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Obituaries in the News

January 13, 2000

NEW YORK (AP) _ Jervis Anderson, the writer who chronicled the history of Harlem and wrote vivid portraits of popular musicians, poets and deal makers as a staff writer for 30 years at The New Yorker magazine, has died. He was 67.

Anderson died at his New York apartment sometime between Christmas and New Year’s. His body was discovered last Friday after neighbors noticed mail piling up. The medical examiner said he died of natural causes.

Along with his detailed portraits of cultural icons like Nobel Prize-winning poet Derek Walcott, writer Cornel West and jazz musician Wynton Marsalis, Anderson was known for his books on civil rights advocate Bayard Rustin and A. Philip Randolph, a labor and civil rights leader w helped rebuild Harlem. He also wrote the 1982 book, ``This Was Harlem: A Cultural Portrait, 1900-1950,″ based on a four-part series he wrote for the magazine.

He joined The New Yorker in 1968 and remained there until his retirement in 1998.

Bob Lemon

CLEVELAND (AP) _ Bob Lemon, who made the Hall of Fame for a brilliant pitching career and then managed the New York Yankees to a World Series championship, died Tuesday. He was 79.

Lemon was a seven-time 20-game winner with the Cleveland Indians and manager of the Yankees during their amazing 1978 title run.

Lemon led the American League in victories three times and won two games in the 1948 World Series _ the last time the Indians were champions. He finished with a 207-128 record and was inducted into the Hall in 1976.

Two years later, Lemon, who also managed for the Kansas City Royals and the Chicago White Sox, took over the Yankees at midseason when Billy Martin resigned.

New York overcame a 14-game deficit, beat Boston in a one-game playoff at Fenway Park to win the AL East, then defeated the Royals in the AL playoffs before triumphing over the Los Angeles Dodgers to win its second straight World Series title.

Solomon Mamaloni

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ Solomon Mamaloni, a former prime minister of the Pacific island nation of the Solomon Islands who was accused of corruption and mismanagement, died Tuesday from kidney disease.

Mamaloni, believed to be in his mid-50s, was opposition leader at the time of his death and was the Solomon Islands’ longest serving politician. He was prime minister for four separate terms between 1983 and 1997.

In 1997, a secret briefing paper by Australian officials described him as a ``wily″ politician who had bought political support in 1994 with the financial help from Malaysian logging companies.

Mamaloni was ousted in late 1997 after a controversy in which he tried to buy arms from a Singapore supplier.

Bob McFadden

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ Bob McFadden, a retired singer and television commercial voiceover actor best known as the parrot’s voice for Whisk commercials in the 1970s, died Friday. He was 76.

McFadden exclaimed ``Ring around the collar!″ And ``Pretty shirt!″ as the parrot’s voice in commercials for the laundry detergent in the 1970s and 1980s.

McFadden got into show business in 1948 as a singer appearing in nightclubs and hotels around the country with acts such as the McGuire Sisters and Harry Belafonte.

In the 1960s, he moved to New York and switched to doing voices and advertising work, providing voices for commercials for Frankenberry cereal and Pepperidge Farm foods, among others.

Ed Peck

NEWTON, Iowa (AP) _ Ed Peck, longtime sportswriter for the Newton Daily News, collapsed and died Tuesday after finishing a high school basketball story. He was 74.

Peck covered Jasper County athletic events for more than 50 years as a writer and editor.

Peck joined the Newton Daily News as sports editor in August 1947 and retired in July 1996, but he continued to cover games part-time.

He is survived by his wife, Helen, who also worked at the newspaper.

Bernice Petkere

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Bernice Petkere, the composer Irving Berlin once called the ``Queen of Tin Pan Alley,″ died Friday. She was 98.

Ms. Petkere wrote songs that were recorded by such stars as Bing Crosby, Kate Smith and Tony Bennett.

Crosby sang her first song, ``Starlight.″ She scribbled notes for the song on the back of a menu at a New York jazz bar in 1931.

Ms. Petkere, often collaborating with such lyricists as Joseph Young, Marty Symes and Walter G. Samuels, also wrote: ``Close Your Eyes,″ ``By a Rippling Stream,″ ``A Mile a Minute,″ ``Happy Little Farmer,″ ``Our Love,″ ``Oh, Moon,″ ``Half a Mile Away Ff My Dreams,″ ``Did You Mean What You Said Last Night″ and ``Dancing Butterfly.″

Ms. Petkere moved to Los Angeles and wrote music for radio.

Bobby Phills

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ Bobby Phills, a basketball player with Charlotte Hornets was killed Wednesday in a head-on collision in his speeding Porsche as he left a practice session. He was 30.

Witnesses said teammate David Wesley was driving another Porsche at the scene and may have also been speeding.

The Hornets’ game against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night was postponed.

The team said Phills was killed instantly. Two other people were injured and were listed in stable condition.

Phills joined the Hornets in 1997 after six years with Cleveland.

Andrew E. Spognardi

BOSTON (AP) _ Andrew E. Spognardi, a family doctor who gave up a career with the Boston Red Sox to practice medicine, died Jan. 1. He was 91.

Spognardi signed with the Red Sox for the 1932 season, the height of the Great Depression. He played second base and had a batting average of .294. During the season, he played against legends like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Jimmy Foxx.

But the next year, he decided to attend Tufts Medical School rather than return to the team.

He retired in 1988.

Marcantonio Vilaca

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) _ Marcantonio Vilaca, an art dealer who promoted Brazilian contemporary artists abroad, has died. He was 37.

Vilaca suffered a stroke and died in his sleep on Jan. 1 at his family’s home in Recife, a seaport 1,160 miles northeast of Rio, relatives said.

The son of writer and politician Marcus Vinicius Vilaca, the younger Vilaca began collecting art as a teen-ager and held one of the most important collections of the so-called ’80s generation of Brazilian artists, including Leda Catunda, Adriana Varejao and Daniel Senise.

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