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Obituaries

Saturday, November 20, 2004; Page B06

Kenneth E. Iverson Computer Scientist

Kenneth E. Iverson, 83, an award-winning computer scientist who invented the APL programming language, died Oct. 19 in Toronto. No cause of death was reported.

Mr. Iverson, a professor at Harvard University, joined the Thomas J. Watson Research Center in New York in 1960, where he created and published a 1960 text titled, "A Programming Language." He never bothered to name it, so it became known as APL.


This language uses nonstandard characters, but it is considered compact, simple and easy to learn, and it allowed scientists to use a keyboard attached directly to a mainframe computer, rather than forcing them to create a series of punch cards. In the 1990s, he developed the J programming language.

He was awarded the Association for Computing Machinery's prestigious Turing Award in 1979 and became an IBM fellow, one of only 180 since 1963, in 1970.

Shannon McGowan Cancer Patient Advocate

Shannon McGowan, 61, who helped launch an international network of centers that provide free emotional support and education for cancer patients and their families, died Nov. 7 at her home in Point Richmond, Calif. She died of lung cancer after overcoming cervical cancer 20 years ago.

Mrs. McGowan's first battle with cancer led her to become a psychotherapist who, in 1982, joined with Harold Benjamin to open the first Wellness Community in Santa Monica, Calif. Eight years later, after moving to Northern California, she founded a Wellness Community in the San Francisco area.

The Wellness Community has 21 centers across the United States, as well as programs in Tokyo and Tel Aviv, which offer support groups, education and relaxation workshops designed to help cancer patients take an active role in their recovery in partnership with their doctors.

Samuel Billison Code Talker

Samuel Billison, a Navajo who, as a Marine during World War II, helped invent a secret code based on the tribal language to confound the Japanese, died of a heart ailment Nov. 17, it was reported in Window Rock, Ariz. He was born on a reservation in the mid-1920s and was believed to be 78.

Mr. Billison and other Navajo Marines, called the Code Talkers, used the code and their native language to communicate troop movements and orders, developing a secret vocabulary that renamed military armaments and equipment using rough equivalents in Navajo.

Airplanes became birds, ships became fish and weapons were named after common things. The word "bomb," for example, was replaced by the Navajo word for "egg."

Mr. Billison was a longtime president of the Code Talker Association and also served on the Navajo Nation Council.

Dayton Allen Actor

Dayton Allen, 85, a comedian and actor best known for his work as the voice of the cartoon character Deputy Dawg and the grumpy mayor Phineas T. Bluster on "The Howdy Doody Show," died Nov. 11 at a hospital in Hendersonville, N.C., after a stroke.

Mr. Allen's most notable voice work came from his longtime association with the cartoon studio Terrytoons. He provided most of the voices for "The Deputy Dawg Show," a syndicated series that debuted in 1960. He also was the voice of the cartoon magpies Heckle and Jeckle and many other characters.

Earlier, he spent four years on the original "Howdy Doody Show" with Buffalo Bob Smith, voicing such puppet characters as Phineas T. Bluster and Flub-a-Dub, as well as such on-camera characters as Pierre the Chef.

On "The Steve Allen Show," he often appeared as a bogus expert or in the comic "Man on the Street" interviews. His frequent comment, "Why-y-y-y-y not?," became a popular catch phrase.

Norman Rose Actor

Norman Rose, 87, an actor who co-founded an off-Broadway repertory company and gave voice to the character of Juan Valdez in coffee advertisements, died Nov. 12 at his home in Upper Nyack, N.Y. No cause of death was reported.

As Juan Valdez, a fictitious Columbian coffee farmer, Mr. Rose vowed to pick "only the ripest beans." He also was narrator of a radio production of "The Greatest Story Ever Told" and of a televised version of George Balanchine's "Nutcracker," starring Mikhail Baryshnikov.

Mr. Rose, a Philadelphia native, began performing as a student at George Washington University. He co-founded the off-Broadway New Stages company with producer David Heilweil in 1947. He acted both on- and off-Broadway, appearing in the 1943 Broadway production of Shakespeare's "King Richard III" and Sylvia Regan's long-running "The Fifth Season" beginning in 1953.

Michel Colombier Composer

Michel Colombier, 65, who scored more than 100 movies and television productions, including "White Nights," "Against All Odds," and "Purple Rain," died of cancer Nov. 14 at his home in Santa Monica, Calif.

Mr. Colombier was French-born and was often called the "godfather of French fusion." He had the versatility to collaborate with Prince on futuristic rock sounds for "Purple Rain" (1984), wrote classical phrases for Mikhail Baryshnikov's ballet steps in "White Nights" (1985) and create gritty, rhythmic music for "New Jack City" (1991).

Mr. Colombier, a classically trained pianist, also composed chamber music pieces and more than 20 ballets.

Mikael Ljungberg Olympic Wrestler

Mikael Ljungberg, 34, who won a gold medal in wrestling at the 2000 Olympics, died Nov. 16 at a hospital in southwestern Sweden, where he was being treated for depression, the newspaper Aftonbladet reported. He reportedly committed suicide.

Mr. Ljungberg's victory at the Sydney Games in the 96-kilo category was Sweden's first Olympic gold in wrestling in 48 years. This week, he was named sports chief of Sweden's wrestling federation, which confirmed his death.

Mr. Ljungberg won the first of his two world titles in 1993, picked up two European titles and made his Olympic debut at the 1992 Games, at which he finishing fourth.


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