Obituaries of note

Compiled from staff and wire reports
Published March 19, 2006

K. LEROY IRVIS, a civil rights pioneer and the Pennsylvania House of Representatives' only black speaker, died Thursday in Pittsburgh, said state parliamentarian Clancy Myer. State House records indicate he was 86, although his biographer said birth and school records show he was 89. He served as a Democratic member of the House from 1959 to 1988 and was elected speaker four times.

ANN CALVELLO, 76, a roller derby icon known for intimidating rivals and even teammates while skating well into her 60s, died Tuesday in San Bruno, Calif., of liver cancer. She is best known as the star skater for the San Francisco Bay Bombers when roller derby reached its popular heights in the 1970s.

GLENN OLDS, 85, who served as Kent State University's president in the aftermath of the 1970 killings of four students by National Guardsmen during a demonstration against the Vietnam War, died March 11 in Sherwood, Ore. When he arrived at the Ohio school the following year, he said his role was "helping students find constructive ways of bringing about change." An ordained minister and former professional boxer, he was a consultant to President John F. Kennedy on the creation of the Peace Corps and played a role in the formation of VISTA, Volunteers in Service to America.

KEN BREWER, 64, Utah's poet laureate, died Wednesday in Salt Lake City, said a spokesman for Utah State University, where he formerly taught English. A diagnosis of pancreatic cancer last year led him to write poems almost daily about the ravages of disease and his mortality. He published several books, including The Place In Between and Lake's Edge.

JOHN REYNOLDS GARDINER, 61, who wrote the best-selling children's book Stone Fox, died March 4 in Anaheim, Calif., of complications from pancreatitis, according to his wife, Gloria. He wrote Stone Fox as a screenplay about a boy named Willy and his dog Searchlight who enter a dogsled race hoping to beat an undefeated opponent. Turned into a book aimed at readers in fourth through sixth grades, it sold 3-million copies and was made into an NBC television movie.

MILTON KATIMS, 96, an American conductor and noted violist who played under Toscanini and led the Seattle Symphony for more than two decades, died Feb. 27 in Shoreline, Wash.

KENNETH McCABE, 59, an investigator who became a quiet legend among New York crime fighters by spying on and testifying against mobsters to help topple godfathers, died Feb. 19 in Queens, N.Y. The cause was melanoma that spread to his brain, said a daughter, Kelly McCabe Casey.