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Obituaries in the News

October 26, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ John Chafee, the U.S. senator from Rhode Island who served for nearly a quarter-century as an unwavering voice for moderation and environmental protection in a Republican Party, died Sunday. He was 72.

A descendant of one of the families that helped settle Rhode Island, Chafee fought in two wars and was a three-term governor before winning his Senate seat in 1976.

Chafee was a leader among the Senate’s dwindling band of GOP moderates, seeking to bridge the gaps between lawmakers in both parties.

He regularly drew praise from environmental groups, and supported abortion rights, gun control legislation and measures to use the power of government to expand health care coverage. Last winter, he voted to acquit Clinton on both articles of impeachment.

Chafee was the first senator to die in office since Quentin Burdick, D-N.D., in 1992.

Robert Fraley

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) _ Robert Fraley, a former Alabama quarterback who went on to become a sports agent whose clients included golfer Payne Stewart, was killed Monday with Stewart when their jet crashed in South Dakota. Fraley was 46.

Fraley was on the Learjet 35 with Stewart, en route to Texas, where Stewart was scheduled to play in the PGA Tour Championship this weekend in Houston.

Fraley was nicknamed the ``Winchester rifle″ during his career as a quarterback at Franklin County High School. He was highly recruited by Alabama and enrolled there in 1971.

After earning his law degree from Alabama in 1975, Fraley moved to Orlando to start a practice, eventually becoming chief executive officer of Leader Enterprises Inc.

Along with Stewart, Fraley represented coaches and athletes such as the New York Jets’ Bill Parcells, the Atlanta Falcons’ Dan Reeves and Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Cortez Kennedy.

Larry Graebner

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) _ Larry Graebner, who began a 29-year career at the Columbia Daily Tribune as a photographer and ended up as executive editor, died Thursday of lung cancer. He was 78.

Graebner started his photography career during World War II by shooting pictures from the bay of a bomber as an aerial photographer with the Eighth Air Force.

He enrolled in the University of Missouri School of Journalism after the war and then joined the Tribune. He worked as city editor, managing editor and executive editor at the paper.

Graebner is survived by his wife Jean, two daughters and two sisters.

Arturo Herbruger

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) _ Guatemalan former vice president Arturo Herbruger Asturias, founder of an organization that oversaw the country’s return to democracy after a failed coup, died Monday. He was 87 and had diabetes and bronchial pneumonia.

Herbruger established the Supreme Electoral Tribunal in 1983, the organization that presided over elections for the National Constitutional Assembly in 1984 and presidential elections in 1985 and 1990. He headed the tribunal until 1993.

After the failure of an attempted coup on May 25, 1993, against then-President Jorge Serrano Elias, the Congress designated Ramiro de Leon Carpio as president and Herbruger as vice president, to serve until January 1996.

At the time of his death, Herbruger was serving as a representative of the Central American Parliament, made up of 120 representatives from Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic.

Herbruger was considered a brilliant lawyer who also at one time served as president of the country’s supreme court, as attorney general, and as treasury minister.

Robert J. Quinn

MALIBU, Calif. (AP) _ Robert J. Quinn, the Emmy-nominated director of the ``Tonight Show″ with Johnny Carson for more than two decades, died Thursday of cancer. He was 72.

Quinn directed the ``Tonight Show″ from 1968 to 1992, when Carson left the show and retired. The director was nominated for an Emmy in 1992.

Frank J. Rice

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Frank J. Rice, a veteran executive of Bullock’s department stores and founder of a facility for mentally ill men, died Wednesday. He was 82 and suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.

Rice joined Bullock’s department stores in 1942 as an advertising copywriter and worked his way up to vice president for sales promotion. But it was his move to a new position of vice president for community affairs that led to his work for the homeless mentally ill.

Rice and his wife, Dorothy, also owned and co-published the weekly San Marino Tribune from 1977 until 1995, with Rice personally covering school board meetings and writing editorials.

Rice is survived by his wife of 57 years; three daughters; and five grandchildren.

Bernie Richter

CHICO, Calif. (AP) _ Former state Assemblyman Bernie Richter, a maverick Republican and sharp critic of affirmative action who once sought the Assembly speakership in a fruitless, emotional battle, died Monday. He was 68.

Richter, who was elected to the Assembly in 1992, was forced from the lower house by voter-approved term limits in 1998.

Payne Stewart

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) _ Payne Stewart, whose knickers and tam o’shanter cap made him one of the most recognizable players in golf, was killed Monday when a Learjet he was aboard flew uncontrolled for hours and crashed in South Dakota. He was 42.

Stewart won 18 times around the world, but made his name at home with three major championships _ the last on an unforgettable day in June when he thrust his fist into the air to celebrate his second U.S. Open victory.

Stewart, who lived in Orlando, Fla., was on his way to Texas in advance of the Tour Championship, a tournament for the top 30 players on the Professional Golfers’ Association money list.

During tournament play, his presence was unmistakable in traditional golfing garb that no one else considered wearing.

Stewart won more than $11.7 million in a PGA Tour career that began in 1980. He was ranked No. 8 in the world and was third on this year’s money list with just over $2 million.

Richard Suhre

WAYNESVILLE, N.C. (AP) _ Richard Suhre, an atheist who spent the last five years of his life fighting to have the Ten Commandments removed from the wall of a Haywood County courtroom, died Sunday at age 89.

Suhre filed a lawsuit in 1994 challenging the marble tablets that have been in place since the courthouse opened in 1931.

Earlier this year, Suhre and his lawyer claimed the judge overseeing the case was intentionally delaying a ruling and waiting for Suhre to pass away.

The judge eventually ruled against Suhre, but the American Civil Liberties Union has vowed to continue Suhre’s fight.

Mladen Vuksanovic

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) _ Bosnian writer and journalist Mladen Vuksanovic, who chronicled the rise of Bosnian Serb ultranationalism and the beginning of Serb expulsions of Muslims and Croats, died of heart failure at the age of 57 while in exile in Croatia, his publisher said Monday.

Vuksanovic, who had an Orthodox father and a Roman Catholic mother, was driven out of his native village of Pale in central Bosnia in 1992, when ultranationalist leader Radovan Karadzic came to power.

Karadzic has been indicted twice by the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, and his Orthodox Serb followers were accused of the worst ethnic purges and killings of non-Serbs during the 1992-95 war in Bosnia. Karadzic remains at large.

Vuksanovic wrote a diary during the first 100 days of Karadzic’s rule in Pale, the Bosnian Serb stronghold, and managed to smuggle the notes with him when he fled on a U.N. refugee bus to neighboring Croatia.

Russ Widoe

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) _ Russ Widoe, a key figure in bringing public television to Northeastern Wisconsin, died Saturday in California. He was 84.

Widoe played the children’s character Colonel Caboose twice a day on WBAY-TV for 10 years, beginning in the mid-1950s. As Colonel Caboose, he dressed in bib overalls, a train engineer’s cap and a bandana.

He also bought time and rented space at a commercial stations to air programs for use in the classroom. In the late 1960s, Widoe was instrumental in the creation of WPNE- TV, Channel 38, now part of Wisconsin Public Television.

Widoe retired in 1980.

In 1991, Widoe received an award from the Wisconsin Educational Media Association recognizing his accomplishments.

Besides his wife, Widoe is survived by two daughters.

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