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Originally published Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 6:15 AM

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The week’s passages

A roundup of notable obituaries from the week ending April 5.


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Robert LaVigne, 85, an artist and set designer whose subjects and collaborators included many of the central figures of the Beat movement, such as Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, died Feb. 20 in Seattle. He had been in poor health after a number of strokes.

Marc Platt, 100, a versatile dancer who spent some of his youth in Seattle and had standout roles onstage and in films, including in the original 1943 Broadway production of “Oklahoma!” and the 1954 film “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” died March 29 in San Rafael, Calif.

Hobart “Hobie” Alter, 80, known as the Henry Ford of the surfboard industry for his board-manufacturing innovations and who went on to create the Hobie Cat — a popular double-hulled sailboat — died of cancer March 29 in Palm Desert, Calif.

Charles Keating Jr., 90, the notorious financier who served prison time and was disgraced for his role in the costliest savings and loan failure of the 1980s, Lincoln Savings & Loan, died Monday in a Phoenix hospital.

Robert L. Brosio, 77, a retired federal prosecutor who supervised high-profile cases that included those against bank swindler Charles Keating Jr. and Los Angeles police officers involved in the beating of Rodney King, died March 28 in Pasadena after suffering a pulmonary embolism in February.

Anja Niedringhaus, 48, a courageous and immensely talented Associated Press photographer who covered everything from sports to war — including Kuwait, Iraq, Libya, Gaza and the West Bank — was killed by an Afghan policeman while covering elections in eastern Afghanistan on Friday.

Jerry Roberts, 93, the last surviving member of the British code-breaking team that cracked strategic ciphers between Adolf Hitler and his top generals in World War II, died March 25 in Hampshire, England.

Irene Fernandez, 67, whose advocacy for better treatment of foreign migrant workers prompted the Malaysian government to denounce her, died of heart failure March 25 in Serdang, Malaysia.

Bapa Phunsto Wangye, 92, a confidant of both Mao and the Dalai Lama who tried to reconcile Tibet and the Chinese Communist Party, staying loyal to the party even after long imprisonment and torture, died last Sunday in Beijing.

Lorenzo Semple Jr., 81, a playwright and screenwriter who would probably be best known for his scripts for films such as “Papillon” and “Pretty Poison” if he hadn’t put the Zap! and the Pow! in the original episodes of the arch, goofy 1960s television show “Batman,” died March 28 in Los Angeles.

Sandy Grossman, 78, who directed a record 10 Super Bowl broadcasts and spent more than two decades in the TV truck working with announcers Pat Summerall and John Madden, died of cancer Wednesday in Boca Raton, Fla.

Frankie Knuckles, 59, a club disc jockey, remixer and producer who was often called the “godfather of house” for helping spread that percussive genre of dance music, died Monday in Chicago. He had health problems related to diabetes.



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