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Obituaries of note: Ulysses S. Grant V, Mike Starr, Mike DeStefano

Thursday, March 10, 2011; 10:53 PM

Ulysses S. Grant V
president's great-grandson

Ulysses S. Grant V, 90, the last surviving great-grandson of Ulysses S. Grant, the nation's 18th president and commander of the Union forces in the Civil War, died March 2 at his home near the town of Battlefield, Mo., after a stroke.

Mr. Grant spent part of his youth in the home of his grandfather, Jesse Grant, who was the president's youngest son. Jesse Grant's wife, Elizabeth, is credited with helping to save many artifacts from the former president.

As an adult, Mr. Grant became a custodian to the items, including his famous relative's letters, his will, his China and even the flag said to have flown at Appomattox Court House when Robert E. Lee surrendered. Some of the items have been sold in recent years.

Mr. Grant served in the military in World War II and Korea. He later owned an avocado-growing operation in California.

Mike Starr
rock band bassist

Mike Starr, 44, a former bassist for the rock band Alice in Chains who appeared on the VH1 series "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew" last year, was found dead March 8 in a home near Salt Lake City's downtown area, police said.

Salt Lake City police Sgt. Shawn Josephson said details about the cause and circumstances of Mr. Starr's death were not immediately available. It was not immediately clear who owned the home.

Mr. Starr, a Hawaii native, was the original bassist for Alice in Chains, an iconic Seattle-based band that made its mark on the grunge scene of the early 1990s. He left the group in 1993.

Josephson says Salt Lake City police arrested Mr. Starr last month on suspicion of possession of medications without a required prescription. Mr. Starr appeared on the third season of VH1's "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew."

Mike DeStefano
comedian

Mike DeStefano, a comedian who finished among the top five finalists last season in NBC's "Last Comic Standing," died March 6 in New York. He was reportedly in his 40s but his representatives would not disclose his age or cause of death.

Born in the Bronx, N.Y., Mr. DeStefano was a former drug addict who became a drug counselor and then started a career in stand-up.

"I am a stand-up comic," Mr. DeStefano once said. "Before that, I was a drug counselor. Before that, I was a drug addict. Before that, I was 12."

He played at clubs, made television appearances and performed at festivals. He came in fourth place on "Last Comic Standing."

- From News Services

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