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Obituaries in the News

July 8, 1999

BOSTON (AP) _ Bob Backus, a champion weight thrower, died June 30. He was 72.

Backus set career bests of 45 feet, 2 inches in 1957 for the 56-pound weight (no longer in use) and 66 feet, 2 3/4 inches for the 35-pound weight in 1959.

He captured seven consecutive American titles for the 56-pound weight throw, from 1953 to 1959; titles seven out of eight years in the 35-pound throw, from 1954 to 1961; and one in the hammer throw in 1954.

In the 1955 Pan American Games, he won a gold for the hammer throw. In 1982, he was voted best indoor weight thrower ever.

Patricia Coakley

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) _ Sister Patricia Coakley, who helped found the Benet Hill Monastery more than 35 years ago, died Monday at age 101.

Sister Patricia began transforming the San Luis Ranch School for Girls into the Benet Hill Monastery with two other sisters in 1960.

She took her vows in 1924 at Mount Saint Scholastica in Atchison, where she received her secondary and college education. She later earned a teaching certificate from Adams State College in Alamosa and a bachelors degree in English from the University of Denver.

Sister Patricia spent 79 of her 101 years as a teacher, a principal, and a librarian for middle schools and high schools in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Colorado.

Don Hannula

SEATTLE (AP) _ Don Hannula, a former Seattle Times columnist and a journalist for 42 years, died Tuesday of cancer. He was 67.

Hannula, who spent 30 years at The Times, went to work for the Yakima Herald-Republic in 1954.

He later worked at The News Tribune in Tacoma, covering the clash between Indian fishermen and state officials over fishing rights.

Hannula was hired by The Times in 1966 to cover civil rights and anti-Vietnam War demonstrations. He spent several years as an assistant city editor, and in 1985 moved to the editorial staff where he wrote staff editorials and a weekly column.

He retired in 1996.

He is survived by his wife, Gene, two sons, a grandson and a brother.

Stanley Soble

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Stanley Soble, who cast productions of such award-winning plays as ``Angels in America″ and ``The Kentucky Cycle,″ died following an unspecified surgery on Tuesday. He was 59.

Soble’s work on the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play ``Angels in America″ won him the Artios, the top honor of the Casting Society of America.

He also cast the Los Angeles version of ``The Kentucky Cycle,″ which won a 1992 Pulitzer.

In 1978, Soble got a job as casting director for the soap opera ``Search for Tomorrow,″ later worked in casting for the New York Shakespeare Festival and formed his own casting business.

He joined the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles in 1988.

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