Other Notable Deaths

other notable deaths

September 02, 2006

Sister Mary Luke Tobin, 98, the only American woman to participate in the Second Vatican Council, died Aug. 24 at the order's motherhouse in Nerinx, Ky.

She was superior general of the Sisters of Loretto from 1958 to 1970. When she was invited to Rome, she was president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, a group of leaders from U.S. congregations of religious sisters. She was invited to attend the third and final session of the Second Vatican Council in Rome in 1964 and 1965. A dozen other women were invited to observe the proceedings, but she was one of only three women in the world to participate in policymaking.

While living in Nerinx, she became friends with Trappist monk Thomas Merton, who lived at the nearby Abbey of Gethsemani. She was a co-founder of the International Thomas Merton Society and established the Thomas Merton Center for Creative Exchange in Denver in 1979.

Ralph Schoenstein, 73, a humorist who ghostwrote Bill Cosby's best-selling book Fatherhood, wrote 18 books of his own and contributed to radio, died Aug. 24 at a Philadelphia hospital of complications after heart surgery.

He often wrote about his family and the joys and frustrations of a writer's life. His first book, 1960's The Block, was a portrait of his childhood on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Other books included Yes, My Darling Daughters: Adventures in Fathering in 1976; The I-Hate-Preppies Handbook, which became a best-seller in 1981; and Toilet Trained for Yale: Adventures in 21st-Century Parenting in 2002.

His most widely read book, though, was Fatherhood, Mr. Cosby's humorous look at being a parent. He wrote articles for The New York Times, The Saturday Evening Post, Playboy and other publications. He had a regular radio commentary on National Public Radio's All Things Considered.

Burke Davis, 93, a longtime North Carolina newsman and award-winning author who penned dozens of books about American history, died Aug. 18 in Greensboro, N.C.

He spent much of his career working as an editor, columnist, editorial writer and reporter covering sports and politics for The Evening Sun in Baltimore, The Charlotte News and the Greensboro Daily News.

His first novel, Whisper My Name, was about a Jewish man who posed as a gentile while running a business in the South. The story was loosely based on an executive at Ivey's Department Store. He may be best known for his books about the Civil War, including To Appomattox: Six April Days, which won the Mayflower Cup award for best nonfiction in 1959. He was awarded the North Carolina Award for literature in 1973 and served as a juror for biography for the Pulitzer prizes in the 1980s.

Melvin Schwartz, 73, a former Stanford University professor who won a Nobel Prize in physics and founded a pioneering Internet company, died Monday in Twin Falls, Idaho, after a long struggle with Parkinson's disease

Dr. Schwartz, who shared a Nobel Prize in 1988 with Leon Lederman and Jack Steinberger for their research into subatomic particles, majored in physics at Columbia University and became a physics professor there in 1958. He went to Stanford in 1966 and stayed until 1983, when he left to start Digital Pathways, a company that designed computer security systems and was later sold to a larger Silicon Valley company.

He remained a consulting professor at Stanford until 1991, when he returned to Columbia as a professor and associate director for high-energy and nuclear physics.

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