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Obituaries in the News

September 11, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) _ Igor Buketoff, an American conductor who specialized in Russian music and contemporary opera, died Friday. He was 87.

Buketoff was best known for his orchestration of the first act of Rachmaninoff’s unfinished opera, ``Monna Vanna.″ Buketoff led the Philadelphia Orchestra in the world premiere in 1984.

Buketoff also was recognized for restoring folk texts to Tchaikovsky’s ``1812 Overture.″

Buketoff earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Juilliard School, and later directed the choral departments there and at Adelphi College and Columbia University.

He won the first Alice Ditson Award for outstanding American conductors in 1941. He won it again in 1967.

In 1959, Buketoff established the World Music Bank _ now called the International Contemporary Music Exchange _ to promote modern orchestral music.

George Hasslein

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP) _ George Hasslein, founding dean of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design, died Aug. 24 of a heart attack. He was 83.

Hasslein, who spent a half-century nurturing the department he founded, is credited with earning the college national prominence.

Starting at Cal Poly in 1950 as an assistant architecture professor, Hasslein a year later was named head of the new Architectural Engineering Department.

He went on to become the founding dean of the new School of Architecture and Environmental Design in 1968, which he built from a small department into a college that now offers five bachelor’s degrees and two master’s degrees.

Walter Jinotti

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) _ Walter Jinotti, an environmental researcher whose pollen counts became a daily index of misery or joy for allergy sufferers, died Sunday after a long illness. He was 74.

Jinotti died at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, which he has been associated with for more than 40 years, including as director of environmental and biomedical research.

The method developed in 1987 by Jinotti provided a precise pollen measure in just 20 minutes, compared to earlier techniques that took 24 hours.

Jinotti also examined pollen-producing plants, including ragweed, to assess their potency.

Jinotti held more than 100 patents, and was honored by the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame in 1997 for the Tycos Blood Pump and oxygen catheter, a device used to boost oxygen levels in the blood.

Hans Neumann

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) _ Hans Neumann, who survived the Nazi invasion of his native Czechoslovakia to become one of the most prominent businessmen and arts patrons in Venezuela, died Sunday after a long ailment. He was 80.

Neumann, who immigrated to Venezuela in 1949, was the president of the board of directors of The Daily Journal, the only English language newspaper in Venezuela. He headed several companies, including Corimon C.A., which he helped found.

The Venezuelan government decorated him several times for his contribution to cultural and community organizations. An avid arts collector, Neumann helped found several cultural organizations, including the Zulia Contemporary Arts Museum Foundation.

One of his last projects was to help found TalCual, a feisty afternoon daily, in 2000. He was also a columnist for El Nacional, one of Venezuela’s two largest newspapers.

Neumann is survived by his daughter and two grandchildren.

Jane Pettit

MILWAUKEE (AP) _ Jane Pettit, who community leaders cited as the city’s most generous philanthropist in history, died Sunday after a yearlong battle with lung cancer. She was 82.

Pettit donated millions in support of sports, arts, education and social services. She recently donated $13 million to the Milwaukee Art Museum’s $100 million Calatrava expansion.

Pettit donated more than $250 million to the community personally and through the Jane Bradley Pettit Foundation.

Worth Magazine, which in 1999 ranked her 27th among ``the 100 most generous Americans,″ said the heir to the Allen-Bradley Co. fortune has been credited with well over $160 million in grants during her lifetime.

In 1903, her late father, Harry Bradley, and late uncle, Lynde Bradley, founded the Allen-Bradley Co., which is now Rockwell Automation. The privately held company was sold to Rockwell International in 1985 for $1.6 billion.

Pettit also owned the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League.

Roger Starr

NEW YORK (AP) _ Roger Starr, an outspoken thinker on urban affairs who influenced public policy debates in New York City, died Monday. He was 83.

Starr is most remembered for his 1976 proposal for ``planned shrinkage″ in New York City. He urged the city to abandon depressed areas like the South Bronx, citing declining population, lost jobs, social problems, high taxes and stressed services.

Mayor Abraham Beame refused to acknowledge the idea. City Council members called it ``racist″ and ``inhuman.″ Protesters showed up at Starr’s public appearances.

Starr had a number of careers. He took over his father’s barge company, headed a nonprofit housing group and served three mayors. He authored several books and wrote editorials for The New York Times for 15 years.

He taught at City University, New York University, the New School University and Pratt Institute.