Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

February 18, 2003

Eleanor "Sis" Daley, 95, the matriarch of the Daley political clan who offered unwavering behind-the-scenes support to husband Richard J. Daley during his long reign as Chicago mayor, died of a stroke Sunday at her Chicago home.

The widow of the former mayor and mother of current Mayor Richard M. Daley lived her entire life in the tight-knit Bridgeport neighborhood long associated with the political clan, which also includes son William Daley, former U.S. secretary of commerce.

"She was the Daley matriarch, but in a lot of ways she was also Chicago's matriarch," said Mayor Richard M. Daley's spokeswoman Jacqueline Heard, who noted that her March 4 birthday coincided with the anniversary of Chicago's founding.

She eschewed the political limelight and focused her energy on raising her seven children and offering private support to her husband, who ran Chicago's Democratic machine for 21 years until his death in 1976.

The couple married in Bridgeport in 1936 and soon moved into a neighborhood bungalow that became the family bunker for decades, off limits to outside politicians and reporters.

Her son Richard, who has his father's popularity without the reputation of political bossism, has been mayor since 1989.

Denis Lawrence Kurutz, 61, a landscape architect who re-created for the original J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, Calif., the fountains and plantings of Herculaneum, which was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79, died Wednesday in a Los Angeles hospital of complications from a lung transplant.

Mr. Kurutz also worked on the initial landscaping for the newer Getty Museum in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles.

Now known as Getty Villa, the former Malibu Getty complex has been closed for renovation for the past few years, and Mr. Kurutz was working on restoration of the grounds.

When the Villa opened in 1974, Mr. Kurutz and the firm for which he worked at the time, Emmet L. Wemple and Associates of Los Angeles, earned a national landscape award for their work. To re-create the destroyed gardens of the Roman villa built two millenniums ago, Mr. Kurutz traveled to Italy to search for likely plant life, fountain designs and tiles. He also delved into ancient history and art.

An old fresco housed in the National Museum of Rome helped show him what to plant - colorful flowers such as daffodils, iris, flax, anemones, sweet peas, stocks and calendulas and boxwood shrubs. Because Malibu has more fog than Herculaneum, he said, he had to make certain adaptations, such as planting Japanese rather than European boxwood.

During his 35-year career, Mr. Kurutz worked on landscaping projects for the U.S. Embassy in Japan, the King Fahad National Park in Saudi Arabia, MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas and Joshua Tree National Park in California, and landscaped theme parks and private estates.

David E. Feller, 86, a lawyer and law professor who researched and argued important civil rights and labor cases, including more than a dozen that went to the Supreme Court, died Monday in Oakland, Calif.

In the 1950s, Feller was on a panel of lawyers who advised and assisted Thurgood Marshall, who was then general counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, in preparing legal action against the racial segregation of schools. Mr. Feller was involved in drafting friend-of-the-court briefs in Brown vs. Board of Education and other crucial civil rights cases.

Mr. Feller was general counsel for the United Steelworkers of America from 1960 to 1965. He also held that post with the AFL-CIO's industrial union department and for other labor unions.

As the steelworkers' general counsel, he was involved in what has become known as the Steelworkers' Trilogy, three cases decided by the Supreme Court on June 20, 1960.

"The broad issue was whether the courts would involve themselves in the interpretation of collective-bargaining agreements or labor contracts, or whether they would foster the role of arbitrators in interpreting such agreements," said William B. Gould IV, a former member of the United Auto Workers staff who is now emeritus professor of law at Stanford University.

"Feller argued that the courts should do the latter," Gould said, "that they should foster and promote the arbitration process, and that is what the Supreme Court did."

The steelworkers' current general counsel, Paul Whitehead, said those three decisions established the institution of labor arbitration under U.S. labor law and gave labor and management a way of resolving disputes in a forum that is fairer, quicker and less expensive than the court system.

Stacy Keach Sr., 88, father of actors Stacy and James Keach and an accomplished character actor in his own right, died Thursday in Burbank, Calif., of complications from congestive heart failure.

Mr. Keach appeared in hundreds of movies, commercials, and television and radio shows in a career that spanned more than 50 years.

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