Other Notable Deaths


July 24, 2006

Dorothea Towles Church, 83, the first successful black model in Paris, who discovered personal liberation on the runways of Christian Dior and Elsa Schiaparelli in the 1950s, died July 7 in Manhattan.

Her success was a historic achievement in an industry that had been resistant to using any but white models to represent beauty on magazine covers, advertisements and runways. Ms. Church, who had a master's degree in education from the University of Southern California, modeled in France from 1949 to 1954.

After she returned to America, she began a tour of black colleges with her clothing collection. She staged fashion shows and fundraisers for more than 200 branches of Alpha Kappa Alpha, a college sorority established by black women. She later signed with the Grace del Marco modeling agency in New York, and worked there for several years.

She is among those to be featured in an exhibition called Black Style Now, opening Sept. 7 at the Museum of the City of New York.

James E. West, 55, a former mayor of Spokane, Wash., who opposed gay-rights bills but was recalled from office over an Internet gay sex scandal, died Saturday of complications from recent cancer surgery. The conservative former Republican state Senate majority leader was diagnosed in early 2003 with colon cancer that later spread to his liver.

Seven months after The Spokesman-Review newspaper began publishing results of a computer "sting" it conducted to track the mayor's online activities in a gay chat room, Mr. West was ousted from office in December 2005 on a single charge that he used his office for personal benefit.

He was the first Spokane city official to be recalled from office, ending a 27-year career in city and state politics. The former Spokane city councilman, Boy Scout leader and sheriff's deputy had frequently opposed gay-rights bills during his 20 years in the state House and Senate.

Bill Miller, 91, who was Frank Sinatra's pianist for nearly 50 years until the singer's last performance in 1995, died of complications from a heart attack July 11 at a Montreal hospital.

When Mr. Sinatra died of a heart attack in 1998 at age 82, Mr. Miller played "One for My Baby (And One More For The Road)" at the funeral.

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