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Obituaries in the News

June 13, 2000

LAS VEGAS (AP) _ David G. Greenspun, who helped bring the first television signals to the Las Vegas Valley in the 1950s by hiking to the top a peak with a 200-pound transmitter on his back, died Sunday. He was 86.

Greenspun, a founder of KLAS Channel 8, was the brother of late Las Vegas Sun Editor/Publisher Herman M. ``Hank″ Greenspun and a longtime vice president of the newspaper.

In 1998 he was inducted into the Channel 8 hall of fame with his brother Hank and billionaire Howard Hughes, who bought the TV station from the Greenspuns.

David Greenspun was once an engineer at WNEW radio in New York, where he cut wax discs for Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Jimmy Durante, Benny Goodman, Harry James and other top artists of the 1940s.

He is survived by two daughters, a son, a sister, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Vince McNamara

BATAVIA, N.Y. (AP) _ Vince McNamara, a longtime baseball executive who helped the New York-Pennsylvania League survive, died Sunday after a long illness. He was 92.

McNamara was chairman of baseball’s rules committee in the 1970s and served alongside Hall of Famers Joe Cronin, Bill Terry and Hank Greenberg.

McNamara helped the New York-Penn make it through its lean years in the 1950s and ’60s. He retired as its commissioner in 1983, and the league now has a division named for him.

In his hometown of Buffalo, he spent almost 50 years working for the Parks Department.

Montree Pongpanit

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) _ Montree Pongpanit, a veteran Thai politician with a reputation for corruption and opportunism, died Monday of lung cancer. He was 57.

Montree was the leader of the Social Action Party for almost a decade, and since 1988 had managed to get his party into every elected coalition government.

In the mid 1980s, Montree served as commerce minister in Gen. Prem Tinsulanonda’s government.

He became transport and communication minister in 1988 under the late Chatichai Choonhaven, whose ministers won notoriety for allegedly taking all they could grab.

After the army used corruption as an excuse to stage a coup d’etat in 1991, a military-appointed commission found that Montree was one of ten prominent politicians to have become unusually wealthy in office.

He had more than $12 million at the time his assets were seized, but the commission was later ruled unconstitutional, and its actions invalidated.

Despite being found corrupt, he was invited to join a military-led government after a 1992 general election. Pro-democracy demonstrators forced the government’s resignation after less than two months in office.

J. Watson Webb Jr.

SHELBURNE, Vt. (AP) _ J. Watson Webb Jr., whose family was one of the nation’s foremost art collectors, died Saturday. He was 84.

Webb served as president and chairman of the board of the family’s pride: The Shelburne Museum, a collection of 37 historic buildings gathered on 45 acres and chock full of art, folk art and Americana.

His mother, Electra Havemeyer Webb, founded the museum in 1947. After she died in 1960, Webb became president, a post he held for 17 years.

His grandmother, Louisine Elder Havemeyer, was also a renowned art collector. She left almost 2,000 pieces of art to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1929. The Shelburne Museum was meant to be a tribute to her.

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