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Originally published Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 6:15 AM

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The week’s passages

A roundup of notable obituaries from the week ending March 29.


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Jeremiah Denton, 89, who was shot down and survived 7½ years of deprivation and torture as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, and then represented Alabama as a Republican U.S. senator, died of heart problems Friday in Virginia Beach, Va.

James R. Schlesinger, 85, a tough Cold War strategist who served as secretary of defense under Presidents Nixon and Ford and became the nation’s first secretary of energy under President Carter, died of pneumonia Thursday in Baltimore.

Ralph Wilson, 95, who founded the Buffalo Bills as an original member of the American Football League in 1960 and saw them go to four Super Bowls as the only owner in the team’s history, died Tuesday in Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich.

James Rebhorn, 65, a journeyman character actor with more than 100 TV and movie credits, most recently as the father of superspy Carrie Mathison on “Homeland,” died of melanoma March 21 in South Orange, N.J.

Murray Weidenbaum, 87, a White House economic adviser who counseled five U.S. presidents before returning to academia — Washington University in St. Louis — died on Thursday in St. Louis, Mo. No cause of death was announced.

Amanda Dempsey, 79, mother of the “Grey’s Anatomy” star Patrick Dempsey and his inspiration to help create a cancer-support organization at Maine hospital, died Monday in Lewiston, Maine, after years of fighting cancer.

Jacki Gaughan, 93, a kingpin of the old, original part of Las Vegas known as Glitter Gulch, who at one point owned or had interest in about a quarter of downtown Las Vegas, died March 12 in Las Vegas.

Patrice Wymore Flynn, 87, a film and television actress who appeared opposite Frank Sinatra in the original “Ocean’s Eleven” but earned wider notice for her real-life role as the last wife of matinee idol Errol Flynn, died March 22 in Portland, Jamaica. She had pulmonary disease.

Wu Tianming, 74, a movie director and former studio head known as the godfather of contemporary Chinese cinema for the generation of filmmakers — including Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige — he shepherded to international acclaim, died of a heart attack March 4 in Beijing.

Dave Brockie, 50, who as “Oderus Urungus” fronted the alien-costumed heavy metal band GWAR during graphic and fake-blood-soaked stage shows for more than three decades, was found dead in his Richmond, Va., home on March 22. A cause of death was not yet determined.

Adolfo Suárez, 81, Spain’s first prime minister after the Franco dictatorship and a key figure in the country’s transition back to democracy, died of pneumonia last Sunday in Madrid.

Jonathan Schell, 70, a best-selling nonfiction author whose books explored warfare in its myriad 20th-century incarnations, from a scathing indictment of U.S. policy in Vietnam to a sobering portrait of the world in the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust, died of cancer Tuesday in Brooklyn, N.Y.



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