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Originally published July 27, 2013 at 6:15 AM | Page modified July 27, 2013 at 5:55 PM

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The week’s passages

A roundup of the week’s notable obituaries

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Sally Clark Gorton, 80, wife of former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton and a onetime journalist who went on to work with many charities and cultural organizations as she played an important role in her husband’s political career, died of breast cancer July 20 in Clyde Hill.

Helen Thomas, 92, whose keen curiosity, unquenchable drive and celebrated constancy made her a trailblazing White House correspondent in a press corps dominated by men, and later the dean of the White House briefing room, died July 20 in Washington, D.C.

Virginia E. Johnson, 88, the female half of the Masters and Johnson scientific-research duo that in the late 1960s redefined sex as a quantifiable, perfectible pleasure of human life to be pursued without guilt or fear, died of heart disease Wednesday in St. Louis.

Dennis Farina, 69, a Chicago police officer turned character actor who cemented his second career playing gangsters, cops and other tough guys in film and TV, particularly “Law and Order,” died Monday in a Scottsdale, Ariz., hospital after suffering a blood clot in his lung.

Willie Reed, 76, an African-American sharecropper who risked his life at 18 to testify against the white men accused of killing Emmett Till, one of the most infamous lynchings in the history of the Jim Crow South, died of gastrointestinal bleeding July 18 in Oak Lawn, Ill., near Chicago, where he moved after the trial.

Rubby Sherr, 99, a Princeton University physics professor who helped develop the atomic bomb and witnessed its first test, died July 8 in Haverford, Pa.

Emile Griffith, 75, a five-time boxing champion whose career of brutal artistry was largely defined by a nationally televised championship fight in 1962 in which he beat his opponent to death, died Tuesday in Hempstead, N.Y., of kidney failure and complications of pugilistic dementia.

John Casablancas, 70, who transformed the modeling business in the late 1970s when he founded the Elite agency and turned its beauties — including Linda Evangelista, Gisele Bündchen and Naomi Campbell — into celebrities, died July 20 in Rio de Janeiro. He had cancer.

Juan David Ochoa, 65, the eldest of three brothers who founded the Medellin cocaine cartel in the 1980s with Pablo Escobar, died of a heart attack Thursday in Bogotá, Colombia.

Mel Smith, 60, an English comedian, actor, director and producer who parodied his country’s pub crawlers, politicians and pretensions on television, notably on a series often cited as a precursor of “The Daily Show,” died of a heart attack July 19 in London.

Alejandro Santiago, 49, an internationally celebrated artist who filled the streets of Teococuilco, Mexico, with 2,501 clay figures to represent the migrants who left for the United States, died Monday of a heart attack.

Bert Trautmann, 89, a paratrooper in Hitler’s Luftwaffe who became a prisoner of war but who made his name afterward as the extraordinary goalkeeper for the English soccer team Manchester City — once playing 17 minutes with a broken neck — died Friday in La Llosa, Spain.

Alex Colville, 92, a celebrated Canadian painter, died Tuesday in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

George Mitchell, 94, Texas oil man, real-estate developer and billionaire who pioneered shale-drilling techniques that triggered a renaissance in North American oil and natural-gas production, died Friday at home in Galveston.

León Ferrari, 92, renowned Argentine artist and human-rights activist known for works challenging dictators, bishops and war, died Thursday in Buenos Aires. His most memorable piece may be a Christ figure crucified on the wings of a U.S. jet fighter during the Vietnam War.

Barnaby Jack, 35, prominent hacker who discovered a way to have ATMs spit out cash and was set to deliver a talk about hacking pacemakers and other wireless implantable medical devices, died Thursday at home in San Francisco, authorities and his employer said. The cause of death is under investigation. He was director of embedded device security at IOActive, which has offices in Seattle and London.


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