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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, February 9, 2019

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Julie Adams, Hollywood and TV actressAlbert Finney as 'Tom Jones,' Daddy Warbucks in 'Annie,' and Winston Churchill in 'The Gathering Storm'Kristoff St. John, soap opera actorMargarita Avila, matriarch of Avila’s El Ranchito Mexican restaurantsSeweryn Bialer, Columbia University expert on Soviet UnionTom Cade, ornithologist who helped to save peregrine falconJohn D. Dingell Jr., longest-serving member of US CongressRabbi Yechiel Eckstein, promoted ties with ChristiansManfred Eigen, Nobel-winning scientistBob Friend, Pittsburgh Pirates pitcherEd Fuentes, LA arts photographerKiyoshi Koyama, Japanese jazz journalistMable Lee, 'Queen of Soundies'John O. Marsh Jr., longest-serving secretary of US ArmyJames R. McManus, last of NYC Democrat dynastyRon Miller, former Disney CEOWalter H. Munk, Austrian-born oceanographerMatti Nykanen, Finnish ski jumping championRosamunde Pilcher, Scottish romance novelistCarol F. Reich, philanthropist and educatorFrank Robinson, first black manager in MLBRobert Ryman, minimalist painterAnne Firor Scott, historian and professorBarbra Siperstein, namesake of New Jersey transgender lawJack Taylor, NYC preservationistU Tin, Burmese slide guitaristHeidi Toffler and her husband, Alvin, author of 'Future Shock' and other best-sellersMel Tomlinson, ballet dancerTomi Ungerer, illustrator and author of children's books and morePatricia Nell Warren, author of novel about romantic relationship between two menGuy Webster, photographer of rock record albumsRobert Winter, architectural historianIzzy Young, folk music boosterEdward F. Zigler, helped to design Head Start

Art and Literature

Ed Fuentes (59) photographer who documented the downtown Los Angeles Arts District and its transformation in photos and writing on his blog, View from a Loft, starting in 2006. Besides his role as a local historian, Fuentes was a muralist, blogger, poet, graphic designer, and comedian. He died after suffering a heart attack on February 7, 2019.

Rosamunde Pilcher (94) Scottish writer whose romance and generation-spanning novels like The Shell Seekers regularly made best-seller lists and were turned into TV movies and miniseries. Pilcher had been writing short stories and novels for years, first under a pen name, then under her own, when The Shell Seekers (1987) elevated her to a new level of sales and fame. Riding the international success of that book, Pilcher’s next novel, September, made its debut on the New York Times’s hardcover fiction best-seller list in 1990 at No. 1, dislodging Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Ultimatum, which had held the top spot for five weeks. TV adaptations of her work were frequent and often featured high-profile stars. The Shell Seekers was twice adapted for TV: in 1989, with a cast that included Angela Lansbury, and in 2006, with Vanessa Redgrave. A 1996 TV adaptation of September starred Jacqueline Bisset, Mariel Hemingway, and Michael York. Pilcher died in Dundee, Scotland on February 6, 2019.

Robert Ryman (88) artist, a minimalist known for experimenting with varying shades of white. Ryman was born in Nashville, Tennessee and moved to New York hoping to become a professional jazz saxophonist. He had no formal education in art but spent seven years as a guard at New York's Museum of Modern Art. His best-known works were white-on-white compositions on square canvases. He died in New York City on February 8, 2019.

Heidi Toffler (89) researcher and editor who for decades was an essential although anonymous collaborator alongside her celebrated husband, Alvin Toffler, in producing global best-selling books about the consequences of rapid change. Although she was the unrecognized half of one of their era’s most acclaimed husband-wife writing teams, Heidi spent years ignoring appeals from Toffler and her friends to take credit for her work publicly. Their first book, Future Shock (1970), sold in the millions, was translated into dozens of languages, and brought Alvin Toffler, who died in 2016, international fame. The book concluded that the convergence of accelerating scientific advances, broad capital investment, and new and far-reaching systems of mass communications was giving birth to a wholly new global society. It foresaw the rise of personal computers, the Internet, cable TV, and telecommuting. Heidi Toffler died in Los Angeles, California on February 6, 2019.

