This week’s passages | The Seattle Times

Kay Tobin Lahusen, 91, a prominent gay rights activist whose photographs documented the early days of the movement and depicted absent lesbians when they were virtually absent from popular culture, died Wednesday in a hospital in West Chester, Pa.

Lahusen and her longtime partner Barbara Gittings were at the forefront of the lesbian rights movement, determined to make those they love a source of pride rather than shame. They were the first members of the Daughters of Bilitis, the first national lesbian organization, and were quick to speak out about their sexuality and demands for equality at a time when gay rights groups were less open. They helped organize protests in the 1960s at a meeting of the National Council of Churches, in the Pentagon and in the White House, long before the Stonewall Uprising in 1969.

They also helped lesbians realize they weren’t alone by producing The Ladder, a newsletter published by the Daughters which was the first nationally distributed lesbian newspaper in the United States. Lahusen also photographed several of the early gay rights protests, providing important documentation about a time when many gay activists chose to stay in the closet.

John Warner, 94, the Republican Senator from Virginia, a distinguished former Secretary of the Navy who cast the image of a dilettante to become a leading voice in military policy for 30 years in the Senate, died Tuesday night at his home in Alexandria , Virginia. The cause was heart failure. For a while, Warner may have been best known nationally as the dashing sixth husband of actress Elizabeth Taylor. The couple divorced in 1982 and have remained friends.

Although a popular figure in his state, Warner often disagreed with conservatives in Virginia. He angered the National Rifle Association by supporting the ban on assault weapons. He infuriated some Republicans in the state in 1994 when he refused to back Oliver North, the former White House aide at the center of the Iran-contra scandal under the Reagan administration, in the North’s candidacy for the Senate. And he opposed President Ronald Reagan’s ultimately unsuccessful appointment of Justice Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. He retired in 2008.

Anna Halprin, 100, a dancer and choreographer who sought to overcome what she saw as the constraints of modern dance, and whose experiences have inspired, challenged and at times puzzled generations of dancers and spectators, died Monday at her Kentfield home , in Marin County, California. .

In a career that began in the late 1930s and took off after moving to San Francisco in the mid-1940s, Halprin has occasionally sparked controversy. But she also attracted students, followers and devotees fascinated by the creative issues she explored and the way she explored them. Among the dancers and choreographers who studied with her before embarking on a successful career were Meredith Monk, Simone Forti, Yvonne Rainer, Trisha Brown and the Eiko and Koma team.

Samuel E. Wright, 72, a veteran stage actor who won two Tony Award nominations but was best known for voicing the stubborn crab Sebastian in the 1989 animated film “The Little Mermaid”, died Monday at his home in Walden, New York. The cause was prostate cancer.

Wright starred in eight Broadway shows starting with “Jesus Christ Superstar” in 1971. His most prominent role was as Mufasa in the original Disney cast of “The Lion King”, earning him one of his Tony nominations for Best Actor in a Musical. in 1998. He received another nomination for the same award in 1984 for his role in “The Tap Dance Kid”.

Eric Carle, 91, beloved children’s author and illustrator whose classic “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and other works gave millions of children some of their oldest and most treasured literary memories, passed away on May 23 at his summer studio in Northampton, Massachusetts. The cause was kidney failure, his son Rolf said, announcing the death on Wednesday.

“The Very Hungry Caterpillar”, Carle’s best-known book, has sold over 55 million copies worldwide since it was first published in 1969, its only 224 words translated into over 70 languages. It’s one of more than 70 books Carle has published during his career, selling over 170 million copies, according to his publisher, Penguin Random House.

In 2003, he received the prestigious Laura Ingalls Wilder Award (now known as the Children’s Literature Legacy Award) from the American Library Association, which recognizes authors and illustrators whose books have made lasting contributions to children’s literature.

Yuan Longping, 90, a Chinese scientist who developed higher-yielding varieties of rice that helped feed people around the world, died on May 22 in a hospital in the southern city of Changsha, Xinhua News Agency reported. Yuan has spent his life researching rice. Globally, a fifth of all rice now comes from species created by hybrid rice after Yuan’s groundbreaking discoveries, according to the website for the World Food Prize, which he won in 2004.

