Obituaries in the News
The Associated Press
Apr. 11, 2004
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) _ James Denley, who ran The Commercial Appeal's Internet division the past five years, died Saturday of complications from leukemia, according to the paper's editor. He was 56.
Denley, a native of Calhoun City, Miss., whose father and grandfather operated the Coffeeville Courier weekly newspaper when he was growing up, made the transition from manual typewriters to computers with ease.
He worked as a reporter and editor at The Commercial Appeal from 1969 to 1982 before becoming managing editor of The Birmingham (Ala.) Post-Herald.
In 1984, he was named editor and president of the newspaper.
Denley left Birmingham in 1997 to become editor of The Abilene (Texas) Reporter-News, before returning to Memphis in 1999 as director of new media for The Commercial Appeal.
Under his tenure, the site grew from a venue for classified advertisements to a forum that now draws 5 million page views a month, his colleagues said.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) _ Jeremiah Gumbs, a hotel owner who helped electrify public opposition to Britain's plans for Anguilla and the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean, died Thursday, his son said. He was 91.
Gumbs addressed the United Nations in 1967, delivering Anguilla's opposition to a postcolonial proposal that would combine Anguilla, St. Kitts and Nevis into one self-governing state.
Like many others on the tiny island, Gumbs felt they were neglected as a British colony and argued that their needs wouldn't be fairly represented according to the new tri-island plan.
Gumbs told the United Nations he and others wanted to secede and that islanders could take care of themselves. Anguilla later held a special referendum on July 11, 1967, and voters overwhelmingly chose secession, 1,813-5.
Gumbs was regarded as a hero and served as Anguilla's ``roving ambassador'' from 1967-1969.
Born in Anguilla in 1913, he went to live in New York City before World War II and was taking night classes when he was drafted into the U.S. military. Gumbs married after the war and moved back to Anguilla.
DENVER (AP) _ Elizabeth Magid, who flew planes for the U.S. military during World War II and whose poem ``Celestial Flight'' became a fixture at funerals for female pilots, died March 23 of cancer, her son said. She was 86.
She wrote ``Celestial Flight'' in memory of her best friend and fellow pilot Marie Mitchell Robinson, who was killed in the crash of a B-25.
Elizabeth Magid, also known as ``Kit,'' was among 1,074 women who became pilots in the short-lived program Women Airforce Service Pilots. She was assigned to ferry planes, some that were damaged.
Her son said one of her favorite memories was the time she and a WASP classmate ferried two planes that were going to be used for parts.
``We were flying side-by-side, and nuts and bolts were literally popping off and flying by. All we did was hold our thumbs up and say, 'We're still here!' As long as she was giving me that sign, we knew we were OK,'' she told her son.