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Obituaries in the News

November 21, 2001

BOISE, Idaho (AP) _ Stephen Bistline, a Supreme Court judge known for defending civil liberties, died Monday after battling Alzheimer’s disease. He was 80.

Bistline was appointed justice on May 20, 1976, by Democratic Gov. Cecil Andrus. He retired on Dec. 1, 1994, as the high court’s most prolific dissenter, casting his lot with the minority in almost two-thirds of the more than 900 cases in which he participated.

In one case Bistline dissented from a majority opinion he authored.

The Pocatello native earned a reputation for defending individual rights on the five-member high court, often with biting, articulate criticisms of conclusions reached by the majority.

Robert L. Carter

JAMESPORT, Mo. (AP) _ Robert L. Carter, longtime sports editor of the Constitution-Tribune in Chillicothe, Mo., died Tuesday after a car crash that also killed two teen-age passengers. He was 52.

Carter had been president of the Missouri Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association since 1974. The group issues weekly rankings of high school football and basketball teams.

Carter also was a regular on a weekly radio show _ ``The Fifth Quarter″ _ on KMZU for 11 years, commenting on high school sports.

Carter was working in a part-time job as a driver for a youth agency when the accident happened.

Edwin H. Colbert

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) _ Paleontologist Edwin H. ``Ned″ Colbert, a former curator at New York’s American Museum of Natural History, died Nov. 15. He was 96.

Colbert spent 40 years as the curator of fossil reptiles and amphibians at the New York museum, where he started the famed Brontosaur Hall. Colbert was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and traveled the world for his research.

He and his wife, Margaret, retired to Flagstaff. For the past 30 years he was the honorary curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Museum of Northern Arizona.

In 1996, the Flagstaff museum created the Colbert Chair of Vertebrate Paleontology in his honor.

Colbert published more than 425 scientific publications, including 17 books. His college textbook, ``Colbert’s Evolution of the Vertebrates,″ is in its fifth edition.

Franco Gulli

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) _ Franco Gulli, an internationally known violinist and a distinguished professor at the Indiana University School of Music, died Tuesday. He was 75.

Gulli, born in Trieste, Italy, performed his first concert as a child in 1934. He became a concertmaster with the Milan Chamber Orchestra and a soloist with the renowned ensemble I Virtuosi di Roma.

His performances included the Niccolo Paganini’s Fifth Violin Concerto, which he premiered in 1959.

Gulli was a jury member of major violin competitions worldwide and held positions at international festivals in Vienna, Paris, Dubrovnik, Lucerne, Venice and Sienna.

Gulli joined the IU School of Music faculty in the early 1970s. He eventually held the Dorothy Richard Starling Chair in Violin Studies, the first fully funded endowed chair in the music school.

He made two recordings of Beethoven sonatas with his wife Enrica Cavallo. He recorded the complete cycle of Beethoven string trios with the Trio Italiano d’Archi, an ensemble he co-founded.

Rude Osolnik

BEREA, Ky. (AP) _ Rude Osolnik, a master wood ``turner″ who produced museum-quality pieces from scraps and chunks of wood, died Sunday of congestive heart failure. He was 86.

Osolnik helped found the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen, the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild and the Berea Crafts Festival. He worked at Berea College for 40 years, retiring in 1978 as head of its woodcraft industry program.

Osolnik’s bowls, candlesticks, pots and other pieces were displayed in museums including the Smithsonian, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. The pieces from which he carved had often been ravaged by blight, rot or lightning.

Osolnik’s seminars attracted students and wood turners from all over the world. He also wrote a book, ``A Lifetime of Turning.″ In 1993, he received the Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts.

King Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) _ King Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, who was elected under Malaysia’s unusual royal rotation system, died Wednesday after weeks of complications following heart surgery. He was 75.

Salahuddin, who also was the sultan of Malaysia’s Selangor state, assumed the throne in 1999 under a rotation system that chooses the constitutional monarch by secret ballot among the sultans of Malaysia’s nine states. Each sultan takes a five-year turn as monarch.

The king in Malaysia holds mostly ceremonial powers, and Salahuddin’s death does not affect the functioning of the government of this Southeast Asian nation.

If a monarch dies in office, the title automatically goes to the deputy, and the sultans meet to choose a new No. 2.

Terengganu state’s sultan, Mizan Zainal Abidin, has been acting king since Salahuddin was hospitalized in early October for heart surgery.

For ethnic Malay Muslims, who make up more than 60 percent of Malaysia’s 23 million people, the king is the supreme upholder of Malay tradition and the symbolic head of Islam _ a legacy that dates back to the early 15th century.

Mary Roberts Wilson

DALLAS (AP) _ Mary Roberts Wilson, the first woman to be awarded the Silver Star medal for gallantry following her heroics as a nurse during World War II, died Monday of a heart attack. She was 87.

Wilson, about whom Tom Brokaw wrote an entire chapter in his best-selling book ``The Greatest Generation,″ received the medal Feb. 18, 1944, for her supervision of more than 50 nurses in a U.S. Army evacuation hospital in Anzio, Italy, while bombs and artillery shells exploded overhead.

The Silver Star is the third-highest recognition given for valor in battle.

After the war, Wilson worked at the Dallas VA Medical Center, where she was an operating room supervisor for more than 25 years. Earlier this month, the hospital named a conference room in her honor.