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Obituaries of note

By Times Staff Writer
Published June 15, 2005

HAMILTON NAKI, a laborer who became a self-taught surgeon of such skill that Dr. Christiaan Barnard chose him to assist in the world's first human heart transplant in 1967, died May 29 in Langa, near Cape Town, South Africa. His contribution was kept secret for three decades because he was a black man in apartheid-era South Africa. He was believed to have been 78.

* * *

MAKOBO MODJADJI, 27, the famed rain queen of South Africa's Balobedu people, died Sunday in Polokwane of unspecified causes, the Modjadji Royal Council said. The Balobedu of the northern Limpopo province believe magical powers are passed down from queen to queen, allowing her to transform clouds and create rain at a special ceremony held each November.

* * *

SLADE D. CUTTER, 93, one of the Navy's most highly decorated submarine captains of World War II, died Thursday in Annapolis, Md. Under his command, the submarine Seahorse sank 19 Japanese ships.

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RICHARD EBERHART, 101, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet considered one of the foremost writers of lyric verse in the 20th century, died Thursday June 9 in Hanover, N.H. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1966 for Selected Poems, 1930-1965.

* * *

ALVARO CUNHAL an d VASCO GONCALVES, figures in Portugal's 1974 April revolution that toppled 30 years of dictatorship, died in recent days. Mr. Cunhal, 91, who led Portugal's Communist Party for half a century and became a hero after the revolution, died Monday. Gen. Goncalves, 83, a former prime minister who played a key part in the bloodless coup known as the Revolution of Carnations, died Saturday, the government said.

[Last modified June 15, 2005, 00:44:10]

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