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Originally published Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 6:04 AM

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The week’s passages

A roundup of notable obituaries from the week ending Nov. 30


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Chico Hamilton, 92, a drummer and bandleader who helped put California on the modern-jazz map in the 1950s and remained active into the 21st century, died Monday in New York City. No cause of death was given.

Jane Kean, 90, a diverse performer who got her start in musical theater but was best known as Trixie alongside Jackie Gleason on a TV revival of “The Honeymooners,” died Tuesday in Burbank, Calif., after a fall that led to a hemorrhagic stroke.

Tony Musante, 77, a rugged-looking actor who was seen on television, in films and on stage in the U.S. and Europe for more than 50 years but who was probably best known for the TV series “Toma,” which he left after one season, died Tuesday from a hemorrhage while he was recovering from oral surgery in New York.

Merrell Williams Jr., 72, a former paralegal who leaked mountains of internal documents from Brown & Williamson Tobacco in 1994, fueling lawsuits that resulted in an industry payout of billions of dollars to pay smokers’ medical bills, died of a heart attack Nov. 18 in Ocean Springs, Miss.

Jack Gardo, 87, the last surviving member of the crew that rescued John F. Kennedy from an island in the Pacific Ocean during World War II, died Wednesday in Greenville, S.C. He had suffered from dementia for the past six years.

Peter Lewis, 80, who turned the 100-employee insurance firm co-founded by his father into one of the nation’s largest auto-insurance companies, the Progressive Corp., by insuring high-risk drivers and high-end sports cars, and who became an outspoken and sometimes quarrelsome supporter of liberal causes, including the push to legalize marijuana — died Nov. 23 in Coconut Grove, Fla., of a heart attack. Progressive is perhaps best-known for its ubiquitous TV commercials, many of which feature Flo, a salesclerk in a Progressive superstore. The billionaire was among philanthropists who joined Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates’ initiative to pledge at least half of their wealth to charity. He also supported efforts to give patients in the U.S. access to marijuana, donating more than $2 million to help pass Initiative 502 last year in Washington.

Ye Htut, 91, the last member of the “Thirty Comrades,” the group that spearheaded Myanmar’s struggle against British colonial rule, died Wednesday in Yangon, Myanmar, from health problems related to old age.

Lou Brissie, 89, who suffered devastating leg wounds in World War II but went on to become an All-Star pitcher with the Philadelphia Athletics and a symbol of perseverance for the disabled, died Monday of cardiopulmonary failure in Augusta, Ga.

Nilton Santos, 88, twice a World Cup winner for Brazil and one of soccer’s great left backs, died Wednesday of a lung infection in Rio de Janeiro.

Florence Sando Manson, 95, a pioneering newscaster in radio and the early years of television journalism in Pittsburgh, died Monday from complications related to dementia in the Bronx, N.Y.

Conrad Susa, 78, a prolific composer for voice and stage whose works include the widely produced 1973 opera “Transformations,” based on poet Anne Sexton’s retelling of Grimm’s fairy tales, died in his sleep Thursday in San Francisco after a long period of decline after a serious fall.

Jean Banchet, 72, a dashing chef whose traditional French cooking helped make the Chicago suburbs a global destination for food lovers in the 1970s and ’80s, died last Sunday in Jupiter, Fla. He had cancer of the liver and pancreas.

Arik Einstein, 74, a pioneering Israeli singer and songwriter who performed some of the country’s best-known anthems, died Tuesday in Israel after suffering an aneurysm.

Gardner R. Hathaway, 88, a former CIA chief of counterintelligence whose nearly four-decade career with the agency took him to Cold War focal points ranging from Berlin to Moscow and placed him at the center of many espionage episodes, died of complications from cancer on Nov. 20 in Vienna, Va.

Saul Leiter, 89, who was one of the first professionals to photograph New York City regularly in color and was among the foremost art photographers of his time, died Tuesday in New York.

Ricky “Sugarfoot” Wellman, 57, the funk drummer who helped innovate the rhythms of go-go music with Chuck Brown and later toured with trumpeter Miles Davis and guitarist Carlos Santana, died Nov. 23 in Newport News, Va., of pancreatic cancer.



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