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Obituaries in the News

May 14, 1998

WARWICK, N.Y. (AP) _ Shepard Coleman, who won a Tony Award for musical direction of the original 1964 production of ``Hello Dolly,″ died Tuesday. He was 74.

Coleman was musical director for ``Oh What a Lovely War″ the same year he won his Tony. He also worked on the national tour of ``Destry Rides Again″ in 1960 and the Broadway production of ``Bye Bye Birdie″ in 1961.

A Juilliard graduate, Coleman was a pit musician in musicals from 1946 to 1960 and played with the New York Philharmonic and staff orchestras of radio stations WQXR and WMCA.

Hermann Lenz

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ Hermann Lenz, a German author who found fame late in life with his semi-autobiographical ``Swabian Chronicle,″ died Tuesday. He was 85.

From 1951 until 1971 Lenz worked as secretary of the South German writers association. In the 1970s he won widespread acclaim for ``Swabian Chronicle,″ featuring an alter ego, the fictional writer Eugen Rapp.

Beginning with ``Abandoned Room″ in 1966 and running through nine volumes, the last of which, ``Friends,″ appeared in 1997, Rapp covers the passage of the decades from a point of view Lenz once described as ``next to-outside.″

German critics hailed Lenz as a ``chronicler of our century″ and he won numerous literary awards, including Germany’s most prestigious, the Buechner Prize, in 1978. His books appeared in Spanish, French and Italian but not in English.

Rommie Loudd

MIAMI (AP) _ Rommie Loudd, the first black assistant coach in the American Football League and later personnel director of the New England Patriots, died Saturday of complications from diabetes. He was 64.

Loudd was a standout end at UCLA and later played for the Chicago Bears of the NFL and the AFL’s San Diego Chargers and Boston Patriots.

He became the AFL’s first black assistant coach when he joined the Patriots’ staff in 1966, later moving into the club’s front office. He left the Patriots in the early 1970s to head the Florida Blazers of the short-lived World Football League.

He later moved to Miami, where he became an activist in the black community and headed a ministerial group formed after the 1980 riots.

Overcoming his legal run-ins for sex and narcotic arrests, Loudd also served on the Miami-Dade County Corrections Department citizens’ advisory board and hosted a sports show broadcast on county jail TV, where he got the nickname ``All-Pro Pastor.″

Jack McDowell

ATHERTON, Calif. (AP) _ Jack McDowell, a World War II Pulitzer Prize winner and later a powerful California political consultant, died Saturday at age 82.

McDowell won the Pulitzer Prize in journalism in 1944 for a series of stories he wrote on accompanying a flight of whole blood _ his own and from other San Francisco donors _ destined for GI casualties in Mariana Islands hospitals.

At the time, he worked for the San Francisco Call Bulletin. He continued with the San Francisco Examiner when the two papers merged.

From 1946 to 1956, McDowell wrote a daily feature called ``Memo from Mac″ in the Call Bulletin. He was named city editor in 1950.

He became political editor in 1956 and kept that post with the merged News-Call Bulletin, then with the Examiner.

He covered the Sacramento political beat before leaving the newspaper business in 1969 to join the political campaign management firm of Spencer-Roberts & Associates.

In 1971, McDowell and Richard and Mary Woodward started the Woodward & McDowell political consulting firm in Burlingame. They managed many of the state’s best-known campaigns, including defeat of a pay limits proposition, creation of the California lottery, election of Sen. S.I. Hayakawa and the re-election of Gov. Ronald Reagan.

McDowell first worked for the San Jose Evening News, then purchased the Turlock Daily Journal with his brother Cliff. McDowell remained there from 1933 to 1940, winning various prizes.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Jeanette; a brother; three daughters; four great-grandchildren; a great-great grandson; and three nieces.

James Oliver

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) _ James Oliver, former Alabama State basketball coach, died Wednesday after a long battle with kidney problems. He was 54.

Oliver coached the Hornets for 17 years, going 291-191. He was relieved of coaching duties in 1995, along with two other coaches, amid an NCAA investigation of alleged violations of Title IX, the federal civil rights legislation requiring equal treatment for men’s and women’s athletics.

