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Obituaries in the News

December 24, 2000

DALLAS (AP) _ Theran Morris Ward, the justice of the peace who signed President John F. Kennedy’s death certificate at Parkland Memorial Hospital in 1963, died Thursday of pneumonia. He was 75.

Ward’s daughter, Cathy Fowler, said her father hadn’t known why he was summoned to Parkland hospital on Nov. 22, 1963. Most county officials were at Dallas’ Merchandise Mart awaiting Kennedy’s motorcade for a luncheon at the time. Fowler said her father was the first justice of the peace a Parkland nurse was able to reach.

Ward said later he thought the president of a major corporation had died. He was shocked when he learned the president of the United States had been assassinated.

Ward did not publicly discuss the events of that day until a 1993 interview with the Garland News. He served as justice of the peace for 20 years.

Alice Fong Yu

LAFAYETTE, Calif. (AP) _ Alice Fong Yu, the first Chinese American public school teacher in San Francisco, died Tuesday. She was 95.

Yu came to San Francisco in 1916 from the small gold-mining town of Washington, Calif. She applied to and graduated from the San Francisco State Teacher’s College in 1926, only to be told by administrators that Chinese Americans were not being hired.

But the principal of Commodore Stockton Elementary School insisted that his campus needed a bilingual teacher and Yu was hired, a first for San Francisco. She taught public school for 44 years.

The San Francisco Unified School District recently named its Chinese immersion school after Yu.

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