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Women Saved Elderly Neighbor from Knife Attack

November 2, 1990

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Two Canadian women who saved a neighbor from a knife-wielding attacker were among 18 people recognized Thursday by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.

Grace Nolan and Irene Beaton were among 7,495 Americans and Canadians honored by the commission since its founding by Pittsburgh industrialist Andrew Carnegie in 1904.

The commission every year honors people who risked their lives to save or to try to save others’ lives.

More than $18.8 million has been awarded in one-time payments and pensions to the heroes or their survivors. Each winner gets $2,500.

Mrs. Nolan, 50, of Whitby, Ontario, and Mrs. Beaton, 67, of Lindsay, Ontario, confronted a man who broke into the home of a neighbor, Dorothy Blackhall, 72, and slashed her face.

Mrs. Blackhall survived, and the attacker was placed in a mental institution, Mrs. Nolan said.

Three honored Thursday died as a result of their heroics: Kenneth L. Yant, Jr., 33, who died Aug. 26, 1989, trying to rescue an 11-year-old boy from drowning in Martinsville, Ind.; John E. Dedon, 42, of Jackson, La., who died trying to save an 8-year-old boy from drowning Aug. 6, 1989; and David A. Guillen, 32, who was fatally shot Dec. 1, 1989, when he intervened on behalf of a 13-year-old boy being robbed of his bike in Bell, Calif.

The other winners were:

-Daniel D. Sanders, 30, of Washington, Pa., who jumped into a creek and saved a fisherman from drowning Oct. 18, 1989, in Burt, N.Y.

-Curtis C. Dennison, 35, of Irwin, Pa., who carried a woman from a car that had a ruptured gas line moments before the gas ignited, engulfing the car in flames on Oct. 28, 1989, in Lewisville, Ohio.

-Gerald Heinen, of Loves Park, Ill., tried to save a 79-year-old woman from a burning car in Ridott, Ill., on Aug. 29, 1989. Heinen, 48, an off-duty firefighter, crawled through the woman’s car window and pulled her out moments before flames swallowed the car. She died of her injuries.

-John Joseph Theriault, 29, and Pierre O. Theriault, 35, rescued a teen-age girl who was dangling from a tree near the top of a 130-foot cliff in Bathurst, New Brunswick, on March 30, 1989. They descended the cliff and the older Theriault held on to his brother’s belt, leaned back and grasped a rope held by other rescuers. He climbed up to the girl and secured her.

-Don W. Rocap, 67, of Lubbock, Texas, saved two men from a car that caught fire after it crashed into a mobile home in Lubbock on Oct. 10, 1989.

-LeRoy Aden, 47, a gas station attendant, rescued a state trooper struggling with a driver who pulled a gun in Skyland, N.C., on Feb. 11. Aden, of Fletcher, N.C., grabbed the driver’s gun hand and pulled the assailant off the officer.

-Lawrence Ogletree, 38, of Evans, Ga., saved a 2-year-old boy in a runaway car in Martinez, Ga., on Aug. 8, 1989. The car, with the toddler inside, began to coast backward out of a parking lot toward a highway. Ogletree ran across four lanes of traffic, jumped into the car and stepped on the brake.

-Ricky D. Bailey, 31, of Zachary, La., who nearly drowned in the same rescue that left Dedon dead. Charles Saucier, 21, of Lake City, Fla., also nearly drowned in that rescue and was honored as a hero.

-Michael Radwich, 24, of Hindsdale, Mass., who rescued a repairman who got his clothing caught in a rotating shaft on a gravel sorting machine Oct. 18, 1989.

-Robert L. Mathews, 32, of Warren, Ohio, entered a burning house in Warren three times to rescue a 3-year-old boy from his bedroom Nov. 17, 1989.

-Michael J. Smith, 31, of St. Thomas, Ontario, saved a 10-year-old boy from drowning in Lake Erie on Port Burwell, Ontario, on Aug. 4, 1989.

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