James S. Kemper Jr., 88, the former head of the Kemper...

Deaths Elsewhere

July 05, 2002

James S. Kemper Jr., 88, the former head of the Kemper Insurance Cos. who guided the company his father founded in 1912 into the financial services business, died in Golf, Ill., Tuesday.

He joined the Long Grove, Ill.-based company in 1960. He was named chairman and chief executive in 1969 and held that position until retiring in 1979. He served as chairman of the board of the Kemper Insurance Cos. and Kemper Corp. until 1986.

During Mr. Kemper's tenure, the company moved into reinsurance by forming Kemper Reinsurance Co. in 1969 and established itself in financial services and securities with the 1970 launch of Kemper Financial Services.

President Jimmy Carter appointed Mr. Kemper, who overcame alcoholism, to the National Commission on Alcoholism and Other Related Problems. President Ronald Reagan named him to the Presidential Commission on Drunk Driving, and he was chairman of the board of trustees of its successor committee, the National Commission Against Drunk Driving.

During World War II, he served as an intelligence officer with the Navy in the Pacific.

Bridie Letzer, 78, a human rights activist who was imprisoned for three years as a teen-ager in Northern Ireland, died June 25 in Los Angeles.

Ms. Letzer was a 15-year-old in Belfast in 1939 when her brother was sent to prison by the British. A short time later someone handed her a leaflet demanding the release of those jailed for no crime. The leaflet was found in her pocket and she was sentenced to three years at hard labor in a women's prison.

She came to Los Angeles in 1946 as the bride of an American soldier, Martin Letzer, who died in 1999.

In Southern California she became a leader among Irish-Americans and an advocate for civil rights around the world. She staged protests at the British Consulate in Los Angeles to protest the conflict in Northern Ireland.

She campaigned for fair employment practices by American companies doing business in Northern Ireland, joined protests against South African apartheid and worked for African-American and Hispanic rights causes.

Stanley Robert Rader, 71, former general counsel and treasurer of the Worldwide Church of God and an adviser to the church's founder during a state probe of church finances, died in Pasadena, Calif., on Tuesday.

Mr. Rader was diagnosed with acute pancreatic cancer two weeks before his death.

He was an adviser to founder Herbert W. Armstrong in some of the church's most tumultuous days, including when Mr. Armstrong ousted his son, television evangelist Garner Ted Armstrong, after they had a falling out in 1978.

The next year, California Attorney General George Deukmejian began investigating allegations that the founder and Mr. Rader pilfered millions of dollars from the church, which a court temporarily placed into receivership.

Disaffected members of the church claimed in a lawsuit that the founder and Mr. Rader were living extravagantly and sold church property below market value for private profit.

The state Legislature later passed a bill that removed the attorney general's power to investigate religious organizations about allegations of misuse of funds or other fraud. The investigation was dropped.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.