Deaths Elsewhere

October 04, 2004

Willis M. Hawkins,

90, designer of the military transport aircraft known as the C-130 Hercules and a former top Lockheed executive, died Tuesday of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles.

The C-130 is one of the few planes in the history of aviation that has stayed in continuous production for 50 years.

He spent more than 40 years with Lockheed Corp., now Lockheed Martin Corp. He became senior vice president of Lockheed and served on its board of directors.

He contributed to the design and development of a wide variety of military and commercial aircraft, including the Polaris Missile, the first missile to be launched underwater using a submarine as a firing platform, and the C-130 cargo- and troop-carrying airplane.

Jean Ruth Hay,

87, who woke millions of American troops each morning during World War II with her upbeat radio program Reveille With Beverly, which was broadcast into foxholes, cockpits and military outposts from Alaska to New Zealand, died Sept. 18 after suffering a stroke while gardening. She lived in Fortuna, Calif.

Between 1941 and 1944, her dawn broadcast as the effervescent Beverly reached an estimated 11 million people. Her musical selections -- Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Duke Ellington and Nat King Cole -- were a welcome alternative to the 5:30 a.m. bugler's blast that jarred American troops from their beds in military outposts across the globe.

With a cold Coca-Cola in one hand and a stack of records in the other, her day at Hollywood station KNX-AM began with her signature opening, "Hi there, boys of the USA. We're ready with the stuff that makes you swing and sway." The program was transmitted to 54 countries via Armed Forces Radio Services.

Edward Silver,

83, a prominent labor lawyer who was the first chairman of New York City's Civilian Complaint Review Board, which monitors police conduct, died of pancreatic cancer Friday at his home in Greenwich, Conn.

He represented the city in highly public negotiations with its municipal unions through four administrations.

He was appointed by Mayor David N. Dinkins in July 1993 as the head of the newly created police review board. The board, which investigates complaints of excessive force or other misconduct by police officers against civilians, was the first such panel to operate completely independent of the Police Department. He resigned his position a year later under the new mayor, Rudolph W. Giuliani.

Mr. Silver was considered one of the country's most successful labor lawyers. The chairman of Proskauer Rose from 1981 to 1991 and the head of the firm's labor department, he always represented management. He also handled high-profile labor disputes for the Metropolitan Opera, the Harvard Club and a consortium of New York's private hospitals.

Eugenio Pio "Pete" Seghesio,

85, a vintner who helped bring international acclaim to Northern California wines, died in a Santa Rosa, Calif. hospital Thursday of complications from several strokes and congestive heart failure.

He ran his family's 110-year- old Seghesio Winery in Healdsburg for three decades, a time in which the Alexander Valley become one of the most prestigious wine-growing regions in the world.

He included among his friends many of the giants of the California wine industry, including Julio Gallo, Louis Martini and brothers Robert and Peter Mondavi. He graduated from the College of Agriculture at the University of California, Davis, where he studied under world-renowned wine expert Maynard Amerine.

Pete Schoening,

77, an American climber whose skill and quick actions on K2 in the Himalayas, the world's second-highest peak, saved five team members from plunging to their deaths down an icy slope in 1953, died Sept. 22 at his home in Kenmore, Wash. He had suffered from multiple myeloma.

Mr. Schoening, a Seattle native who began climbing in the mid-1940s, made several first ascents of peaks in the Cascades, east of Seattle, in 1948; and in the Yukon (Mount Augusta and King Peak's East Ridge) in 1952.

In 1958, he and climber Andy Kauffman completed the first ascent of Hidden Peak (also called Gasherbrum I) in Pakistan, one of the 14 mountains in the world higher than 8,000 meters (26,246 feet). In 1966, Mr. Schoening, by then the owner of a fiberglass manufacturing company, joined nine other climbers in making the first successful ascent of 16,067-foot Mount Vinson, the tallest peak in Antarctica.

Izora Rhodes Armstead,

who sang the 1980s dance club hit "It's Raining Men" as one half of the Weather Girls, died of heart failure Sept. 16 at a hospital in San Leandro, Calif. Her age was unknown.

Ms. Armstead and partner Martha Wash started out as background singers for San Francisco disco diva Sylvester before forming the Weather Girls. They met when they sang in the same gospel group, and were known as Two Tons O' Fun when they sang on four Sylvester albums.

They made three albums as the Weather Girls before splitting up. One of the albums, Success (1983) featured the song "It's Raining Men," which became a No. 1 dance club hit.

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