Harry E. Purdy Sr.,108, listed by the Veterans of...

Deaths Elsewhere

July 25, 2002

Harry E. Purdy Sr.,108, listed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars as the third-oldest U.S. veteran of World War I, died Friday in Zillah, Wash.

Mr. Purdy, the son of a Civil War soldier in the Union Army, died in his sleep in this lower Yakima Valley town 130 miles southeast of Seattle.

He was born Nov. 23, 1893, 30 years to the day after the Battle of Chattanooga. During his lifetime 19 presidents took office.

In 2000, he was awarded the French National Order of the Legion of Honor for his service as an Army engineer in World War I. He built bridges, dug trenches, helped build roads and saw action in combat without being injured.

In civilian life, he worked as a farmer, logger and road construction employee.

Nicholas Bonanno, 74, who helped lead the Southern labor movement and spent 50 years with the International Ladies Garment Workers' Union, died in Atlanta on Friday of prostate cancer.

By 1986, his union represented 2,000 apparel workers in Georgia and 12,000 nationwide. Over the years, Mr. Bonanno testified before Congress, staged rallies at the Georgia Capitol, stood in picket lines and even went to jail for his constituents.

As the textile industry declined, he fought for thousands of lost textile and apparel jobs.

"Nick had a passion for the problems of garment workers and an ability to relate to them that could only come from someone who started out at sewing machines in the Lower East Side of New York," said Bruce Raynor, president of the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees.

E. Eugene Spear, 63, Connecticut's first black administrative judge, died Monday in Bridgeport, Conn. He was a sitting member of the Appellate Court, to which he was reappointed in March.

In 1989, he was appointed administrative judge of the Bridgeport state courts and in 1991 was named chief judge of the state's civil division. In 1994, he was elevated to the state Appellate Court.

He was appointed an assistant public defender in Bridgeport in 1973. Five years later, he became the public defender for the Milford-Ansonia Judicial District. In 1982, he was appointed to the Superior Court.

Mr. Spear served on the local board of education, the board of fire commissioners and the YMCA's board of directors. He also was a life member of the NAACP.

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