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Originally published February 11, 2012 at 6:03 AM | Page modified February 11, 2012 at 7:27 PM

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The week's passages

A roundup of the week's notable obituaries

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Robert A. Citron, 79, an aerospace engineer and intrepid entrepreneur whose boyhood fantasy of traveling beyond Earth inspired pioneering ventures to commercialize space, died of prostate-cancer complications Jan. 31 at his home in Bellevue.

Ben Gazzara, 81, an actor with a quiet, brooding intensity who was featured in films and on Broadway and who starred in the 1960s television series "Run for Your Life," died Feb. 3 in New York City. He had pancreatic cancer.

Florence Green, 110, believed to have been the last living veteran of World War I (she was a waitress in an RAF officers' mess on the homefront), died in King's Lynn, England, Feb. 4, two weeks shy of her 111th birthday.

Zalman King, 70, a filmmaker who mixed artistic aspiration, a professed empathy for female sexuality and gauzy photography to bring soft-core pornography to cable television — particularly with his Showtime series "Red Shoe Diaries" in the 1990s — died of colon cancer Feb. 3 in Santa Monica, Calif.

Antoni Tapies, 88, whose creativity in painting and sculpture made him one of the world's top contemporary art figures, died Monday in Barcelona, Spain, after several years of poor health.

Roger Boisjoly, 73, a NASA contractor who repeatedly voiced concerns about the space shuttle Challenger before it exploded in 1986, then testified about it afterward and suffered shunning by colleagues and neighbors, died of cancer Monday in Nephi, Utah.

Janice Voss, 55, a NASA astronaut who first worked for the space agency as a teenager and flew five shuttle missions in seven years, died of breast cancer Monday in Scottsdale, Ariz.

W. Gunther Plaut, 99, a rabbi whose vast, scholarly and ardently contemporary edition of the Torah helped define Reform Judaism in late 20th-century North America, died Wednesday in Toronto.

Nello V. Ferrara, 93, who created the famous Lemonheads and Atomic Fireballs candies for the Ferrara Pan Candy Co. that was founded in Chicago by his Italian immigrant father Salvatore in 1908, died of cancer Feb. 3 in River Forest, Ill.

Patricia Stephens Due, 72, a lifelong Florida civil-rights crusader who led 1960s-era demonstrations and voter-registration drives, went to jail for trying to integrate a lunch counter and suffered permanent eye damage from a police assault, died Tuesday of thyroid cancer in Smyrna, Ga.

Jill Kinmont Boothe, 75, the skiing champion who became a painter and a teacher after she was paralyzed during a race and was the subject of a book and two Hollywood films, died Thursday in Carson City, Nev.

Jeffrey Zaslow, 53, the best-selling author of "The Last Lecture," with Randy Pausch, about a professor dying of cancer, and of a recent book about former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, died Friday in a car accident in Northern Michigan.

Peter Breck, 83, a film and theater actor who starred as Barbara Stanwyck's most temperamental son, Nick Barkley, in the popular 1960s Western series "The Big Valley," died Monday in Vancouver, B.C., where he had lived since the 1980s.

John T. Sargent, 87, who as president and later chairman of Doubleday oversaw its expansion from a modest-size, family-controlled book publisher to an industry giant with interests extending into broadcasting and baseball, died last Sunday in New York.

Robert E. Hecht Jr., 92, a dealer in classical antiquities who became a legendary but mysterious figure, one whose passion for ancient art overlooked questions of the destruction wrought by its illicit origins, died Wednesday in Paris.

Gilbert LaPiere, 88, Cher's stepfather, who had remained close with the entertainer despite being divorced from her mother, died Tuesday in Oklahoma City. He had recently suffered a heart attack and fractured his hip.

Frank Cioffi, 83, an American philosopher whose 1970 essay challenging the legitimacy of Freudian psychoanalytic theory led to his becoming a sort of cult hero among anti-Freudians who discovered it a decade later, died Jan. 1 in Canterbury, England.

John Christopher, 89, a prolific British science-fiction writer whose "Tripods" trilogy became a perennial favorite among young American readers and inspired a popular BBC television series shown on PBS in the 1980s, died of bladder-cancer complications Feb. 3 in Bath, England.

Harry Keough, 84, a National Soccer Hall of Famer who played for the U.S. soccer team that famously upset England at the 1950 World Cup, and who coached Saint Louis University to five NCAA soccer titles, died Tuesday in St. Louis.

Mike deGruy, 60, an Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker and marine biologist who through the lens of his submersible cameras transported viewers to the deepest crags of the oceans and face to face with swirling, pulsing sea creatures, died Feb. 4 in a helicopter crash in Australia.

Gianpiero Moretti, 71, who designed the sleek, easy-to-grasp Momo steering wheel that has improved the performance of championship race-car drivers for more than half a century — though he himself had limited success in hundreds of races — died of cancer Jan. 13 in Milan, Italy.


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