* Jane Preddy, 59, an architectural historian specializing...


August 18, 1994

* Jane Preddy, 59, an architectural historian specializing in theatrical architecture, died Friday at St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., of injuries suffered in an automobile accident. She was the founder of Architecture on Stage, a foundation for the study of theaters in New York, and an expert on the life of John Eberson, who designed many Art Deco theaters.

* Alice Childress, 77, an actress and prolific writer of plays,

novels and books for young adults, including "A Hero Ain't Nothin' But a Sandwich," died Sunday of complications from cancer at Astoria General Hospital in Queens, N.Y., said her husband, Nathan Woodard. Together they wrote such musical plays as "Young Martin Luther King," "Sea Island Song," "Gullah" and "Moms (A Praise Play for a Black Comedienne)." Her own plays include "Florence," "Gold Through Trees," "Just a Little Simple," "Trouble In Mind" and "Wedding Band," which was produced at the New York Shakespeare Festival and later broadcast on television. She was born in Charleston, S.C., and acted with the American Negro Theatre.

* Joseph Palmer II, 80, a former U.S. ambassador to Libya and assistant secretary of state for African affairs, died Monday of a stroke in Bethesda. During his 33-year foreign service career, he focused on the newly independent countries of Africa and the democratic trends sweeping the continent in the 1960s. He became ambassador to Libya five weeks after the military coup that brought Col. Muammar el Kadafi to power, and oversaw an orderly six-month withdrawal of personnel and dependents. While serving as assistant secretary of state for African affairs from 1966 to 1969, he became involved in the formulation and implementation of U.S. policies involving the Nigerian civil war, the rebellion in the Congo, and the independence of Zimbabwe. He received the State Department's Distinguished Honor Award and was editorial board chairman of the American Foreign Service Journal.

* Gene Cherico, 62, a jazz bassist who played with Benny Goodman, Stan Getz, Frank Sinatra and many others, died Friday of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in Santa Monica, Calif. Originally a drummer, he took up the bass as therapy after injuring his arm in a car accident. Between the late 1950s and early 1970s, he played in groups led by Mr. Goodman, Mr. Getz, George Shearing, Maynard Ferguson, Red Norvo, Herb Pomeroy and Peter Nero. He also played in bands that accompanied such singers as Mr. Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Carmen McRae and Nancy Wilson.

* Henry Geldzahler, 59, a critic and curator of contemporary art and former New York City commissioner of cultural affairs, died of cancer Tuesday in New York. In 1960, he became a curator of American art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He remained with the museum until 1977. Among his projects was a sweeping exhibition, "New York Painting and Sculpture: 1940-1970." In 1966, he served as the U.S. commissioner to the Venice Biennale, an important international art show. Also that year, on a leave of absence from the Metropolitan, he was the first director of the visual arts program of the National Endowment for the Arts. A book by Mr. Geldzahler, "Andy Warhol's Portraits," was published last year, and next month a collection of his essays and criticism, "Making It New," is to be published.

* Jerome Minskoff, 78, a theater owner and Broadway producer, died of a heart attack Saturday at his home in London. His father's real estate company, Sam Minskoff & Sons, bought the Astor Hotel in Times Square, razed it, built a skyscraper on the site and in 1973 opened the Minskoff Theater there. He produced a hit revival of "Irene" starring Debbie Reynolds, "Can-Can," "Noises Off," "Big Deal" and "Sweet Charity." In London, he helped produce "Sweet Bird of Youth" and "The Apple Cart." He was also a governor of the League of American Theaters and Producers and a founder of the Albert Einstein School of Medicine.

* Cecil Partee, 73, a black lawyer who broke color barriers in Illinois politics and became president of the Illinois Senate, died of cancer Tuesday in Chicago. The Democrat served five terms in the state House, beginning in 1956, before being elected to the state Senate in 1967. He served two terms as Senate president, 1971-1973 and 1975-1977, and was the first black nominated for statewide office, attorney general, in 1976. After leaving the legislature, Mr. Partee was human services commissioner and then treasurer of Chicago. He served as Cook County state's attorney from 1989 to 1990.

* Wing-tsit Chan, 92, a leading scholar of Asian philosophy who drew East and West together with his English writings and translations, died Friday in Braddock, Pa. He translated several Chinese-language books and articles into English and wrote hundreds of articles in English. He was a dean at Lingnan University in China before becoming a professor at the University of Hawaii in 1936. From 1942 to 1966, he taught Chinese philosophy, religion and aesthetics at Dartmouth. He later taught at Chatham College in Pittsburgh and Columbia University in New York. His books include "Source Book in Chinese Philosophy," and "Chu Hsi: New Studies."

* Boyd Gill, 81, former Indianapolis bureau chief for United Press International and a member of the Indiana Journalism Hall of

Fame, died Monday in Franklin, Ind.

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