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Obituaries in the News

March 21, 2003

MIAMI (AP) _ Former Miami and San Francisco 49ers safety Al Blades was killed early Thursday when the car he was riding in crashed into a bridge and plunged into a canal. He was 26.

Blades is the brother of former Miami and NFL players Bennie and Brian Blades.

Blades played for the Hurricanes from 1996-2000. He was named to the All-Big East Conference first team in 2000.

Blades signed with the 49ers as a free agent in 2001. He was released during training camp last summer.

Kathy Harper

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Kathy Harper, an Emmy winner who co-founded the Narrative Television Network, died Tuesday. She was 49.

No cause of death was released.

Harper co-founded the Narrative network in 1988. It makes television programs, movies and live performances accessible to blind or visually impaired people by narrating story points that have no dialogue.

In 1991, she won an Emmy for outstanding achievement in engineering development of television for the visually impaired. She also won a Media Access Award, an International Film and Video Award and a Golden Georgi from the Writers Foundation of America.

Harper was born May 29, 1953, in Indianapolis. Legally blind since age 7, Harper moved to Tulsa in 1971 to attend American Christian College.

After graduating in 1974, Harper worked as a paralegal until co-founding the network.

Roland E. Kreibich

AUBURN, Wash. (AP) _ Roland E. Kreibich, who risked his life by refusing to become a German army officer in World War II, then became a noted chemist, died March 12. He was 80.

Kreibich, a retired Weyerhaeuser Co. employee, was born in Glasert, Czechoslovakia. He was drafted in 1941, three years after the Sudetenland was ceded to Nazi Germany.

A lifelong opponent of war, Kreibich refused to command soldiers and was assigned to a penalty battalion that swept minefields. He later was trained as a medic, served in the infantry and was wounded several times, winding up with permanent hearing loss from battlefield explosions and gunfire.

He was awarded the Iron Cross, Germany’s highest military honor at the time.

In 1949 he received a doctorate in forensic chemistry from the University of Graz in Austria but, unable to find work in Germany or Austria, moved to Toronto in 1951.

He went to work for Weyerhaeuser in 1958, later developing an environmentally friendly, waterproof soy-based glue.

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