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Obituaries in the News

March 26, 1998

LA JOLLA, Calif. (AP) _ John S. Alessio, who built a multimillion-dollar business empire and helped develop safety helmets for jockeys, died Tuesday of cancer. He was 87.

Alessio’s holdings included the Hotel del Coronado, Mr. A’s restaurant, the Kona Kai Club, as well as insurance, finance and investment companies.

Alessio became director of Banco del Pacifico and the Caliente Racetrack, both in Tijuana. After a jockey died in a fall, Alessio brought in the racetrack’s first safety helmet. A refined version of Alessio’s design later became standard safety gear for jockeys worldwide.

Donald Gilson Allen

CONCORD, Mass. (AP) _ Donald Gilson Allen, former president of the company that ran one of the nation’s first commercially operated nuclear power plants, died Friday. He was 84.

Allen was president of Yankee Atomic Electric Co., a subsidiary of the New England Electric System, from 1967 to 1983. Yankee Atomic operated the Yankee nuclear power plant in Rowe. The plant was decommissioned in 1992.

Charles Cofer

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) _ Psychologist Charles Cofer, best known for his studies in the field of human motivation, died March 14. He was 81.

Cofer was editor of the Psychological Review and chief editorial adviser for the American Psychological Association. He wrote more than 125 articles and books, including ``Motivation: Theory and Research.″

Cofer was chairman of the University of Maryland psychology department and was associated with programs at several universities, including the University of New Mexico.

Lee Harrington

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ Lee Harrington, former classified advertising manager for The Columbus Dispatch and the former Columbus Citizen-Journal, died Tuesday of a heart attack. He was 78.

Harrington began working for The Dispatch in 1930 as a newspaper carrier when he was 11. He started in sales in 1946 and worked up to classified manager in 1975 before retiring in 1986.

Survivors include his wife, Betty, a son, and two grandchildren.

George Howard

ATLANTA (AP) _ George Howard, a jazz saxophonist known for his fusion style and signature rhythm and blues covers, died Sunday of colon cancer. He was 41.

Howard released his first album in 1979. He released his 15th album, ``Midnight Mood,″ this year. He rose to prominence in the mid-1980s with his third album, ``Dancing in the Sun.″ His biggest hit was ``Shower You With Love,″ released in 1990.

Karsten Prager

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Karsten Prager, a veteran Time magazine reporter and editor who headed Time International from 1991 to 1995, died Monday of cancer. He was 61.

Prager began his career in Thailand on the English-language Bangkok World, where he reported, edited and, when necessary, set type.

He also was a stringer for The Associated Press and joined the news service in Singapore as a staff reporter in 1962. After assignments in Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia, he returned to Bangkok as AP’s bureau chief.

He moved to Time-Life News Service in Saigon in 1965, covering the Vietnam War and other Southeast Asia assignments.

In the 1970s, Prager was Time’s bureau chief in San Francisco, Beirut and Madrid, then senior editor of the magazine in New York in 1978, international editor in 1980 and assistant managing editor in 1988.

From May 1995 until retiring last year, he was Time editor at large.

Survivors include his wife LaVerne, two sons, two daughters, two brothers and a sister.

Steve Schiff

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) _ Rep. Steve Schiff, a straight-arrow crime fighter whose battle with skin cancer forced him out of Washington after five terms in Congress, died Wednesday. He was 51.

Schiff served two terms as district attorney in Albuquerque, where he earned a reputation for being tough on crime and took pride in his death-penalty convictions.

In the House, Schiff sponsored measures barring criminals from evading obligations to repay victims by filing bankruptcy, allowing 16- and 17-year-olds accused of violent federal crimes to be tried as adults, and increasing sentences for child pornography and prostitution.

As a congressman, he didn’t always toe the Republican line. He opposed key parts of his party’s Contract with America and favored abortion rights.

As one of two Republicans on the ethics subcommittee that investigated House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Schiff was credited with helping create a compromise plan that allowed the speaker to resolve the allegations.

In 1993, Schiff asked the government to reopen its investigation of the Roswell incident in which extraterrestrials were purported to have crashed in southeastern New Mexico in 1947.

John L. Slocum

ROCHESTER, Mich. (AP) _ John L. Slocum, the inventor of the man-made opal, died Monday at the age of 77.

He introduced the creation, ``A Step Beyond Opal,″ in 1967. Some of the man-made opal is on display in the Smithsonian in Washington and at Cranbrook Museum in Bloomfield Hills. Slocum, also known for his Lucite creations, never told anyone how he created man-made opal.

Chris Trickle

LAS VEGAS (AP) _ Chris Trickle, a NASCAR driver who spent 13 months in a coma after being shot on a freeway overpass, died Wednesday. He was 25.

Trickle, a promising stock car driver and the nephew of Winston Cup driver Dick Trickle, was never able to fully come out of the coma caused when he was shot in the head on Feb. 9, 1997, while driving to play tennis with a friend.

Trickle was a rising star on the SouthWest tour in 1996, where he had nine top 10 finishes in his blue Chevy Lumina. Fellow drivers voted him the tour’s most popular driver.

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