The week's passages
A roundup of the week's notable obituaries.
Spc. Vilmar Galarza Hernandez, 21, of Salinas, Calif., and based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, died May 26 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised bomb.
Sean Edward Brazas, 26, of Greensboro, N.C., a Navy petty officer 2nd class from Bremerton, died Wednesday in Afghanistan while conducting combat operations in Panjwa'l, the northern region of a Kandahar district.
Otis Clark, 109, who was 18 when he fled armed white mobs killing the black citizens of Greenwood, a thriving African-American section of Tulsa, Okla., on May 31, 1921, died in Seattle May 21. He worked in Los Angeles as film star Joan Crawford's butler, and later turned to preaching. In recent years, he and a goddaughter ran a ministry in Seattle.
Johnie Kirton, 26, the former Washington Husky remembered for his love of football and ability to bring teammates together, was found dead in a Santa Clara, Calif., motel room Monday. He had scored the winning touchdown for the San Jose SaberCats of the Arena Football League two nights before. A cause of death has not yet been determined.
Sattareh Farman Farmaian, 90, the daughter of a Persian prince who used her family's power to found a trailblazing social-welfare movement on behalf of women, children, prisoners and other disadvantaged Iranians in the years before the Islamic revolution, died May 21 at her home in Los Angeles. She had lymphoma, said her daughter Mitra Jordan, of Bellevue.
Jack Twyman, 78, an NBA Hall of Famer and one of its top scorers in the 1950s who became guardian to a paralyzed teammate, Maurice Stokes, in 1958, died of cancer Wednesday in Cincinnati.
Orlando Woolridge, 52, who electrified crowds with his freewheeling play through 13 NBA seasons, died Thursday in Mansfield, La. He a chronic heart condition, the coroner said.
Bob Slaughter, 87, a D-Day veteran who was key in the effort to build a National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va., died Tuesday in Roanoke, Va. He had dementia.
Doc Watson, 89, the blind, Grammy-award-winning folk musician whose mountain-rooted sound was embraced by generations and whose lightning-fast style of flatpicking influenced guitarists around the world, died Tuesday in Winston-Salem, N.C., after a fall.
Leo Dillon, 79, a two-time Caldecott Medal-winning artist who with his wife and longtime collaborator, Diane, was one of the world's pre-eminent illustrators of books for young people, died May 26 in Brooklyn of complications of lung-cancer surgery.
Ellen Levine, 73, a prolific and highly regarded author and activist whose children's books told stories of slaves, immigrants and the fight for social justice, died May 26 in New York after being diagnosed with lung cancer 19 months earlier.
Kathryn Joosten, 72, a character actress best known as the crotchety yet lovable Karen McCluskey on "Desperate Housewives" and the president's secretary on "The West Wing," died of lung cancer Saturday in Los Angeles.
Michael J. O'Neill, 89, a former editor of the Daily News in New York who directed its breathless coverage of the "Son of Sam" serial killer, then apologized for the sensationalism and became a strong national voice for responsible media behavior, died of pulmonary fibrosis Tuesday in Scarsdale, N.Y.
Kathi Kamen Goldmark, 63, who was inspired to get a changing lineup of the best-selling authors she shepherded to take to the stage on tours as the "Rock Bottom Remainders" and become rock stars — if only for charity and only in fun — died of breast cancer Thursday in San Francisco.
Edgar "Buddy" Freitag, 80, a theater producer who helped back some of Broadway's most buzzed-about shows, died of a brain tumor Wednesday in New York.
Marina Keegan, 22, a journalist and playwright who won national attention for urging her fellow college students to resist the lure of working on Wall Street, died in a car crash in Dennis, Mass., on May 26, just days after graduating from Yale.
Johnny Tapia, 45, a prizefighter who won world titles in three weight classes in a chaotic life that included jail, struggles with mental illness, suicide attempts and five times being declared clinically dead of drug overdoses, was found dead last Sunday in Albuquerque, N.M. Doctors had not yet determined cause of death.
Doug Dillard, 75, a banjo virtuoso who began the 1960s by helping to introduce a generation of listeners to bluegrass and ended the decade as an early advocate of country-rock, died of a lung infection May 16 in Nashville, Tenn.
Dick Beals, 85, who employed his always-boyish voice (the result of a glandular problem) in a long and successful career as a voice-over actor, portraying the singing Speedy Alka-Seltzer as well as the animated character Gumby and hundreds of kids and animals in commercials and cartoons, died Tuesday in Vista, Calif.