Tomi Ungerer (87) illustrator and author who brought an impish style to children’s books and whose wide-ranging career also took him into advertising, protest art, and erotica. Ungerer burst onto the children’s-book scene in 1957 with The Mellops Go Flying, the first of a series of books he wrote and illustrated about a family of pigs prone to going on adventures and getting into predicaments. The Mellops books and others, with their quirky stories and simple drawings, stood out in the often uninspiring world of children’s books. Yet Ungerer, born in Europe but living in the US, was soon also turning his artistic talents to more adult themes, in works like The Underground Sketchbook of Tomi Ungerer (1964), which was full of humorous, suggestive drawings. He died in Cork, Ireland on February 8, 2019.

Patricia Nell Warren (82) whose 1974 novel The Front Runner was one of the first widely popular books to feature an open romantic relationship between two men. The book has sold more than 11 million copies and been translated into more than 10 languages. Several actors and directors, including Paul Newman, expressed interest over the years in adapting the book into a movie, but none was ever made. Warren died of lung cancer in Santa Monica, California on February 9, 2019.

Guy Webster (79) was smoking pot with the Mamas & the Papas in the group’s rented house in Los Angeles in 1966 when he had an idea about how to photograph the four singers for the cover of their debut album. He told them to head into a ‘20s-era tiled bathroom, where they all squeezed, fully clothed, into the tub. John Phillips sat in the foreground, and behind him were Cass Elliot, Denny Doherty, and Michelle Phillips, her legs stretched across the others’ laps. But the picture had a flaw: It included the toilet, an image that Webster said would have limited sales of the album, If You Can Believe Your Eyes & Ears, in chain stores. So Dunhill record producer Lou Adler came up with the idea to put shrink wrap over the album and put a sticker on it that said, “Including ‘California Dreamin’,’ so we can sell it at Sears. And when the kids take it off, there’s the toilet.” If You Can Believe Your Eyes & Ears rose to No. 1 on the Billboard album chart and enhanced Webster’s growing reputation as one of the top rock ’n’ roll photographers of his time. He died of liver cancer in Ojai, California on February 5, 2019.

Business and Science

Margarita Avila (93) for her six children, Avila was best summed up with a photo that serves as the cover for menus at the family’s chain of Avila’s El Ranchito Mexican restaurants. It was taken about two weeks after the first Avila’s opened in Huntington Park, California in 1966. Margarita, then 40, stands in the kitchen, surrounded by plates and bowls. She wears her home apron, earrings, and a huge smile. In 1958 the family migrated from Mexico and settled in southeast Los Angeles. In 1966 Margarita and her husband Salvador borrowed $2,000 to buy a failing Cuban café in Huntington Park and turn it into a Mexican diner. The Avila children soon convinced their parents to open more Avila’s El Ranchitos in Orange County in the mid-‘70s. The family opened its 13th restaurant in Foothill Ranch in 2016, run by Margarita’s granddaughters. Margarita Avila died in Corona del Mar, California on February 5, 2019.

Tom Cade (91) ornithologist, leader of a remarkable effort that reestablished the majestic peregrine falcon on the East Coast after the pesticide DDT had wiped it out there. Cade was director of the ornithology laboratory at Cornell University in the late ‘60s when he and others began contemplating how to help the endangered peregrine falcon. The bird had disappeared from the East Coast and was struggling elsewhere in the US because use of DDT had had the unintended effect of weakening the shells of its eggs. Cade rallied falconers, conservationists, universities, businesses, and more to join in trying to reintroduce the bird in areas where it had once thrived. But that required overcoming all sorts of obstacles, including how to breed birds in captivity and how to acclimatize them to life in the wild. Cade died in Boise, Idaho on February 6, 2019.

Manfred Eigen (91) founder in 1971 of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Germany who shared the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work on extremely fast chemical reactions. Eigen was awarded half the 1967 chemistry Nobel, with the other half going jointly to R.G.W. Norrish and George Porter. Eigen in 1953 introduced high-frequency sound waves as a way of bringing about rapid chemical reactions and processes, whose speed could be calculated based on the sound waves' energy. He died in Göttingen, Germany on February 6, 2019.