Clarence Cecil Pell

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ Clarence Cecil Pell, an aviation insurance executive and a preserver of medieval court tennis in America, died Tuesday at age 86.

Pell was a championship-level player of racquet and court tennis, also known as royal tennis. It is the forerunner of most racquet games and is different from modern-day tennis is its indoor setting, type of ball used and intricate scoring.

He won the national racquet doubles championship eight times from 1937 to 1959. In 1958 he took the singles championship.

Pell served on the board of the Racquet and Tennis Club of New York from 1952 to 1997.

A former resident of Old Westbury, N.Y., Pell served as a pilot in the Army Air Forces in World War II. By 1968, he was responsible for staffing, organizing and managing Air Transport Insurance, an airline-owned cooperative.

He was a direct descendant of Sir John Pell, Lord of the Manor of Pelham, who owned much of what is now Westchester County.

Kalman Seigel

NEW YORK (AP) _ Kalman Seigel, who for 13 years edited the Letters to the Editor section of The New York Times, died Wednesday of pancreatic cancer. He was 80.

Beginning in 1967, Seigel began selecting letters to print in the editorial page section. During a typical year, he rejected some 50,000 letters and published about 3,000. He retired in 1980.

Seigel also was an assistant metropolitan editor, suburban editor and reporter for the paper. In 1952, he won a George Polk Award for a series of articles about the dangers that McCarthyism posed to freedom of thought on campuses.

He was the co-author with Lawrence Feigenbaum of two books, ``This Is a Newspaper″ (1965) and ``Israel: Crossroads of Conflict″ (1968).

Seigel also taught journalism at Brooklyn College, Long Island University and City College, from which he graduated in 1939.

Richard Stanley

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (AP) _ Richard Stanley, the highest-ranking judge in Middletown Superior Court, died Wednesday. He was 56 and suffered from brain cancer.

His legal career spanned 27 years. Stanley served as a judge in Meriden, Hartford, New Haven and New Haven before being named administrative judge in 1995 in Middlesex County. He continued to hear cases until just two weeks ago.

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MIDDLETOWN, Conn.: weeks ago.

Emery I. Valyi

MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. (AP) _ Emery I. Valyi, an inventor whose innovations included an easy-to-grip 2-liter plastic soft-drink bottle, died of cancer May 5. He was 86.

His bottle design had an inner wall within the bottle, allowing an indentation to be made for easier pouring. Bottles containing carbonated beverages could not previously have grip handles on their sides because they built up pressure inside the bottles.

Pepsi introduced the bottle, known as ``The Grip,″ in March and expects to offer it to a wider market this fall.

Valyi held some 200 patents in the United States working in metals and plastics. He was a consulting engineer for more than five decades, including for the Ford Motor Co., where he helped develop the process of shell molding to make intricate automobile parts.

Kenneth Dale Wells

EDGEWATER, Fla. (AP) _ Kenneth Dale Wells, a co-founder of the Freedoms Foundation in Valley Forge, Pa., died Sunday of complications of cancer and diabetes. He was 89.

Wells established the Freedoms Foundation in 1949 along with E.F. Hutton, the founder of the investment brokerage firm, and advertising executive Donald Belding to promote free enterprise and the American way of life.

The foundation conducts programs for students and teachers and honors men and women whose actions are consistent with what it calls ``the American spirit.″

Wells was its president from 1951 to 1970.

After retiring from the foundation, he moved to Burgess, Va., where he ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1972.

Kerris Ann Wolsky

NEW YORK (AP) _ Kerris Ann Wolsky, who founded Harlem Textile Works in 1984, died May 3 of a severe asthma attack. She was 41.

Harlem Textile Works offers design workshops to about 400 black and Hispanic residents ages 14 to 24 years old. The students are expected to pursue careers as art directors, stylists, designers and teachers.

Wolsky helped design gift-shop items for New York institutions such as Riverside Church, Harlem Theater Company, Studio Museum in Harlem.

In 1984, she joined the Children’s Art Carnival, a program that teaches children to read and write using drawing, painting, photography, puppet making and the like during free after-school programs. It was this independent nonprofit organization that led to Ms. Wolsky creating the Textile Works.

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