Passages of this week | Seattle weather

Gail Halvorsen, 101, an Air Force transport pilot in an early Cold War clash that earned him the nickname Candy Bomber, died Wednesday at a hospital in Provo, Utah.

After encountering a group of ragged German children in front of a fence at a West Berlin airfield in 1948, Halvorsen promised to drop candy for the children on his flight the next day from Rhein-Main Air Base near Frankfurt , in Germany, carrying food and other vital supplies. in a massive relief mission known as the Berlin Airlift. He promised to point them out by flapping his wings. In the months to come, an act of kindness by this American aviator – the boys and girls of West Berlin would come to call him Uncle Wiggly Wings – turned into a legendary goodwill operation in a drama of the greats. powers.

PJ O’Rourke, 74, the satirist, political commentator, and best-selling author known for books like “Parliament of Whores: A Lone Humorist Attempts to Explain the Entire US Government,” for candid articles in a wide range of magazines, and for appearances in the NPR show “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me” and numerous television talk shows, died Tuesday at his home in Sharon, New Hampshire. The cause was complications from lung cancer.

Asked by the New York Times, in 2010, to define “Republican” and “Democrat”, he offered this: “The Democrats are the party that says the government will make you smarter, bigger, richer and eliminate the crab of your lawn. Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work, then gets elected and proves it.

Ivan Reitman, 75, the influential filmmaker and producer behind beloved comedies from “Animal House” to “Ghostbusters,” died Feb. 12 at his home in Montecito, Calif. No other details were available.

Known for rowdy comedies that captured the spirit of the times, Reitman’s big breakthrough came with the rowdy college fraternity show “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” which he produced. He directed Bill Murray in his first starring role in “Meatballs” and then again in “Stripes,” but his most significant success came with “Ghostbusters” in 1984. Not only did the irreverent supernatural comedy gross nearly $300 million dollars worldwide, but it earned two Oscar nominations and spawned a bona fide franchise, including spinoffs, TV shows, and sequels.

Carmen Herrera, 106, a Cuban-born artist who painted abstract geometric shapes in Paris and New York almost unnoticed for most of her long life, then rose to international fame after her canvases began selling at the age 89, died Feb. 12 in Manhattan.

His fortunes changed, almost overnight. Recommended by a friend for an exhibition curated by Frederico Sève, the Brazilian-born owner of the Latin Collector Gallery on Hudson Street in TriBeCa, and a longtime advocate for Latin American artists, the response from critics and audiences was swift. The value of his paintings soared to $160,000 in 2014. According to Herrera, the belated injection of money was “useful because at the end of life, to my amazement, you need a lot of help”, she told the London Telegraph. . “Otherwise, I would end up in a retirement home. And I dread that.

Rex Buck Jr. 66, who bore the traditional name of his ancestor – Prophet Wanapum Puck Hyah Toot – and spent four decades diligently watching over his people in Priest Rapids along the Columbia River, died Feb. 11 at his ancestral village P’ na at Priest Rapids in Grant County.

Buck was instrumental in continuing the Wanapum culture and educating outsiders about the importance of preserving it. He was respected by federal agencies, major museums, and Indigenous communities throughout the region. He was known to have spearheaded the care and care of the over 8,000-year-old Kennewick Man when he came to the Burke Museum in 1998.

Hugo Torres, 73, a former guerrilla leader who helped break then-rebellious and now Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega from jail, only to be imprisoned by Ortega himself last year when he became a member of the opposition, died on February 11 in a hospital in Managua. Torres’ death was announced in a statement by his three children. The cause was not specified.

John Wesley, February 10 at my house in Manhattan.

Wesley, known as Jack, had the great distinction and occasional critical misfortune of escaping almost all attempts at categorization. He tolerated the pop artist label, he said, mainly because it got him into performing.

Betty Davis, 77-year-old singer and songwriter whose raunchy personality, fierce funk grooves and Afrofuturistic style in the early 1970s made her a forerunner of R&B and hip-hop to come, died Feb. 9 in Homestead, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. The cause was not specified.

Davis, who first recorded as Betty Mabry, got her last name from her year-long marriage to jazz trumpeter and bandleader Miles Davis. The music she made in the early 1970s didn’t bring her any national hits, but it directly foreshadowed the uninhibited funk of musicians from Prince to Janet Jackson to Janelle Monáe.

Ian Mcdonald, 75, a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter whose work with British band King Crimson helped propel the progressive rock movement of the 1960s and 1970s and who later helped found the immensely popular band Foreigner, died on February 9 from colon cancer in New York City.

Although McDonald’s work with Foreigner garnered far greater financial rewards than his efforts with King Crimson – his three albums with Foreigner sold 17 million copies combined – his previous band far surpassed Foreigner in terms of creativity. and influence. The first album, “In the Court of the Crimson King”, marked a turning point in rock history. It was the only release in the band’s catalog in which McDonald was fully involved. He co-wrote every song, played nine instruments, and provided lead production.

Beverly Ross, 87, who with hits like ‘Lollipop’ became one of rock ‘n’ roll’s best early-stage songwriters, but ended her career early after a working relationship with Phil Spector soured vinegar, died Jan. 15 in Nashville, Tennessee. The cause was dementia.

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