obituaries

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Thomas C. Senesac owned prop warehouse that supplied 80 movies

When Thomas Senesac and Bob Hoagland watched movies, things onscreen could look awfully familiar. That’s because Mr. Senesac owned Acme Prop Rental, a supplier to more than 80 movies and many TV shows. His 6,000-square-foot warehouse was a place of wonder, a combination of “American Pickers,” “Antiques Roadshow” and “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.” He had the sleigh from “Dr. Zhivago,” a throne used by former Bull Dennis Rodman, and a deck chair from the Queen Elizabeth ocean liner.

Robert Panara, 94, leading educator of the deaf

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Robert Panara, who lost his hearing as a child and became a leading educator of the deaf and a pioneer of studies of deaf culture, has died. He was 94. Mr. Panara died of natural causes on July 20 at the Rochester …

Seattle mayor during 1999 WTO protests

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SEATTLE — Former Seattle Mayor Paul Schell, who led the city during the World Trade Organization protests in 1999, has died. He was 76. Mr. Schell died Sunday morning at a Seattle hospital surrounded by family, according to Mayor Ed Murray’s office. “Paul will be …

Former astronaut logged 483 hours in 3 trips to space

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HOUSTON — Former astronaut Henry “Hank” Hartsfield, who logged 483 hours during three trips into space and commanded two shuttle missions, has died. He was 80. Mr. Hartsfield’s daughter, Judy Gedies, said Friday her father died July 17 of complications following back surgery. Funeral services …

‘Up the Down Staircase’ author

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NEW YORK — Bel Kaufman, the witty and spirited fiction writer, educator and storyteller whose million-selling “Up the Down Staircase” captured the insanity and the humor, the pathos and the poetry of the American high school, died Friday at age 103. Ms. Kaufman, the granddaughter …

Steve Whitman, epidemiologist who helped reduce racial disparities in health care, dies at 71

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He was lauded for groundbreaking work on racial disparities in health care in Chicago and the U.S. — particularly his work on the racial gap in breast cancer mortality, and his epidemiological sleuthing that exposed the deaths of 733 mostly isolated, poor, elderly black Chicagoans in a deadly heat wave in 1995.But more important than his professional achievements was his social justice work, family and friends say.

Tough but tender Mitchell L. Wisniewski raised family of 6

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As a boy, Mitch Wisniewski thrived on a hardscrabble Wisconsin farm where owning a tractor was about as realistic as finding a Rolls-Royce under a clod of dirt. Draft horses strained to do the plowing and clear tree stumps, and potatoes were on the menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In his 20s, he survived shots fired from a World War II Japanese machine-gun nest that inflicted wounds so grievous that Army buddies left him for dead. At 90, he drove himself to his 6 a.m. dialysis appointments. Mr. Wisniewski died June 28 at age 90 in hospice care.

Dan Borislow, 52, inventor of magicJack

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Dan Borislow, the inventor of magicJack and a pioneer in developing phone calls over the Internet, died Monday, officials at the company he founded said. He was 52.

A spokeswoman for MagicJack Vocaltec Ltd., said he died of a heart …

German supermarket tycoon Albrecht dead at 94

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Karl Albrecht, co-founder of the Aldi grocery store empire and one of the world’s richest people, has died in the western German city of Essen. He was 94.

Judge John V. Parker, 85, oversaw divisive La. schools desegregation lawsuit

BATON ROUGE, La. — U.S. District Judge John V. Parker, who had been a senior judge in Louisiana’s Middle District since 1998, has died. He was 85. Clerk of Court Michael McConnell on Tuesday confirmed that Mr. Parker died Monday. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter …

Raised family on hospital laundress’ salary

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If you were from Arkansas, you were alright with Myrline Murphy.

She loved fellow Arkansans Bill Clinton and Scottie Pippen.

When she mistakenly thought St. Louis rapper Nelly was from her home state, she blasted his 2002 hit at her home near 83rd and Constance. …

Elaine Stritch, iconic Broadway actress, dies at 89

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Elaine Stritch, the brash theater performer whose gravelly, gin-laced voice and impeccable comic timing made her a Broadway legend, has died. She was 89.

Teacher became Crate and Barrel CEO

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Barbara Turf purchased intriguing imports for Crate and Barrel stores that delighted her Chicago customers and helped create design and manufacturing jobs around the globe. On Thursday, an estimated 60 mourners from Asia and Europe are expected to attend her funeral in Winnetka in a show of respect and appreciation.

Holly Dinkel, school counselor, vice president at Dinkel’s Bakery, dies at 67

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The stollen from Dinkel’s Bakery is the anti-fruitcake. Studded with pineapple, cashews, almonds and golden and dark raisins marinated in rum and brandy, it’s a Yule log bursting with buttery goodness — instead of a holiday punch line. Even though she worked as a school counselor, Holly Dinkel was up to her elbows in stollen every Christmas, packing the traditional German bread to be shipped all over the nation from the famed bake shop in Lake View.

Tommy Ramone, last of the original punk rockers the Ramones, dead at 62

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Tommy Ramone — co-founder of the seminal punk band the Ramones — has died at 62. The drummer was the last surviving member of the original group, who influenced a generation of rockers with songs like “I wanna be sedated” and “Blitzkrieg Bop.”

RFK aide, journalist, civil rights ‘footnote’

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John Seigenthaler, the journalist who edited The Tennessean newspaper, helped shape USA Today and worked for civil rights during the Kennedy administration, died Friday at his Nashville home at age 86, his son said. In his wide-ranging career, Seigenthaler also served on Robert Kennedy’s presidential campaign and founded the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.