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Ronald Bittner

September 2, 1997

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (AP) _ Frontier Corp. chairman and former chief executive officer Ronald Bittner died Sunday, two weeks after announcing he was leaving his post due to cancer. He was 55.

Bittner spent his entire career at the Rochester-based telecommunications company. He joined in 1963, became chief executive officer in 1992, and chairman of Frontier’s board of directors in 1993.

Under Bittner’s direction, Frontier grew to become the nation’s fifth-largest long distance company. He also created the Open Market Plan in 1995, which made Rochester the first competitive market for local telecommunications.

Chris King

CHESTER, S.C. (AP) _ Chris King, who in May was confirmed as Chester’s first black mayor after a wait of more than two years, died of lung cancer Monday. He was 61.

King won the 1995 mayoral race by 62 votes over incumbent Mitch Foster. Foster appealed, alleging that King and his supporters illegally registered voters, improperly obtained absentee votes and threatened witnesses.

The Circuit Court overturned King’s victory and ordered a new election, but the state Supreme Court reversed that decision in May,

Shizuka Owada

TOKYO (AP) _ Shizuka Owada, the grandmother of Princess Masako and the mother of the Japanese ambassador to the United Nations, died today, a spokesman for the Imperial Household Agency said. She was 93.

The agency did not give a cause of death. Ambassador Hisashi Owada’s mother died in her home in Care Residence Mito, a facility for the elderly in Mito, 65 miles northeast of Tokyo, the agency spokesman said.

The Harvard-educated Masako, who married Crown Prince Naruhito in 1993, last visited her grandmother on Aug. 11 along with her father and other family members, the agency spokesman said.

Owada’s husband, Takeo, died in October 1993.

George Roberts

HONOLULU (AP) _ George Roberts, a customs director believed to be the nation’s oldest and longest-serving federal worker, died Sunday from congestive heart failure. He was 89.

Roberts’ federal career of 67 years began when he joined the Army in 1929. He joined the Customs Service in 1935 as an inspector in Honolulu.

In 1964, Roberts served in Vietnam as chief of customs in Saigon. He worked in San Francisco and returned to Honolulu in 1970.

He was named district director in Honolulu in 1977 at the age of 69, after President Carter extended his service beyond the mandatory retirement age.

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