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Obituaries in the News

October 11, 2000

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) _ Retired Air Force Gen. James Hartinger, commander in chief of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, died Monday. He suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 75.

Hartinger was a fighter pilot who commanded the 9th Air Force and 12th Air Force. In his 40-year military career, he rose to four-star Air Force general and was the first commander of Air Force Space Command.

Hartinger was drafted into the Army in July 1943 to fight in World War II. When he returned to the United States, he entered West Point. He was commissioned as an officer in 1949 and flew combat missions in Korea and Vietnam.

After Hartinger retired in 1984, he served as a consultant to Space Command.

Linda Chavez Rodriguez

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Linda Chavez Rodriguez, a daughter of farm labor leader Cesar Chavez who grew up championing her father’s cause, died Monday of complications from scleroderma. She was 49.

Her husband followed in Chavez’s footsteps, becoming the second president of the United Farm Workers union.

Rodriguez worked in the union’s accounting, medical and pension offices until she fell ill earlier this year.

She was the third of eight children born to Chavez and his wife. Like the rest of her siblings, she assisted her father as he built the nation’s first farmworker union, picking crops and going door-to-door in the early years and later joining the marches, strikes and boycotts.

After graduating from high school in the Central Valley town of Delano, where the UFW was founded, Rodriguez volunteered in a variety of roles for the union.

Timothy Patrick Sheehan

CHICAGO (AP) _ Former U.S. Representative Timothy Patrick Sheehan died Sunday. He was 91.

Sheehan, a Republican from Chicago’s Northwest Side, served in Congress for four terms from 1950 to 1958. He was defeated in his bid for re-election to a fifth term.

In 1959, Sheehan ran for mayor of Chicago but was defeated by Richard J. Daley by more than 460,000 votes.

Bruce Vento

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Rep. Bruce Vento, a 12-term liberal Democrat from Minnesota who championed environmental and homeless causes, died Tuesday of lung cancer. He was 60.

As a young man, Vento worked as a state-paid laborer in several St. Paul-area facilities that he claimed exposed him to asbestos fibers. Two weeks ago he filed a lawsuit against 11 companies that allegedly supplied or installed asbestos products at those job sites.

Vento made his most significant legislative contributions on environmental issues.

When Democrats controlled the House, Vento was chairman of the Natural Resources subcommittee on national parks, forests and lands for 10 years and pushed for more money for national parks and other environmental priorities.

Vento worked on efforts to ban oil drilling on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and to preserve tropical rain forests. The Wilderness Society recognized his work in 1994 with the Ansel Adams Conservation Award.

Vento also helped establish the emergency shelter grants program and preserve the Federal Housing Authority.

For the last decade, Vento pushed a bill to make it easier for the Hmong _ an ethnic group in Laos_ who fought with U.S. forces during the Vietnam War to become U.S. citizens by waiving the English-language requirement for them. Congress approved the measure in May.