Bayard Sharp, 89, a DuPont heir, avid sportsman and...

Deaths Elsewhere

August 12, 2002

Bayard Sharp, 89, a DuPont heir, avid sportsman and Republican political activist, died Friday after a brief illness at his home in Centreville, Del.

Former President George Bush was one of many who expressed condolences over the death of Mr. Sharp, a descendant of E.I. du Pont. The former president said he had planned a fishing trip with him in the Bahamas in the spring, but Mr. Sharp canceled because he was too tired.

Mr. Sharp, who advised presidents and congressmen, served as a lieutenant commander in the Navy during World War II. He was also Wilmington City Council president.

He donated 113 acres and a mile of beachfront property to create a state park in Florida, where he lived part time and owned the Gasparilla Inn and Cottages, a resort on Gasparilla Island.

He was also a breeder of thoroughbred horses, and the Delaware Park track observed a moment of silence for him Saturday.

Bruce Johnston Sr., 63, one of suburban Philadelphia's most notorious murderers whose killing spree became the basis for the movie At Close Range, died Wednesday of complications associated with liver disease at the Pennsylvania state prison in Graterford, authorities said.

He had been serving six life sentences for murdering several of his criminal cohorts and his son's girlfriend. The Chester County killings were the basis for the 1986 film starring Sean Penn and Christopher Walken, whose character was based on Mr. Johnston. Mr. Johnston and his brothers operated a multimillion-dollar burglary ring in the 1970s, stealing everything from cigarettes to tractors, authorities said.

In 1980, he and two brothers were convicted of killing three young members of their crime ring and were sentenced to life in prison. They also were convicted of killing the girlfriend of Mr. Johnston's son, police said. The girlfriend and the other victims were killed so they wouldn't cooperate with authorities, police said.

Woodrow Wilson Mann Sr., 85, who as mayor of Little Rock, Ark., urged President Dwight D. Eisenhower to send federal troops to protect black students during the desegregation crisis at Central High School in 1957, died Tuesday in Houston of complications from a stroke he suffered a few years ago.

In what has been called the most volatile state-federal conflict since the Civil War, Little Rock became a battleground for the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that held that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional.

Mr. Mann paid a heavy price for his stand as did his family. He told reporters during the crisis that he had received threats on his life because of his criticism of Gov. Orval E. Faubus' action calling out the National Guard to block desegregation. Mr. Mann left Little Rock in 1959 and moved to Dallas and then to Houston, where he was involved in the insurance and mortgage banking business until retiring in the early 1990s.

Ralph Bhola, 80, who was Grenada's acting prime minister and played a key role in the Caribbean country's development, died Thursday in St. George's after a lengthy illness, his family said Friday.

Mr. Bhola rose to prominence in 1959 as a senior member of the then-opposition Grenada National Party. During his political career, he was a member of the legislative council, a senator and minister of agriculture and health.

Mr. Bhola served as acting prime minister on several occasions in the 1960s, in the government of then-Prime Minister Herbert Blaize. He also was a prominent member of Grenada's business community.

William R. Crawford, 74, a former U.S. ambassador to Yemen and Cyprus, died Aug. 4 at his home in Greensboro, Vt., of cancer.

Mr. Crawford became ambassador to Cyprus in 1974 after his predecessor, Rodger P. Davies, was assassinated there. He later served as principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Near East and South Asian affairs.

From 1959 to 1964, he was officer in charge of Arab-Israeli affairs at the State Department. He served as ambassador to Yemen before being assigned to Cyprus. Mr. Crawford was born in Philadelphia and held degrees from Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania.

Charles Poletti, 99, a son of Italian immigrants who was governor of New York in the final weeks of 1942, then played a major role in the Army's reconstruction of Italy after the fall of Fascism, died Thursday at his home in Marco Island, Fla.

Mr. Poletti had not been elected to the State House in Albany. He moved up from lieutenant governor when the governor, Herbert H. Lehman, resigned to direct American war-relief efforts in Europe. Mr. Poletti served as governor for 29 days before giving way to the newly elected Thomas E. Dewey.

In January 1943, Mr. Poletti was named a special assistant to War Secretary Henry L. Stimson, and three months later received an Army commission. Mr. Poletti landed in Sicily with troops of the American 7th Army in July 1943 and was installed as a senior officer in the Allied Military Government of Occupied Territory, with the task of restoring essential public services.

Fumio Yoshimura, 76, a sculptor known for his highly detailed wooden replicas of plants, machines and a variety of everyday objects, died July 23 in Manhattan. The cause was complications from pancreatic cancer, said his wife, Carol.

Mr. Yoshimura, who was born in Japan and went to New York in his mid-30s, worked in white, unfinished linden wood that gave his nearly exact renderings of tomato plants, typewriters, bicycles, kites and sewing machines a ghostly pallor.

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