The week’s passages
A roundup of notable obituaries from the week ending Jan. 25.
Bill Richards, 72, of Indianola, an old-school newspaper reporter who in a long career wrote features for The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post and locally covered the struggle for survival between the Seattle P-I and The Seattle Times, died Jan. 9 from a heart attack on a rowing machine at Poulsbo’s Kitsap Rowing Association, which he had helped found.
John J. McGinty III, 73, a retired Marine Corps officer who received the Medal of Honor in 1968 for saving the lives of dozens of his men during an enemy attack in Vietnam, but relinquished it in 1984 for religious reasons (because the medal bore the image of a Roman goddess), died of bone cancer Jan. 17 in Beaufort, S.C.
John Lowry Dobson, 98, credited with developing the first high-powered, portable telescope that amateur astronomers could build inexpensively and who shared his love of the heavens via a road show in a school bus, died Jan. 15 in Burbank, Calif.
Otis G. Pike, 92, a longtime congressman from New York who spearheaded a 1970s inquiry into accusations that the intelligence establishment, specifically the CIA, had abused its power, died Monday in Vero Beach, Fla.
Claudio Abbado, 80, a conductor whose refined interpretations of a large symphonic and operatic repertory won him the directorships of several of the world’s most revered musical institutions — including La Scala, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna State Opera and the Berlin Philharmonic — died Monday in Bologna, Italy, after a long illness.
Christopher Chataway, 82, a former 5,000-meter world record-holder runner who acted as a pacemaker to help Roger Bannister break the four-minute mile in 1954, died of cancer last Sunday in London.
Donald L. Morton, 79, a son of an Appalachian coal miner who gained renown as a surgeon for helping to develop a widely used technique for detecting and treating cancers, died of heart failure Jan. 10 in Santa Monica, Calif.
Leslie Lee, 83, a playwright whose award-winning work, much of it with the Negro Ensemble Company, focused on stretching the boundaries of the African-American experience as it was portrayed on the stage, died of congestive heart failure Monday in Manhattan.
Shulamit Aloni, 85, an Israeli legislator who championed civil rights and was fiercely critical of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, died on Friday. No cause was given. She was awarded the Israel Prize, the country’s highest distinction, in 2000.
Ed Hookstratten, 83, an attorney who represented a galaxy of entertainment and sports stars including Johnny Carson, Elvis Presley and Vin Scully during a career of more than 50 years, died of congestive heart failure Wednesday in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Michael Sporn, 67, an animation artist whose award-winning work included film adaptations of beloved children’s books like “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile” and “Goodnight Moon” as well as stories he conceived, died of prostate cancer last Sunday in New York.