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Obituaries in the News

October 31, 1999 GMT

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) _ Kamal Adham, an adviser to the late Saudi kings Faisal and Khaled, died Friday of a heart attack in Egypt. He was 71.

Adham, a brother-in-law of Faisal, was in charge of Saudi intelligence for several years during the early 1970s.

The staunchly anti-communist King Faisal dispatched Adham to Egypt in 1970 to convince then-President Anwar Sadat to lessen his dependence on the Soviets. Adham’s secret mediation is believed to have led Sadat to expel 16,000 Soviet military advisers from Egypt in 1972.

From 1975 to 1982, Adham served as adviser to King Khaled. He then went on to become a prominent businessman.

Richard Estrada

DALLAS (AP) _ Richard Estrada, associate editor for The Dallas Morning News and a nationally syndicated columnist whose work appeared in 25 newspapers, died Friday of an apparent heart attack. He was 49.

His weekly column was syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group. His most recent column appeared on The News op-ed page Friday.

``He argued repeatedly for a coherent and enforceable U.S. immigration policy, and for the need for people, no matter their origin, to practice good citizenship,″ said Alan Shearer, syndicate general manager and editorial director.

He was born in Lordsburg, N.M., the son of Mexican immigrants. He was the first member of his family to receive a college degree, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Texas at El Paso.

He joined The News in 1988 after a varied career that included six years in the National Guards of New Mexico and Texas and part-time work as a schoolteacher in El Paso.

Survivors include his mother, four brothers, and a sister.

Julio Martinez

NEW YORK (AP) _ Julio Martinez, a former drug addict who eventually headed New York state’s drug treatment program, died of cancer Thursday. He was 55.

Martinez was a central figure in the restoration and expansion of drug treatment programs in New York and nationally, and in the shift from state-operated rehabilitation programs to community-based treatment.

Largely because of his efforts, there are now nearly 1,000 community-based centers treating addicts in New York.

Martinez, whose family moved to the state from Puerto Rico when he was 2, became a heroin addict as a teen-ager but recovered in his early 20s. In 1966 he helped establish Phoenix House, a treatment facility operated by former addicts that is now the largest private drug treatment agency in the country.

Martinez headed the state drug-free agency from 1979 to 1989, but was forced to resign amid reports by state investigators that he had steered money for drug treatment programs run by his friends that failed to treat addicts. He denied the charges.

Robert L. Mills

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ Robert L. Mills, an Ohio State University professor emeritus and co-author of the 1954 Yang-Mills theory in mathematical physics, died Wednesday after a long illness. He was 72.

Mills retired from Ohio State in 1995 after 39 years as a teacher of theoretical physics. He was vice chairman for undergraduate studies.

A native of New Jersey, Mills graduated with honors in mathematics from Columbia University in 1948 before earning graduate degrees at Cambridge University in England and at Columbia.

Mills and physicist Chen Ning Yang received the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Rumford Prize in 1980 for their theory, which was centered around forces between nuclear particles.

Max Patkin

PAOLI, Pa. (AP) _ Max Patkin, who was known as the Clown Prince of Baseball for his goofy antics in an oversized uniform at minor league games, died Saturday. He was 79.

The West Philadelphia native had been hospitalized with a ruptured aorta for a week and died unexpectedly of an aneurism, said his daughter, Joy Tietsworth.

Patkin, who starred as himself in the minor league movie classic, ``Bull Durham,″ started off as a minor league pitcher before World War II. He started clowning around in lopsided games while in the service and was later hired as a comic coach to boost the attendance of the Cleveland Indians.

When the Indians began to win and did not need Patkin to draw crowds, he got started with other minor league ballclubs. Though Patkin always wanted to return to pitching, he was convinced to continue with his rubber-faced slapstick, which has been a baseball tradition ever since.

In March, Patkin made headlines when he was robbed on camera while filming a television special in downtown Philadelphia. Patkin helped insure a lenient sentence by asking the judge to go easy on the man, who took $35 from Patkin’s hand and ran off.

Many fans remember Patkin handing out baseball cards of himself. Doctors said Patkin was handing out his cards from his hospital bed the night before he died.

Josef Raviv

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Josef Raviv, a San Francisco Bay area-educated scientist regarded as a pioneer of the Israeli high-tech industry, died in a car accident Oct. 13. He was 65.

Raviv, who founded and led IBM’s research activities in Israel for more than 25 years, died in a crash in New Zealand that also killed his wife and a friend.

Raviv was head of the IBM Israel Scientific Center in Haifa and served as its first director when it became the Haifa Research Laboratory in 1982.

Born in Poland in 1934, Raviv moved to what was then Palestine when he was 4. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University, then earned a master’s degree in mathematics as well as a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.

Raviv co-authored a technical paper in 1974 that was the basis for a key computer function that helped computers understand a human’s natural language, translate between languages and synthesize speech.

Durward Belmont ``Woody″ Varner

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ Durward Belmont ``Woody″ Varner, former president of the University of Nebraska, died Saturday. He was 82 and had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

The native of Cottonwood, Texas, came to Nebraska after serving as chancellor of Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., from 1959-70. He oversaw the Lincoln and Omaha campuses of the University of Nebraska through 1977, when he was named chairman of the board of the University of Nebraska Foundation.