Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

September 07, 2004

Sir Alastair Morton, 66, who played a key role in the building of the English Channel tunnel between England and France, died Wednesday of a heart attack.

He became co-chairman of Eurotunnel in 1987 and served as group chief executive from 1990 until 1994, when the undersea link opened. He brought a sharp mind and an explosive temper to a task that many thought would be impossible: to complete the 31-mile tunnel entirely with private funding, as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher insisted.

The construction cost of $18 billion was double the original estimate. Sir Alastair saw himself as representing the small shareholders in Eurotunnel and battled with the banks that financed the project and with Transmanche-Link, the consortium of construction companies that did the work.

Frank Horton, 84, a Rockefeller Republican from Rochester, N.Y., and the former dean of New York's congressional delegation, died Aug. 30 of a stroke at a hospital in Winchester, Va.

Mr. Horton retired in 1992 after 30 years in the U.S. House of Representatives representing a district covering much of Monroe and neighboring counties in upstate New York. He used his seniority on various key committees to help his district and state. Known as one of the least-partisan House members, he voted more often with like-minded Democrats than with the Reagan or Bush administrations.

As the ranking Republican on the Government Operations Committee, he had considerable influence, often behind the scenes. He was instrumental in placing inspectors general as financial watchdogs in federal departments, and in passing the 1989 Whistleblowers Protection Act, which was intended to shield federal employees who expose waste, fraud and abuse from reprisals.

The Rev. Marion de Velder, 92, a former general secretary of the Reformed Church in America who was known for his work to strengthen bonds with other groups and churches, died Thursday in Holland, Mich.

He became the church's first general secretary in 1968 and held the office until 1977. He was remembered as an ecumenical pioneer, building links to the World Council of Churches and other groups. Taking the post was part of a restructuring that gave the church's top position an increased leadership role.

Mr. De Velder also served as pastor at churches in Churchville, Pa.; Albany, N.Y.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Holland, Mich.

William Pierson, 78, a raspy-voiced movie, television and stage actor perhaps best remembered for his role as Marko the Mailman in the Billy Wilder film classic Stalag 17, died of respiratory problems Aug. 27 in Newton, N.J.

He originally played Marko in the Broadway version of Stalag 17, the dark comedy-drama set in a prisoner of war camp in World War II Germany. He also appeared on Broadway in High Button Shoes, Make Mine Manhattan and Reuben, Reuben and in a national touring company of The Odd Couple.

He had a long career in television dating to the medium's Golden Age when he appeared on such shows as Studio One and Kraft Theatre. He also had a recurring role on Three's Company as Dean Travers, and appeared on such shows as The Facts of Life, One Day at a Time, All in the Family and Diff'rent Strokes.

Rose Slivka, 85, a writer, critic, editor and a major figure in the advancement of crafts as a serious artistic discipline in the United States, died Thursday of heart failure in Southampton, N.Y.

As the editor-in-chief and a writer for the magazine Craft Horizons from 1959 to 1979, Ms. Slivka helped define the philosophy of crafts and the terms in which they were discussed at a time when the field was growing in popularity and professionalism. She favored a shift away from emphasis on traditional skills and techniques and toward more innovative forms of creative expression.

She championed the sculpture of Peter Voulkos, whose monumental and aggressively energetic work in clay has been compared to Abstract Expressionist painting.

Anne Coffin Hanson, 82, an art historian and curator and the first woman to be hired as a full tenured professor at Yale University, died Friday at her home in New Haven, Conn.

Ms. Hanson was an authority on late 19th-century and early 20th-century European art, specifically the paintings of Edouard Manet and the multifarious Italian Futurists.

During more than two decades at Yale, she also organized and wrote catalogs for numerous exhibitions at the Yale University Art Gallery, including The Futurist Imagination: Word plus Image in Italian Futurist Painting, Drawing, Collage and Free-Word Poetry in 1983 and Severini Futurista, 1912-1917, published in 1995.

Her best-known book was Manet and the Modern Tradition (Yale, 1977), which won the Charles Rufus Morey Award for art history scholarship. Her presence as a teacher, role model and mentor inspired many students, especially women, to become art historians and curators.

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