Obituaries in the News
The Associated Press
Oct. 18, 2002
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LONDON (AP) _ Grace Hamblin, the trusted private secretary to Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine, died Tuesday at her home in Westerham, southern England. She was 94.
Nicknamed ``Hambone'' by the Churchill children, Hamblin began working for Churchill and his wife, Clementine, part-time at Chartwell Manor in 1932.
She later became a full-time employee whose tasks included typing manuscripts for Winston Churchill.
When Churchill became prime minister in 1940, Hamblin moved to London and took on the additional role of secretary to his wife, accompanying her on several trips abroad, including North Africa.
When the Germans surrendered in Europe, the two women, who had just completed a journey across the Soviet Union for the Red Cross, toasted the victory with champagne at Britain's embassy in Moscow.
After the war, Hamblin returned to Chartwell, which she continued to manage when Churchill regained power in 1951.
When he left office again in 1955, Hamblin was made an Officer of the Order of British Empire. When Chartwell passed to the preservation group the National Trust, she became its first curator, helping to recreate the atmosphere of the family home for visitors.
She never married.
NEW YORK (AP) _ Zara Nelsova, a prominent cellist, died Oct. 10. She was 84.
Nelsova studied Ernest Bloch's cello works with him in 1949, and he dedicated two of his three suites for unaccompanied cello to her. She also recorded his ``Schelomo'' for cello and orchestra with Bloch conducting.
Nelsova performed as a soloist with conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, William Steinberg, Seigi Ozawa and Zubin Mehta and appeared with major orchestras in North America and Europe.
Born in Winnipeg, Canada, to Russian parents, Nelsova was a professor at the Juilliard School from 1985 until earlier this year. She played a Stradivarius cello called the Marquis de Corberon and dated 1726.
She performed until 1997.
Allen Walker Read
NEW YORK (AP) _ Allen Walker Read, an English language expert and a longtime professor at Columbia University, died Wednesday at age 96.
Read prospected through the English language, dispelling myths and solving such linguistic mysteries as the origins of the ubiquitous initials ``O.K.''
Read determined that they were first published in The Boston Morning Post on March 23, 1839: ``o.k. - all correct.'' The term appeared at a time when people used initials for misspelled words, such as ``oll korrect.''
His other linguistic pursuits included the study of the names that people from Connecticut have called themselves. A list Read compiled contained such words as Connecticotians, Connecticutensians and Connecticuties, which was used for pretty girls.
He also traced the word Dixie to a minstrel show in New York City in 1850 and determined that Podunk stemmed from a native American name meaning ``where there is a sinking,'' or a swamp.
Read was a professor of English at Columbia from 1945 to 1974 and headed many linguistic organizations, including the International Linguistic Association.
Eileen Jackson Southern
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) _ Eileen Jackson Southern, an authority on Renaissance and African-American music and Harvard University's first tenured black female professor, died Sunday in Port Charlotte, Fla. of Alzheimer's disease. She was 82.
Born in Minneapolis in 1920, Southern studied piano and played her first concert in Chicago at age 7.
Southern attended Chicago public schools, earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago in 1940, her master's the following year, and a Ph.D. in musicology from New York University in 1961.
She taught at Prairie View University in Texas, Southern University, Brooklyn College, and York College of the City University of New York, before coming to Harvard in 1974 as a lecturer.
She became a full professor in 1976 with a dual appointment in Afro-American studies and music. Between 1975 and 1979, she chaired the Department of Afro-American Studies, before retiring in 1987.
She wrote and edited many works, including ``The Music of Black Americans, a History'' (1970).
In 1973, she and her husband, Joseph Southern, established ``Black Perspectives in Music,'' the first musicological journal on the study of black music.
In April, President Bush honored her as a National Humanities Medalist for her work.
HONG KONG (AP) _ Pop star Roman Tam, known as the ``godfather'' of Hong Kong's music industry, died Friday after fighting liver cancer for more than a year. He was 52.
Ng Yu, head of Emperor Entertainment Group, Tam's label, said the singer died with his family at his side. He had been in and out of the hospital since May 2001.
``Many of us grew up with Roman Tam's many golden hits. We will all miss him,'' said Patrick Ho, secretary for Home Affairs.
Once an amusement park security guard, Tam made his musical debut in 1967 with the group ``Roman and the Four Steps,'' embarking on a career that spanned three decades and 56 albums.
He sang canto-pop, which refers to songs in the Cantonese dialect, the dominant form of Chinese in Hong Kong.
Alene Fox Uhry
ATLANTA (AP) _ Alene Fox Uhry, a long-time patron of the arts in Atlanta and the mother of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Alfred Uhry, died Wednesday of congestive heart failure. She was 93.
Mrs. Uhry's memorial to her husband, Ralph K. Uhry, who died in 1955, is the basis of the High Museum's print collection. She was a life director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra board, which honored her as one of its guiding lights.
Alfred Uhry is the author of the acclaimed ``Driving Miss Daisy'' and ``The Last Night of Ballyhoo.'' Although she did appear in the movie version of ``Driving Miss Daisy'' _ and spent a day with star Jessica Tandy teaching her to speak Southern _ Mrs. Uhry was not the inspiration for Miss Daisy. Her mother, Lena Fox, was the model for that character.
Mrs. Uhry's daughter, Dr. Ann Abrams, earned her Ph.D. in art history and is the author of ``Explosion at Orly: The True Account of the Disaster that Transformed Atlanta,'' about the 1962 Air France crash outside Paris that killed 106 Atlantans returning from an art appreciation tour.