Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

November 15, 2003

Mitoyo Kawate,

114, who just weeks ago assumed the title of the world's oldest person, died Thursday in Tokyo of pneumonia.

London-based Guinness World Records recognized Mrs. Kawate, who was born May 15, 1889, as the oldest person on Oct. 31, after Kamato Hongo, also from Japan, died at age 116.

The oldest person is now Charlotte Benkner of North Lima, Ohio, the records organization said. Born Nov. 16, 1889, she will be 114 tomorrow.

Mrs. Kawate, who had four children, was a farmer in Hiroshima until she was 100 years old, said Hiroshima city spokesman Masatoshi Yamada.

Mrs. Kawate survived the atomic blast that hit the city on Aug. 6, 1945. She was on her farm about six miles from downtown during the blast, but entered the city two days later to search for relatives and was exposed to radiation.

She liked to eat custard cakes and liked to sing, a caretaker said this month. Mrs. Kawate lived in a nursing home for the past 10 years and her condition had weakened over the past two years.

Life expectancy in Japan -- 85.23 years for women and 78.32 for men in 2002 -- is the longest in the world. The explanation, experts say, is partly the traditional Japanese diet, which is low in fatty foods.

Japan has lost three world-record holders for longevity in recent months. The world's former oldest man, 114-year-old Yukichi Chuganji, died Sept. 29.

Paul Corsetti,

54, a reporter jailed in 1982 for refusing to reveal a source to a grand jury investigating a murder, died Monday in Boston after a lengthy illness.

Mr. Corsetti was a reporter for the Boston Herald American when he interviewed Edward R. Kopacz Jr., who was a suspect in the 1978 shooting of Curtis Dale Barbre. In 1980, he refused to testify about an unnamed source quoted in his story to a grand jury investigating the case and was held in contempt.

In 1982, Mr. Corsetti began a 90-day jail sentence, but was released after about a week following a visit from Gov. Edward King, who recommended commuting the sentence.

Scott Hartman,

36, a former University of Tennessee track athlete who won a million-dollar lawsuit against the school for a head injury suffered at a meet in 1987, died Wednesday in Knoxville, Tenn.

Mr. Hartman never regained complete consciousness, said his mother, Kay Hartman.

Mr. Hartman was a 19-year-old freshman when he was hit in the head by a 16-pound steel throwing hammer during warmups at a track and field meet at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

Mr. Hartman was treated at a rehabilitation center after his injury and eventually returned to his mother's house, where his mother and a team of nurses cared for him.

Guy Livingston,

92, a theater maven and journalist who reviewed stage performances for Variety, died Wednesday in Boston.

After serving in World War II, Mr. Livingston became a drama critic for Variety, traveling between Boston and New York reviewing musicals. Later, he became a press agent for many musicals, as well as for musical artists, among them Judy Garland, Nat King Cole and Ray Charles.

He also wrote for numerous publications, including the Worcester Telegram.

Penny Singleton,

95, who brought the comic-strip character Blondie to life in a popular series of films and was the voice of the mother on The Jetsons, died Wednesday in Los Angeles of a stroke.

The Blondie series, which had 28 films from 1938 to 1950, was based on the cartoon strip created by Chic Young in 1930 about the misadventures of a small-town family.

After her stint as Blondie, Ms. Singleton was the voice of Jane Jetson in The Jetsons, Hanna-Barbera's futuristic counterpart to its highly successful Flintstones cartoon series.

Ms. Singleton also appeared in the 1964 film The Best Man, but spent most of her time touring in nightclubs and road shows of plays and musicals such as Call Me Madam.

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