Deaths Elsewhere

March 28, 2004

Joshua Eilberg,

83, a six-term Democrat who sat on the House Judiciary Committee during President Richard M. Nixon's impeachment hearings and was later convicted on federal charges, died Wednesday of Parkinson's disease.

Three months after his defeat for a seventh term in 1979, he pleaded guilty to conflict of interest charges in connection with money he received to obtain a federal grant for Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia. He was sentenced to 5 years' probation.

He was an assistant district attorney before serving six terms as a state representative and then as a congressman from Northeast Philadelphia. He did court-appointed work for indigent defendants in the past 25 years and had been executive director of the local Brith Sholom, a Jewish fraternal organization. He also did work for immigrants from Northern Ireland, Israel and the Soviet Union.

Chen Zhongwei,

74, a surgeon credited with pioneering the process of reattaching severed limbs, died Tuesday after falling from the balcony of his seventh-floor apartment in Shanghai, China. His daughter, Dr. Lilly Chen of New York, said he had locked himself out of the apartment and had been trying to enter through a window.

He helped start the era of microsurgery when, in January 1963, he operated on a Chinese factory worker whose right hand had been severed an inch above the wrist. The operation was the first case of extremity replantation reported in medical literature.

He was a professor at Zhongshan Hospital in Shanghai and also worked with the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He had been a guest professor at Harvard University, New York University and Oxford University.

Jan Sterling,

82, the cool, often conniving blonde in Hollywood film noir movies of the 1940s and 1950s, died Friday in Los Angeles. She had recently broken her hip and had suffered several strokes.

Her most remembered role came as a sardonic observer in Billy Wilder's Ace in the Hole (rereleased as The Big Carnival), which starred Kirk Douglas as a ruthless reporter seeking a scoop by prolonging the rescue of a man trapped in a cave.

Her 1954 role as one of the terrified passengers on a troubled flight in The High and the Mighty garnered an Academy Award nomination as best supporting actress. Her other films included Johnny Belinda, Caged, Flesh and Fury, Split Second, Women's Prison, Female on the Beach and Slaughter on Tenth Avenue.

She was the widow of actor Paul Douglas and longtime companion of actor Sam Wanamaker, who died in 1993.

J. Edward Roush,

83, a Democrat who represented northeast Indiana in Congress for 16 years before he was beaten by a 29-year-old Dan Quayle in 1976, died Friday at a nursing home in Huntington, Ind. He had suffered from Alzheimer's disease.

Mr. Roush, a 1942 Huntington College graduate, served six years in the Army, then entered Indiana University School of Law and was elected to the legislature during his final year. He was recalled to active duty during the Korean War, serving as a special agent in counterintelligence. After the war, he went into private practice and was elected Huntington County prosecutor before going to Washington in 1958.

After losing to Mr. Quayle, Mr. Roush was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to head the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Regional and Intergovernmental Operations. He returned to private law practice in 1979, retiring in 1998.

Dr. Rhoda L. Fisher,

79, a psychotherapist who with her husband, Seymour Fisher, wrote popular books on subjects as varied as humor and child-rearing, died of uterine cancer on March 21 in Medina, Ohio.

Her dismay over books about parenting that she thought lacked scientific merit led her and her husband, who died in 1996, to collaborate on What We Really Know About Child Rearing: Science in Support of Effective Parenting.

One of her chief concerns was what she considered the overmedication of children with psychological disorders. She contributed a chapter on this subject to From Placebo to Panacea: Putting Psychiatric Drugs to the Test.

Another of her interests was what she called "schlemiel children," those who she said dealt with parental pressure by clowning. This led her to interview circus clowns and professional comedians, including Sid Caesar, Jackie Mason and Tommy Smothers, and to co-write Pretend the World Is Funny and Forever: A Psychological Analysis of Clowns, Comedians and Actors with her husband.

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