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John E. Curtis Jr.

March 14, 1997

SAN ANTONIO (AP) _ John E. Curtis Jr., the top executive of the Luby’s Cafeterias chain, was found dead Thursday in a motel after an apparent suicide. He was 49.

The death was ruled a suicide by the Bexar County medical examiner’s office. Curtis died from multiple stab wounds to the neck, apparently from a knife, said investigator Jerry Leyva of the medical examiner’s office.

Spiess confirmed that it was a suicide and said Curtis left a note, which his wife found at their San Antonio home.

Curtis, 49, joined the company in 1979. He served as chief financial officer from 1988 until January and was elected a director of the company in January 1991. He was named president and chief operating officer in January 1996 and became CEO in January.

Luby’s operates more than 200 cafeterias in Texas, Louisiana, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Dr. Robert B. Leighton

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) _ Dr. Robert B. Leighton, a physicist whose work on telescopes expanded astronomers’ views of the universe, died Sunday of a neurological disease. He was 77.

Telescopes Leighton invented, called Leighton dishes, give astronomers the ability to analyze a relatively unexplored area of the electromagnetic spectrum.

He also discovered five-minute oscillations in local surface velocities of the sun, which started a research field called solar seismology.

In the 1960s, Leighton was the team leader at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the Mars probes, Mariner 4, 6 and 7, which provided close-up pictures of the red planet.

A physics textbook Leighton authored, ``Principles of Modern Physics,″ was a standard in the field for decades. He retired about 1980 and was the Valentine Professor of Physics emeritus when he died.

Frank Pacelli

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Frank Pacelli, the Emmy-winning director of ``The Young and the Restless,″ died March 7 of heart failure. He was 72.

Pacelli, who directed the CBS soap opera for the last 16 years, received 12 Emmy nominations during that time. He won five Emmys from 1986 to 1996.

Pacelli began directing at NBC in New York, moving up through the production ranks for the public affairs department’s live religious programs to ``The David Susskind Show.″

He soon moved into daytime dramas, directing numerous shows including ``Dark Shadows,″ ``Bright Promise,″ ``The Young Marrieds″ and ``Morning Star.″

He came to ``The Young and the Restless″ in 1980 after 13 years at ``Days of Our Lives.″

M. Frederik Smith

TOWSON, Md. (AP) _ M. Frederik Smith, a business consultant and environmental adviser, died Wednesday at age 88.

Smith, who retired in 1991 after a stroke, was appointed to various positions by several presidents.

From 1942 to 1944, Smith was assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury and a staff representative of President Franklin Roosevelt’s at the Economic and International Monetary Conference.

From 1964 to 1988, he was consultant to the chairman of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Smith also served on the boards of American Motors, Howard Johnson, and the United Nations Development Corporation.

Smith was appointed by President Nixon as a consultant to the Committee on Quality of the Environment. President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Smith to the Citizens’ Advisory Committee on Outdoor Recreation and Natural Beauty.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower named him to the Recreation Resources Review Commission and President Harry S. Truman appointed Smith chairman of the public relations committee of the National Labor Management Conference.

Dr. Dwight Locke Wilbur

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Dr. Dwight Locke Wilbur, former president of the American Medical Association, died Sunday. He was 93.

During a 50-year career as a gastroenterologist, Wilbur also served as a professor of medicine at Stanford University and wrote more than 200 medical articles.

Wilbur served as president of many scientific organizations, including the American College of Physicians and the California Medical Society.

He served as president of the AMA for the 1968-1969 term.