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Originally published Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 6:03 AM

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The week’s passages

A roundup of notable obituaries from the week ending June 28.


Pfc. Andrew Sass, 23, of Fremont, N.C., and assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, died June 21 in a training exercise at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., the Army reported. The death was under investigation and no details had been disclosed.

Howard Baker Jr., 88, a soft-spoken Tennessee lawyer who served three terms in the U.S. Senate and became known as the “Great Conciliator” in his eight years as the chamber’s Republican leader, and whose thoughtful manner on the committee investigating the 1972 Watergate scandal made him a national figure, died Thursday in Huntsville, Tenn., four days after a stroke.

Eli Wallach, 98, one of his generation’s most prominent and prolific character actors in film, onstage and on television for more than 60 years, died Tuesday at his home in Manhattan.

Johnnie Walters, 94, a commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service under President Nixon who left office after refusing to prosecute the 200 people on Nixon’s notorious “enemies list,” died Tuesday in Greenville, S.C.

Ana Maria Matute, 88, ranked as one of Spain’s best post-Civil War writers and a recipient of the Spanish-speaking world’s top literary honor, the Cervantes Prize, died Wednesday in Barcelona. The cause of death was not disclosed.

Fouad Ajami, 68, a Lebanese-born academic (Ph.D, University of Washington), author and broadcast commentator on Middle East affairs who helped rally support for the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 — partly by personally advising top policymakers of the President George W. Bush administration — died of cancer last Sunday at his home in Maine.

Teenie Hodges, 68, the diminutive guitarist and “Take Me to the River” songwriter who became a towering figure in the Memphis music scene, helping shape the sound of Memphis soul in the 1970s, died of emphysema last Sunday in Dallas.

Paula Kent Meehan, 82, an aspiring actress whose allergy to cosmetics and hair-care products inspired her to launch a multimillion-dollar beauty company, Redken, along with her hairdresser, Jheri Redding, died Monday in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Mary Rodgers, 83, who wrote songs, children’s books (including “Freaky Friday”) and the music for the fairy-tale farce “Once Upon a Mattress” and other shows, and was the daughter of famed composer Richard Rodgers, died of heart failure Thursday in Manhattan.

Jimmy Newman, 86, a top-selling member of the Grand Ole Opry known for mixing Cajun and country music, and for giving a teenage Dolly Parton a boost with a 1959 stage debut on his “Friday Night Opry,” died in Nashville, Tenn., June 21 after a brief illness.

Julius Rudel, 93, the Austrian-born conductor who raised the New York City Opera to a venturous golden age, died Thursday in Manhattan, eight months after his beloved and financially struggling City Opera filed for bankruptcy and closed.

Johnny Mann, 85, who won two Grammy Awards as leader of the clean-cut easy-listening vocal group The Johnny Mann Singers, died of heart failure June 18 in Anderson, S.C.

Felix Dennis, 67, a flamboyant, boastfully profligate, immensely successful British businessman who built a publishing empire that included Maxim, America’s most successful young men’s lifestyle magazine, died of throat cancer last Sunday in Dorsington, Stratford-upon-Avon, England.

Steve Rossi, 82, a suave crooner who rose to fame as the straight man to Marty Allen in one of the most successful comedy teams of the 1960s, died of cancer last Sunday in Las Vegas.

John Harney, 83, the founder of Harney & Sons, a specialty-tea company that helped restore the American palate for high-quality teas, died of an apparent heart attack June 17 in Salisbury, Conn.

Richard Sharp, 67, longtime CEO of now-defunct electronics retailer Circuit City and co-founder of used-car dealership chain CarMax, died Tuesday near Richmond, Va., from a rare form of Alzheimer’s disease.

Caleb Bankston, 27, a 2012 and 2013 contestant on the “Survivor” reality TV show, died when he was thrown from a train in a partial derailment where he worked, on the Alabama Warrior Railway in Birmingham, Ala.

John McClure, 84, a Grammy Award-winning producer and engineer remembered for classical recordings, died June 17 in Belmont, Vt., after a brief illness.



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