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Obituaries in the News

December 18, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ Carlos Foster, a cowboy who taught riding to city children and promoted the role of blacks in the development of the Old West, died Saturday of heart failure. He was 76.

Raised on a Cuban cattle ranch, Foster rode on the Mexican rodeo circuit and moved to the United States in 1960.

After working as a janitor, Foster learned English and then took a job at the drug rehabilitation center Horizon House. He later served for 10 years as director of community relations for the New York City Drug Addiction Services Agency.

A tall man who regularly wore cowboy attire and a Stetson hat, Foster established the Urban Western Riding Program at a Bronx stable to teach riding to children.

On the theory that youngsters did not see black cowboys like him very often, he brought in other black rodeo performer for parades and exhibitions.

Sister M. Matthia Gores

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) _ Sister M. Matthia Gores, the oldest nun in the international congregation of the School of Sisters of Notre Dame, died Monday. She was 104.

She was also the oldest participant in the ``nun’s study,″ a long-term study of aging and Alzheimer’s disease.

The retired elementary school teacher was part of ongoing research spearheaded by former University of Minnesota epidemiologist Dr. David Snowdon. Researchers examined the sisters’ early lives, schooling and how they were faring in old age. The sisters also agreed to donate their brains after death.

Because of the project, Gores gained some national fame, landing in Time and National Geographic magazines. Gores retired in 1971.

Edward Allen Hansen

SEATTLE (AP) _ Edward Allen Hansen, former president of the American Guild of Organists who was known as ``Mr. Music Man″ on a popular children’s TV show, died Sunday of cancer. He was 69.

Hansen’s gentle melodies on the show ``Wunda Wunda″ charmed thousands of preschool viewers in the 1950s and 1960s.

Hansen taught in Seattle area schools and universities, including as chairman of Organ and Church Music Studies at the University of Puget Sound.

Allen Houston

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ Allen Houston, acting national/foreign editor of the San Jose Mercury News, died Tuesday of cancer. He was 46.

Houston worked for several newspapers and served as a state editor, bureau manager and division chief for United Press International. He began his Mercury News tenure as an assistant city editor.

In 1992, Houston edited an environmental series that earned the $5,000 Livingston Award for two reporters. He also edited an economic series that became a finalist for a 1995 Pulitzer Prize.

This fall, the newspaper’s employees nominated him for the annual Awards for Commitment to Excellence, and he was among the three winners.

Houston is survived by his wife, Beth; two sons; a daughter; his parents; and two brothers.

H.H. Howze

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) _ Gen. Hamilton Hawkins Howze, credited with developing helicopter warfare tactics used in the Vietnam War and beyond, died Dec. 8. He was 89.

``The way the Army fights today″ is due to Howze, said Bell Helicopter Textron spokesman Bob Leder. Howze was a vice president of the company after he retired from the Army in 1965.

In 1962, Howze presided over a military panel, the Howze Board, that issued a landmark report that called for aircraft, mainly helicopter, to carry soldiers into battle, resupply them and remove the wounded.

``The Huey (helicopter) was to our riflemen roughly what the horse was to the old cavalryman, close by and ready,″ Howze once said.

Howze was born at West Point on Dec. 21, 1908, while his father, Maj. Gen. Robert L. Howze, was commandant of cadets.

His grandfather, Brig. Gen. Hamilton S. Hawkins, participated in the charge up San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War, and his great-grandfather, Dr. Hamilton S. Hawkins, was an Army surgeon who died in the Mexican War.

Howze won a Silver Star for service in north Africa during World War II and later commanded the 82nd Airborne Division and the 18th Airborne Corps.

Benjamin Franklin Meyer

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Benjamin Franklin Meyer, a Latin American specialist for The Associated Press in Washington for 14 years, died Wednesday of pneumonia. A resident of Alexandria, Va., he was 95.

Meyer joined the AP in Atlanta in 1927 after working for several Texas newspapers. During his AP career, he also worked in North Carolina, South Carolina, Illinois, Indiana, Mexico City, Cuba and Chile.

After retiring from the AP 30 years ago, Meyer became a spokesman for the Organization of American States. He also wrote columns for U.S. and foreign newspapers and lectured on Latin American affairs at several universities.

There are no immediate survivors.

Sam Solomon

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Sam Solomon, known for training some of boxing’s top heavyweights, died Sunday of heart failure. He was 83.

Solomon trained Muhammad Ali, Leon Spinks and Sonny Liston before they became world champions.

Solomon began his career as a boxer, fighting more than 300 bouts as an amateur welterweight and lightweight.

Solomon became a trainer in 1950 and was also a catcher in baseball’s Negro Leagues. He retired 10 years ago.

Dave Williams

HOUSTON (AP) _ Dave Williams, who led the University of Houston to 16 NCAA golf championships and sent many of his players on to the pro tour, died Wednesday. He was 80.

Williams began coaching the men’s golf team part-time in 1952. By his retirement in 1987, he led the Cougars to 340 tournament victories and 14 conference titles in a career spanning four decades.

In 1988, the Golf Coaches Association of America named its collegiate coach of the year award in his honor.

Forty-one of his players won All-America honors, and eight became NCAA individual champions.

Some of Williams’ pupils became regulars on the PGA Tour, including Fred Couples, Steve Elkington, Bruce Lietzke and Fuzzy Zoeller.

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