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Obituaries in the News

February 21, 2002

WALPOLE, Mass. (AP) _ Noel Cullen, an educator and author who dispelled myths about Irish cooking, died Saturday. He was 54.

As author of ``Elegant Irish Cooking,″ Cullen campaigned to dispel the notion that Irish cuisine was limited to potatoes, boiled corn beef and cabbage.

Cullen was proud to point out that Irish monks introduced garlic to much of the world, that an Irishman invented mayonnaise, and that many French wineries were established by Irish immigrants.

He was born in Dublin, where his culinary apprenticeship began at the age of 13. He worked as a chef for the late Lord Louis Mountbatten, uncle of Britain’s Prince Philip, and at Dublin’s Gresham Hotel and the Savoy in London.

Cullen held bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Johnson & Wales University, and a doctorate in education from Boston University, where he taught culinary arts and food and beverage management.

He wrote several textbooks, including ``Principles and Practice of Culinary Arts,″ and was a former president of the American Culinary Federation.

Carl Lindley

CHICAGO (AP) _ Carl Lindley, who, as a homesick Illinois soldier helping build the Alaska Highway during World War II, blazed a trail for future travelers when he planted a hand-painted sign that read: ``Danville, Illinois, 2,835 miles,″ died Wednesday. He was 83.

Lindley tacked up the sign in lonely Watson Lake, Yukon, as he was helping the United States finish the road, intended to protect American outposts and shipping from Japanese strikes. He had no way of knowing that thousands of people _ roughly 48,000 at last count _ would follow him to erect what Canadians believe is North America’s largest ``signpost forest.″

A row of 20-foot-high totems now stretches a village block in Watson Lake. It is littered with everything from scribblings on disposable pie plates to a yellow metal sign from Germany’s autobahn. The wall of signs is a top tourist draw in Canada’s Yukon Territory.

In 1992, Lindley and his wife, Elinor, returned for a 50th anniversary celebration.

Cornelius Patterson

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) _ Former Texas A&M wide receiver Cornelius Patterson has died while awaiting a kidney transplant. He was 32.

Patterson, who played for the Aggies from 1987 to 1990, died Tuesday in Bryan. He had developed an infection while waiting for the transplant.

He had 24 receptions for 374 yards and three touchdowns with the Aggies. He also played baseball at A&M in 1990 and ran track in 1989.

Patterson was a sociology instructor and counselor at Blinn College in Bryan.

Gene Sullivan

CHICAGO (AP) _ Gene Sullivan, a former DePaul athletic director and Loyola of Chicago basketball coach, died Thursday. He was 70.

Sullivan, who spent the last five years as an analyst for DePaul basketball radio broadcasts, was DePaul’s athletic director from 1975 to 1978 and coached Loyola’s men’s basketball team from 1980 to 1988.

Sullivan was a member of the athletic hall fame at DePaul and at Loyola, where he twice was Midwestern Collegiate Conference coach of the year. He took Loyola to the final 16 of the NCCA tournament in 1985.

Sullivan is survived by his wife, Elaine, and two daughters, Tracy and Terri.

Willie Thrower

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. (AP) _ Willie Thrower, the NFL’s first black quarterback, died Wednesday of a heart attack. He was 71.

Thrower became the league’s first black quarterback when he played in one game for the Chicago Bears in 1953.

Thrower also was the first black quarterback to play in the Big Ten, helping Michigan State to a national championship in 1952. He signed with the Bears for $8,500 as a backup quarterback after going undrafted.

His first and last NFL game was Oct. 18, 1953, against the San Francisco 49ers at Soldier Field.

Thrower relieved George Blanda, completing 3-of-8 passes for 27 yards with an interception in the 35-28 loss.

It would be 15 years until another black quarterback took a snap in a pro game.

Twenty-five years after he broke the quarterback color barrier, he was recognized in an exhibit about black players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Thrower was cut by the Bears in 1954, then played three years with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Canadian Football League and a semipro team in Toronto.

He retired after separating his shoulder at age 27 and became a social worker in New Kensington and New York City before returning to his hometown for good in 1969. He eventually owned two taverns.

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