Earl Thomas Conley, 77, one of the most popular and prolific country singers of the 1980s, died in Nashville on Wednesday The cause was cerebral atrophy.
Conley had 24 Top 10 country singles in the ’80s, several of which he wrote or co-wrote, including 18 that reached No. 1. Many of Conley’s songs, among them “Holding Her and Loving You” and “Don’t Make It Easy for Me,” both No. 1 hits, plumbed the complexity of romantic relationships.
Retired Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” Cole, 103, the last of the 80 Doolittle Tokyo Raiders who carried out the daring U.S. attack on Japan during World War II, died Tuesdayat Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. Cole was mission commander Jimmy Doolittle’s co-pilot in the attack less than five months after the December 1941 Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Charles Van Doren, 93, one of the first intellectual stars of the television era as a contestant on the NBC show “Twenty One,” who quickly became the country’s leading villain after admitting that his winning streak on the popular game show had been rigged, died Tuesday in Canaan, Connecticut.
Marilynn Smith, 89, who helped found the Ladies Professional Golf Association in 1950, when the women’s game was barely a blip on the national sports scene, and went on to win 21 tour events, including two major championships, died Tuesdayin Goodyear, Arizona.
Cho Yang-ho, 70, the chairman of a South Korean group that controls Korean Air Lines Co. and transformed the carrier into one of Asia’s biggest, died last Sundayin a Los Angeles hospital. Cho Yang-ho had been indicted on multiple charges, including embezzlement and tax evasion, and his death came less than two weeks after a shareholder vote to remove him from the company’s board over a series of scandals. They included the “nut rage” incident in which his eldest daughter, Cho Hyun-ah, ordered a plane to return to the terminal after the crew served her macadamia nuts in a bag instead of on a plate.
Ernest F. “Fritz” Hollings, 97, a silver-haired South Carolina Democrat who helped shepherd his state through desegregation as governor and went on to serve 38 years in the U.S. Senate, died April 6 at home in Isle of Palms, South Carolina.
Hollings, would remain a fiscal conservative for his whole career, but evolved into a social moderate, riding winds of change that swept the South as proponents of civil rights won court cases, staged protests and endured brutalities that shocked the nation’s conscience.
Shawn Smith, 53, the gifted, soulful singer-songwriter who played with some of Seattle’s biggest musical names, but never reached the level of fame many felt he deserved, died April 3 from a torn aorta and high blood pressure, according to the autopsy report. Smith’s body was found at his home April 5.
In recent weeks, Smith was working on a new album with the band Brad, which he founded in 1992 with Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard, drummer Regan Hagar and bassist Jeremy Toback. They were recording at Studio Litho, owned by Gossard.
Vonda McIntyre, 70, a science-fiction writer whose tales featured female protagonists — among them the healer in a post-apocalyptic Earth who cures the ill with snake venom — and who wrote five “Star Trek” novels, died April 1, at home in Seattle. The cause was pancreatic cancer. Her death came 11 days after she finished her novel ‘Curve the World.’
McIntyre was one of science fiction’s leading women, following a path established by Ursula K. Le Guin, Kate Wilhelm and Anne McCaffrey. She became an inspiring mentor to many younger female writers, while collecting several awards for her work.
Soul One, 48, a steward of Seattle hip-hop culture, died March 19 in his sleep, from an accidental overdose. Sould One, whose real name was Jeffrey Alan Yoshio Higashi, was at the center of the Jefferson Park hip-hop scene — DJing, break dancing and graffiti writing — as part of the DVS Crew, a collective of DJs, B-boys and graf writers, who came there to break.
Ralph Solecki, 101, an archaeologist whose research helped debunk the view of Neanderthals as heartless and brutish half-wits and inspired a popular series of novels about prehistoric life, died March 20 in Livingston, New Jersey. The cause was pneumonia.
Kitty Tucker, 75, a public-interest lawyer and anti-nuclear activist who helped raise national awareness of nuclear power whistleblower Karen Silkwood’s death, died March 30 in Silver Spring, Maryland. The cause was complications of a urinary tract infection.
Joe Faccone, 89, Kennedy Catholic High School’s baseball coach for 37 years, who amassed 501 victories over 38 baseball seasons at Kennedy from 1970 through 2007 and won state championships in 1973 and 1999, died March 31 after a brief illness.