Edwin Lester, 95, a leading figure in West Coast stage productions and founder and longtime director of Los Angeles' Civic Light Opera, died Dec. 13 of cardiac arrest at his Beverly Hills home. For 40 years, Mr. Lester brought to Los Angeles and then San Francisco thousands of the mostmelodious hours in the U.S. musical theater. Between 1938 and 1977, when he retired, he proffered aminimum of four musicals a year. In those 40 years, the Civic Light Opera had offered more than 160 productions, 90 of them produced by Mr. Lester.
Rudolf Kruger, 74, an opera conductor who managed and conducted the Fort Worth Opera from 1955 to 1983, died Dec. 13. while on vacation in Ixtapa, Mexico. He lived in Fort Worth, Texas.
Abe Rose, 81, who gave Hall of Famers Frank Robinson, Joe Morgan and Willie Stargell an early start in sports with a youth baseball program, died Saturday in Oakland, Calif., after a long illness. Mr. Rose said he founded the Oakland Young America program "to keep the boys busy playing baseball as soon as school is out." Almost 200,000 boys have played in the program, including current Oakland Athletics stars Rickey Henderson and Dave Stewart.
Charles E. Hill, 49, director of the Washington office of the National Consumer Law Center, died Sunday of cancer. Mr. Hill was a nationally known specialist in government programs to assist the poor in paying to heat their homes.