Deaths Elsewhere

April 09, 2001

Frank Annunzio, 86, who represented Chicago in Congress for 28 years, died yesterday. Mr. Annunzio, who had Parkinson's disease, slipped into a coma about a week ago, said family spokesman Dominic DiFrisco.

A Democrat who served in the U.S. House from 1965 to 1993, Mr. Annunzio was a shoeshine boy, high school teacher and labor leader before being elected to Congress, Mr. DiFrisco said.

In 1989, he urged credit card holders to cut up or burn their cards in an effort to try to force down interest rates. He said consumers should "hold their credit card up to a mirror and say, `I'm addicted to this darn thing and I'm better off without it.'"

Recently, Mr. Annunzio lent his name to a campaign against the HBO series "The Sopranos." "The congressman tried to make everyone aware of the positive aspects of the Italian-American community, and was puzzled and chagrined by the ceaseless efforts to depict us as wanton criminals," Mr. DiFrisco said.

Ronald Van Dunk, 68, who led the Ramapough Mountain Indians in their continuing fight to win federal recognition as a tribe, died April 1 of heart failure at a nursing home in Suffern, N.Y.

Mr. Van Dunk, who was known as Chief Red Bone, held the title of grand chief of the 3,000 Ramapough Mountain Indians, who belong to three groups or clans living in Hillburn in Rockland County, N.Y., and across the state line in Mahwah and Ringwood in northeastern New Jersey.

They were recognized as a tribe by New York and New Jersey in 1980, but the federal government has denied their application for tribal status, which would open the way to casino gambling within a half- hour of New York City, potentially creating strong competition for Atlantic City. The issue is being appealed in federal court.

Mr. Van Dunk repeatedly insisted that he was interested in reclaiming his people's heritage, along with the educational and welfare benefits to which American Indians are entitled. Any consideration of a casino, he said, could come later.

Paul R. Kaiser, 84, the longtime chief of the Tasty Baking Co., died Friday at a South Miami, Fla., hospital.

During Mr. Kaiser's 28 years as chief executive officer, from the 1950s to the 1970s, Tasty Baking's revenues catapulted to $180 million from $17 million. Mr. Kaiser's father-in-law, Frank Baur Sr., started the business with Herbert C. Morris in 1914. The pair used a horse-drawn buggy to sell their cakes, wrapped in waxed paper, in the Germantown section of Philadelphia.

Mr. Kaiser also formed a public-private coalition called the Allegheny West Foundation, which bought and repaired run-down Philadelphia housing and resold them to families below cost.

Theodore M. "Ted" McCarty, 91, who as president of the Gibson Guitar Co. played a pivotal role in the development of the electric guitar, died yesterday in Twin Falls, Idaho.

The Kalamazoo, Mich.-based Gibson Guitar Co. was losing tens of thousands of dollars a month when Mr. McCarty came aboard in 1948 as general manager. But two years later he was named president and within a few months the company was running in the black. By the time he left in 1966, Gibson's staff had grown from 150 to 1,200, and production had increased from 5,000 instruments a year to a 1965 peak of 100,000.

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