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Obituaries in the News

October 19, 1999

BOSTON (AP) _ Dr. John G. Clark, a Harvard psychiatrist who raised awareness of the influence of religious sects, died Oct. 7. He was 73.

During the 1970s, Clark studied newly emerging or unknown groups like the Unification Church, the Church of Scientology and the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. He also counseled over 500 former members of the groups and their families.

The Church of Scientology objected to Clark’s assertions, and the church and Clark battled in court. In 1988, he settled with the group for an undisclosed amount and agreed to never publicly talk about the group again.

Vernon de Tar

KENNETT SQUARE, Pa. (AP) _ Vernon de Tar, an organist regarded as an influential force in American church music, died Oct 7. He was 94.

For 42 years, de Tar was the organist and choirmaster at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in New York’s Greenwich Village, where he helped establish the church’s reputation for varied programs of religious music from the Renaissance to the present.

He also taught at the Yale University Union Theological Seminary and the Juilliard School, teaching several generations of organists. He made a strong case for replacing bombastic 19th century hymns with more contemporary ones, as well as 16th-century works that had fallen out of use.

After his retirement in the early 1980s, he moved to Kennett Square, where he worked as a substitute organist and taught privately.

Christine Mason

BALTIMORE (AP) _ Christine Mason, a hairstylist whose behemoth beehives and other outrageous coiffeurs were comic highlights in five of Baltimore director John Waters’ most popular films, died Sunday of cervical cancer. She was 49.

Her best-known works were those she created as hairstylist and wigmaker for a series of Mr. Waters’ films, including ``Female Trouble,″ ``Desperate Living,″ ``Polyester,″ ``Cry Baby″ and ``Hairspray.″

Among the performers for whom Ms. Mason created hairstyles were the late Divine, a female impersonator who starred in Waters’ early films, Ricki Lake, Deborah Harry and Patricia Hearst.

Jim Moran

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) _ Jim Moran, known for outrageous publicity stunts in the 1940s and ’50s to promote products, Hollywood films _ and himself _ died Monday, He was 91.

Find a needle in a haystack? It took Moran 10 days, to the amusement of the nation and sidewalk crowds in Washington, D.C. He also did it to bring attention to nearby property for sale.

For the premiere of the 1959 film, ``The Mouse that Roared,″ he opened an embassy in Washington for the book’s fictitious ``Duchy of Grand Fenwick,″ Brace said.

Gags like walking a bull through Ovington’s _ a china shop on Fifth Avenue in New York _ may have been nutty, but Moran ``was crazy like a fox,″ said Herb Steinberg, a retired executive who worked at the MCA, Paramount and Universal film studios.

James Sterling Moran was born in Woodstock, Va., on Nov. 24, 1907, said a friend, Mimi Brace of Sarasota, Fla.

Moran spent the last three years of his life at the Actors’ Fund Nursing and Retirement home in Englewood, N.J., a New York suburb, Brace said. He is survived by a brother, Paul Moran, of Alexandria, Va.

Annette Oldham Porter

REXBURG, Idaho (AP) _ Annette Oldham Porter, who published The Rexburg Standard and The Rexburg Journal newspapers with her husband for more than 30 years, died Sunday. She was 87.

She and her husband, former Mayor John C. Porter, bought The Rexburg Standard in 1941. In 1954 they took over the competing Rexburg Journal from the late Art C. Porter, John’s brother, who took over the commercial printing operations of both papers.

Mrs. Porter’s son Roger Porter now is publisher of The Rexburg Standard-Journal. The company also publishes the tri-weekly Fremont Herald-Chronicle in Fremont County.

Mrs. Porter is survived by her husband, three sons and a daughter.

Sam Renick

NEW YORK (AP) _ Sam Renick, one of America’s top jockeys 50 years ago and a founder of the Jockeys’ Guild, died Saturday. He was 87.

Renick became a jockey as a teen-ager in the late 1920s. He was a contract rider for Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt and for Harry Warner, and won many of the major stakes races on both coasts.

After he retired, Renick hosted the TV program ``Racing with Renick,″ which was broadcast from tracks in New York and Florida.

Renick teamed with close friend Eddie Arcaro and another top rider, Johnny Longden, to form the Jockeys’ Guild, seeking to provide basic insurance and medical protections for jockeys and their families in case of injury or death.

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