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Originally published Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 6:19 AM

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The week’s passages

A roundup of the week’s notable obituaries

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Herbert Blau, 87, a theater director, author and scholar, professor emeritus at the University of Washington and a major force in the development of modern American drama, died of cancer May 3 at his home in Seattle.

Steven Cunetta, 55, an advertising businessman and lifelong baseball fan who came up with one of the most memorable Mariners ad slogans of the 2000s — “SoDo Mojo” — and collaborated on many of the team’s other ad campaigns, and who also coached hundreds of kids in Seattle PONY Baseball, died Monday of angiosarcoma.

Ken Higgins, 71, a Boeing test pilot who rose to head its commercial airplane test organization and led an effort to improve Boeing’s flight-test safety practices, improvements later adopted by the Federal Aviation Administration, died of an aortic aneurysm April 22.

Jeanne Cooper, 84, the longest-serving cast member on “The Young and the Restless,” having played the forthright Katherine Chancellor from 1973 until her death, died in her sleep Wednesday in Los Angeles.

Ray Harryhausen, 92, the stop-motion animation legend whose work on “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms,” “Jason and the Argonauts” and other science-fiction and fantasy film classics made him a cult figure and an inspiration to filmmakers and special-effects artists, died Tuesday in London, where he had lived for decades.

Christian de Duve, 95, a Belgian biochemist whose discoveries about the internal workings of cells shed light on genetic disorders like Tay-Sachs disease and helped give birth to the field of modern cell biology, earning him a Nobel Prize, died May 4 in Nethen, Belgium.

Eleanor R. Adair, 86, a scientist who spent decades exposing monkeys and eventually people (including herself) to microwave radiation to determine whether it posed serious health risks — she concluded, emphatically and somewhat controversially, that it did not — died April 20 in Hamden, Conn., of complications of a stroke.

Ottavio Missoni, 92, the patriarch of the iconic fashion brand of zigzag-patterned knitwear that helped launch Italian ready-to-wear and turn Milan into a fashion mecca, died Thursday in Sumirago, north of Milan.

Fredrick McKissack, 73, who quit a career in construction to join his wife in writing more than 100 children’s books about African-American history, died of congestive heart failure April 28 in Chesterfield, Mo.

Dean Jeffries, 80, one of the first hot rodders to chop, channel and soup-up automobiles, who made the “Monkeemobile” and attracted many admirers to his shop, including James Dean, Steve McQueen and A.J. Foyt, died in his sleep May 4 in Hollywood. He had been in declining health.

Al Fritz, 88, the Schwinn executive who became known as an industry visionary for transforming a Southern California street fad into the Sting-Ray — a national phenomenon of the 1960s and ’70s — died Tuesday in Barrington, Ill., of stroke complications.

Malcolm Shabazz, 28, the grandson of political activist Malcolm X who in 1997 set fire to his grandmother’s home, killing her, died Thursday after what a friend said was a beating in a Mexico City bar.


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