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Obituaries in the News

July 25, 2003

CHICAGO (AP) _ U.S. District Judge James H. Alesia, a former Chicago police officer and assistant U.S. attorney, has died, court officials said Friday. He was 69.

He collapsed Thursday night while sitting on his porch, U.S. District Judge Wayne Andersen said. Andersen said Alesia had been ill for a number of years.

Acting Chief Judge James Zagel issued a statement saying Alesia ``served with distinction as a police officer, lawyer and judge.″

Alesia was nominated for the federal bench by President Reagan in 1987. He took senior status in 1998 but continued to hear cases.

He was a 1956 graduate of Loyola University, Chicago, and received his law degree from Kent College of Law in 1960.

He practiced law in Minneapolis in the early 1970s with the firm of Rerat, Crill, Foley and Boursier. He was named an assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago in 1973 and later returned to private practice.


Hamer Budge

BOISE, Idaho (AP) _ Former U.S. Rep. Hamer Budge, who began his career in public service as a page in the Idaho Legislature and ended as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, has died in retirement in Arizona. He was 92.

The Pocatello native was elected to the Idaho House in 1938 at the age of 27 and served two terms before entering World War II as a Navy officer.

He won another House term in 1948 and then successfully ran for Congress from Idaho’s southern and eastern district in 1950. Budge lost his re-election bid in 1960 and was then named to the district court in southwestern Idaho in 1961.

Three years later, President Lyndon Johnson tapped him for a seat on the Securities and Exchange Commission. In 1969 he became chairman of the commission, serving for two more years before resigning in 1971.


John P. Doogan

SEATTLE (AP) _ Monsignor John P. Doogan, former chancellor of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle and founder of the archdiocese’s first coed high school, died Tuesday of pneumonia. He was 81.

A native of Seattle, Doogan entered the now-defunct St. Edward’s Seminary in Kenmore at age 13, was ordained in 1946 at age 24 and served in parishes and hospitals from Seattle to Reno, Nev.

Doogan earned a master’s degree in education from Seattle University and later served as a chaplain at the cloistered Carmelite monastery in Shoreline.

In 1954 he became founding principal of Bishop Blanchet High School in Seattle, the first coed high school in the archdiocese. He also was the first principal of John F. Kennedy Memorial High School, opened in 1966 in Burien.

Doogan was given the honorary title of monsignor in 1963 and later served as chancellor for nearly 10 years, first during the tenure of Archbishop Thomas A. Connolly and then with Archbishop Raymond G. Hunthausen.


Richard F. Hixson

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) _ Richard F. ``Dick″ Hixson, a former chairman of Rutgers University’s journalism department, died of a brain hemorrhage Sunday while traveling in Lewes, England. He was 71.

The Philadelphia resident eased into retirement about six years ago, spending two years in England while heading Rutgers’ Junior Year Abroad program in that country.

Colleagues described Hixson as an easygoing man who never lost his temper and knew how to raise issues that kept them thinking.

Hixson joined Rutgers as an assistant professor in 1960 and became full professor in 1972.

He grew up in Struthers, Ohio, and received a bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University in 1957. Three years later, he earned a master’s degree from Case Western Reserve University in English and American studies.

He is survived by his wife, Teresa; son, Todd; and daughter, Sommer.


H.E. Hoodenpyle

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) _ H.E. ``Early″ Hoodenpyle, recognized as Tennessee’s last World War I veteran, died Thursday after a brief illness. He was 109.

Born on Feb. 26, 1894, Hoodenpyle of Signal Mountain was the sole remaining World War I veteran in the state, according to the Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs.

Two other WWI veterans were younger than Hoodenpyle when they died last year.

The U.S. Veterans Administration said last year there were about 5,000 living WWI veterans in the nation.

Hoodenpyle entered the Army on his 23rd birthday. His experience in the military included a bit of everything, he once said, but he worked most extensively with horses.

Hoodenpyle served as a wagon master for the Camp Gordon, Ga., infantry from 1917 to 1919. He was discharged at Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., in 1919 and returned to farming, making it his life’s work.

He later married and raised Hereford cattle until he was 84.


