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Obituaries in the News

May 4, 2001

FISH CREEK, Wis. (AP) _ Fred Alley, a 38-year-old performer and playwright who was due to receive an award this month from Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim, collapsed while jogging and died.

M. Kaye Christman, general manager for the American Folklore Theatre in Fish Creek, where Alley was an actor, writer and former co-producer, said Alley’s body was found early Wednesday along a hilly stretch of road between Fish Creek and Baileys Harbor where he had gone jogging Tuesday evening after work.

An autopsy revealed a previously undiagnosed heart condition.

Alley and Milwaukee native James Valcq co-wrote a stage musical version of the film ``The Spitfire Grill,″ which won the Academy of Arts and Letters 2001 Richard Rodgers Production Award in February.

The award, which was to be presented later this month in New York, included a $100,000 grant that is being used to partially finance an off-Broadway production of the show.

``The Spitfire Grill″ had a successful run last fall at the George Street Playhouse in New Jersey.

Alley also co-wrote with James Kaplan ``The Bachelors″ and ``Guys on Ice,″ both musicals.

Ben Cunningham

SEAL BEACH, Calif. (AP) _ Ben Cunningham, a journalism instructor who shaped the careers of many reporters and championed media rights, died Tuesday after a short illness. He was 73.

Cunningham taught at Long Beach City College and California State University, Long Beach. He was called as an expert witness in several cases involving the First Amendment and the press, including the Carol Burnett libel suit against the National Enquirer.

A native of Dayton, Ohio, Cunningham served in the Army during the Korean War and received the Purple Heart and a Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

Cunningham began his career as a reporter with the Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram. He worked for United Press International, The Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner before he became an educator.

He taught journalism courses at Long Beach City College and CSU Long Beach. He was twice named journalism professor of the year by the California Newspaper Publishers Association. He retired in 1991.

Cunningham is survived by his wife, Julie; sons Michael and Kevin; grandsons Ryan and Sean; and a sister, Norma Estridge.

Joseph T. DeGeorge

RIVERSIDE, Mo. (AP) _ Joseph T. DeGeorge, a longtime news staffer for The Associated Press in Missouri and Kansas, died April 25. He was 91.

DeGeorge started working for the AP in Kansas City in 1930. In 1935, he moved to the Jefferson City Capital News, where he served as editor until 1940.

He returned to AP in Kansas City in 1940, was transferred to Wichita, Kan., two years later as correspondent and returned to Kansas City in 1944 as Kansas state editor, a position he held for 27 years. DeGeorge retired in 1974 as the day editor in Kansas City.

He is survived by a son and a sister.

Dr. Nathan B. Friedman

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Dr. Nathan B. Friedman, a pathologist who made important studies of testicular and breast cancer and found a way to treat trench foot in World War II soldiers, died Sunday. He was 90.

Friedman’s research included studies on bladder tumors and cancers of the breast, testicles and endocrine glands.

In 1950 he became a clinical professor at the University of Southern California School of Medicine.

He was still coming to work three days before his death, despite a degenerative spinal disorder for which he used a wheelchair.

Donald Graham

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ Donald J. Graham, a retired technical supervisor for The Associated Press, died April 10 in Cape Coral (Fla.) Hospital after a lengthy illness. He was 69.

The Air Force veteran worked for The Associated Press for 39 years and was a communications technical supervisor. He was based in the Buffalo office for most of his career, and spent six years in the Albany bureau.

He is survived by his wife and a daughter.

Billy Higgins

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) _ Legendary jazz drummer Billy Higgins died Thursday at age 64.

Higgins was one of the most recorded figures in the history of jazz, performing with John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Herbie Hancock, Milt Jackson, Charles Lloyd, Pat Metheny, Lee Morgan, Art Pepper and Joshua Redman, among others.

He played with pianist Cedar Walton and was involved with the first edition of bassist Charlie Haden’s innovative Quartet West.

Higgins came to prominence in the 1950s with saxophonist Ornette Coleman’s free jazz group, which included Haden and trumpeter Don Cherry. Higgins’ drumming laid the foundation for the group’s free jazz flights of fancy.

That group sparked a decade of innovation in jazz that was carried on by the Coleman Quartet, Coltrane, George Russell, Charles Mingus and Albert Ayler, among others.

Higgins’ ability to adapt his sense of swing to any genre made him one of the most in-demand drummers of the past four decades.

Higgins helped found World Stage, a storefront performance space and teaching venue in Los Angeles’ Leimert Park. He was also on the jazz faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Higgins was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master’s Fellowship in 1997.

Morton Klass

NEW YORK (AP) _ Dr. Morton Klass, an anthropologist and writer who focused on South Asia and its descendant community in the West Indies, died Saturday of a heart attack. He was 73.

Klass taught for more than 30 years at Barnard College and Columbia University, where he served as director of the Southern Asian Institute in the 1980s.

His studies focused on the complexities of the caste system, a hierarchical social structure prevalent in South Asian communities, and traced its prehistoric origins and vestiges in India and the West Indies.

Elizabeth Anne Pastore

BELLEVUE, Wash. (AP) _ Elizabeth ``Bette″ Anne Pastore, co-founder of the night school that grew to become City University in this community east of Seattle, died April 21 of complications from emphysema. She was 63.

Born Elizabeth Anne York, Pastore was in charge of City University’s marketing, media relations and advertising until the early 1990s. Her husband, Michael Pastore, served as president of the university for many years.

Founded in 1973, City University started out in Seattle as a small night school focusing on paralegal skills. Since then, the university has expanded its offerings to help working adults continue their education without interrupting their careers.

Vince Voeroes

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) _ Vince Voeroes, honorary president of the governing coalition’s junior partner, the Independent Smallholders’ Party, and deputy speaker of Hungary’s first democratically elected parliament after communism, has died, media reports said Friday. He was 90.

Voeroes had been a member of the agrarian-based Smallholders’ Party since 1935, and was its deputy secretary general from 1945-1947.

The party was reorganized in 1989, and he served for a year as its first president. In 1990 he was elected deputy speaker of the first democratic parliament after 40 years of communist rule.

His term as a member of parliament ended in 1994.

Margaret K. Zaimes

LACKAWAXEN, Pa. (AP) _ Margaret K. Zaimes, a World War II photographer for the Red Cross and later a cookbook author, died Tuesday after a long illness. She was 85.

Zaimes was a correspondent for the American Red Cross during World War II, photographing the activities of Red Cross personnel in England, France, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany.

After the war Zaimes wrote articles and columns about cooking and the outdoors. She published a cookbook, ``The Best of Fin Fare,″ in 1978 based on recipes she collected from around Pennsylvania.

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