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Obituaries of note

By Times Staff Writer
Published November 3, 2005


ALASTAIR G.W. CAMERON, 80, an astrophysicist who was among the first to develop the now widely accepted theory that the moon was formed after a planet collided with Earth billions of years ago, died Oct. 3 in Tucson, Ariz. His "giant impact" theory held that the moon was created after an object the size of Mars struck Earth, sending a ring of debris into space that eventually coalesced into the moon. At first the theory, published in 1976, was ridiculed. About a decade later, it became accepted as computer simulations reached the same conclusion.

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LLOYD BOCHNER, 81, an actor best known for his roles as Cecil Colby on TV's Dynasty and in the classic "To Serve Man" episode of The Twilight Zone, died Saturday in Santa Monica, Calif.

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JOHN ERLENBORN, 78, a 10-term Republican congressman from Illinois who championed the safeguarding of workers' pensions, died Sunday in Warrenton, Va. First elected to the House of Representatives in 1964 from a suburban Chicago district, one of the richest in the country, he became known as "Mr. ERISA" for his unstinting support of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The act protected private pensions and required employers to provide information and a grievance process to pensioners.

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MARTHA NELL HARDY, 79, a longtime cast member of the outdoor drama Unto These Hills and the former chairwoman of the Department of Communications Studies at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, died Oct. 14 in Chapel Hill, N.C. Unto These Hills, one of the oldest outdoor dramas in the nation, portrays the Cherokees being driven out of the Great Smokey Mountains and marched on the Trail of Tears.