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Originally published May 31, 2014 at 6:04 AM | Page modified May 31, 2014 at 7:33 PM

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The week’s passages

A roundup of notable obituaries from the week ending May 31.


Ken Schram, 66, who for 35 years was a gruff but endearing personality, commentator and reporter at Seattle’s KOMO Radio and TV, died Thursday in Kirkland after a long illness.

Bob Houbregs, 82, a 6-foot-7 forward who was the most decorated basketball player in University of Washington history, moved on to a five-year NBA career and then helped establish the Seattle Sonics in the NBA franchise’s early days as their general manager, died Wednesday.

Maya Angelou, 86, a memoirist, poet, Tony-nominated stage actress and college professor whose landmark 1969 book, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” was among the first autobiographies by a 20th-century black woman to reach a wide general readership, died Wednesday in Winston-Salem, N.C. She had been in frail health for some time.

Bunny Yeager, 85, a thriving model who became one of the country’s most successful pinup photographers — her model was Bettie Page, who became an international sex symbol in her own right — died of heart failure May 25 in North Miami, Fla.

Wojciech Jaruzelski, 90, the last Communist leader of Poland, who sent tanks to crush Solidarity’s stirrings for democracy in 1981 and went on to preside over the death of the system that had nurtured him, died May 25 in Warsaw, of a stroke he had suffered earlier in the month.

Robert Sallee, 82, the last survivor of the 1949 Mann Gulch wildfire in Montana that killed 13 firefighters and led to new training and safety measures (he was a 17-year-old smokejumper at the time), died Monday in Spokane after heart surgery.

Gerald Edelman, 84, a brain researcher and co-winner of the Nobel Prize in 1972 for discoveries involving the chemical structure of antibodies, findings key to medical research, died May 17 in La Jolla, Calif. He had Parkinson’s disease.

Malcolm Glazer, 85, of Palm Beach, Fla., a famously frugal businessman who ascended to billionaire status and ownership of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the international soccer powerhouse Manchester United, died Wednesday, the Buccaneers announced.

Matthew Saad Muhammad, 59, a former light heavyweight boxing champion who was abandoned as a child and rose to become “one of the most exciting boxers of all time” and later an advocate for the homeless after a stay in a shelter himself, died May 25 in a Philadelphia hospital. The cause was not determined.

Cornelia G. Kennedy, 90, the first woman to serve as chief judge of a U.S. District Court, died May 12 at 90 in Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.

Ricky Grigg, 77, a former top-ranked big-wave surfer and an oceanographer who explored undersea volcanoes and the origin of tropical islands, died of pneumonia May 21 in Honolulu.

Storme DeLarverie, 93, a lesbian activist who took part in the New York City Stonewall riots in 1969 that started the gay-rights movement in the United States, died May 24 in Brooklyn.

Herb Jeffries, 100, a singer and actor who performed with Duke Ellington and starred in early black westerns as a singing cowboy called “the Bronze Buckaroo” — a nickname that evoked his malleable racial identity — died May 25 in West Hills, Calif.

Donald Levine, 86, the Hasbro executive credited as the father of G.I. Joe for developing the world’s first action figure, died of cancer May 22 in Providence, R.I.



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