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Obituaries in the News

November 17, 1998

GENEVA (AP) _ Ahlam al-Tikriti, the wife of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s half-brother, has died. She was 44.

The cause of death was not clear, but she reportedly had been receiving treatment for breast cancer. A hospital spokeswoman confirmed the death, but declined to give the cause or say when.

Mrs. al-Tikriti was also the half-sister of Saddam’s first wife, Sajida, who is the mother of Saddam’s two grown sons, Odai and Qusai.

Joseph A. Fattorini

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) _ Joseph A. Fattorini, an Associated Press technician for 17 years, died Sunday after a three-month illness. He was 41.

Fattorini went to work for the AP in New York in 1981. He transferred a year later to AP’s Denver bureau and worked there until he moved in January 1989 to Virginia Beach.

In that job, he serviced equipment that supplied news, photos, audio and multimedia services to AP newspapers and broadcasters in Virginia.

He is survived by his wife, Judy; a daughter, two sons, and a stepdaughter.

Albert Frey

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) _ Albert Frey, an architect who designed the landmark Tramway Oasis gas station, died Saturday. He was 95.

Frey, internationally recognized as a modernist pioneer, wanted his designs to elevate everyday life. He used cheaper materials like concrete, brick and metal.

The wing-shaped roof of the Tramway Oasis gas station achieved historic site status last year. The station, completed in 1965, has a wing-like roof that spans more than 95 feet over the gas pumps, supported by only six steel pipe columns.

Laurence Gandar

PIETERMARITZBURG, South Africa (AP) _ Laurence Gandar, a crusading editor of the 1960s who was one of the first prominent journalists to challenge apartheid, died Saturday of Parkinson’s disease. He was 82.

Gandar took over as editor of the Rand Daily Mail in 1957. The paper is defunct, but at the time it was one of South Africa’s major dailies.

He campaigned against apartheid, earning the wrath of the government and white business establishment.

His major investigative project was a four-part series that exposed horrendous prison conditions. The government prosecuted him for violating a law on prison information, and Gandar was convicted and fined.

Gandar left his job as editor and served three years as editor-in-chief, beginning in 1966.

He won the World Press Achievement Award, granted in 1966 by the American Newspaper Publishers Association.

He is survived by a grandson.

Jack Gelineau

MONTREAL (AP) _ Jack Gelineau, a goaltender who won the Calder Trophy as the National Hockey League’s rookie of the year in 1949-50, died Thursday of cancer. He was 74.

In three seasons with the Boston Bruins and one with the Chicago Blackhawks, he posted a 3.13 goals-against average in 143 NHL games.

During the World War II, Gelineau was awarded the British Empire Medal for gallantry after surviving a 1944 plane crash and rescuing an injured crewman from the burning plane loaded with ammunition.

Paula Kissinger

NEW YORK (AP) _ Paula Kissinger, the mother of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, died Sunday. She was 97.

Mrs. Kissinger held the Bible at the 1973 White House ceremony in which her first-born son assumed the country’s highest Cabinet post.

Fleeing the Nazis in Germany, Mrs. Kissinger arrived in the United States in 1940 with her husband and two young sons. She quickly learned the language and became a cook and caterer to supplement the family’s income.

She returned to Germany a few times, once to see her son awarded an honorary degree.

Charles McCartney

MACON, Ga. (AP) _ Charles ``Ches″ McCartney, known as the ``Goat Man″ as he traveled the United States for decades with an iron-wheeled wagon and a team of goats, died Sunday. He was believed to be 97.

McCartney started wandering as a youth and in 1930 began his travels with the goats and a wagon loaded with pots and pans, bales of hay and car tags. He traveled across the country for 40 years.

His life was chronicled in a 1993 documentary film by Jimmy Hammett, ``Goat Man, the Life and Times of Ches McCartney,″ and in a 1994 book, ``America’s Goat Man,″ by Darryl Patton.

Charles B. Persons

BRAINERD, Minn. (AP) _ Charles B. Persons, a longtime radio broadcaster whose live broadcasts from his Cessna 172 earned him the moniker ``The Flying Broadcaster,″ died Sunday. He was 89.

Persons spent 67 years in broadcasting. He and his wife, June, owned and operated KVBR in Brainerd from 1964 to 1995. He was presented with the Minnesota Pioneer Broadcaster award in 1980.

Persons got his private pilot’s license at age 54 and his instrument rating at age 65. He also wrote four books as well as articles for flying magazines.

He is survived by his wife and children.

J.D. Sumner

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ J.D. Sumner, who sang with Elvis Presley in concert and on records during a 55-year career in gospel music, died Monday of a heart attack. He was 73.

Sumner, born John Daniel Sumner, was a bass singer who once was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s lowest bass singer. His voice plunged to a double low C.

He and the Stamps Quartet, Sumner’s gospel music group, performed with Presley from 1970 to 1977. Sumner sang on Presley records such as ``Burning Love,″ ``American Trilogy″ and ``Way Down.″

Sumner, who sang at Presley’s funeral in 1977, started singing at age 8 in a church quartet in his native Florida. He began his professional career in 1943 when he joined the Sunshine Boys, a ``cowboy quartet″ that made more than a dozen movies with western stars Eddie Dean and ``The Durango Kid.″

He sang with the Blackwood Brothers gospel group from 1954 to 1965. In 1965, he joined the Stamps Quartet. The Stamps, in addition to gospel music, also sang secular songs and country music during their live shows.

Jerry H. Whitener

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) _ Jerry H. Whitener, vice president and general manager of Evansville television station WTVW, died Thursday of cancer. He was 57.

Whitener started at the Fox network affiliate about a year ago. Prior to working at WTVW, he was vice president and general manager of television stations KLRT and KASN, both in Little Rock, Ark.

His 40-year career in broadcasting started at a radio station in Nashville, Tenn., where he worked as a rock ‘n’ roll disc jockey.

Survivors include his wife, Sandra; two daughters and two sons.