Walter H. Munk (101) one of the foremost oceanographers of the 20th century, who sent pulses of sound through the oceans to measure changes in water temperatures, forecast waves, and seek signs of global warming. Munk spent his career at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography after joining its faculty in 1947. A scientist-explorer who expounded on his discoveries with exuberance, he was sometimes called the “Einstein of the oceans” for his pioneering work in the study of waves, ocean circulation, tides, and irregularities in the Earth’s rotation. In one ‘60s study, he discovered that waves washing ashore in southern California had originated thousands of miles away in storms sweeping across the southern Indian Ocean. The discovery led to improved forecasting of the big waves coveted by surfers. Munk died of pneumonia in La Jolla, California on February 8, 2019.

Izzy Young (90) organized the first New York concert by Bob Dylan In 1961 and devoted decades of his life to supporting folk music. Young was a big name in folk music. Dylan, a regular visitor at his New York music shop, the Folklore Center, once called it “the citadel of Americana folk music.” Young moved to Sweden in 1973 and reopened his store there. He died in Stockholm, Sweden on February 4, 2019.


Seweryn Bialer (92) endured persecution by the Nazis in Poland and served in its postwar Communist government before defecting to the West in 1956 and becoming a leading expert on the Soviet Union. Bialer, who taught at Columbia University for 33 years, was a sought-after voice on Soviet affairs, testifying to congressional committees, participating in conferences, writing commentaries in journals and newspapers, and appearing on TV and radio. He was especially in demand in the ‘80s as the Soviet Union went through a series of upheavals, including the deaths of three leaders in rapid succession—Leonid I. Brezhnev, Yuri V. Andropov, and Konstantin U. Chernenko—and the emergence of Mikhail S. Gorbachev. If few Kremlinologists foresaw just how much turbulence Gorbachev’s tenure would bring, Bialer at least realized early on that the new leader was a harbinger of change. He died of heart failure in New York City on February 8, 2019.

Carol F. Reich 83) philanthropist and late-blooming educator who, with her husband, Joseph, helped to pioneer the charter school movement in New York in the early ‘90s. The Reichs opened an experimental public elementary school in 1992 in a former pharmaceutical factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. What became known as the Beginning with Children Charter School was run by trustees selected from among parents, community leaders, and educators. It chose students by lottery and reported directly to the schools chancellor instead of district officials. By 1997 Beginning with Children was being hailed as the city’s most improved elementary school. Carol Reich died in Miami, Florida on February 5, 2019.

Anne Firor Scott (97) prize-winning historian and Duke University professor who up-ended the male-dominated field of Southern scholarship by pioneering the study of Southern women. Scott’s The Southern Lady: From Pedestal to Politics 1830–1930 was published in 1970 and is now regarded as among the first major works of its kind. For years Scott had been dismayed by the absence of women in histories of the South. Drawing upon diaries, newspaper accounts, letters, and government records, she set out to tell their story and to challenge the ideal of the pious, selfless Southern wife. She documented the private frustrations of seemingly contented spouses and how the roles of women changed after the Civil War and changed again in the 20th century as opportunities for work and education expanded. Well before the civil rights era and the rise of feminism, they served on committees with black women, formed an association to ban lynching, and established “get out the vote” campaigns. Scott died in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on February 5, 2019.

Robert Winter (94) architectural historian who spent much of his life examining and explaining Los Angeles's sprawling and complex cityscape to a generation of residents, students, and tourists. Winter was a longtime professor at Occidental College who delighted in taking students, guests, and friends on bus tours of his adopted city. His gift to the city was An Architectural Guidebook to Los Angeles, a field guide that identified, cheered, and occasionally mocked LA’s diverse architecture. He died in Los Angeles, California on February 9, 2019.

Edward F. Zigler (88) psychologist who in the mid-‘60s helped to design Head Start, the federal government program for preschool children. Zigler was an early champion of guaranteed time off from work for new parents, the teaching of child-rearing skills to teenagers, and the integration of health and social service programs and day care into neighborhood public school buildings. But he was probably best known as one of the architects of Head Start, which began as a summer program under President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty. Zigler died of coronary artery disease in North Haven, Connecticut on February 7, 2019.