In the 1970s, Yuan achieved the breakthroughs that would make him a household name. He developed a hybrid strain of rice that recorded an annual yield 20% higher than existing varieties, which means it could feed an additional 70 million people a year, according to Xinhua. His work helped transform China from “food deficiency to food security” in three decades, according to the World Food Prize, created by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Norman Borlaug in 1986 to reward scientists and others that have improved the quality and availability of food. .

Roman Kent, 92, who as an orphaned teenager endured the horrors of Auschwitz and other death camps and then channeled his grief and rage to help lead an American movement to commemorate the Holocaust and provide repairs to aging Jewish survivors, died May 21 at his Manhattan home. At the time of his death, Kent was president of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants, which documents the lives of survivors and works with educators to teach about the Holocaust. He also spent time on the board of the Conference of Jewish Material Claims against Germany, which negotiated monetary deals for the survivors.

Roger Hawkins, 75, who drummed on numerous pop and soul hits of the 1960s and 1970s and was among the architects of the funky sound who identified with Muscle Shoals, Alabama, died on May 20 at his home in Sheffield , Alabama, from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. illness and other conditions. Hawkins was a member of the FAME studios house group from producer Rick Hall to Muscle Shoals, performing on Percy Sledge’s “When a Man Loves a Woman”, a # 1 pop single in 1966. He was also a driving force behind “Respect.” Aretha Franklin, number one in pop the following year, as well as her Top 10 singles “Chain of Fools” (1967) and “Think” (1968).

William Shakespeare, 81, the first man to receive a clinically approved COVID-19 vaccine, has died of an unrelated illness, UK officials have said. He was the second person to receive a Pfizer jab after Britain approved the experimental shots in early December. The first person to be hit was 90-year-old Margaret Keenan. Shakespeare died on May 20 of a stroke, according to the BBC. The Coventry resident is said to have worked at Rolls-Royce and was a ward councilor for many years in the town’s Allesley community. He made international headlines after being vaccinated at Coventry University Hospital. Her name helped bring even more attention – and jokes – to this special moment.

Mark York, The 55-year-old actor best known for playing Billy Merchant on the NBC sitcom “The Office,” died of natural causes on May 19 in a hospital in Dayton, Ohio. He appeared in four episodes of “The Office” from 2006-2009 as the property manager of the office park where Dunder Mifflin, the fictional paper company at the center of the series, has taken up residence. Merchant, who like York was a paraplegic, was introduced in the second season when Michael Scott, the goofy branch manager played by Steve Carell, brought him to the office for a squeaky meeting on disability awareness.

Michael Serkin-Poole, 65, a key figure in the decades-long battle to legalize marriage equality in Washington and, along with his partner, among the first gay couples to adopt children, died of pancreatic cancer at his home on May 15 from Bellevue.

Serkin-Poole and David Serkin-Poole were among six gay and lesbian couples who have been denied permits to marry in King County. Their concerted effort, part of a groundswell in 2004, was immediately followed by a lawsuit against the county in which several legal groups also joined. The case went to the Washington Supreme Court, but given the state’s adoption of the DOMA in 1998, which only recognized heterosexual marriages, was defeated.

Michael has often faced difficult battles for social progress by asking the authorities a simple question: why not? When he and David followed their engagement ceremony in the mid-1980s with a decision to adopt children, they had no idea they would be among the first same-sex couples in Washington to apply. The “boring middle-class Bellevue family” life created by Michael and his partner helped gain acceptance for homosexuals.

Rahul Vohra, 35-year-old Indian actor, vlogger and YouTube star died of complications from COVID-19 on May 9 in a New Delhi hospital. After her marriage to Jyoti Tiwari in December, she joined him to produce short scripted videos in Hindi on issues such as gender disparity, rising gasoline prices and difficulties working from home. during the pandemic. Several of them received over a million views and Vohra quickly became one of the most popular YouTube stars in India.

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