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Obituaries in the News

January 16, 1998

VIENNA, Austria (AP) _ Georg Eisler, an Austrian expressionist artist whose paintings and sketches portrayed people in their everyday surroundings, died Wednesday. He was 69.

He studied art with German expressionist Oskar Kokoschka.

Eisler was born in Vienna to composer Hanns Eisler and his wife Charlotte. Georg Eisler immigrated to England with his mother when he was 11, after Nazi Germany annexed Austria.

He returned to Vienna after World War II.

Jaysin Fermin

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) _ Jaysin Fermin, the Dominican merengue star whose innovative group Illegales helped create a new style of Latin music, died Wednesday from injuries suffered in a car accident. He was 20.

Fermin was seriously injured in a car crash a month ago. Doctors said he died of an infection caused by the spinal injury.

Fermin was the lead singer of the group, whose name means The Illegals in Spanish. The group pioneered the ``merenhouse″ style, named for its meld of hip-swaying merengue and urban hip hop and rap music.

E. Harvey Hough

TONAWANDA, N.Y. (AP) _ E. Harvey Hough, retired editor and publisher of the Tonawanda News, died Tuesday. He was 79.

He joined the Tonawanda News as a reporter in 1946, after serving in the Army during World War II as a cryptographer in India and China. He became city editor in 1948 and was promoted to managing editor in 1949.

Named editor in 1967, he was appointed publisher in 1975 when Ralph Ingersoll II purchased the paper from local owners. He retired in 1980.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son and daughter.

Gulzarilal Nanda

NEW DELHI, India (AP) _ Gulzarilal Nanda, a former Indian prime minister and disciple of independence leader Mohandas Gandhi, died Thursday. He was 99.

Nanda died in the western city of Ahmadabad after a heart attack. He had been in a coma for the past six months.

Nanda was interim prime minister twice, once when India’s first premier, Jawaharlal Nehru, died in office in 1964, and again when Nehru’s successor, Lal Bahadur Shastri, died in 1966.

Nanda was closely linked with the campaign against British rule, which resulted in independence in 1947. Gandhi, known as the mahatma, or ``great soul,″ advocated nonviolent resistance to foreign rule.

Lita Osmundsen

NEW YORK (AP) _ Lisa S. Osmundsen, retired president of the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, died Jan. 9 of complications from pulmonary hypertension. She was 71.

Mrs. Osmundsen was president of the Manhattan-based anthropological foundation from 1978 to 1986 and its director of research from 1963 to 1978.

She and anthropologist Margaret Mead received the foundation’s first Distinguished Service Awards in 1976.

Mrs. Osmundsen won her award for her ``contribution to the internationalization of anthropology,″ her support of research and her use of conferences to ``further scholarly integration and development,″ according to an American Anthropological Association publication.

T. Wayne Robertson

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) _ T. Wayne Robertson, an executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and an influential leader in motorsports, died Wednesday during a hunting trip in Louisiana. He was 47.

Robertson was one of six duck hunters killed in a boating collision in a Louisiana bayou.

Robertson joined R.J. Reynolds as an administrative trainee and show car driver in 1971. Twenty years later, he was named one of the 50 most powerful people in sports by The Sporting News and he helped transform NASCAR from a racing circuit of regional interest into an international success.

As president of Sports Marketing Enterprises and senior vice president of Reynolds, Robertson oversaw the sponsorship of NASCAR Winston Cup racing, NHRA Winston Drag Racing, the Vantage Championship Senior PGA tournament and other events.

Lawrence Treat

OAK BLUFFS, Mass. (AP) _ Lawrence Treat, a writer of police mystery novels who was said to have been the last surviving founding member of Mystery Writers of America, died Jan. 7. He was 94.

Treat began writing for pulp mystery magazines during the 1930s and wrote about 300 short stories and 20 novels during his lifetime.

His first novels were ``B as in Banshee″ and ``D as in Dead.″ ``V as in Victim″ was published in 1945. The novels followed protagonist Mitch Taylor, a veteran police officer with family problems and the belief that bribes reveal secrets, along with sidekick Jub Freeman, a forensic expert.

In recent years, Treat originated and authored crime mystery picture puzzle books. His clues might lead readers to logical solutions that are not the same as his. He said he didn’t mind, because he was dealing with probabilities, not certainties.

Junior Wells

CHICAGO (AP) _ Junior Wells, whose powerful harmonica playing and singing helped shape Chicago blues, died Thursday after a battle with cancer. He was 63.

Wells had been seriously ill since September, when he suffered a heart attack and lapsed into a coma while being treated lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system.

A hip, gregarious musician, the Grammy-nominated Wells recorded and toured with guitarist Buddy Guy, both as headliners and as opening act for the Rolling Stones. In recent years Wells toured with his own eight-piece band. In the 1960s Wells, released ``Hoodoo Man Blues,″ considered by many one of the greatest blues albums, on Chicago’s Delmark Records.

Wells, who moved from Arkansas to Chicago when he was 12, soaked in the music and the Chicago scene in the late 1940s, playing his first professional gig at 14 and finding frequent work as a sideman. He joined Muddy Waters’ band in 1952, replacing Little Walter.

Before he became ill, Wells completed scenes for the movie ``Blues Brothers 2000″ and also recorded a track for a Rolling Stones tribute album called ``Paint It Blue: Songs of the Rolling Stones.″

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