Barbra Siperstein (76) namesake of a recently enacted law that allows New Jersey transgender residents to change their genders on their birth certificates. Siperstein helped to champion the new state law that took effect Feb. 1, 2019. It allows the registrar to amend birth certificates based on how people identify themselves, as male, female, or undesignated. Previous law allowed birth certificate changes only if a doctor certified that a person's gender was surgically changed. Siperstein also was the first openly transgender member of the Democrat National Committee. She was appointed to the committee in 2009 and in ‘11 was appointed to its executive committee, where she served until October ’17. She died in New Brunswick, New Jersey on February 3, 2019.

News and Entertainment

Julie Adams (92) Hollywood film and TV actress for more than 60 years, widely remembered as the terrorized swimmer in the 1954 cult classic Creature from the Black Lagoon. A beauty from Arkansas—Adams was Miss Little Rock of 1946—she got into the movies in 1949 and appeared in about 50 feature films with a Who’s Who of leading men, including Charlton Heston, Glenn Ford, Tony Curtis, and Elvis Presley. Her starring breakthrough was Bend of the River (1952), in which she played a frontier woman who falls for James Stewart on the Oregon Trail in a cast that also included Rock Hudson and Arthur Kennedy. It was one of the top box-office hits of the year. Her expressive face became familiar to millions on TV. Adams was seen on more than 90 series, including The Rifleman, Bonanza, and Perry Mason in the ‘60s; Mannix and Marcus Welby, MD in the ’70s; Capitol in the ’80s; and Murder, She Wrote (1987–93). She died in Los Angeles, California on February 3, 2019.

Albert Finney (82) one of the most respected and versatile actors of his generation and the star of films as diverse as Tom Jones and Skyfall. From his early days as a strikingly handsome and magnetic screen presence to his closing acts as a brilliant character actor, Finney was a British treasure known for charismatic work on both stage and screen. He burst to international fame in 1963 in the title role of Tom Jones, playing a lusty, humorous rogue who captivated audiences with his charming, devil-may-care antics. Finney excelled in many other films, including Saturday Night & Sunday Morning, a 1960 drama that was part of the “angry young man” film trend. He was a rare star who managed to avoid the Hollywood limelight despite more than 50 years of worldwide fame. He was known for skipping awards ceremonies, even when he was nominated for an Oscar. Tom Jones gained him the first of five Oscar nominations. Finney died from a chest infection in London, England on February 7, 2019.

Kiyoshi Koyama (82) widely regarded as Japan’s preeminent jazz journalist who covered the music's development throughout the ‘60s and ’70s before becoming a producer of archival albums. As editor of Swing Journal, the leading jazz magazine in one of the world’s most jazz-loving countries, Koyama covered the music being made on both sides of the Pacific Ocean, often traveling to the US. Throughout his career Koyama conducted interviews with many of the leading figures in American jazz, including Miles Davis and Albert Ayler, and esteemed Japanese musicians like Sadao Watanabe and Toshiko Akiyoshi. Koyoma died of stomach cancer in Kashiwa, Japan on February 3, 2019.

Mable Lee (97) singer and dancer who appeared in enough films of that type to earn the title “Queen of the Soundies,” the many short musical films made in the ‘40s to be played on coin-operated jukeboxes. A professional entertainer since she was 9, Lee had performed as recently as last July at Symphony Space in Manhattan as part of the New York Tap Festival. In her later appearances, she tended to behave as she had in the ‘40s, her sexy moves making no concessions to age. Her range of motion may have been slightly diminished, but her indomitable spirit not at all. Secure in her ability to charm any audience, she might forget the lyrics and improve the song. Lee died of heart failure in New York City on February 7, 2019.

Ron Miller (85) former football player who rose through the ranks of his father-in-law’s entertainment company, Walt Disney Productions, but his time as chief executive was tumultuous and ended with his ouster. When Miller became president and chief operating officer of Walt Disney Productions (now the Walt Disney Co.) in 1980, his mission was to reinvigorate its film division, where he had spent most of his career as a producer and executive. Live-action movies like Herbie Goes Bananas and The Last Flight of Noah’s Ark were not generating great business, and the studio’s new animated films were not as memorable as its classics like Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs and Pinocchio. Miller died of congestive heart failure in Napa, California on February 9, 2019.

