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Originally published April 19, 2014 at 6:12 AM | Page modified April 19, 2014 at 4:09 PM

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The week’s passages

A roundup of notable obituaries from the week ending April 19.


Herman McKinney, 75, an elder statesman in Seattle’s African-American community who advocated for diversity in graduate education and equal opportunity in corporate hiring, and who helped thousands of low-income people get jobs through a partnership between the state and more than 900 companies, died April 11.

Gabriel García Márquez, 87, the Colombian-born Nobel laureate whose intoxicating novels and short stories exposed millions outside Latin America to its passions, superstition, violence and social inequality, died at home in Mexico City on Thursday. He had been in failing health for some time.

Phyllis Frelich, 70, the deaf actress who made a groundbreaking and Tony-winning Broadway star turn in 1980 in “Children of a Lesser God,” a play about the courtship and marriage of a deaf woman and a man who can hear, died Thursday in Temple City, Calif., of progressive supranuclear palsy, a rare brain disorder.

Charles F. Farthing, 60, a physician who was at the forefront of care for HIV/AIDS patients and was a key figure in the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, died of a heart attack April 5 in Hong Kong.

Ron Pundak, 59, an Israeli academic who took part in secret talks with Palestinian officials that led to the Oslo peace accords of the 1990s and who remained an ardent advocate for peace even after relations between the sides unraveled, died of cancer April 11 in Tel Aviv.

Rivka Haut, 71, a prominent champion of Orthodox Jewish women fighting for divorce in rabbinical courts and seeking to pray together as a group, died of cancer March 30 in the Bronx.

Basil A. Paterson, 87, one of the old-guard Democratic leaders who for decades dominated politics in Harlem and influenced black political power in New York City and the state into the 21st century, when he saw his son David A. Paterson rise to the governor’s office, died Wednesday in Manhattan.

Cheo Feliciano, 78, one of Puerto Rico’s most recognized salsa singers, died in a car accident Thursday in a suburb of San Juan.

Jacques Servier, 92, the founder of France’s second-largest pharmaceutical group who became ensnared in a scandal over Mediator, a diabetes drug widely used for weight loss and blamed in the death of hundreds of people, has died, his lab announced Wednesday. No details were provided.

Karpal Singh, 73, a veteran Malaysian opposition lawmaker and eminent lawyer who had been detained without trial under security laws and battled numerous sedition charges, died Thursday in a road accident.

F. Reid Buckley, 83, a novelist, columnist, founder of a school of public speaking and, in family lore, the most literary of Aloise and William F. Buckley Sr.’s 10 children, including former Sen. James L. Buckley and the conservative commentator William F. Buckley Jr., died of cancer Monday in Columbia, S.C.

Armando Peraza, 89, a self-taught musician who transformed himself from a homeless orphan in Havana to a world-recognized bongo and conga expert who performed with Carlos Santana for nearly two decades, died of pneumonia Monday in San Francisco.

Nina Cassian, 89, a Romanian poet and translator who obtained asylum in the U.S. after Communist-era secret police found her critical poems scribbled in a friend’s diary, died of a heart attack Monday in New York City.



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