Monday, 28 December 2015

In Memoriam: October 2015

1st October 2015 – Joe Wark, 67

Scottish footballer who played over 460 matches as a defender for Motherwell between 1968 and 1984. In later years, he campaigned to help people suffering from dementia, a condition he himself suffered from.

“Remember Well aims to use strong football heritage to improve the lives of people with dementia. The project now holds weekly football focused reminiscence meetings at Fir Park and other venues across North Lanarkshire. Dr Alastair Cook, associate medical director for NHS Lanarkshire, said: "How very special it is that the first 'memory book' is produced by Joe Wark, a Motherwell Football legend. "Helping people live well with dementia requires a much wider community approach and the Remember Well programme is an excellent and inspiring example of this." Councillor Sam Love added: "Through this project, we can raise awareness about dementia and support those people experiencing the condition to lead a fuller and more enjoyable life. Joe is a true gentleman with a terrific sense of humour and his book is a fascinating insight into his football story."”
Douglas Barrie, Joe Wark remembers 'Well with new book to help people with dementia, STV 15 May 2013

2nd October 2015 –Johnny Paton, 92

Scottish footballer who played for Celtic and Brentford. He later managed Watford.

2nd October 2015 – Cooleridge Goode, 100

Jazz musician who had a near 70 year career.

“Thanks to his finesse and sophistication, not to mention his technical gifts and singing ability, Goode was often in demand for recording sessions and live performances across Europe. He played on the original recording of Django Reinhardt’s jazz standard, Belleville, for the Decca label in 1946, on a date that also featured Stephane Grappelli on violin. He recorded with the pianist George Shearing and the drummer Ray Ellington as part of the Stephane Grappelli Quintet, and with the Tito Burns Sextet. He also featured in the band of the Jamaican alto saxophonist Joe Harriott, an experience he described as among the “greatest musical adventures of my life”. Goode’s bass lines illuminated Harriott’s experimentations in free-form and hard-bop jazz on albums such as Southern Horizons and Free Form (both 1960), Abstract (1960), Movement (1963), and High Spirits (1964), on which he appeared alongside the Vincentian trumpet and flugelhorn player Shake Keane, the pianist Pat Smythe and the drummers Bobby Orr and Phil Seamen. He also worked extensively with the pianist Mike Garrick, contributing a fine vocal in the manner of Leroy “Slam” Stewart to The Lord’s Prayer on Garrick’s 1968 album Jazz Praises.”
John Stevenson, Guardian obit

2nd October 2015 – Brian Friel, 86

Irish playwright, who won the 1992 Best Play Tony award for Dancing at Lughnasa.

5th October 2015 – Grace Lee Boggs, 100

American social activist. She wrote several books with CLR James, including Facing Reality and The Invading Socialist Society.

“Grace joined the Great Walk to Freedom in Detroit, a hundred-thousand-person march headlined by Martin Luther King, Jr., who gave a version of his “I Have a Dream” speech, celebrating the “magnificent new militancy” in the Motor City. Later that year, Grace and Jimmy hosted Malcolm X in Detroit, where he delivered his famous “Message from the Grassroots,” just as he was breaking from the Nation of Islam. The Boggses worked with insurgent groups like the Revolutionary Action Movement, and the F.B.I. regularly visited their little house on Detroit’s East Side. But Grace was too disciplined a theorist and too pragmatic an activist to be attracted to some of the more militant black-power organizations. She was skeptical of black nationalists and what she called their “illusions about Africa.” And she fretted that, while the Black Panthers connected with a desire for change, they lacked the discipline and ideological rigor to channel their “impatience” into more revolutionary activism. In the nineteen-seventies, Grace and Jimmy attempted to mobilize young black activists into a “revolutionary party.” They failed. The revolution did not come.”
Thomas J Sugrue, Postscript: Grace Lee Boggs, New Yorker 8 Oct 2015

5th October 2015 – Larry Brezner, 73

Film producer responsible for Good Morning, Vietnam and the US version of The Vanishing.

