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Obituaries in the News

January 8, 1999

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) _ Bob Bruner, a broadcaster who ushered in color television at WMT-TV, died Wednesday at 81.

Bruner’s first job was on a 100-watt Florida station in 1940. In 1953, he came to WMT Radio, and four years later began doing television news.

In a 1967 evening newscast, he presided over WMT-TV’s switching from black and white to color. Bruner also anchored the station’s first midday newscast. He retired from WMT in 1982.

Survivors include a son, a grandchild and two great-grandchildren.

David Dennis

RICHMOND, Ind. (AP) _ Former U.S. Rep. David Dennis, whose vote against impeaching President Nixon cost him his seat in Congress, died of pneumonia Wednesday. He was 86.

The three-term Republican congressman supported Nixon’s position during the impeachment hearings in the Judiciary Committee and voted in the House Judiciary Committee against the articles of impeachment. The articles were approved, and Dennis lost his re-election bid in 1974.

James Hammerstein

NEW YORK (AP) _ James Hammerstein, theater director, producer and son of legendary lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II, died Thursday of a heart attack. He was 67.

Hammerstein was associated with many of his father’s musicals, directing or producing various revivals of such Rodgers and Hammerstein shows as ``The King and I,″ ``The Sound of Music,″ ``Carousel,″ ``South Pacific″ and ``Oklahoma!″

He co-produced the current off-Broadway musical revue ``I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change″ and the comedy ``Over the River and Through the Woods.″

Hammerstein also co-directed the stage version of ``State Fair,″ the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein film musical. It had a three-month run on Broadway in 1996.

James W. Kirkman

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (AP) _ James W. Kirkman, former publisher of The North Platte Telegraph and the town’s former mayor, died Thursday at age 88.

Kirkman worked for the Telegraph for 50 years, the last eight as publisher. He retired at 65 in 1976. He was mayor of North Platte from 1984 to 1992.

He became a sports editor in 1926, when he was a junior in high school, and went on to work full time as a sports editor and advertising manager in 1928. His ``Dots and Dashes″ sports column was followed around the region for decades.

He received the Nebraska Press Association’s top honor, ``Master Editor-Publisher″ in 1976.

Kirkman is survived by his wife and two sons.

R. Stanford Manning

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (AP) _ R. Stanford Manning, publisher of the San Clemente Daily Sun/Post for 20 years, died Wednesday while awaiting heart bypass surgery. He was 79.

He was one of few journalists invited to meet President Nixon at the western White House helicopter pad after Nixon resigned in 1974.

Manning and his wife, Pat, owned the weekly Carlsbad Journal until they sold it in late 1970s and bought an interest in the Sun/Post.

He published the Sun/Post until The Orange County Register bought the paper in 1993. Manning became publisher emeritus and continued to write a column.

Manning is survived by his wife, two sons, a daughter and three grandchildren.

Ntsu Mokhehle

MASERU, Lesotho (AP) _ Former Prime Minister Ntsu Mokhehle, considered the most influential politician in modern Lesotho, died Wednesday. He was 80.

Mokhehle, prime minister from 1993 until his retirement last year, founded the Basotholand African Congress party in 1952 and championed the cause of independence from Britain. Lesotho, encircled by South Africa, gained independence in 1966.

He led the party, which later changed its name to the Basotholand Congress Party, until June 1997 when he broke away with a large following to establish the Lesotho Congress for Democracy. Mokhehle’s new party has governed Lesotho since its establishment.

Allen D. Sapp Jr.

CINCINNATI (AP) _ Allen D. Sapp Jr., a composer and music professor whose works were performed by major orchestras, died Monday of heart failure. He was 76.

His works were performed by such groups as the New York Philharmonic, French Radio Orchestra and Boston Fine Arts Chamber Orchestra. Sapp was the first chairman of the board of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. Last year, chamber orchestra music Director Keith Lockhart, who is also conductor of the Boston Pops, recorded an album of Sapp’s music.

Sapp retired in 1993 as professor of composition at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He also taught at Harvard, Wellesley College and the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Sapp was active in national arts groups, and was director of Arts/Worth, a project funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Don Saxon

NEW YORK (AP) _ Don Saxon, who played vaudeville houses as part of a comedy team early in his career and went on to produce Broadway plays, died Tuesday. He was 82.

In the 1930s and ’40s, Saxon sang with a number of big bands, including the Ben Bernie Orchestra. He also performed on Broadway in ``The Great Waltz″ and ``Street Scene.″ In the late 1940s, he sang regularly at the Latin Quarter, a popular nightclub in Manhattan’s theater district.

He and comedian Tim Herbert later formed the comedy team Saxon and Herbert, playing vaudeville houses around the country, headlining at the Paramount Theater in New York, and appearing on ``The Ed Sullivan Show.″

Saxon began producing on Broadway in 1969 with ``Jimmy.″ He also produced ``The Boy Friend″ in 1970, ``Bully″ in 1976, and ``Diary of Anne Frank″ in 1980.

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