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Obituaries of note

By Wire services
Published September 19, 2003

SHEB WOOLEY, 82, a veteran actor in westerns like High Noon who also recorded the No.1 pop ditty Purple People Eater, died Tuesday in Nashville. The song, about an unidentified flying object, sold 3-million copies in 1958. It had people across the country singing: "It was a one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater." He also wrote the theme song of the long-running TV show Hee Haw and made a string of hit records from 1958 through the 1960s, mostly country humor songs.

LOUIS GOODMAN, 106, one of few remaining World War I veterans, died Tuesday in Atlanta. He was among the nation's oldest members of Jewish War Veterans, said Herb Rosenbleeth of Washington, executive director of Jewish War Veterans of the USA. There are fewer than 200 living World War I veterans in the nation, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. At 105, he celebrated his birthday with a hot air balloon ride. "His only complaint was that it did not take him up high enough," said his daughter, Shirley Siegel of Atlanta.

BYRON V. PEPITONE, 85, the Selective Service director whose tenure coincided with the end of the Vietnam War and the transition to an all-volunteer military, died Sept. 11 in Port St. Lucie. An Air Force retiree and management specialist, he was deputy director of Selective Service when President Richard Nixon appointed him acting director in 1972. After his confirmation by the Senate the next year, he served as the top official overseeing military conscription until 1977. He resigned amid policy differences with President Jimmy Carter.


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