of Note

Stephen Marris, Blanche Thebom, Willie E. Jenkins

Monday, April 5, 2010

Stephen Marris Economist

Stephen Marris, 80, a British economist who helped shape economic policy in postwar Europe, died March 28 of lung cancer at his home in Paris.

Mr. Marris, who held a doctorate in economics from Cambridge University, pioneered the use of computers in calculating economic statistics while working for the Organization for European Economic Cooperation in the 1950s and '60s. He spent a year at the Brookings Institution in Washington in 1969-70 and returned to Washington in the 1980s as a fellow of what is now the Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics.

He was the author of a 1985 book, "Deficits and the Dollar: The World Economy at Risk."

Blanche Thebom Opera Singer

Blanche Thebom, 94, a mezzo-soprano who sang more than 350 performances with the Metropolitan Opera in New York, died March 23 of pneumonia at her San Francisco home.

From the 1944 to 1967, Ms. Thebom was a star of the Met, part of a wave of American opera singers to gain international fame. She was best known for her Wagner performances, including roles as Brangaene in "Tristan and Isolde" and Fricka in "Die Walkure."

Born in Monessen, Pa., Ms. Thebom was discovered while singing in a shipboard lounge as a teenager.

After retiring from the Met, she taught opera at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and then established the Opera Arts Training Program in San Francisco.

Willie E. Jenkins Tuskegee Airman, Dean

Willie E. Jenkins, 85, a retired dean at Florida A&M University who attended the presidential inauguration of Barack Obama as one of the surviving members of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, died March 30 in Tallahassee. The cause of death was not reported.

Mr. Jenkins was a parachute rigger for the all-black contingent of 1,000 pilots and 15,000 ground crew members who trained in Tuskegee, Ala. He later served as a company commander during the Korean War, when the military was beginning to integrate.

He served as FAMU's dean of university relations between 1968 and 1986. He was presented the Congressional Gold Medal by President George W. Bush in 2007.

-- From news services and staff reports

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