5th October 2015 – Henning Mankell, 67

Swedish novelist who became known for the Wallander series of novels.

6th October 2015 – Kevin Corcoran, 66

An American actor who played the younger son (Arliss) in Old Yeller. He moved from child acting to working in production, with Return from Witch Mountain and Herbie Goes Bananas as early credits. In later years, he was co-producer of both The Shield and Sons of Anarchy.

7th October 2015 – Dominique Dropsy, 63

French goalkeeper who played at the 1978 World Cup.

7th October 2015 - W.R Mitchell, 87

British writer who worked as an oral historian of the Lake District, and who was editor of The Dalesman magazine.

“To its devoted readers, the magazine experienced a golden age during Mitchell’s time as editor. His subjects came from all walks of life – from Alf Wight, author of the James Herriot books, to working farriers and “between” maids. His talent for deploying anecdotes and by-the-way snippets, and his ability to capture Yorkshire landscape and the sometimes blunt humour of its people, created a special bond with his readers, including many expat Yorkshiremen and women living and working “abroad” (both within and beyond British shores). By the time he retired in 1986, the magazine was selling 56,000 copies a month (of which 3,000 went overseas, including one to Bhutan), had a turnover of almost £1 million and employed 17 people. Thanks to the time-hallowed Yorkshire habits of parsimony, its readership was thought to be 25 times the number of copies sold.”
Telegraph obit

Mitchell spent his life going around the country, making recordings of peoples memories so they would live on. A sort of north English Studs Terkel, if you will.

“Bill has also collected over 600 taped interviews with Dales folk over the last 40 years—an invaluable archive of Yorkshire dialect and local and family history.These recordings provide a fascinating insight into life in the Dales, through the stories of local Dales folk told in their own words and dialects. In January 2012 Settle Stories received a £50,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant for the W.R. Mitchell Pilot Project to digitise a selection of Bill’s collection of cassette tapes. This will enable a new generation not only to read history but to listen to it on a website.”
The W.R. Mitchell Archive website

7th October 2015 – Gail Zappa, 70

Widow of Frank Zappa, who founded the Zappa Family Trust in 2002.

7th October 2015 – Gene Allen, 97

American film art director, known for his work on My Fair Lady, A Star is Born and The Cheyenne Social Club.

8th October 2015 – Paul Prudhomme, 75

American cook (with a passing resemblance to Dom DeLuise) who popularised Cajin cuisine throughout the world.

8th October 2015 – Hugh Scully, 72

Former TV presenter of the Antiques Roadshow.

9th October 2015 – Koopsta Knicca, 40

Rapper who was one of the members of Three Six Mafia.

 9th October 2015 – Lord Geoffrey Howe, 88

Chancellor of the Exchequer under Margaret Thatcher from 1979 to 1983 who was instrumental in the implementation of her monetarism policy. He would later become Foreign Secretary, and Deputy Prime Minister, before resigning over European policy in 1990. His resignation speech is considered one of the great parliamentarian speeches of the 20th century, and widely accepted as being a fatal blow to the Thatcher government. She was gone within nine days.

“The European enterprise is not and should not be seen like that—as some kind of zero sum game. Sir Winston Churchill put it much more positively 40 years ago, when he said: "It is also possible and not less agreeable to regard" this sacrifice or merger of national sovereignty "as the gradual assumption by all the nations concerned of that larger sovereignty which can alone protect their diverse and distinctive customs and characteristics and their national traditions." I have to say that I find Winston Churchill's perception a good deal more convincing, and more encouraging for the interests of our nation, than the nightmare image sometimes conjured up by my right hon. Friend, who seems sometimes to look out upon a continent that is positively teeming with ill-intentioned people, scheming, in her words, to "extinguish democracy", to "dissolve our national identities" and to lead us "through the back-door into a federal Europe"." What kind of vision is that for our business people, who trade there each day, for our financiers, who seek to make London the money capital of Europe or for all the young people of today?”
Sir Geoffrey Howe, resignation speech in the House of Commons, 13 Nov 1990, recorded in Hansard.

