Obituaries in the News
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) _ Greg Anderson, whose interceptions and kick returns sparked Montana’s football teams during the mid-1970s, died Jan. 8 of a heart attack. He was 46.
Anderson, a defensive back, played four years for the Grizzlies. He was a Little All-American in 1976 and all-Big Sky Conference for three years. He was the league’s most valuable player on defense in 1976, as a senior free safety.
He spent two seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League, and one in Montreal with the Canadian Football League.
D. Brook Bartlett
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ U.S. District Judge D. Brook Bartlett, who sentenced a former state attorney general to jail for corruption, has died of cancer at the age of 62.
His wife, Karen Iverson, said the judge died at their home Friday afternoon. He was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in January 1997.
Bartlett, a Kansas City native, was appointed to the federal bench in 1981 by President Reagan and he became chief judge in 1995. He was a graduate of Princeton University and earned his law degree from Stanford.
Among the many high-profile cases Bartlett handled on the bench was that of William Webster, the former Missouri attorney general who was prosecuted for corruption after his unsuccessful race for governor as the Republican nominee in 1992.
Webster pleaded guilty to conspiracy and to misapplying state resources in his gubernatorial campaign. Bartlett sentenced Webster to the maximum two years in prison, six months more than prosecutors recommended, refusing to give him the credit Webster sought for accepting responsibility for his wrongdoing.
Sam M. Fleming
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Sam M. Fleming, longtime president of Third National Bank, died Friday. He was 91.
Fleming was president of the bank from 1950 until 1970. He began with the bank in 1931 as manager of the credit department and retired as chairman in 1972.
He also was a founding director of Hillsboro Enterprises, a holding company with investments in various businesses.
Maxine Elliott Hicks
SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (AP) _ Maxine Elliott Hicks, who appeared in more than 200 silent films, then moved to movies and later appeared in television sitcoms, including ``Frasier,″ died Jan 10. She was 95.
Hicks recently appeared in the movies ``Defending Your Life″ and ``Beethoven.″
During the age of the silent film, Hicks won such choice roles as the daughter of Ethel Barrymore in ``The Eternal Mother″ and the bratty Susie May Squoggs, nemesis of America’s sweetheart, Mary Pickford, in ``Poor Little Rich Girl.″
Although she moved successfully into talkies, she left acting in the 1930s following a dispute between her mother and Jack Warner of Warner Bros.
She later returned to acting, and when she was in her 80s, she co-starred as Sister Ethel on the ABC sitcom ``The Ten of Us,″ set at a Catholic all-boys school.
The role led to parts in the movies ``Defending Your Life″ and ``Beethoven″ and the television show ``Frasier.″
J. Hardin Peterson Jr.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ J. Hardin Peterson Jr., who gave former Gov. Lawton Chiles his first job out of law school and later became the late governor’s top attorney, died Friday. He was 73.
The cause of death was not released.
Chiles persuaded Peterson to leave his practice and become his general counsel in 1991. Peterson retired after Chiles’ first term but then returned to the position from 1997 through 1998.
In between his two stints in the governor’s office, Peterson led a legal delegation to Macedonia to help that country draft a new constitution and establish its legal system.
BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) _ Saeb Salam, who served as prime minister five times and was the last surviving statesmen who fought for Lebanon’s independence from France, died Friday at age 95.
Salam began his political career in 1943 and ended in 1992, when his eldest son, Tamam, succeeded him in the Beirut parliamentary seat he had held for decades.
Salam served as prime minister and Cabinet minister in his 50-odd years in politics. He last held the premiership in 1972, when he quit following an Israeli commando raid in Beirut that left three Palestinian guerrilla leaders dead.
He relentlessly advocated peaceful Muslim-Christian coexistence following the outbreak of Lebanon’s ruinous 1975-90 civil war.
Salam was one of a few Muslim Lebanese leaders who publicly supported a controversial peace accord signed by Lebanon and Israel in 1983 to secure an Israeli withdrawal from a border strip in southern Lebanon.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Leo Taylor, a math instructor who counted Johnny Carson among his pupils, died Wednesday. He was 91.
He began his teaching career at age 16 in a one-room school house in north-central Nebraska.
Taylor’s career eventually took him to Norfolk, where the future talk show host was among his students. He taught Carson and others math, history, business law and geography.
He spent 18 years at Omaha North High School before retiring.
Russell L. Wenkstern
SPRING PARK, Minn. (AP) _ Russell L. Wenkstern, the former chief executive of Tonka Toys who helped develop the popular yellow Mighty Dump truck, died Tuesday. He was 87.
Wenkstern was CEO and president of Tonka Toys from 1961 to 1977, raising the company’s annual sales from $400,000 to $80 million.
In 1952, he became secretary of the board and production manager for Mound Metal Craft, which later became Tonka Toys. Nine years later, Wenkstern moved into the top position at Minnesota-based Tonka.
In 1998, Wenkstern was inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame.