The week’s passages
A summary of the week’s notable obituaries
Staff Sgt. Michael Simpson, 30, of San Antonio, Texas, a Special Forces soldier from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, died Thursday at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany from injuries he sustained in Afghanistan April 27 from an improvised explosive device. He had also served in Iraq in 2007.
Capt. Aaron Blanchard, 32, an Army helicopter pilot who grew up in Selah, Yakima County, and was based at Fort Drum, N.Y., was killed by enemy missile fire April 23 in Afghanistan. He had also served two combat tours in Iraq.
Fran James, 88, a Lummi Nation elder and a master weaver whose pieces grace museums all over the world, and who tutored generations of weavers in the Coast Salish arts of weaving cedar bark and wool and making baskets, died last Sunday from complications after surgery for blocked arteries.
Deanna Durbin, 91, a movie star as a child and young woman whose songs and smile made her one of the biggest box-office draws of Hollywood’s Golden Age, died in late April in a village outside Paris, where she had lived out of public view since 1949.
George Horse Capture, 75, Native American activist, curator and professor at Montana State University who worked to collect and archive the Gros Ventre, or A’ani, tribal culture, died of kidney failure April 16 in Great Falls, Mont.
Aloysius Jin Luxian, 96, a Jesuit priest who after decades in prison under Mao’s rule was named bishop of Shanghai and revived the Catholic church in China’s financial hub, died April 27.
Donald Shirley, 86, a pianist and composer who — advised to drop classical performance because audiences weren’t ready for a black man — synthesized classical with jazz and other forms of popular music into his own nightclub genre, died of heart disease April 6 in Manhattan.
Edward A. Frieman, 87, a leading figure in science for decades as a researcher with wide-ranging interests, a top-level governmental adviser on defense and energy issues, and director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, died April 11 in La Jolla, Calif., of a respiratory illness.
Leopold Engleitner, 107, a Jehovah’s Witness who refused to renounce his faith and endured three concentration camps and forced labor between 1939 and 1946, died April 21 in his native Austria.
Janos Starker, 88, a renowned concert cellist, distinguished teacher and recording artist, died last Sunday in Bloomington, Ind.
Mary Thom, 69, a chronicler of the feminist movement and former executive editor of Ms. Magazine, died April 26 in a motorcycle accident in Yonkers, N.Y.
Chris Kelly, 34, of the 1990s kid rap duo Kriss Kross, which was behind one of the decade’s most memorable songs, “Jump,’’ died Wednesday in Atlanta of an apparent drug overdose.
Tom Knapp, 62, an exhibition shotgun virtuoso who broke world records by picking off flocks of airborne clay targets and dazzled crowds with his effortless precision shattering of golf balls, radishes, aspirin and other flying targets, died of pulmonary fibrosis April 26 in Rochester, Minn.