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Obituaries in the News

April 11, 1999

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Eva S. Cockcroft, an art professor and muralist whose works grace walls from Germany to Los Angeles, died April 1 of breast cancer. She was 62.

Cockcroft taught art history at California State University, Long Beach and the University of California, Irvine.

The Vienna-born Cockcroft was lead artist on the 540-foot-long ``Earth Memory″ in Los Angeles. Painted in 1996, the mural represents the history of the universe.

She made murals in New York City and New Jersey until she moved to Los Angeles in 1989. Her upper Manhattan mural ``La Grande Jatte in Harlem,″ is an ode to French Impressionist Georges Seurat. Instead of Parisians in the park, Cockcroft painted Harlem residents.

Raymond F. ``Bud″ Harvison

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Raymond F. ``Bud″ Harvison, who spent 42 years as a newsman for The Associated Press, died Saturday. He was 71 and had been in ill health.

A Seattle native, Harvison joined the AP there in 1947 after a short time with The Seattle Times. In 1950 Harvison was named AP correspondent in Tacoma, Wash., and four years later transferred to San Francisco.

Later in 1954 he transferred to the Kansas City bureau, and moved to Chicago as filer of what was known as the interbureau wire when it was inaugurated in 1957.

In 1960 he moved to New York, working at AP headquarters on the general news desk. He remained there six years in a variety of assignments, and was designated by Wes Gallagher, then the AP president and general manager, as the AP’s first enterprise editor.

Harvison was named correspondent in charge of the AP’s Topeka bureau in 1966. He later transferred to Kansas City for the second time, and continued to work there until retirement in 1989.

``Bud contributed immensely to the AP in his wide variety of jobs during his career,″ said Paul Stevens, the AP chief of bureau in Kansas City.

Survivors include his wife and a son.

Ira Hechler

NEW YORK (AP) _ Ira J. Hechler, a financier and private investor known for friendly buyouts amid the hostile takeovers that dominated the 1980s, died Sunday of complications from a heart attack. He was 80.

Hechler was involved in the acquisition of more than 25 companies, including U.S. Banknote, the Leslie Fay Companies, Big Bear Stores and book publishers New American Library and E.P. Dutton.

A longtime patron of the New York City Ballet and the Roundabout Theater, Hechler’s philanthropy to institutions and individuals was often anonymous.

Jerold C. Hoffberger

BALTIMORE (AP) _ Jerold C. Hoffberger, former owner of the Baltimore Orioles whose philanthropy benefited Maryland universities and hospitals, died Friday. He was 80.

The Orioles made it to five World Series between 1965 and 1979 when Hoffberger owned the team. He also ran the National Brewing Co. for 28 years.

In 1983, Town & Country magazine described Hoffberger as one of the nation’s ``most generous living Americans″ and said he had donated more than $10 million to charity at that time.

In 1965, Mr. Hoffberger, who was born in Baltimore, assumed the principal ownership of the Orioles, but in 1977 made clear that financially all was not well with the team. Two years later, he sold the team to Washington lawyer Edward Bennett Williams for $12 million.

Helen Mayer

NEW YORK (AP) _ Helen Aberson Mayer, who wrote the children’s story that inspired the 1941 Walt Disney cartoon ``Dumbo,″ died Saturday. She was 91.

Mrs. Mayer, known as Helen Aberson when she wrote ``Dumbo, the Flying Elephant,″ moved from Syracuse to California in 1939 at the request of the Walt Disney Company.

Following the 1940 release of the animated film ``Pinocchio,″ Disney used Miss Aberson’s tale of a flying elephant to create one of the most easily recognizable cartoon characters and stories.

In the story, Dumbo the baby elephant is teased for his oversized ears, but eventually becomes a circus star when he realizes his ears allow him to fly.

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