Matt Jeffries

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Matt Jeffries, a film and television art director who created the original ``Star Trek″ starship Enterprise, died Monday of a heart attack. He was 82.

Jeffries worked as a set designer for films in the late 1950s including ``Bombers B-52″ starring Natalie Wood and Efrem Zimbalist Jr. He served as art director for TV shows such as ``The Untouchables,″ ``Little House on the Prairie″ and ``Dallas.″

``Star Trek″ creator Gene Roddenberry had Jeffries design the Enterprise before the series debuted in 1966, and Jeffries remained with the iconic science-fiction show for many years.

Jeffries earned the Bronze Star as a flight engineer and co-pilot on B-17 bombers during World War II.


Trevor Nelson

NEW YORK (AP) _ Trevor Nelson, a producer for CBS News’ ``60 Minutes,″ died Thursday from complications from meningitis. He was 34.

Nelson produced reports for correspondent Steve Kroft, including a recent story on business interests in Iraq by Vice President Cheney’s former firm. In three years, he produced 20 segments, 15 of which led the broadcast.

Kroft called Nelson the most talented young producer he had ever worked with.

Nelson worked for five years at Christian Science Monitor Radio before joining CBS News in 1996. He worked with Lesley Stahl and Ed Bradley before joining Kroft’s staff. He also wrote stories for The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

He is survived by his wife, Maggie, and two sons, aged 3 and 1.


Kurt Pahlen

MAENNEDORF, Switzerland (AP) _ Kurt Pahlen, an Austrian-born conductor and author who went to the Americas in his quest to make classical music accessible to all, died Thursday, a family spokeswoman said Friday. He was 96.

Pahlen was suffering from pneumonia, said the spokeswoman. He died in a hotel in the central Swiss ski resort of Lenk, where he was supervising Children’s Week, an annual festival of youth choirs, orchestras, and dancing.

Austria Press Agency said his motto was, ``There are no unmusical children″ and he championed this theme in organizing countless children’s music festivals.

Pahlen wrote more than 60 books, specializing in easy-to-read biographies of composers but also introducing readers to opera. His autobiography, ``Music of the World; A History,″ was published in 2001. His books were translated into 16 languages. He received numerous awards, honorary doctorates and honorary citizenships.


John Schlesinger

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Oscar-winning director John Schlesinger, who daringly brought gay characters into mainstream cinema with ``Midnight Cowboy″ and tapped into nightmares with the teeth-drilling torture of ``Marathon Man, died Friday. He was 77.

The British-born filmmaker had a debilitating stroke in December 2000, and his condition had deteriorated in recent weeks. He was taken off life support Thursday at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs.

Schlesinger broke ground in 1969 with his first American film, ``Midnight Cowboy.″ It starred Jon Voight as a naive Texan who turns to prostitution to survive in New York and Dustin Hoffman as the scuzzy, ailing vagrant Ratso Rizzo.

The stocky, baldheaded filmmaker _ who was gay _ said in 1970: ``I’m only interested in one thing _ that is tolerance. I’m terribly concerned about people and the limitation of freedom. It’s important to get people to care a little for someone else. That’s why I’m more interested in the failures of this world than the successes.″

After ``Midnight Cowboy,″ Schlesinger explored homosexuality again in his next project with 1971′s ``Sunday Bloody Sunday,″ which starred Peter Finch and Glenda Jackson as acquaintances who each reluctantly share a love for the same young man. The director received another Oscar nomination for the film.


Max Weisberg

ST. PAUL (AP) _ Max Weisberg, a bookie who avoided gambling convictions because of mental deficiencies, died Thursday of pancreatic cancer. He was 79.

Weisberg sold flowers on St. Paul’s street corners and in bars and restaurants, but he drew notoriety for his prodigious sports bookmaking skills.

Over the years, police raided his home several times and seized more than $700,000 in cash and bookmaking records. In 1989, he pleaded guilty and was placed on probation.

In 1990, he was charged again and went to trial. The jury acquitted him because of mental deficiency. The same happened in 1994.

In 1999, agents raided Weisberg’s home again and confiscated nearly $127,000. But Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner decided not to pursue charges against him, citing his previous victories.

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