Kristoff St. John (52) soap opera star who played Neil Winters on The Young & the Restless for nearly 30 years. St. John landed the role in 1991 and appeared on 1,680 episodes of the CBS soap. During his run, St. John earned nine Daytime Emmy nominations. He won a Daytime Emmy in 1992 for outstanding younger actor in a drama series and won 10 NAACP Image Awards. The actor notched dozens of TV credits during his lengthy career. He made his TV debut in the ‘70s, clinching small roles in That’s My Mama, Happy Days, and Wonder Woman. His son Julian (24), who suffered from schizophrenia, committed suicide in 2014 at a mental health facility in Long Beach, California. The elder St. John was found dead at his home in Woodland Hills, California on February 3, 2019.

U Tin (87) slide guitarist who became a global ambassador for Burmese music while working as a plumber under a military dictatorship. Tin was one of several prominent Myanmar musicians who incorporated Western instruments into a diverse canon that spanned folk tunes, classical Burmese music linked to ancient royal courts, and songs from the country’s ‘50s-era cinematic golden age. Besides guitar, he played banjo, mandolin, and Burmese harp. Tin moved to Yangon in 1947, a year before the country, then known as Burma, gained independence from Britain. He found work as a plumber and began studying music. After a military coup in 1962 plunged Myanmar into decades of isolation and extreme poverty, Tin kept his day job and mostly steered clear of the regime’s state-sponsored traditional music and dance troupes. But he kept playing music, and his reputation as a brilliant slide guitarist grew, thanks partly to people outside Myanmar who invited him to perform around the globe. He died of diabetes in Yangon, Myanmar on February 5, 2019.

Mel Tomlinson (65) ballet dancer, one of the few performers to star with three major companies—Dance Theater of Harlem, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and New York City Ballet. Tomlinson was already well known when George Balanchine invited him to join City Ballet, making him the company's only black dancer at the time. Tomlinson made his debut on November 27, 1981, opposite principal dancer Heather Watts in Balanchine’s groundbreaking ‘57 ballet Agon. After leaving City Ballet, he performed with the Boston Ballet and the North Carolina Dance Theater. He died of pancreatic cancer in Huntersville, North Carolina on February 5, 2019.

Politics and Military

John D. Dingell Jr. (92) Michigan Democrat who pushed landmark legislation, exposed corruption in government, and became the longest-serving member of Congress in American history. Dingell had represented what is now Michigan's 12th district, outside Detroit, since the Eisenhower administration, a 59-year run. But when he announced in 2014 that he would not seek reelection, he said he was stepping down because he no longer recognized the institution he loved. Bitter partisanship, he said, was preventing the House from getting anything done. He died of prostate cancer in Dearborn, Michigan on February 7, 2019.

John O. Marsh Jr. (92) former conservative Democrat congressman from Virginia who worked as a White House adviser to three Republican presidents and became the nation’s longest-serving secretary of the Army in the ‘80s. Marsh liked to call himself a plain lawyer from Virginia’s Shenandoah apple country. But to many who knew him as Richard M. Nixon’s assistant defense secretary for legislative affairs, Gerald R. Ford’s counsel with cabinet rank, and Ronald Reagan’s Army secretary and special operations adviser, he was a master of military and political affairs. In the Washington game of musical chairs, Marsh’s titles and duties shifted in the ‘60s and '70s as he moved closer to the centers of power and reached the White House, where Republican patrons enlisted his expertise and counted on his discretion. He died of congestive heart failure in Raphine, Virginia on February 4, 2019.

James R. McManus (84) last of the long-reigning leaders of a Tammany Hall Democrat dynasty that presided over Manhattan’s West Side since 1892. The McManus family’s dominion was started by James’s great-uncle Thomas J. McManus, universally known as “The McManus,” to distinguish him as undisputed leader of the clan. Like his father, grandfather, and great-uncle, Jim McManus was an elected district leader, a major neighborhood figure in the days when a well-connected local party boss could find a loyal constituent a job, an apartment, or a key to getting out of jail. But by the time McManus inherited the Hell’s Kitchen district leadership in 1963 and became the family patriarch, the Democrat organization had become just a vestige of the Tammany tiger that had fended off would-be reformers and good-government groups since the mid-19th century. James McManus, one of New York's last surviving neighborhood political bosses, never denied that the power district leaders once held was long gone. He died of heart failure in Hell's Kitchen, New York City, on February 4, 2019.

