Other Notable Deaths

OTHER NOTABLE DEATHS

June 20, 2006

Arthur Franz, 86, a veteran movie and television character actor, died Saturday in Oxnard, Calif., of heart failure and emphysema, his daughter said.

Mr. Franz appeared in the 1949 John Wayne film Sands of Iwo Jima and in 1951's Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man. He played alongside Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy Davis, in the 1957 film Hellcats of the Navy.

Before becoming an actor, Mr. Franz served in the Army Air Forces during World War II.

Born in Perth Amboy, N.J., he developed an interest in acting in his teens. He started working in the theater in New York before moving to Los Angeles and taking film roles.

Patricia Guiver, 76, an animal welfare advocate who wrote novels featuring a dainty pet detective named Delilah Doolittle, died Tuesday in Newport Beach, Calif., of complications from heart surgery, her son said.

Ms. Guiver wrote six novels about Delilah Doolittle, a British widow who lives in the fictional town of Surf City with a Doberman named Watson. Together, they seek out missing animals.

The series featured titles like The Purloined Pooch and The Motley Mutt. The last was 2003's The Beastly Bloodline.

She founded the Orange County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, co-founded the Animal Assistance League of Orange County, and wrote a pet column that appeared in several small newspapers.

Nancy Williams Gram, 91, a former Michigan first lady, died Monday in Savannah, Ga.

Mrs. Gram was married to G. Mennen "Soapy" Williams when he served as governor from 1949 to 1960, and was remembered yesterday as gracious, intelligent and ahead of her time in pushing for women's rights and child labor laws.

Born Nancy Quirk in Ypsilanti, Mich., she met Mr. Williams while she was studying social work for her undergraduate degree and he was attending law school at the University of Michigan. They married in 1937. Her husband also served as U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs in the early 1960s, and on the Michigan Supreme Court from 1971 to 1986.

He died in 1988, and the next year, she married H. James Gram, a longtime family friend. He died in 2004.

Nancy Williams Gram was active on several boards in Michigan and Washington, D.C. She donated much of the Asian porcelains, African art and antiques that she collected to museums.

Marcus Gumz, 77, a farmer who tangled with authorities over the right to control his land and became a perennial political candidate under the slogan "Stick with Gumz," died Friday in the Fairfield, Wis., farmhouse where he and his late wife Norma raised eight children.

Mr. Gumz, active in the Republican Party, was gathering signatures to run this year for U.S. Senate against incumbent Democrat Herb Kohl. It would have been the latest in his many bids for office over the past 30 years. In a 2002 run for governor, he sometimes lived in his car, showing up at various events and handing out fliers.

Though he never won an election, he used the races as a platform to speak out on issues of property and privacy rights and what he considered too much government regulation.

His tangles with authorities involved the same issues, as they related to the more than 3,000 acres of marshy land he had turned into farmland through use of drainage ditches and other methods since the 1950s.

Gica Petrescu, 91, Romania's beloved singer whose songs have been played at parties for more than seven decades, died Monday, Culture Minister Adrian Iorgulescu said.

Mr. Petrescu, who was dubbed the Romanian Frank Sinatra, started his career in 1931 when he sang at his high school prom. He was known for cheerful party songs such as "Nobody Sleeps Tonight," "Sweet Girls of Bucharest," and "This is How I'd Like to Die," which remain widely played at weddings and other parties.

Also seen as Romania's top ballad singer, he received the "Lifetime Award" in 2004 from MTV Romania.

He also acted in a movie about his own life, Music is My Life, and his songs were broadcast on television for decades every New Year's Eve.

Judy Wolpe, 62, an aide to Michigan and Indiana governors and wife of former U.S. representative and 1994 Michigan Democratic gubernatorial candidate Howard Wolpe, drowned Friday during a vacation in Guatemala, her brother said.

She and her husband were swimming when she was caught in an undertow, said her brother, Jerry Artz. Mr. Wolpe was able to make it to shore, and was unable to revive her, Mr. Artz said.

Mrs. Wolpe served as a Cabinet member for then-Govs. James Blanchard of Michigan and Evan Bayh of Indiana and as chairwoman of the Lansing Community College board.

The Wolpes married in 1992 after she divorced from David Hollister, a former Lansing, Mich., mayor, state representative and director of Labor and Economic Growth for Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

The couple moved to Virginia after Mr. Wolpe lost to Republican incumbent John Engler, and Mrs. Wolpe worked as regional outreach director for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in Arlington, Va.

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