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Obituaries in the News

July 8, 2003

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) _ Wilfrid G. Binette, a sports writer and editor in South Carolina and Florida for more than 35 years, died Saturday. He was 65 and had Alzheimer’s disease.

Binette started his career at The Independent-Mail of Anderson and later became the paper’s sports editor. He was honored by The Associated Press in South Carolina in 1974 with the ``Best Sports Story of the Year″ award for his recap and photos of Hank Aaron’s record-breaking 715th home run.

Binette became sports editor of The Sun News in Myrtle Beach in 1977. He worked there for 12 years before going to The Winter Haven (Fla.) News Chief. Binette retired as sports editor four years ago.

Binette is survived by a son, a daughter, and six grandchildren.


Ada Urquhart DeBold Deemer

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) _ Ada Urquhart DeBold Deemer, who in 1950 helped start a group that evolved into the National Kidney Foundation, died Monday. She was 86.

Deemer and her first husband, Harry DeBold, started the National Nephrosis Foundation in their home following a meeting with families whose children suffered from the rare kidney disorder. The couple’s infant son, Robert, also suffered from nephrosis and died in 1952.

After two name changes, the National Nephrosis Foundation became the National Kidney Foundation, an organization based in New York with 51 chapters nationwide.

She married Richard Deemer after the death of DeBold.

Last year, the foundation honored Ada Deemer by establishing the Ada U. DeBold Society, a fund-raising arm for the organization.


Karlis Kaufmanis

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Karlis Kaufmanis, a retired University of Minnesota professor best known for a lecture exploring astronomical explanations for the Star of Bethlehem, died June 21 in Florida following a series of strokes, the university announced Monday. He was 93.

Kaufmanis held positions at several European schools before moving to Gustavus Adolphus College in 1949. He joined the University of Minnesota staff as a visiting lecturer in 1961 and became an associate professor in 1963. He was a full professor from 1970 until he retired in 1978.

Kaufmanis’ introductory astronomy course was one of the most popular science courses at the university. He taught more than 26,000 students and was known for his sharp wit.

His lecture on the Star of Bethlehem, which the Bible story says led the Three Wise Men to the baby Jesus, was aired over the Voice of America and presented on ABC’s ``Good Morning America.″

Kaufmanis wrote several textbooks about astronomy, math and cosmology.


Horace Nash

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) _ Horace Nash, who protested segregation in the 1960s and fought for a Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in Greenville County, was found dead in his home Monday. He was 58.

Greenville County deputy coroner Ken Coppins said Nash died sometime Sunday night.

Sharon Bryant, a family spokeswoman and NAACP first vice president, said the cause of Nash’s death isn’t known. She said Nash had diabetes and high blood pressure.

``He was one of the original civil rights warriors,″ said Paul Guy, president of Greenville’s chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Guy said Nash’s pet project was registering voters. Nash would set up tables outside shopping centers and spend his Saturdays urging people to sign up.

Nash took part in sit-ins at lunch counters and the Greenville library to fight for integration. He also helped organize a downtown march of 8,000 people in May when the Greenville County Council refused to adopt a King holiday.

Nash joined an NAACP youth group when he was a teen. He remained a member for more than 40 years. He served as the NAACP’s local chapter president from June 2001 to January 2003.

Nash served in the U.S. Army in the mid 1960s. He taught English for more than 20 years in Greenville County public schools and at Greenville Technical College.


Donald G. Phelps

SEATTLE (AP) _ Donald G. Phelps, the first black chancellor of the Seattle and Los Angeles community college systems and head of the University of Texas Men’s Intercollegiate Athletics Council, died Saturday in Austin, Texas, after a brief illness. He was 73.

Phelps became president of Seattle Central Community College in 1980 and was named chancellor of the three-school college district in 1984.

Criticizing funding levels for two-year colleges in Washington state, he left in 1988 and spent five years as chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District, leading nine schools with an enrollment exceeding 150,000 and the largest number of black and Hispanic college students nationwide.

At the University of Texas, he spent two years as chairman of the Department of Educational Administration before becoming head of the athletics council, serving as adviser to the university president on all intercollegiate sports matters.

In 1998, Phelps received the Distinguished Leadership Award from the American Association of Community Colleges, the nation’s highest award in the field, and the National Leadership Award from the National Council of Black American Affairs.


Angel Santos

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) _ Former Sen. Angel Santos, a Chamorro rights activist, died Sunday. He was 44.

Santos had suffered from an undiagnosed disease for the past year. An autopsy was to be performed to determine the cause of death.

Santos served three terms in the U.S. territory’s Legislature.

In 2000, Santos, a spokesman for the indigenous activist group Chamoru Nation, served six months in federal prison for violating a 1993 court order to stay off U.S. Air Force land he claimed belonged to his grandfather. He was elected to the Guam Legislature after his release.

Santos ran for governor in the Democratic primary in 1998, losing to former Gov. Carl Gutierrez and former Lt. Gov. Madeleine Bordallo, who now is Guam’s delegate to the U.S. Congress.

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