The week’s passages
A roundup of notable obituaries from the week of Aug. 18-24.
Masao Abe, 96, the American-born son of Japanese immigrants, a decorated member of the secret U.S. Military Intelligence Service in World War II who decades later received the Congressional Gold Medal, died of natural causes Aug. 6 in Issaquah.
Marian McPartland, 95, the trailblazing jazz pianist who for 33 years hosted the National Public Radio program “Piano Jazz” and posed the musical question, “Shall we play that one together?” to legendary guests from Eubie Blake to Boz Scaggs, died Tuesday on Long Island, N.Y.
Elmore Leonard, 87, the prolific crime novelist whose shady characters, deadpan dialogue and immaculate prose style in novels like “Get Shorty,” “Freaky Deaky” and “Glitz” established him as a modern master of American genre writing, died Tuesday in Bloomfield Township, Mich., from complications of a stroke he suffered a few weeks ago.
C. Gordon Fullerton, 76, a native of Portland, Ore., and a former astronaut who flew on two space shuttle missions and had an extensive career as a research and test pilot for NASA and the Air Force, died Wednesday in Lancaster, Calif. He had a severe stroke in 2009 and had been in care for 3½ years.
Lee Thompson Young, 29, who played a child star on the Disney Channel’s “The Famous Jett Jackson” and a detective on the hit TNT series “Rizzoli & Isles,” was found dead by suicide Monday in Los Angeles.
Jim Brothers, 72, whose bronze sculptures are on display in the nation’s capital, at the National D-Day Memorial and at other historical monuments around the country, died of cancer Tuesday in Lawrence, Kan.
Cedar Walton, 79, a pianist and composer who worked with almost every major jazz performer of his era, from John Coltrane to Art Blakey to Abbey Lincoln, and who was honored as a National Endowment for the Arts jazz master, died Aug. 19 in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Ted Post, 95, a veteran television and film director who directed a young Clint Eastwood on TV’s “Rawhide” and later directed the film legend in the hit movies “Hang ’Em High” and “Magnum Force,” died Tuesday in Los Angeles.
Lew Wood, 84, who marched with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., covered John F. Kennedy’s assassination and was a news anchor for NBC’s “Today” show during a broadcast career that began with the dawn of television, died of kidney failure Wednesday in Riverside County, Calif.
Stephenie McMillan, 71, the prolific British set decorator whose meticulous eye brought the whimsical world of Harry Potter to life and earned her an Academy Award for “The English Patient,” died Monday of ovarian cancer in Norfolk, England.
Penelope Casas, 70, a writer and an authority on the foods of Spain who helped introduce Americans in the 1980s to a continental Spanish cuisine distinctly different from its Mexican and South American counterparts, died of leukemia complications Aug. 11on Long Island, N.Y.
Albert Murray, 97, an essayist, critic and novelist who influenced the national discussion about race by challenging black separatism, insisting that the black experience was essential to American culture and inextricably tied to it, died last Sunday at his home in New York City.