Other notable deaths


December 29, 2006

RALPH STEBBINS, 43 Mega Millions winner

Ralph Stebbins, 43, who won a $208 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot with his wife in April 2005, died Saturday at his home in Arcadia Township, Mich., Sheriff's Sgt. Andy Engster told the Times Herald of Port Huron. Family spokesman Robert Kolt said he suffered a heart attack.

Ralph and Mary Stebbins had elected to take a lump-sum payment of $124.7 million, less taxes, after winning one of the largest lottery prizes in history. They could have chosen to spread $208 million in payments over 26 years.

The couple used part of their winnings to buy a recreational vehicle and said they planned to buy a cow, pay off bills and build a garage to house a 1963 Corvette.

Mr. Kolt said he was not aware that Mr. Stebbins had a history of heart problems or that he was feeling ill.

Mr. Stebbins previously worked for a well-digging company in Port Huron, where the couple had lived, while Mary Stebbins was a $7-per-hour retail sales clerk at a general merchandise store. Both quit their jobs after winning the jackpot and planned to help several other family members retire.

PIERRE DELANOE, 88 French songwriter

Pierre Delanoe, 88, who wrote the lyrics for more than 5,000 songs for French artists from Edith Piaf to Johnny Hallyday, died of heart failure Wednesday, the French federation of authors, composers and publishers said.

He was known for writing some of France's best-loved tunes, many with singer-songwriter Gilbert Becaud. One was "Et maintenant," which was translated into English to become "What Now My Love" and covered by artists including Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, The Supremes and The Temptations.

Another of their famous hits was "Je t'appartiens," which became "Let It Be Me," covered by the Everly Brothers, Tom Jones, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and Nina Simone.

Mr. Delanoe also wrote lyrics for the 1960s and 1970s pop singer Joe Dassin, including "Les Champs-Elysees" about Paris' most famous avenue.

A former tax inspector, Mr. Delanoe was president of France's Sacem, the federation of artists, composers and publishers, from 1984 to 1994.

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