Other Notable Deaths


June 30, 2008



Katherine Bogdanovich Loker, an heir to the StarKist tuna fortune and a major philanthropist in Southern California, died June 26 at her Oceanside, Calif., home of complications of a stroke, according to a spokesman for the University of Southern California, her alma mater.

Ms. Loker and her late husband, Donald, donated more than $30 million to USC. In 1977, they gave $15 million to establish USC's Hydrocarbon Research Institute and support the work of professor George A. Olah, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1994. She also funded the $3.4 million Katherine B. Loker Track and Field Stadium and a $1.5 million acting fellowship to the USC School of Theatre.

She donated $7 million to the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, Calif.

Harvard University, her husband's alma mater, also benefited from her generosity. She gave nearly $30 million to the school, which named the Loker Reading Room in Widener Library and Loker Commons for her.

Katherine Bogdanovich was born in 1915 in San Pedro, a Los Angeles neighborhood, to Yugoslavian immigrant parents. Her father, Martin, was a tuna fisherman who founded what became StarKist Foods, one of the world's largest tuna fishing and canning operations.

She attended USC, earning a bachelor's degree in English in 1940.

After graduating, she married her husband, who had a Hollywood acting career using the stage name Don Terry. He died in 1988.

Survivors include two daughters, Deborah Hicks and Katherine Leahy; six grandchildren; a great-grandchild; and her sister, Nina.

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