Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

October 19, 2003

Manuel Vazquez Montalban,

64, one of Spain's best-known authors and the creator of the Barcelona-based detective Pepe Carvalho, died yesterday during a stopover at Bangkok International Airport, on his way back to Madrid after giving a series of lectures in Australia.

A poet, playwright and prolific political commentator, he leaves behind a body of work that spans four decades and brought him numerous literary awards.

His 1990 novel Galindez - which earned him Spain's National Literature Award and the European Literature Award in 1992 - has been adapted into the Spanish film The Galindez Mystery, due for release soon in the United States.

His youth was marked by his opposition to the dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco, which resulted in a three-year prison stint in the early 1960s and a lifelong commitment to left-leaning politics, Spanish news reports said.

Ivan Getting,

91, a Cold War physicist who conceived the global positioning satellite system that enables smart bombs, hikers and motorists to reach their destinations with pinpoint accuracy, died Oct. 11 in Coronado, Calif.

Mr. Getting, founding president of the military research-and-development company The Aerospace Corp., focused on the science and technology of war throughout his 60-year career. He worked on the antiaircraft radar used in World War II to down German V-1 cruise bombs launched at England and later worked on ballistic missile systems. He also contributed to NASA's Gemini and Mercury space programs, as well as to the development of high-powered chemical lasers.

He is best known for envisioning a system that would use multiple satellite transmitters, coupled with extremely precise clocks, to pinpoint, with unparalleled accuracy, locations anywhere on Earth.

James R. Lawson,

84, who climbed to perches in towers - including one in Riverside Church on the upper west side of Manhattan - to make exquisite music by ringing bells, died Tuesday in a nursing home in Cody, Wyo.

Mr. Lawson was a carillonneur, one of the best known in the United States and one of only a handful of masters of the carillon, the largest musical instrument in the world and the only one played exclusively outdoors.

A carillonneur sits at a carved oak clavier, an organlike cabinet with shafts of wood, called batons instead of keys. By pushing the keys with the side of his fist and pushing foot pedals, the player transfers force to clappers, which strike the stationary bells, which are tuned to specific notes. At Riverside Church, where Mr. Lawson presided over the carillon for more than a quarter of a century, the largest bell is the size of a baby elephant and the smallest weighs a few ounces.

He held positions playing some of the foremost American carillons, including those at Stanford University, the University of Chicago and the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, Calif. He gave concerts on the world's most famous carillons, recorded albums of carillon music, and inspired and trained a generation of carillonneurs.

Lee Bailey,

76, a home furnishings designer and author of 18 books about interior design and entertaining, died Thursday in New York. He also worked as a columnist and contributing editor for Food and Wine magazine. Among his books are Lee Bailey's Country Weekends and Lee Bailey's City Food.

Before graduating from the Parsons School of Design in New York in 1950, Mr. Bailey served in the Army. He later taught for six years at Tulane University, then returned to Parsons as a professor. He opened the Lee Bailey Shop in New York in 1974 and also operated a design business.

Ethel Beard,

85, who performed in experimental radio theater in the 1940s with Jonathan Winters, Hume Cronyn and Sid Caesar, died Wednesday of heart failure in Cape Coral, Fla.

Miss Beard also was a hostess on Merv Griffin's 1960-62 television game show Play Your Hunch.

She participated in Experimental Playhouse of the Air, a company that featured Mr. Winters and Mr. Caesar.

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