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Obituaries in the News

November 11, 1998

LONDON (AP) _ Rumer Godden, a British novelist whose many years in India provided inspiration for some of her best-known works, died Sunday. She was 90.

Godden, who published her 21st novel, ``Cromartie vs. The God Shiva,″ last year, had her first major success with her third novel, ``Black Narcissus,″ published in 1939.

The story of a group of nuns who establish a convent in northern India explored themes of cultural conflict and obsessive love, and was made into a film starring Deborah Kerr in 1947.

Godden was 9 months old when her family moved to India and later to London in 1945. ``The River,″ published in 1949, was one of her most acclaimed books and was made into a film by Jean Renoir in 1951.

Her first book, ``Chinese Puzzle,″ was published in 1936. ``The Doll’s House,″ the first of more than two dozen books for children, appeared in 1947.

Poomaikelani Kawananakoa

HONOLULU (AP) _ Poomaikelani Kawananakoa, a descendant of Hawaii’s royalty and a leader in Honolulu’s publishing and theater fields, died Monday. She was 71.

Kawananakoa founded Hui Hanai to support the center’s activities and help children in need and served as president of the Hawaiian Civic Club of Honolulu.

She also started Mana Publishing Company, which is best known for the publications of ``Ano Ano: The Seed″ and ``Princess Kaiulani: The Last Hope of Hawaii’s Monarchy.″

As a theatrical entrepreneur, she formed Angel Inc., which brought to Hawaii such performers as Luciano Pavarotti, The Alvin Ailey Dancers, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Roberta Peters and Four Girls Four group, including Rosemary Clooney and Helen O’Connell.

Thomas A. Leask

HARRISBURG Pa. (AP) _ Thomas A. Leask, an award-winning photographer who captured state leaders and town characters on film, died Sunday. He was 76.

Leask was the chief photographer for The Patriot-News in Harrisburg for more than 40 years and won more than 30 national and state photo awards before retiring in 1994.

Leask founded Allied Pix in 1952, and also worked Newark Star-Ledger in New Jersey.

He is survived by his wife; Annette; two sons, a daughter, two brothers and two granddaughters.

Fran Murphey

AKRON, Ohio (AP) _ Fran Murphey, whose 54-year career as a newspaper reporter and columnist made her enormously popular in the Akron Beacon Journal’s coverage area, died Monday of liver cancer. She was 75.

Murphey was best known for her ``Good Morning″ column in the Beacon Journal. In 1996, she received the Knight Ridder Award for Community Service. Knight Ridder is the parent company of the Beacon Journal.

Murphey is survived by four nephews, three nieces and an aunt.

Hal Newhouser

DETROIT (AP) _ Hall of Famer Hal Newhouser, the only pitcher to win consecutive Most Valuable Player awards, died Tuesday. He was 77.

Newhouser pitched for his hometown Tigers from 1939-53 and led them to a World Series championship over the Chicago Cubs in 1945. In the decisive seventh game, he pitched a complete game.

Newhouser, the American League’s MVP in 1944 and 1945, was elected to the baseball Hall of Fame in 1992. He was on seven All-Star teams, led the AL in wins four times and in strikeouts and earned run averages twice.

Newhouser spent the final two years of his career with Cleveland and retired in 1955 with a 207-150 record and a 3.02 ERA.

In July 1997, he became the only pitcher, and only the fourth player to have his uniform number retired by the Tigers. His No. 16 is painted on the facing of Tiger Stadium’s third deck in right field.

After he retired Newhouser went into banking for 20 years, then returned to baseball as a scout for the Houston Astros.

Larry Schmidt

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Larry Schmidt, one of the original reporters on the WCCO-TV investigative team and former editorial director for the station, died Sunday from liver disease and cancer. He was 58.

Schmidt was hired at WCCO in 1971 after completing a 20-part series on organized crime for KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh.

In later years at WCCO, Schmidt covered the Hennepin County courts.

He is survived by his wife, Judy; a son and a daughter.

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