“Earlier in the Thatcher government, however, as a forceful chancellor of the exchequer during the difficult four years to 1983 and then as the last cold-war foreign secretary for the next six years, Howe had been one of the pivotal figures on whom the prime minister depended. He was the longest-serving minister in her government and won something of a reputation as a great survivor. Howe was wont in later years to compare their relationship to that of a couple in a stormy marriage, a simile that would certainly not have appealed to his own fiercely strong-minded wife, Elspeth, who notoriously did not get on with Thatcher. But it was undoubtedly the case that his low-key, patient, intensely loyal determination provided the underpinning that enabled Thatcher successfully to pursue the radical monetarist financial policies that marked her administration.”
Julia Langdon, Guardian obit

“Last week has shown that the Conservative party's long, nervous breakdown over Europe continues and what is essentially a Tory problem is now, once again, becoming a national problem. Serious mistakes have been made, but the situation is not irretrievable. What is needed is a mixture of clear thinking, strong leadership and an overriding concern for the national interest, not party management or advantage. If the Conservative party is losing its head, a heavy responsibility now rests with Labour and the Liberal Democrats to hold their nerve. In the complex and interdependent world we inhabit today, to walk away from the European Union into the unknown would be a very dangerous choice indeed.”
Geoffrey Howe, Guardian, 18 May 2013

9th October 2015 – Gordon Honeycombe, 79

ITN newsreader between 1965 and 1977. He also wrote a number of books, including Red Watch, Nagasaki 1945 and The Murders of the Black Museum. Dragon Under the Hill was a horror novel written by him, which was rather overlooked.

10th October 2015 – Derek Ware, 77

Stunt performer who had worked on the Jon Pertwee Doctor Whos, and who had created the stunt work group HAVOC.

10th October 2015 – Jim Diamond, 64

Scottish singer, known for “I should have known better”.

11th October 2015 – Carey Lander, 33

Keyboard player for Camera Obscura.

11th October 2015 – Steve MacKay, 66

Saxophonist for The Stooges.

12th October 2015 – Joan Leslie, 90

Actress who appeared in High Sierra.

13th October 2015 – Sue Lloyd-Roberts, 64

BBC correspondent who broadcasted from Romania during the fall of Communism, during the collapse of Yugoslavia, and many other dangerous places.

“In 2011, Sue was the first journalist into Homs in Syria – smuggled past checkpoints in the back of a car, with a fake ID, pretending to be the driver’s sister, deaf and unable to speak. In 1994, she reported from China on the trade in human body parts, describing how prisoners were killed to order for their kidneys and other organs. She was given a seven-year prison sentence in absentia but still went back there to report, despite the risks. In 1997, she posed as a clothes manufacturer to expose abuses in Myanmar’s garment industry, returning in 2010 to cover the country’s election. She managed to spend a week in North Korea for a Newsnight report, Inside the North Korean Bubble, which won an Emmy award in 2011. She reported in 2000 from a Romanian orphanage where babies were for sale, and was also one of the first journalists to report on female genital mutilation. On that subject, including the hidden practice of FGM in Britain and France, she made five films: “My proudest moment as a correspondent for Newsnight was when they once ran a programme that normally lasts 45 minutes, and 44 minutes of it was devoted to FGM.”
Torin Douglas, Guardian obit

13th October 2015 – Bruce Hyde, 74

Academic who had played Lt Riley in the original Star Trek series.

15th October 2015 – Helen Klausner, 63

Book reviewer who came to fame through thousands of reviews online. Faced with poor health, she had turn to fiction, and Amazon actually created a Reviewer Hall of Fame just to put her in it.

