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J. Bill Becker, president of the Arkansa

December 8, 1997

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) _ J. Bill Becker, president of the Arkansas AFL-CIO for over three decades, died Saturday of adult respiratory distress syndrome. He was 73.

Becker served as the top official of the state’s largest labor organization from 1964 to 1996. A labor organizer, he became a founding member of the state AFL-CIO executive board.

One of the first victories under Becker’s leadership was legislative passage of the state’s first minimum-wage law in 1967.

Vince Campagna

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Veteran Southern California radio reporter Vince Campagna, who retired on Nov. 27 after nearly three decades with KFWB-AM, died Saturday after complications from surgery. He was 64.

Campagna, who joined the station in 1969, was the station’s entertainment critic but also reported on Watergate, the Gulf War and Charles Manson.

Dr. Wallace Clark Jr.

NEW YORK (AP) _ Dr. Wallace Clark Jr., who designed a technique for assessing and grading the seriousness of a common type of skin cancer, died Nov. 28 of a ruptured aneurysm. He was 73.

Clark was a pathologist at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston and a visiting professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School.

He pioneered a system called Clark’s Levels, used routinely by doctors to classify the skin cancers called melanomas. The five levels indicate the seriousness of the melanoma and describe how deep into the skin it has grown.

The technique helps doctors weigh the risk of a tumor and decide on a course of treatment.

While he was an assistant professor at Harvard in the 1960s, Clark helped establish a clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital for treating melanomas. Melanomas, the most rapidly increasing form of cancer in the United States, cause the deaths of about 9,000 Americans each year.

Dr. Henry Dolger

NEW YORK (AP) _ Dr. Henry Dolger, a diabetes expert who conducted groundbreaking research into the long-term effects of the disease, died Wednesday. He was 88.

Dolger headed Mount Sinai Medical Center’s diabetes clinic from 1956 to 1978 and was director of its diabetes prenatal clinic from 1952 to 1972.

Dolger was one of the first to document suggestions that insulin, once considered a miracle cure for diabetes, did not prevent many of the disease’s serious, long-term complications.

In the 1940s, a decade after insulin treatment became widespread, Dolger studied diabetics’ later lives and found many still suffered from significant medical problems.

Dolger found insulin did not prevent long-term complications like blindness, kidney failure and heart ailments, all related to vascular disorders.

Late in his career, Dolger worked to find new drugs to treat diabetics’ high blood sugar. He was also an author of the medical textbook ``Diseases of the Endocrine Glands.″

Hopeton Gladstone Johnson

BOSTON (AP) _ Hopeton Gladstone Johnson, a jazz musician who played with many of the music’s great names, died Thursday. He was 74.

Johnson began playing the piano when he was young and graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music. His musical engagements included stops in Canada, Europe, Japan, China, Africa and Jamaica.

He met President John F. Kennedy and Queen Elizabeth II and met or performed with Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Harry James and Gene Krupa.

Johnson and his band, the Hopeton Johnson Orchestra, made a record, ``If I Was a Bird″ in the early 1950s.

He also appeared in ``Jazz and Blues with Hopeton Johnson,″ a weekly television series, and was affiliated with the Harriet Tubman House.

Malcolm Shepherd Knowles

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) _ Malcolm Shepherd Knowles, known as the father of adult education, died Nov. 27. He was 84.

Knowles wrote widely on vocational and adult education, producing 18 books and more than 200 articles. His books included ``Informal Adult Education,″ ``Modern Practice of Adult Education,″ ``Adult Learner _ A Neglected Species,″ and ``A History of the Adult Education Movement.″

He devised the first broad-based adult education program at the Central YMCA in Chicago.

From 1960 to 1974, he was a professor at Boston University, then moved to North Carolina State to become a distinguished professor of adult education from 1974 to 1979.

Knowles became an adjunct professor at the University of Arkansas after his semi-retirement to Fayetteville in 1991, to be close to his family.

David K. Laniak

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) _ David K. Laniak, who steered telephone provider ACC Corp.’s expansion in Europe and North America during his two years as chief executive, died Friday after suffering complications from a blood clot in his lungs. He was 62.

ACC, which specialized in providing telephone service to universities, hospitals and small companies, jumped into the local phone business across New York and Massachusetts last year. It had previously offered local phone service in Buffalo, Binghamton, Syracuse and Albany.

Last month, ACC agreed to be acquired by New York City-based Teleport Communications Group Inc., in a deal valued at around $1 billion.

Laniak joined ACC’s board of directors in 1989 and became chief executive in October 1995. A year later, he added the title of chairman.

Juan Sanchez Arreola

NEW YORK (AP) _ Juan Sanchez Arreola, the Mexican farm worker who carried on a seven-year correspondence with Unabom suspect Theodore J. Kaczynski, died of a stroke Aug. 2 in Ojinaga, Mexico. He was 69.

Sanchez, a poor farmhand who divided his time between the Mexican border town and various Texas ranches, had just two years of formal education. But he exchanged many friendly letters with the Harvard-educated mathematician between 1988 and 1995.

The letters, handwritten in Spanish, ended a few months before federal law enforcement agents in April 1996 arrested Kaczynski, who is accused in an 18-year string of terrorist bombings.

The correspondence between Kaczynski and Sanchez began after Kaczynski’s younger brother, David, befriended Sanchez in the early 1980s after David had moved to West Texas.

David suggested that Sanchez write regularly to Theodore who had studied Spanish.

Sanchez had said he received about 50 letters total, describing Kaczynski’s life in an isolated Montana cabin and the American man’s fascination with Pancho Villa, the Mexican revolutionary.

Although Sanchez and Kaczynski never met, the letters were one of the few sustained relationships Kaczynski had in more than two decades.

Martin B. Stecher

NEW YORK (AP) _ Martin B. Stecher, a State Supreme Court justice for 21 years, died Thursday of a cerebral hemorrhage. He was 79.

During his career, Stecher ruled on various newsmaking cases, including that of Joseph Jett, a former government-bond trader at Kidder, Peabody & Company.

In 1994, Stecher ordered the company to pay Jett, a former trader for the firm, $140,000 from his deferred pay plan after the company dismissed Jett for allegedly creating $350 million in false profits. The case is still snaking through the legal system.

Stecher was elected judge in 1967 of the New York City Civil Court. In 1971, the judge ruled that a Manhattan landlord was liable in the rape of a young woman in her East Village apartment because he failed to repair a window through which the rapist entered the victim’s bedroom.

Two years later, he overruled the wishes of the parents of a baby girl afflicted with spina bifida. The parents refused corrective surgery on religious grounds, but Stecher ordered the surgery anyway.

Stecher retired from the bench in 1994 and practiced law with Stecher Jaglom & Prutzman.