Other Notable Deaths

Other Notable Deaths

May 25, 2007

WILLIAM PETERS, 85 Documentary producer

William Peters, a journalist and award-winning documentary film producer who chronicled American race relations, died Sunday in Boulder, Colo. A resident of Lafayette, Colo., Mr. Peters had lived for many years in Guilford, Conn.

The cause was complications of Alzheimer's disease, his daughter Jennifer Peters Johnson said.

Mr. Peters was best known for the documentary A Class Divided, which he produced, directed and co-wrote.

Originally broadcast on PBS' Frontline in 1985, it told the story of Jane Elliott, a small-town Iowa schoolteacher whose stark, pragmatic lesson about racial discrimination - to prove a point, she treated her students, who were all white, differently according to the color of their eyes - was deeply affecting and deeply divisive.

A Class Divided won an Emmy Award for outstanding informational, cultural or historical programming.

Four of Mr. Peters' other films earned George Foster Peabody Awards: Storm Over the Supreme Court (CBS, 1963); Africa (ABC, 1967); Eye of the Storm (ABC, 1970), an early documentary about the Jane Elliott story; and Suddenly an Eagle (ABC, 1976), about the ideological roots of the American Revolution.

William Ernest Peters Jr. was born in San Francisco on July 30, 1921. He earned a bachelor's degree in English from Northwestern University in 1947. (While there, Mr. Peters, who was white, left his fraternity in protest after it refused to admit a black student.) During World War II, he was a pilot with the Army Air Forces.

After working in public relations, Mr. Peters began a career as a freelance journalist. Among his books are The Southern Temper (Doubleday, 1959); For Us, the Living (Doubleday, 1967), written with Myrlie Evers, about her husband, slain civil rights leaders Medgar Evers; and A Class Divided (Doubleday, 1971), a companion volume to Eye of the Storm.

In 1962, Mr. Peters joined CBS Reports as a specialist in race relations; he later moved to ABC News. From 1982 to 1989, he was the director of Yale Films, a production company then associated with Yale University. There, he made A Class Divided (written with Charlie Cobb), shown on Frontline on March 26, 1985.

HAROLD E. FROEHLICH, 84 Designed deep-sea vessel

Harold E. Froehlich, who designed a deep-sea vessel used to explore the wreckage of the Titanic and search for ocean life forms, died Saturday at a suburban Minneapolis hospital, his family said. He had cancer.

Froehlich was named project manager for the vessel, the Alvin, in 1962 when the Navy and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute gave General Mills a contract to build a small, deep-diving submarine. Two years earlier, he had helped build a mechanical arm for the Navy-owned bathyscaph Trieste, which once descended more than 35,000 feet.

The Alvin could reach depths of more than 14,000 feet. In 1966, it was used to find a hydrogen bomb that was lost after a U.S. military plane crashed off the Spanish coast. Later, scientist Robert D. Ballard found giant tube worms and other then-undiscovered life 7,000 feet underwater off the Galapagos Islands.

In 1986, Mr. Ballard used Alvin to explore and photograph the Titanic, which rested more than 12,000 feet underwater in the North Atlantic. Though the Alvin was his best-known project, Mr. Froehlich worked on many others during his career, such as high-altitude balloons and, after joining 3M Co., surgical equipment such as skin staplers, said his wife, Avanelle Froehlich.

J. CECIL JARVIS, 58 Headed publishing firm

J. Cecil Jarvis, president of Clarksburg Publishing Co. in Clarksburg, W.Va., which publishes the Clarksburg Exponent Telegram, died after a bicycle accident, the newspaper announced.

Mr. Jarvis was riding with a group of cyclists when the accident occurred Tuesday, Lewis County Sheriff Michael R. Gissy said.

Mr. Jarvis became president of Clarksburg Publishing in 2002 after serving as vice president. He also spent more than 30 years with the Clarksburg law firm of McNeer, Highland, McMunn & Varner.

Mr. Jarvis grew up in Clarksburg and was an avid outdoorsman and athlete. He completed four Ironman triathlons and finished two Boston Marathons. He was working on running one marathon in every state.

Besides overseeing the 146-year-old daily newspaper, Mr. Jarvis was involved in the merger of United Hospital Center and West Virginia United Health System, and worked on the campaign to build a new hospital. He served on the boards of both organizations.

He also served on the boards of several local banks and the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce.

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