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Originally published Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 6:06 AM

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The week’s passages

A roundup of notable obituaries from the week ending Feb. 15.


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Shirley Temple Black, 85, who as the most popular child movie star of all time lifted a film-going nation’s spirits during the Depression and then grew up to be a diplomat, died Monday at her home in the San Francisco suburb of Woodside.

Robert Loren Nelson, 86, a Seattle native and Lincoln High grad who rose through Seattle Public Schools ranks from beloved teacher to popular deputy superintendent, then finished his career as superintendent for 2½ years, which included the longest teachers strike in the city’s history, died of complications from an infection Feb. 3 in Seattle.

Sid Caesar, 91, the genius of 1950s TV comedy, a pantomimist, monologuist and single-sketch comedian who drew writers such as Mel Brooks and Neil Simon to his side and influenced generations of comedians and comedy writers, died Wednesday at his Los Angeles-area home after a brief illness.

Ralph Waite, 85, a busy actor most famous for portraying the kind patriarch of a tight-knit rural Southern family on the 1972-81 TV series “The Waltons,” died Thursday. He lived in the Palm Springs, Calif., area. No cause was announced.

Mike Stepovich, 94, who lobbied Congress for Alaska statehood and served as one of the state’s last territorial governors, died Friday in a San Diego hospital.

Arvella Schuller, 84, who helped her pastor husband found the Crystal Cathedral megachurch in Southern California and the hallmark “Hour of Power” televangelism program seen by millions of viewers around the globe, died Tuesday in Irvine, Calif., after a brief illness.

Doug Mohns, 80, a durable and versatile skater who lasted 22 seasons in the National Hockey League, playing in seven All-Star Games, died of myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood and bone-marrow disorder, Feb. 7 in Reading, Mass.

Robert E. Cooke, 93, a pediatrician who helped Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson create Head Start and other initiatives to benefit children, died Feb. 2 in Oak Bluffs, Mass.

Gabriel Axel, 95, a director whose 1987 labor of love, “Babette’s Feast,” received the first foreign-language Oscar awarded to a Danish motion picture — and heralded a growing popular interest in all things food — died last Sunday in Copenhagen.

Erik Blegvad, 90, a children’s book artist known for his whimsical illustrations of more than 100 books, died Jan. 14 in London.

Els Borst, 81, who as health minister drafted the Netherlands’ 2002 law permitting euthanasia, was found dead Monday in her garage, police said. The cause was not yet determined.

Walter Cottle Lester, 88, who farmed 300 acres of family land in Silicon Valley and instead of selling it for development (and making hundreds of millions) chose to have it preserved instead as a public park, open space and farmland, died Jan. 31 in the house in which he was born, in San Jose, Calif.

Jim Fregosi, 71, a six-time All-Star shortstop who went on to manage the Angels to their first playoff appearance and guide the 1993 Philadelphia Phillies into the World Series, died Friday in Miami after an apparent stroke.

Betty Jaynes, 68, the first executive director of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, who led the WBCA in its goal to unify coaches at all levels and helped women’s basketball develop, died Monday after a brief illness.



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