Society and Religion

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein (67) Israeli-American rabbi who raised hundreds of millions of dollars for Israel by promoting closer ties with evangelical Christians around the world. US-born Eckstein founded the International Fellowship of Christians & Jews in 1983, befriending evangelical leaders in the US and building support for Israel. He said his decades of efforts helped to make support for Israel a top priority in the evangelical world. Eckstein died of heart failure in Jerusalem, Israel on February 6, 2019.

Jack Taylor (93) volunteer landmarks preservationist. In the early ‘60s many preservationists were galvanized by their failure to save Manhattan’s Pennsylvania Station, a defeat that spawned a groundbreaking municipal law under which Grand Central Terminal was declared an official city landmark in 1967. Taylor’s epiphany as a preservationist came in the early ‘80s after he retired as a magazine editor. Luchow's, the 19th-century German restaurant at 110 East 14th Street in his neighborhood—famous for its oompah bands and frequented in its prime by Diamond Jim Brady, Lillian Russell, and composer Victor Herbert—was closing and was threatened with demolition. Despite a campaign by the Union Square Historic District, Luchow’s was demolished in 1995 to accommodate a New York University dormitory. But Taylor and fellow preservationists later persuaded the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate Tammany Hall a historic site. Taylor died in New York City on February 8, 2019.


Bob Friend (88) pitched more innings than anyone in Pittsburgh Pirates history. Friend held the Pirates record for innings (3,480 1/3), starts (477), and strikeouts (1,682). The right-hander was an All-Star in three different seasons—in 1960 he made the Nathional League roster for both All-Star games played that summer and was the starter and winner in the first one. Friend made his major league debut in 1951 with Pittsburgh, stayed with the Pirates through ’65, and played one more season, splitting his last year with the New York Yankees and the Mets. He was 197-230 with a 3.58 earned run average in his career. In 1955 Friend became the first pitcher to lead his league in ERA, winning the NL title with a 2.83 mark. He topped the majors in innings in 1956–57 and tied Warren Spahn for the big league lead with 22 wins in ’58. In 1960 Friend was 18-12 with a 3.00 ERA in helping the Pirates to reach the World Series. Pittsburgh outlasted the Yankees in seven games to win the championship. That season came during a string of 11 straight years that Friend pitched more than 200 innings—topping 260 in six of them. He died in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on February 3, 2019.

Matti Nykanen (55) four-time Olympic ski jumping champion whose personal life was affected by alcohol problems. Nykanen became an icon of sport in Finland. He was only 18 when he won his first competition in the Four Hills tournament. He won the gold medal in the large hill event at the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics and took all three gold medals in ‘88 in Calgary, winning the normal hill and large hill and the team competitions. Nykanen retired in 1991 after winning a then-record 46 individual World Cup events. His success on skis was balanced by a troubled personal life. He was twice sentenced to prison sentences for violent behavior, including a stabbing incident in 2004 and an aggravated assault on his wife in ’09. He died in Lapeenranta, Finland on February 3, 2019.

Frank Robinson (83) Hall of Famer, the first black manager in Major League Baseball and the only player to win the Most Valuable Player award in both the American and National leagues. Robinson hit 586 career home runs and won the Triple Crown while leading the Baltimore Orioles to their first World Series championship in 1966. An All-Star outfielder in 12 seasons, his legacy extended far beyond the batter's box. He fulfilled his quest to become the first black manager in the big leagues when the Cleveland Indians hired him in 1975. In his first at-bat as their player-manager, he hit a home run. Robinson also managed San Francisco, Baltimore, and Montreal. He became the first manager of the Washington Nationals after the franchise moved from Montreal for the 2005 season and later spent several years working as an executive for MLB. He was the National League MVP with Cincinnati in 1961 and Baltimore in ’66. Robinson died in Bel Air, California on February 7, 2019.

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