Humanitarian Nelson Mandela. Actor Peter O’Toole. Novelist Tom Clancy. Interviewer David Frost. Actress Julie Harris. Senator Harry Byrd Jr.
They are among the very famous who left us in 2013. But we also owe good-byes to many others whose passing might have escaped our attention.
Sam Barshop had an idea for a mid-priced hotel that would combine the styling of a country inn with the facilities of an urban establishment – the kind that would be emulated by Comfort Inn and Hampton Inn, among others. He built his first hotel in San Antonio in 1968 and now La Quinta Inns number over 700. Barshop was 84.
Dr. Janet Rowley was a pioneer in medical research. Her work at the University of Chicago led to targeted drug treatment for leukemia, saving tens of thousands of lives. Rowley succumbed to ovarian cancer at age 88.
Jane Henson met Jim when they were freshmen at the University of Maryland. They became puppeteers and together invented the Muppets. Jane Henson was 78.
By the time New Yorker Evelyn Kozak died in August she had been declared the oldest Jewish person in history. She was 113.
As a boy, Joseph Unanue’s special skill was bottling olives. The family business became Goya Foods, the nation’s largest Hispanic-owned food purveyor. Unanue, given the Bronze Star for bravery in World War II, was 88.
Kenneth Batteile was hairdresser to the stars. He created Jackie Kennedy’s bouffant and hairdos for Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. Known professionally as simply Kenneth, he was 86.
His 1982 creation was mocked and dubbed “McPaper.” But Al Neuharth’s USA Today helped redefine print journalism in its transition to the digital age. He was 89.
Eydie Gorme met Steve Lawrence in 1953 on the “Tonight Show” and they married a few years later. They charmed audiences as a sweetheart vocal team, with hits such as “Blame It on the Bossa Nova.” Steve was at her side when she died at 84.
When Chicago radio station WLS switched to rock ’n’ roll in 1960 it had no use for the numerous farm magazines that arrived each week. Larry Lujack began reading from the journals in what came to be known as hilarious “Animal Stories.” The self-described Superjock was 73.
Joseph Gomer was one of the last surviving members of the Tuskegee Airmen, the elite squad of black fighter pilots in World War II. Gomer, who flew 68 combat missions, was 93.
When Dick Van Dyke found he’d have to dance in “Mary Poppins,” he requested Marc Breaux as choreographer. Breaux created such terrific dance numbers that he was hired for “The Sound of Music” and other memorable films. Breaux was 89.
The year ends, but the legacies live on.
©2013 Peter Funt. Columns distributed exclusively by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc., newspaper syndicate.