Obituaries of note
By Times Staff Writer
Published June 13, 2004
BENJAMIN KRASS, 85, a suit salesman known for manic TV ads and celebrity customers like Frank Sinatra and Muhammad Ali, died Monday in Philadelphia. The diminutive Mr. Krass, rarely seen not wearing one of his trademark collarless polyester suits, was perhaps best known for his 10-second "Store of the Stars" ads that aired for 30 years on late-night TV. They featured Mr. Krass, among other things, wearing diapers and being drooled on by a cow.
MICHAEL HENRY MARSHAM, 93, the 7th Earl of Romney, who in 25 years attending the House of Lords did not make a speech, died June 5 in London. He freely conceded he was in the House of Lords to bolster the numbers of the Conservative Party, whose leaders were not interested in his views.
RON TIBBETT, 63, a filmmaker and founder of the annual Magnolia Independent Film Festival, died in an auto accident Monday in West Point, Miss. He founded the Magnolia Independent Film Festival in 1997. This past year, the event featured 44 films and 30 filmmakers from around the world.
FRANK NEWMAN, 77, a former president of the Education Commission of the States, who helped shape state education policy in the 1980s and 1990s, died May 29 in Providence, R.I. He pushed colleges to be more flexible in responding to a changing population of part-time and older students and to make greater use of technology in teaching. "No American has had a greater impact on education in the last 30 years than Frank Newman," said Arthur Levine, president of Teachers College at Columbia University.
EDMUND M. DiGIULIO, 76, a force in motion picture technology who won several Academy Awards for his innovations in cinematography, died June 4 in Malibu, Calif. He developed the Steadicam, a motion picture camera stabilization system worn by camera operators. He, inventor Garrett Brown and the company's engineering staff won an Oscar for the system in 1978. He also developed ultra-high-speed lenses that director Stanley Kubrick used for candlelit scenes in Barry Lyndon.
MARJORIE COURTENAY-LATIMER, 97, who more than 60 years ago discovered a live coelacanth, a prehistoric fish thought to be extinct, died May 17 in a South Africa hospital. Her find rekindled international interest in the fish, and since then about 200 coelacanth finds have been documented. Her coelacanth was named Latimeria chalumnae after her and the river where it was found.
DOM MORAES, 66, an author and poet who became one of India's leading literary figures, publishing nearly 30 books, died June 2 in New Delhi after a heart attack. His first book of poems, A Beginning, was published by London's Parton Press when he was 19. It won the Hawthornden Prize for the best work of the imagination in 1958; he was the first non-English person to win the prize.
ROBERT QUINE, 61, a versatile punk rock guitarist who appeared on albums by Lou Reed, Marianne Faithfull and Tom Waits, was found dead June 5 in his New York apartment. A note found with his body indicated suicide, police said.
VIOLA CADY KRAHN, 102, a lifelong swimmer who held 17 masters world diving titles, died June 1 in Orange, Calif. She was inducted into the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale in January after an 85-year career in swimming and diving. At 100, she dived into a pool on the set of The Tonight Show.
LOYD C. SIGMON, 95, who invented the SigAlerts messages that warn Southern California motorists about freeway traffic jams, died June 2 in a nursing home in Bartlesville, Okla. As an executive at a radio station, he invented the system in 1955, hoping to get more listeners by broadcasting traffic information. His device, using a tape recorder and shortwave radio receiver, was activated by a radio tone sent out by a police dispatcher.
WALTER BEINECKE JR., 86, an heir to the S&H Green Stamps company who drew on his business savvy to boost the sagging commercial district of Nantucket, Mass., died May 23 in Nantucket. He was the grandson of Thomas Sperry, founder of the Sperry & Hutchinson Co., which made the stamps that peaked in popularity in the 1960s and could be redeemed by patrons for appliances and other items.
LARRY CAPUNE, 61, a long-distance paddleboarder who splashed through more than 16,000 miles of U.S. coastline during a series of journeys, died June 1 in Newport Beach, Calif. His longest trip took place from July 1975 to May 1976, when he paddled 4,255 miles from Portland, Maine, to Corpus Christi, Texas.
JULIAN J. ABERBACH, 95, who owned the publishing rights to Elvis Presley's music and set up a music publishing system that revolutionized the rock and country music industries, died May 17 in New York City.
[Last modified June 12, 2004, 23:37:23]
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