J. William Stanton 78, a former congressman who...

Deaths Elsewhere

April 13, 2002

J. William Stanton

78, a former congressman who championed world banking and hunger issues for nearly two decades in Congress, died Thursday in Jacksonville, Fla., where he spent winter months with his wife of 36 years, Peggy. The cause of death was not immediately disclosed.

The Ohio Republican served in Congress from 1964 to 1983, then spent a decade as counselor to the president of the World Bank.

"He was a mentor to me and someone that I sought out for advice constantly," said Rep. Steven C. LaTourette, a Republican who represents what was Stanton's northeast Ohio district.

In Congress, Mr. Stanton was the top Republican on what was then called the House Banking Committee.

Mr. Stanton once said the most exciting part of his career began after he left Congress and started traveling the world for the World Bank.

Roy Gustafson

87, a longtime associate evangelist with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, died yesterday in Raleigh, N.C.

Mr. Gustafson joined the association in 1959, taking more than 150 trips to the Middle East to teach Christianity. He retired in 1986 but continued to make international trips on behalf of the association.

Mr. Gustafson and Mr. Graham attended Florida Bible Institute in Tampa, Fla., at the same time. An ordained Baptist minister, Mr. Gustafson was a pastor of an Arizona church before becoming an itinerant Bible teacher.

Robert McGruder

60, executive editor of the Detroit Free Press and a champion of diversity who broke racial barriers, died yesterday in Detroit of cancer.

Mr. McGruder became the first black reporter for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland in 1963 and the first black executive editor of the Free Press in 1996. In 1995, when he was managing editor of the Free Press, McGruder became the first black president of the Associated Press Managing Editors.

Yuji Hyakutake

51, an amateur astronomer who became an international celebrity for discovering a comet with a pair of powerful binoculars in 1996, died Wednesday of a ruptured heart aneurysm in the southern Japanese prefecture of Kagoshima.

Mr. Hyakutake's discovery set off a flurry of excitement among astronomers because the Hyakutake comet's last earthly fly-by was approximately 10,000 years ago. It also was noted for its sizable 62,000-mile tail, which was visible for about a month.

"It's not as though I own the thing, but it is very flattering to have such a big comet bear my name," Mr. Hyakutake said after his sighting.

Mr. Hyakutake said his love for astronomy began in 1965 when, as a junior high school student, he saw Comet Ikeya-Seki, also discovered by Japanese stargazers.

Eventually he moved to a mountainside away from the glare of city lights to pursue his hobby. He regularly made the 30-minute trip to his favorite vantage point where he would peer into the skies with his binoculars.

The trips paid off. Besides discovering his 1996 comet, Mr. Hyakutake spotted another, much dimmer one the year before.

Marvin L. Warner

82, who headed the Cincinnati-based Home State Savings Bank when it collapsed in 1985, triggering a run on savings and loans in Ohio, died Monday of heart failure. He suffered heart failure at Cape Canaveral, where he was preparing to watch the space shuttle Atlantis launch. Emergency workers were unable to revive him at the scene.

The bank collapse drained Ohio's private savings and loan insurance fund and caused then-Gov. Richard Celeste to close 69 thrifts.

Mr. Warner was convicted of nine counts of fraud-related charges in 1987 and served two years and four months in an Ohio prison.

About 90,000 people lost access to $143 million in savings because of Mr. Warner's investments in ESM Government Securities Inc., which sold bonds to governments, institutions and individuals.

The Florida-based ESM sent out false financial statements that portrayed it as healthy when in fact the company was deeply in debt. ESM closed in 1985 after federal authorities charged it with fraud. Account holders waited years to regain their money. It took years for savers to regain their money.

Kondapalli Seetharamaiah

87, the founder of a Maoist guerrilla group, died yesterday in Hyderabad, India.

Mr. Seetharamaiah, who began the People's War Group in 1980, had surrendered to police in 1993 after a reported fallout with other leaders of the group, which remains active in southern and central India. At the time of his death, he had been staying with a relative in Vijayawada, 175 miles east of Hyderabad, capital of southern Andhra Pradesh State.

A schoolteacher-turned-activist, Mr. Seetharamaiah joined the Communist Party during India's freedom struggle against its British colonial rulers. He left the party after it entered parliamentary politics after independence in 1947.

Mr. Seetharamaiah launched an armed struggle with comrades in 1969 and later founded the People's War Group.

After his surrender in 1993, Mr. Seetharamaiah was jailed for two months, before the government freed him because of his poor health.

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