15th October 2015 – Kenneth D Taylor, 81

Canadian diplomat who came to prominence during the Iran  hostage crisis by helping several people escape.

“At first, Canadian officials in Teheran considered driving the four men and two women to Tabriz, in the northeast, and over the border to Turkey. But Mr. Taylor said that Tabriz was “up in arms with local revolts and once they left our residences we would lose control.”Next, a dash for a Persian Gulf port and a friendly tanker was considered. But Tehran was lawless, he said, “to say nothing of the countryside.” Moreover, this move would have meant traveling through Khuzistan, the Arab-populated province that was in turmoil and later became the focus of the war with Iraq. “We couldn't say goodbye to our house guests with any degree of confidence on that route,” Mr. Taylor said.“So we decided to confront the Iranians head on,” he added, and fly out the six Americans directly from the Tehran airport.”
Kenneth D Taylor, NY Times 22 January 1981

16th October 2015 – Howard Kendall, 69

Football midfielder who played over 200 matches for Everton. He later became Everton manager on two separate occasions, winning the league title in 1985 and 1987, the FA Cup in 1984, and the Cup Winners Cup in 1985. He also had managerial stints at Blackburn Rovers, Athletic Bilbao and Manchester City.

 20th October 2015 – Cory Wells, 74

Vocalist for Three Dog Night.

21st October 2015 – Michael Meacher, 75

MP for Oldham from 1970 to 2015. He had a deep interest in environmental issues.

“He was one of only three MPs elected in May (the others are Margaret Beckett and the Father of the House, Gerald Kaufman) to have served in the 1974-79 Labour governments under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan. He had arrived in the Commons as the MP for Oldham West (now Oldham West and Royton) in 1970 with his political aims and ambitions, nurtured at New College, Oxford, and in a brief academic career, in an advanced state of preparation. He knew exactly what he wanted to do as an MP and he won grudging respect from his parliamentary colleagues for a dogged and unfailing application to his agenda.His primary concern was to tackle poverty, particularly among elderly people. One of his Conservative parliamentary critics, irked by Meacher’s worthy but somewhat pious manner, once described him as “Robin Hood in spectacles”. Yet despite his radical ideas, he learned the art of political pragmatism by pursuing policies that were workable. Although social services were his main interest, his seven years dealing with the environment portfolio, six of them as a minister, won him considerable praise from the green lobby.He was responsible for the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, which enshrined in law the public’s right to roam. He was an ardent opponent of genetically modified crops, in conflict with other ministers, notably the science minister, Lord Sainsbury, and was an enthusiast for waste management and developing wind and tidal power sources.”
Julia Langdon, Guardian obit

21st October 2015 – Norman W Moore, 92

British zoologist and conservationist. He noted the effect of toxic chemicals on the numbers of peregrine falcons and other wild birds.

“Moore naively thought at the time that he only had to reveal the devastating effects of organochlorines for action to be taken to get rid of them, but in fact he had to fight a 20-year battle to get politicians and the agro-chemistry industry – which was not above mounting personalised attacks on him – to accept that the bulk of them should be phased out.  Characteristically Moore, who was noted for his good manners, was given to redirecting praise for the discovery of the toxic properties of DDT to Sir Vincent Wigglesworth, professor of insect physiology at Cambridge, who warned in 1945 that DDT was indiscriminate and would kill beneficial predator insects as well as pests. Moore also credited Bob Boote, an administrator at the Nature Conservancy, for urging study of the impact of pesticides on wildlife. One of Moore’s maxims was that you can get a lot done if you are prepared not to take the credit.”
Telegraph obit

 21st October 2015 – Peter Baldwin, 82

Actor who appeared in Coronation Street as Derek Wilton.

24th October 2015 – Kirsty Howard, 20

Charity activist. Howard had been born with a major heart defect, and was given weeks to live. Defying all doctors, she lived for two decades, and raised millions for charity.

