Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

February 06, 2004

John Hench, 95, a longtime Disney artist and the official portrait painter of Mickey Mouse, died of heart failure yesterday in Burbank, Calif., the Walt Disney Co. announced.

Mr. Hench, whose work were featured in both the company's animated films and theme parks, designed such attractions as Disneyland's Space Mountain.

He began his career with Disney in May 1939 as a sketch artist on Fantasia, later working on story editing, layout and special effects for such classic Disney films as Dumbo, Peter Pan and Cinderella.

He also played a key role in the creation of Disney resorts and theme parks around the world.

When Walt Disney started planning for Disneyland, one of the first artists he enlisted was Mr. Hench. After Disney's death in 1966, Mr. Hench oversaw the creation of Walt Disney World in Florida in 1971 and the addition of Epcot in 1982. He also helped supervise the design of Disney's first overseas park, Tokyo Disneyland, which opened in 1983, among other projects.

With his clipped mustache and ascot tied neatly around his neck, he had the look of a 1930s character actor. He also resembled Disney, to the point he was sometimes mistaken for him.

Adm. Thomas Moorer, 91, a Pearl Harbor veteran who became chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Vietnam War, died yesterday, Navy officials said.

Admiral Moorer received his commission in 1933 and was stationed at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack Dec. 7, 1941. He received a Distinguished Flying Cross, Silver Star and Purple Heart for action the next year.

After World War II, he rose through the ranks. President Lyndon B. Johnson selected him to be chief of naval operations, the service's top officer, in 1967. He was reappointed by President Richard M. Nixon, who then nominated him to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Admiral Moorer supervised the U.S. troop withdrawal from South Vietnam while serving as the military's senior uniformed officer from July 1970 until his retirement in July 1974.

Barbara Gamarekian, 78, a retired New York Times reporter who had been a press aide in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, died in Washington on Monday of peritoneal cancer.

In 2001, she wrote a Times article on her experience in a White House bomb shelter during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, and last year, an interview she gave in 1964 for the John F. Kennedy Library about Kennedy's romantic liaison with a college-age intern came to light.

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