Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

August 23, 2004

Paul G. Garrity, 66, the Boston judge whose historic rulings forced sweeping improvements in public housing conditions and a once filthy Boston Harbor, died of a heart attack Saturday in Boston.

In 1979, he put the Boston Housing Authority, landlord to 50,000 residents, into receivership. Five years later, noting the improvements made in housing conditions in 67 projects, he ended the receivership.

In 1983, he handed down a 10-page finding of fact charging that the Metropolitan District Commission and Boston Water and Sewer Commission were responsible for pollution in Boston Harbor. After a multibillion-dollar cleanup, the water today is the cleanest it has been in decades.

He left the Superior Court bench in 1984 to go into private practice. He was sometimes confused with W. Arthur Garrity Jr., the federal judge whose ruling led to court-ordered busing in Boston to eliminate racial segregation.

J. Irwin Miller, 95, the industrialist whose patronage turned Columbus, Ind., into a showcase for modern architecture, died Aug. 16 at his home in Columbus after a brief illness.

For 26 years, he was chairman of the Cummins Engine Co., based in Columbus, 40 miles south of Indianapolis. He and the company were instrumental in changing a decaying Columbus into a showcase for buildings designed by architects such as Eero Saarinen and I.M. Pei.

Early in his chairmanship of Cummins, a leading maker of diesel engines, the company established a foundation that fostered the design of new school buildings in Columbus. Its commitment to excellence in design encouraged other Columbus residents to sponsor equally distinguished construction.

Karel Brozik, 78, a leading representative of a Jewish organization that negotiated compensation and restitution claims of Holocaust victims, died of heart failure Wednesday while visiting Prague in the Czech Republic.

Born as Karel Abeles to a Jewish family in the northern town of Teplice, Czechoslovakia, he survived three years in several Nazi concentration death camps during World War II. After the Communists took power in Czechoslovakia in 1948, he changed his name from Abeles to Brozik. When the Soviet-led invasion crushed a brief period of liberal reforms known as the Prague Spring in 1968, he immigrated to Germany.

In recent years he headed Frankfurt's office of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, or Claims Conference.

Isidro "El Indio" Lopez, 75, considered by many to be the father of Tejano music, died Aug. 16 in Corpus Christi, Texas, from complications of a stroke and brain aneurysm.

He began his career in 1956, when he formed the Isidro Lopez Orchestra and began touring with a new sound that combined big-band sound with the Mexican-style polka known as conjunto. He was an alto saxophone player and a singer.

He also was known for his voice, which reminded some of Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. Others referred to him as the "Mexican Elvis."

Gerard Souzay, 85, one of France's great baritones and a master of art songs, died Tuesday at his home on the French Riviera.

In a nearly 50-year career, he made hundreds of recordings and appeared in the world's great opera houses, including New York's Metropolitan Opera house, where he first performed in 1965.

He frequently appeared in opera - including New York City Opera and the Met - and was widely held to be the definitive Golaud in Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande. But it was in art song that he made his greatest mark, and not only in the songs of French composers. His more than 750 recordings include classic versions of Schumann, Schubert and Hugo Wolf.

Acquanetta, 83, a famed B-movie actress best known for her role in the 1946 movie Tarzan and the Leopard Woman, died Aug. 16 at an Alzheimer's care center in Ahwatukee, Ariz.

The former New York model who was born Burnu Acquanetta chose to use only her last name as her film career grew. Besides the Tarzan movie, she had roles in Arabian Nights, Captive Wild Woman and The Sword of Monte Cristo.

She later starred in radio and TV commercials for her husband's car dealership in Phoenix, where she became a socialite and philanthropist.

Paul Ngei, 81, a former Cabinet minister and one of the heroes of Kenya's independence movement, died Aug. 15 at a hospital in Nairobi.

Along with Kenya's first president, Jomo Kenyatta, he was one of the Kapenguria Six, who served prison terms in colonial days as leaders of the Mau Mau rebellion. The six were arrested Oct. 22, 1952, on suspicion of being the leaders of Mau Mau, whose violent revolt against British colonial rule, though eventually defeated, helped force Britain to give independence to Kenya. They were convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison and were released in 1961.

William "Lum" York, 85, a musician and comedian who played with Hank Williams Sr. and other country music stars, died Aug. 15 of heart disease in Baton Rouge, La.

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