Other Notable Deaths


November 18, 2005

Adrian Rogers, 74, a three-time former president of the Southern Baptist Convention who helped religious conservatives take control of the 16 million-member denomination, died Tuesday in Memphis, Tenn. Mr. Rogers was first elected president of the SBC in 1979 at the beginning of a long and sometimes bitter power struggle between religiously conservative pastors and their more moderate counterparts. He was part of an "inerrancy movement," which championed the belief that the Bible is free from error and literally accurate in all ways. The conservative movement Mr. Rogers helped lead also pushed the denomination to stronger political opposition to abortion, homosexuality and the ordination of female pastors, said Bob Allen, a writer and commentator for the Baptist Center for Ethics, an independent Baptist organization headquartered in Nashville. Mr. Rogers was pastor of Memphis' Bellevue Baptist Church for 32 years.

Kingsbury Browne Jr., an attorney and influential conservationist who spearheaded the founKingsbury Browne Jr., 82, an attorney and influential conservationist who spearheaded the founding of the Land Trust Alliance, died from pneumonia Nov. 11 in Memphis. Mr. Browne was regarded as a leader of the American land trust movement and was instrumental in formation of the Land Trust Exchange in 1982. It eventually became the Land Trust Alliance, a national organization based in Washington that represents more than 1,500 land trusts across the United States. During a sabbatical from his law firm in 1980, Mr. Browne visited several land trusts around the country and came to recognize the need for a national association serving those trusts. He was an avid outdoorsman who made numerous excursions by floatplane to Alaska as well as Baffin Island, Hudson Bay and northern Labrador in Canada.

Retired Adm. Barry K. Atkins, 94, who commanded a destroyer that sank a Japanese battleship in a historic World War II battle, died Tuesday. A 1932 Naval Academy graduate who retired in 1959, Admiral Atkins received the Navy Cross for "extraordinary heroism" as commanding officer of the USS Melvin during the Battle of Surigao Strait in the Philippines. Military historians believe the 1944 sinking of the Japanese vessel Fuso was the only instance in the war of a destroyer sinking a battleship. The Melvin's crewmen have been waging a campaign to have a ship named in honor of their former commander. Admiral Atkins also served tours of duty on the USS Parrott, Tennessee and New Mexico, among others, and received the Silver Star, Bronze Star and many other ribbons and commendations.

Mary Ducey Crabtree, 83, who with her husband founded a regional playhouse that helped bring live theater to poor Appalachian children, died Nov. 11. An actor, director and costume designer, she was raised in Crossville and Pittsburgh. She moved to New York City in 1941 to pursue a theater career and met her future husband, Paul Crabtree, in the national company of George Abbott's Kiss & Tell. They settled in Crossville and opened the playhouse in 1965. The well-regarded rural venue drew Broadway and Hollywood veterans to work in its productions and hosted a few world premieres. She last performed there two years ago.

Val Perkins, 74, the widow of rockabilly singer and songwriter Carl Perkins, died Tuesday. Her husband wrote the songs "Blue Suede Shoes," made famous by Elvis Presley, and "Jackson," a hit for Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. He died in 1998. The couple grew up in the Jackson area and started dating in high school. They were introduced by his sister and her friend, Martha Perkins Bain, with whom Val Perkins - also an entertainer - sang and played the piano on a local radio show.

Charles R. Weiner, the federal judge who devised a settlement plan for tens of thousands of asbestos lawsuits, diedCharles R. Weiner, 83, the federal judge who devised a settlement plan for tens of thousands of asbestos lawsuits, died Nov. 9 of kidney failure. At the request of then-Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, he came up with a plan to address the backup of more than 100,000 asbestos lawsuits in the courts. The 1993 settlement called for 20 top producers of asbestos-related products to pay a total of $1.3 billion over 10 years to asbestos victims. However, the Supreme Court rejected the plan in 1997, and the issue remains unresolved. Judge Weiner became a Philadelphia prosecutor in 1951 and was elected to the state Senate the next year. In 1967, he was named to a lifetime appointment on the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

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