24th October 2015 – Maureen O’Hara, 95

Irish actress who became a big Hollywood star. When still nineteen, she appeared as Mary in Alfred Hitchcock’s Jamaica Inn. How Green Was My Valley, and Miracle on 34th Street were highlights of a busy 1940s. Later she became known for The Quiet Man, Our Man in Havana, and the original Parent Trap.

25th October 2015 – Lisa Jardine, 71

British historian.

“Lisa’s guiding principle was that knowledge should be shared. Although she enjoyed the attention of the media, and delighted in good reviews for her many published works, she did not hoard information. If she found something in an archive outside her field of research at the time, she would pass it on to someone who could make use of it, without demands for thanks or attribution. Her working style everywhere was collegiate. Her attitude to each new appointment was to arrive, find out if anything needed changing, change it, and then give total loyalty to the institution and her staff. She moved from Cambridge in 1989 to a chair at Queen Mary University of London because she preferred the egalitarian ethos of a “less Brahmin” institution.In 2002, she created an academic institution there from scratch: the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters (CELL). This was a groundbreaking interdisciplinary project, bringing together the skills of academics in English and history to cast new light on the early modern period, with a distinct bias to Lisa’s other area of expertise: the history of science.”
Helena Kennedy, Eleanor Updale, Evelyn Welch and Stella Tillyard, Guardian obit

25th October 2015 – David Cesarani, 58

British historian.

“In the mid-1980s he led research by the All-Party Parliamentary War Crimes Group into Nazi criminals and collaborators who had come to live in Britain after the second world war. The result of this was an official report that evoked considerable public concern when published in 1987 and ultimately led to the creation of the 1991 War Crimes Act, which controversially extended British legal jurisdiction to cover war crimes committed elsewhere. Lecturing on the history of the Holocaust to groups within and without the Anglo-Jewish community, which was a feature of his work in the 80s, led to his involvement in the British government delegation to the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education and to work with the Home Office unit responsible for establishing Holocaust Memorial Day in Britain, which was first observed in 2001.”
Lawrence Goldman, Guardian obit

26th October 2015 – Penelope Houston, 88

Film critic who was the editor of Sight and Sound magazine from 1956 to 1990.

“Her toughness and clarity was something to encounter. A few years ago I tried to commission her to write about Preston Sturges and she thanked me and said that she’d written something on him probably in the 1950s and had nothing more to add. Her prose seemed effortless combining elegance with pinpoint perspicacity. In all respects she was quite inimitable, wholly a one-off, and she was synonymous with Sight & Sound for far longer than I can hope to be.”
Nick James, Sight and Sound magazine editor, BFI 26 Oct 2015

27th October 2015 – Philip French, 82

Film critic who wrote for The Observer for 50 years.

“Philip French, the film critic who has died at the age of 82, estimated that he had watched more than 14,000 films in his lifetime. He could be relied on to have something interesting and insightful to say about nearly all of them. A reviewer who gave equal weight to arthouse and genre movies, with a particular passion for the Western, French was the Observer's film critic for 35 years before retiring in 2013 (although even then he continued to write DVD reviews until shortly before his death). "Whenever I read Philip French's elegant and thoughtful criticism," the director Martin Scorsese said in 2013, "I felt like I was in the company of someone who not only loved cinema but who felt a sense of responsibility toward it as an art form."”
Teddy Jamieson, Herald obit

28th October 2015 – Sir Gerry Neale, 74

Tory MP for North Cornwall from 1979 to 1992.

30th October 2016 – Al Molinaro, 96

Actor who was best known for his role in Happy Days as cafe owner Al.

31st October 2015 – Charles Herbert, 66

Child actor who appeared in The Fly, and the Twilight Zone episode I Sing the Body Electric (written by Ray Bradbury).

31st October 2015 – Gregg Palmer, 88

Prolific US Western TV actor.

31st October 2015 – Byrd Wilkins, 50

American actor who appeared in Doctor Who’s A Town Called Mercy as the preacher.