Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

October 31, 2002

Chang-Lin Tien, 67, who as chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, was the first Asian-American to head a major U.S. university, died Tuesday, the school announced. He had suffered a stroke after surgery for a brain tumor two years ago.

An expert on thermal science, Mr. Tien, an engineering professor, helped developed the insulating tiles for the space shuttle and worked on the Saturn rocket boosters used in the space program. In 1999, the International Astronomical Union renamed an asteroid Tienchanglin in his honor.

Born in Wuhan, China, Mr. Tien fled Japanese troops during World War II, escaping with his family to Shanghai. In 1949, after civil war put Communists in control, they fled again, to Taiwan. In 1956, Mr. Tien traveled to Kentucky to get his master's degree at the University of Louisville.

He never forgot the racial discrimination he encountered in the South in the 1950s. In a 1990 interview with the Associated Press, he recalled standing in confusion before water fountains labeled "whites only" and "colored." Which one, he wondered, was for him?

He got his doctorate from Princeton in 1959, and joined Berkeley's faculty. He was chancellor from 1990 to 1996.

In 1995, the UC system attracted national attention with the regents' tense 14-10 vote to drop affirmative action programs. He argued for keeping race-based admissions and later lamented the drop in the number of black and Hispanic students at Berkeley after the vote.

Andre De Toth, a filmmaker who crafted gritty Westerns and hard-edged crime tales but was best known for directing the 3-D Vincent Price horror flick House of Wax, died of an aneurysm Sunday in Burbank, Calif. Biographical sources listed his year of birth variously from 1910 to 1913.

Mr. De Toth's House of Wax is considered the best of the 3-D movies made during the 1950s, when such films were popular.

But he was never was able to experience the effect, having lost an eye in his youth, destroying his depth perception.

Unlike other directors, who used 3-D as a gimmick, Mr. De Toth stressed character and plot over special effects.

He was nominated in 1950 for an Academy Award for co-writing the original story for Gregory Peck's Western The Gunfighter, and made about three dozen Hollywood movies.

Kam Fong Chun, 84, who played Detective Chin Ho Kelly on the television series Hawaii Five-0, died Oct. 18 in Honolulu after a long battle with inoperable lung cancer.

A native of Hawaii, Mr. Chun used the stage name Kam Fong while appearing on the popular CBS show from 1968 to 1978.

In real life, Mr. Chun was a Honolulu police officer for 16 years before quitting the force in 1959. He then ran a real estate business and a talent agency and appeared in local theater and movies, including Gidget Goes Hawaiian.

Mary Parr, 113, believed to be the oldest person in the nation and second-oldest in the world, died Tuesday at Suncoast Manor, a retirement community in St. Petersburg, Fla., where she had lived since 1965.

She was determined to be the oldest resident of the United States by the Gerontology Research Group, a nonprofit organization that studies aging. She succeeded Adelina Domingues, a California woman who died at 114 on Aug. 21.

She was born Feb. 1, 1889, in Mishawaka, Ind. Only Kamato Hongo, a 115-year-old Japanese woman, had an authenticated age that is older.

Miss Parr often told the secret of her longevity: Never getting married.

She spent many years working for the American Red Cross in Cape May, N.J., first as a volunteer during World War I and then as a paid employee. She also worked for the South Carolina Tuberculosis Organization, then moved to Asheville, N.C., to care for her then-retired parents.

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