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Creator of Lucky Charms Cereal Dies

August 28, 2000

RICHFIELD, Minn. (AP) _ The creator of Lucky Charms cereal and his wife were killed in a traffic accident on their way to visit their comatose daughter, who died two days later.

John Holahan, 83, a former General Mills vice president, apparently ran a stop sign and steered into a truck’s path on Wednesday, police said. His wife Rosalind, 84, died at the scene. He died four hours later.

Their daughter, Shannon Kilkenny, 51, lost her fight with liver cancer on Friday.

``That was pretty much my immediate family,″ John Holahan Jr. said Sunday. ``This is a terrible tragedy for all of us.″

The elder Holahans had been married for 60 years.

They might have taken some comfort in knowing they had died together, said the younger Holahan’s wife, Midge Holahan. ``I think that they also would be very happy to know that they died before their daughter did,″ she said.

For years, John Holahan shared the story of Lucky Charms _ toasted oat cereal with marshmallow bits _ with students in his hometown of Annandale as a lesson in creativity and marketing.

He recalled stumbling upon orange marshmallow peanuts while brainstorming in 1963, cutting them up and then sprinkling them over Cheerios.

``I knew we had a winner,″ he said.

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