Obituaries in the News
Mar. 15, 2003
SEATTLE (AP) _ Edward Kesoon Choe, a metallurgical engineer, watercolor painter and Korean-American community activist, died Monday after being hospitalized for an infection. He was 94.
Choe was a former Boeing engineer who was fluent in Korean, Japanese, German and English.
After becoming chairman of the Department of Mining at Seoul National University, he immigrated to New York in 1948 to work as a visiting scholar at the invitation of Princeton and Columbia universities.
Shortly after arriving he helped open South Korea's first embassy in the United States but quit after two years. He said he would return to his homeland only after Korea was reunified, a dream still unrealized at his death.
Choe worked for several engineering companies in New York, then moved to Seattle to work for Boeing in 1967. He became active in the area's Korean-American community, including a term as president of the Korean Association.
In his later years he became an accomplished watercolor landscape painter.
Sylvester Robert Curran
STONY BROOK, N.Y. (AP) _ Longtime Buffalo News columnist Sylvester Robert ``Bob'' Curran, a World War II veteran who urged Congress to commemorate the attack on Pearl Harbor by declaring Dec. 7 a national holiday, died Thursday. He was 80.
Curran retired from the newspaper in March 1999, after 32 years of writing ``Curran's Corner.''
An Army Rangers platoon sergeant during World War II, Curran received two Bronze Stars, two Silver Stars and the Purple Heart. He also was one of 14 men to receive the Combat Infantryman's Badge from Gen. George S. Patton Jr.
Curran moved to the Long Island State Veterans Home in Stony Brook in January 2001, nine years after the death of his wife, Mary.
Survivors include three sons.
LONDON (AP) _ Lionel Dakers, who directed the Royal School of Church Music for 16 years, died March 10. He was 79. The cause of death was not announced.
Dakers was a stickler for high musical standards and opposed some of the modernizing trends in English church music.
``A lot of clergy feel that anything good is elitist, and therefore bad,'' he said in 1987. ``A vicar complained to me recently that his organist was always trying to play the right notes.''
Dakers was organist at Ripon Cathedral from 1954 to 1957, then moved to Exeter Cathedral before his appointment as director of the Royal School of Church Music in 1972. In 1976, he was appointed a director of Hymns Ancient & Modern, publisher of some of the most widely used Anglican hymnals.
John G. Dow
SUFFERN, N.Y. (AP) _ Former New York Congressman John Dow, an early opponent of the Vietnam War, died Tuesday. He was 97.
Dow, who was part of a wave of Democrats elected in 1964, represented the Hudson Valley for two terms, lost to a Republican challenger and then won the seat back in 1970.
He was defeated by Benjamin Gilman in 1972, who held onto the seat for 30 years.
In 1990 Dow, then 85, launched an unsuccessful campaign to win back his old seat from Gilman.
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) _ Actor Cyl Farney, the star of dozens of films from Brazil's golden age of cinema, died Friday of heart failure. He was 78.
Born Cilenio Dutra e Silva, Farney was discovered by a movie director while he was playing the drums for his brother, the late crooner Dick Farney. ``The next day I was in the movies,'' he said in a recent TV interview.
In the 1950s and early '60s, Farney was a star at Rio's Atlantida studios along with Eliana, Jose Lewgoy, Oscarito and Grande Otelo. He usually played the romantic lead in comedies such as ``A Stolen Kiss,'' ``Here Comes the Baron'' and ``The Sputnik Man.''
Niels Bjoern Larsen
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) _ Niels Bjoern Larsen, a former solo dancer and considered Denmark's top mime artist, died Thursday. He was 89.
Larsen joined Denmark's prestigious ballet troupe in Copenhagen as a dancer in 1937 and became a solo dancer five years later.
He was considered one of the best mimic interpreters of the Bournonville choreography, named for French-born August Bournonville, who started the modernization of Danish ballet in the 19th century.
Larsen later became artistic director of the Danish Royal Theater's ballet, staying at the reins of the Copenhagen ballet until 1966.
Larsen, who toured the United States in the 1950s, later led the outdoor pantomime theater at Tivoli, Copenhagen's famed downtown amusement park.
He also choreographed musicals in Denmark including ``Annie Get Your Gun'' and ``Oklahoma.''
NORTH BERGEN, N.J. (AP) _ Sidney Lippman, a songwriter who helped compose hits for Nat King Cole and other artists, died Tuesday. He was 89.
Lippman, who studied musical composition at the Juilliard School in New York, wrote or co-wrote several well-known songs, including ``Too Young,'' a song Cole took to the top of the charts in 1951.
That hit, co-written by longtime collaborator Sylvia Dee, came two years after he teamed up with Buddy Kaye and Fred Wise on ``'A' You're Adorable (The Alphabet Song),'' a No. 1 hit performed by Perry Como and the Fontane Sisters.
Ivy Earl McLemore
JASPER, Texas (AP) _ Ivy Earl McLemore, a Teletype operator, wire clerk, service technician and proofreader for The Associated Press for 42 years, died Wednesday of colon cancer. He was 84.
McLemore was never a reporter or editor, but he was praised over the years for a keen eye for errors and omissions in news stories.
Born in Jasper, McLemore was hired by the AP as a Teletype operator and wire clerk shortly after he finished high school.
During World War II, he served in the Army Air Corps as an air traffic controller, and he was at Pearl Harbor when Japanese planes bombed it on Dec. 7, 1941.
Beginning in the 1950s, McLemore serviced AP Teletypes in offices of newspapers and radio and TV stations and other clients in the Houston area.
He retired in 1979 and returned to Jasper, where he farmed 12 acres.
Besides his son, McLemore is survived by two sisters and three brothers. His former wife, Carmen Albacete McLemore, died in 1995.
NAPLES, Italy (AP) _ Singer Roberto Murolo, for more than 50 years a symbol of Neapolitan song, died Thursday. He was 91.
Murolo started his career in the 1930s, traveling across Europe with a jazz band. After World War II, he went back to Naples, his native city, and devoted himself to Neapolitan song, soon becoming very popular.
Murolo was true to the local tradition of Neapolitan song, while bringing into it his love of jazz and his international experience, critics say.
Among his greatest successes is ``Scalinatella,'' a classic of Neapolitan song. Other highlights of his career include performing with Fado legend Amalia Rodriguez.
In the late 1940s and '50s, Murolo started an acting career. The 1949 ``Catene'' (``Chains''), co-starring Amedeo Nazzari, was a huge hit.
Murolo released his final album just after his 90th birthday last year.