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Obituaries in the News

May 4, 2000

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Otho Davis, the athletic trainer for the Philadelphia Eagles for 23 years until retiring in 1995, died Tuesday of cancer. He was 66.

Davis, a member of the National Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame, was inducted into the Eagles Honor Roll last year.

In November, two months after he had been diagnosed with liver and pancreatic cancer, more than 600 people attended a dinner to honor Davis and dedicate a scholarship foundation in his name.

Elena Diaz-Verson Amos

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) _ Elena Diaz-Verson Amos, an activist who helped scores of people flee her native Cuba and the widow of Aflac insurance founder John B. Amos, died Wednesday. She was 73.

She recently had a stroke and complications forced her to return to the hospital late last week.

Amos came to the United States in 1926 as an exchange student to study at the University of Miami, where she majored in journalism.

There, she met John B. Amos, of Enterprise, Ala., and they married in 1945. Ten years later, the couple and their two children moved to Columbus where Amos founded Aflac, a supplemental insurance company.

The couple supported many philanthropic projects and during the last 10 years, Elena Amos had been active in human rights causes and supporting higher education.

In 1993, she helped Alina Fernandez Revuelta, daughter of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, flee Cuba. Revuelta stayed briefly at Elena Amos’ penthouse above Aflac’s parking garage.

Teri Thornton

ENGLEWOOD, N.J. (AP) _ Teri Thornton, a jazz singer who won critical acclaim in the 1960s and late 1990s and suffered near-career oblivion in between, died Tuesday from complications of bladder cancer. She was 65.

Her career highlights included singing ``Somewhere in the Night,″ the theme for the television show ``Naked City,″ in 1962, and winning the Thelonius Monk International Jazz Competition, one of the most prestigious in jazz, in 1998.

Thornton, a Detroit native, started performing in the 1950s. She moved to New York in 1960, and landed national television spots, club dates and record deals. But her career never had the sustained momentum she hoped for, and the dates began fizzling out.

A move to Los Angeles didn’t help her career, and Thornton returned to New York in 1983, where she found steady work with small jazz bands.

It was in 1998, after Thornton had been diagnosed with cancer, that she had her comeback by winning the Monk competition, then releasing her first album in decades on Verve Records.

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