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Obituaries in the News

July 8, 1999

BOSTON (AP) _ Bob Backus, a champion weight thrower, died June 30. He was 72.

Backus set career bests of 45 feet, 2 inches in 1957 for the 56-pound weight (no longer in use) and 66 feet, 2 3/4 inches for the 35-pound weight in 1959.

He captured seven consecutive American titles for the 56-pound weight throw, from 1953 to 1959; titles seven out of eight years in the 35-pound throw, from 1954 to 1961; and one in the hammer throw in 1954.

In the 1955 Pan American Games, he won a gold for the hammer throw. In 1982, he was voted best indoor weight thrower ever.

Don Hannula

SEATTLE (AP) _ Don Hannula, a former Seattle Times columnist and a journalist for 42 years, died Tuesday of cancer. He was 67.

Hannula, who spent 30 years at The Times, went to work for the Yakima Herald-Republic in 1954.

He later worked at The News Tribune in Tacoma, covering the clash between Indian fishermen and state officials over fishing rights.

Hannula was hired by The Times in 1966 to cover civil-rights and anti-Vietnam War demonstrations. He spent several years as an assistant city editor, and in 1985 moved to the editorial staff and wrote staff editorials and a weekly column.

He retired in 1996.

He is survived by his wife, Gene, two sons, a grandson and a brother.

Stanley Soble

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Stanley Soble, who cast productions of such award-winning plays as ``Angels in America″ and ``The Kentucky Cycle,″ died following an unspecified surgery on Tuesday. He was 59.

Soble helped cast the Mark Taper Forum 1992 version and later Broadway production of the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play ``Angels in America.″

The show won him the Artios, top honor of the Casting Society of America.

He also cast the Los Angeles version of ``The Kentucky Cycle,″ which won a 1992 Pulitzer.

In 1978, he got a job as casting director for the soap opera ``Search for Tomorrow,″ later worked in casting for the New York Shakespeare Festival and formed his own casting business.

He joined the Taper in 1988.

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