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Obituaries of note

By Times Wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 14, 2003

JOHN WESLEY COX, 73, a civil rights activist who was instrumental in the peaceful integration of Atlanta schools, died June 6 of complications after surgery.

He exerted leadership from two fronts, first as executive director of the Butler Street YMCA, a gathering place for black leaders and progressive whites in the 1950s, and later as vice president for community relations at Delta Air Lines.

For many years, he coordinated Martin Luther King Jr. holiday celebrations in Atlanta, said Coretta Scott King, widow of the slain civil rights leader. He also served on the King Center's board of directors.

HOWARD JENKINS JR., 87, who served on the National Labor Relations Board for 20 years and was its first African American member, died June 3 in Washington, D.C. After serving under six presidents, he retired in 1983 from the independent agency that administers the principal law governing relations between unions and private employers.

DR. LOUISE R. D'OLIVEIRA, 84, said to be one of the world's top adult literacy specialists, died Sunday in Clearwater. An ordained Methodist minister, she was director of the African Division of Laubach Literacy and founder and director of operation Upgrade of Southern Africa. She was director of the Woman's Christian Center, Tampa.

TOMMY PERKINS, 69, former drummer for western swing star Bob Wills, died June 7 from injuries suffered in a Cotton County, Okla., car crash. His performances with Wills included the April 27, 1950, recording of Faded Love, made when the drummer was just 15 years old.

CHEN ZONGYING, 101, one the few women who joined in the epic 1934-36 Long March of the Chinese communists, died May 31 in Beijing, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. The Long March was the Red Army's 7,750-mile retreat west from Jiangxi to escape Chiang Kai-shek's encircling Nationalist forces. The brutal march was a key event in the founding of Mao Zedong's China.

SELAHATTIN ULKUMEN, 89, a Turkish diplomat who saved Jews on the Nazi-occupied island of Rhodes from being sent to concentration camps during World War II, died June 7 in Istanbul, Turkey. As Turkey's consul-general on Rhodes in 1944, he issued exit visas to Turkish Jews living on the island and their non-Turkish children and spouses. Forty-two Jewish families were spared. In retaliation, his house in Rhodes was bombed and his wife was fatally injured. She died shortly after giving birth to their son, Mehmet.

ART COOPER, 65, who in nearly 20 years as editor of GQ magazine helped to transform it into a showplace for literary journalism, died Monday in New York City. He died four days after a stroke and a week after retiring as GQ's top editor. He turned GQ from a fairly small special-interest magazine with a focus on fashion into a much broader general-interest magazine. In the process, he published a number of leading writers, including David Halberstam, J. Anthony Lukas, Garry Wills, William Kennedy and Gore Vidal.

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