Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

March 29, 2005

Andrew Toti, 89, inventor of the inflatable Mae West vest that saved the life of thousands of World War II pilots, including future President George H.W. Bush, died Tuesday at his home in Modesto, Calif.

He held more than 500 patents, including one for the pull tab on soda and beer cans. He also invented the automatic chicken plucker, which revolutionized the poultry business.

Ken Johnson, 53, the drummer for acts including Ike and Tina Turner, the Steve Miller Band, Kenny Neal and bluesman James Cotton, died of diabetes complications March 19 in Jonesboro, Ga.

Billed as Kenny "The Snake" Johnson, he played 13 years with the James Cotton Blues Band and recorded two albums with Steve Miller - Fly Like an Eagle and Book of Dreams.

FOR THE RECORD - A brief Associated Press obituary for Andrew Toti, published in the March 29 editions, incorrectly reported that he invented the inflatable life vest known as the Mae West. Instead, U.S. government records show that the late Peter Markus patented the vest in 1928 and sold it to the military years before Toti offered an unpatented design improvement. The Sun regrets the error.

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