Obituaries in the News
NEW YORK (AP) _ Raven Chanticleer, the flamboyant founder of the Harlem African-American Wax and History Museum, died March 31 of lung cancer. He was 72.
In 1989, in his West 115th Street Harlem brownstone, Chanticleer opened the wax museum, where visitors could see about 25 lifelike figures of such famous black heroes as Malcolm X and Magic Johnson. He made all the figures, including one of himself.
``Just in case something should happen to me, if they didn’t carry out my wishes and my dreams of this wax museum I would come back and haunt the hell out of them,″ Chanticleer said in a radio interview last year.
An artist, dancer and fashion designer, Chanticleer also made all the costumes.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) _ Journalist Bob Douglas, whose career included managing the Arkansas Gazette and heading the University of Arkansas journalism department, died Sunday of complications from a stroke. He was 77.
Until he suffered several strokes, Douglas was a newspaper and legal consultant and weekly columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Douglas worked for the Arkansas Gazette for 33 years. During his tenure, the Gazette won two Pulitzer prizes, the Freedom House Award, the John Peter Zenger Award, and the Elijah Lovejoy Award, among others. The Arkansas Gazette ceased publication in 1991 and its assets were sold to the Arkansas Democrat.
Douglas worked briefly at Little Rock television station KARK and later was news editor of the Asheville (N.C.) Citizen for two years.
He joined the University of Arkansas in August 1981 as chairman of the journalism department, where he created a unique master’s degree program requiring students to study politics, government or law, among other topics along with journalism.
Douglas received a number of awards, and was the first newspaperman ever to win the President’s Award from the Arkansas Broadcasters Association.
Joseph Russell Elkinton
BOSTON (AP) _ Dr. Joseph Russell Elkinton, physician and former editor of one of the world’s top medical journals, died Saturday. He was 91.
Elkinton became editor of the Annals of Internal Medicine, the journal of the American College of Physicians, in 1960. He helped make the publication one of the world’s leading medical journals, and served until he retired in 1971.
Elkinton graduated from Haverford College in 1932 and Harvard Medical School in 1937. He interned and completed his residency at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, before working eight years as a research fellow and assistant professor at the Yale School of Medicine.
In 1948, he founded the chemical section at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
A Quaker, he was interested in the relationship between science and religion, and wrote about medical ethics and social questions, including ``The Quaker Heritage in Medicine,″ which he co-wrote with Robert Clark.
MEXICO CITY (AP) _ Maria Felix, an icon of classic Mexican films and a tart commentator on national life, died Monday of a heart attack. She was 88.
Friends said Felix died at home on her 88th birthday. Television and radio stations broke into regular programming to announce her death.
President Vicente Fox homage to Felix’s frequent criticism of past governments and her defense of women’s rights. ``I say from my heart that she was one of those who promoted the democratic change in Mexico,″ he said.
Felix was one of Mexico’s most glamorous stars. She starred in 47 films from 1942 to 1966, though few were shown widely outside Spanish-speaking nations.
A former university beauty queen and queen of the Guadalajara carnival, she was known as ``Beautiful Maria,″ the title of a popular song written by one of her five husbands, composer Agustin Lara.
Felix entranced Latin Americans, from the impoverished rural filmgoers of the 1940s to the cultural elite. Muralists Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco painted her portrait. Nobel laureate Octavio Paz wrote of her: ``Maria was born twice: her parents created her and later she invented herself.″
BOSTON (AP) _ Malcolm Kalp, a former U.S. Embassy worker in Iran who survived 444 days of captivity after he was taken hostage in 1979, died Sunday in a two-car accident allegedly caused by a drunken driver. He was 63.
Kalp was the embassy’s commercial officer when he and 51 others were taken hostage Nov. 4, 1979.
He said he tried to escape three times, and was beaten and held in solitary confinement for 374 days as a result. His captors accused him of being a CIA spy.
Shiro H. Kunimatsu
BELLEVUE, Wash. (AP) _ Shiro H. Kunimatsu, who directed construction crews on the Sears Tower, John Hancock Building and Water Tower Place shopping mall in Chicago, died Thursday. He was 84.
Kunimatsu, who grew up in Bellingham, moved to Chicago after being held in a Japanese internment camp in California for a year during World War II and became a leading construction manager.
His biggest job was construction superintendent for the Sears Tower, the tallest in the world when it was completed in 1973 and still the highest building in the United States.
He moved back to the Pacific Northwest to work on renovation of the Olympic Hotel, now the Four Seasons Olympic Hotel, in downtown Seattle.
Annalee Davis Thorndike
MEREDITH, N.H. (AP) _ Annalee Davis Thorndike, who made the hand-painted collectible dolls that bear her first name, died Sunday. She was 87.
Thorndike began making one-of-a-kind, posable felt dolls in 1930. At first she sold them for store displays and business advertising, including the state’s first tourism campaign.
She and her husband, Charles, began turning her hobby into a full-time business after their egg hatching farm began showing declining profits. He designed flexible wire frames to display the dolls, and the business _ Annalee Mobilitee Dolls Inc. _ was officially founded in 1955.
Thorndike, whose dolls have been displayed at the White House, was awarded the ``Collectibles and Gift Industry Pioneer Award″ in 1997.
The Annalee factory grew to become one of the Lakes Region’s largest employers, with 250 to 300 workers. However, a downturn in the collectibles market recently led the company to move most of its manufacturing to China.
The hand-painting and dressing of the dolls continued to be done in Meredith, where there is also an Annalee Doll museum. The town hosts a festival for collectors each summer.