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Obituaries in the News

August 15, 2003

Dietrich Dirks

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) _ Dietrich ``Dee″ Dirks, Sioux City broadcasting pioneer and founder of television station KTIV and radio stations KWSL and KMNS, died Tuesday. He was 101.

Dirks, who was born and raised in Nebraska, began his broadcasting career in Lincoln after he graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1924. He worked as sports director and later general manager at KFAB radio, where he broadcast Nebraska football games.

On July 12, 1937, the FCC granted a construction permit to the Sioux City Broadcasting Co., which was owned 50/50 by Dirks and the Sioux City Tribune. Station KTRI later became KWSL.

Dirks was general manager when the station went on the air on July 12, 1938. He became president of KTRI a year later. In 1949, he sold his 50 percent interest to the Tribune and with three other men he formed the KCOM Broadcasting Co., which started station KCOM, which later became KMNS.

In 1953, KCOM Broadcasting Co. and Perkins Brothers Co. received a television license for KTIV. The station went on the air in October 1954 and Dirks became its manager. He remained manager and president until he retired in 1968.

He is survived by his son and daughter; three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

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John Hodel

BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) _ John C. Hodel, former longtime editor of The Raleigh Register, died after a fall at his home in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. He was 83.

Hodel was editor of The Raleigh Register, an afternoon newspaper, and part owner of its parent company, Beckley Newspapers Corp., from the mid-1950s until his retirement in 1976.

Hodel died Sunday in a Honolulu hospital following surgery to repair injuries from the fall, family members said.

A conscientious objector during World War II, Hodel joined the American Field Service and served four years as an ambulance driver in Syria and North Africa. Hodel was awarded the Croix de Guerre, the French military award for heroism in battle.

Survivors include his wife, Beatrice Perlman Hodel; two sons; one brother, and one sister.

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Kenji Ito

ALHAMBRA, Calif. (AP) _ Kenji Ito, the first Japanese American admitted to the California state bar after World War II, has died. He was 94.

Ito, who had Alzheimer’s disease, died Sunday at his home.

The civic leader in 1942 was found innocent of charges that he was spying for Japan after a dramatic trial in which he declared his loyalty to America was so strong he would ``rather live in this country behind prison bars″ than in a nation under dictatorship.

Born in Seattle, Ito earned his law degree at University of Washington, provided legal assistance to other Japanese Americans while in a West Coast detention camp, and was admitted to the California bar in 1945. He practiced law in Los Angeles for more than 50 years.

Ito long served as president of the Southern California Japanese Chamber of Commerce. He helped found the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Little Tokyo.

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Helmut Rahn

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ Helmut Rahn, who scored the winning goal for Germany in the 1954 World Cup final, died Thursday. He was 73.

Rahn died at his home in Essen, the German Soccer Federation announced. The cause of death was not given.

Rahn’s goal gave Germany a 3-2 victory over a star-studded Hungary team in the World Cup final at Bern, Switzerland. The title was a boost to Germany’s morale nine years after the end of World War II, and became known as the ``Miracle of Bern.″

Rahn scored the last two goals as Germany rallied from a 2-0 deficit. A leader on the field, Rahn earned the nickname ``the Boss.″

A right-winger with a powerful shot, Rahn had 21 goals in 40 games for Germany. Rahn won the German Cup in 1953 and the German championship in 1955 with his club, Rot-Weiss Essen.

He also played in the 1958 World Cup, when Germany finished fourth, and scored 10 goals in World Cup matches.

Rahn’s career ended in 1965 because of a knee injury.

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