (including the “buy where you can work” movement and Brown vs. Board of Education lawsuit), died on Dec. 16 in Scottsdale AZ at age 90.
Ellen Morphonios - Colorful, blonde, buxom south Florida judge, who became known as “the hanging judge” for her tough sentences, and who once prosecuted the Doors’ Jim Morrison for exposing himself, and later dispensed advise as “Lady Ellen” on late-night talk radio and penned the autobiography "Maximum Morphonios: The Life and Times of America's Toughest Judge", died of stomach cancer on Dec. 22 in Miami at age 73.
Sunshine Cloud Smith - Southern Ute tribal elder who served as its chairman from 1948 to 1966, and who was a relative of Crazy Horse as well as the granddaughter of Chief Ouray and Chipeta, died Dec. 21 in Mancos, CO at age 86.
Dr. John Walvoord - One of the most prominent evangelical scholars of the 20th century, who wrote 30 books including "The Holy Spirit", "The Millennial Kingdom" and "Armageddon, Oil and the Middle East Crisis", died Dec. 21 at age 92.
Business and Science
Russ Berrie - Founder and CEO of Russ Berrie & Co., who made millions by marketing cute, cuddly items like small teddy bears, “fuzzie wuzzies” and plastic trolls, died Dec. 25 of heart failure in Oakland, NJ at age 69.
James “Fred” Buck - Engineer for GE who was an expert in lighting systems for major league baseball stadiums, died Dec. 25 of pancreatic cancer in Cleveland at age 72.
Vladimir Haensel - Ground-breaking researcher in petroleum-products who developed the process used to produce cleaner-burning high-octane gasoline, and who was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1973, died Dec. 15 in Amherst, MA at age 88.
Dr. Calvin Hughes - Psychiatrist who played a key role in the development of the mechanical heart pump that was used in initial open-heart surgeries, died Dec. 25 in St. Clair Shores, MI after a long illness at age 74.
Grote Reber - Pioneering radio astronomer who built the first substantial radio telescope dedicated to astronomy in his backyard, which received little attention from other scientists at the time, but with which he created the first contour radio map of the sky, died Dec. 20 in Tasmania, Australia at age 90.
Charles Rosen - Pioneer in artificial intelligence who in 1966 created “Shakey”, the first robot who could make decisions by analyzing its surroundings, died Dec. 8 after a long illness in Atherton, CA at age 85.