of note

John P. Fishwick, Harrison 'Buzz' Price, Frank Ryan die

Sunday, August 22, 2010

John P. Fishwick Railroad Executive

John P. Fishwick, 93, former president and chief executive of the Norfolk & Western Railway (now Norfolk Southern), died Aug. 9 in Roanoke of congestive heart failure.

Mr. Fishwick, a lawyer, spent most of his career at Norfolk & Western before serving as its top executive from 1970 to 1981. He laid much of the groundwork for the merger in 1982 with Southern Railway to form Norfolk Southern, which became one of the nation's largest railroads.

From 1981 until his retirement in 1986, he was a partner at the Washington law firm now known as Windels Marx Lane and Mittendorf.

John Palmer Fishwick, a Roanoke native, was a graduate of Roanoke College and Harvard Law School. He was a Navy veteran of World War II.

Harrison 'Buzz' Price Theme Park Consultant

Harrison "Buzz" Price, 89, an engineer turned theme-park strategist whose research led Walt Disney to place Magic Kingdoms in Anaheim, Calif., and Orlando, died Aug. 15 of chronic anemia at a hospice in Pomona, Calif.

After Disney turned to Mr. Price in 1953 for advice on where to build his first theme park, the engineer analyzed population trends, land prices, accessibility and climate -- and zeroed in on a 160-acre orange grove in Anaheim.

When Disney decided to build another theme park in the East, Mr. Price studied and discarded New York and Washington before recommending the Orlando area for its mild winters and central Florida location. Disney World opened in 1971, almost five years after Disney's death.

Nearly every amusement park built since the 1950s in some way reflects Mr. Price's approach to planning theme parks, according to experts.

His other projects included master-planning eight world's fairs and consulting on parks for such amusement giants as Sea World, Busch Gardens, Knott's Berry Farm and Six Flags.

Well into his 80s, Mr. Price continued to practice what he called "roller coaster math," hewing to a principle he spelled out in his 2004 book, "Walt's Revolution! By the Numbers." "Guessing is dysfunctional. Ignoring prior experience is denial," he wrote.

"Using valid numbers to project performance is rational."

Frank Ryan Plastic Surgeon

Celebrity plastic surgeon Frank Ryan, 50, who made headlines for performing multiple surgeries on reality TV star Heidi Montag, died in an auto accident Aug. 16 when his 1995 Jeep Wrangler went off the side of Pacific Coast Highway near Malibu, Calif., and overturned.

Besides Montag, who who underwent 10 procedures in one day last year, Dr. Ryan's celebrity clientele included musician Vince Neil, actor Lorenzo Lamas, reality stars Lisa Gastineau and Adrianne Curry, and several models and beauty queens.

According to his Web site, Dr. Ryan graduated from the University of Michigan in 1982 and from the Ohio State University College of Medicine four years later.

He opened his private practice in 1994. He also established a charitable foundation that provides free removal of gang-related tattoos and hosts camps for children.

-- From news service and staff reports

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