California Artist

Joan Brown, 52, an artist whose work was inspired by mysticism and who had served on the art faculty of the University of California at Berkeley since 1974, was killed Oct. 26 while helping to install a 100-foot tall obelisk at the new Heritage Museum in Proddatura, India.

Authorities reported that a concrete turret from the floor above collapsed on her. The tower is to honor Satya Sai Baba, a holy man who claims mystical powers and has a substantial following in North America. Another American, Bonnie Lynn Mainric, 43, of San Francisco, also was killed and another artist injured, authorities said.

In 1958, while studying at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco, Brown won recognition for large paintings that combined figurative images with thick swatches of color. She dropped out of the art world for a time in her mid-20s. Her later work was influenced by the pyramids of Egypt, Incan folklore, the Aztecs and dancing Krishnas. Her work included boldly colored paintings with sphinxes and half-human, half-animal figures, and towering obelisks with mosaics of lions, lambs, doves and tigers.


U.S. District Judge

Woodrow Seals, a judge in U.S. District Court from 1966 until taking senior judge status in 1982, died Oct. 27 in Houston after surgery for a heart ailment.

He was U.S. attorney in Houston for five years before becoming a judge. He is remembered for his 1980 ruling, upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, that it is unconstitutional to deny illegal immigrant children access to free public education.

Judge Seals also was involved in a controversial case with Hustler magazine in 1985. In his court, a family was awarded $182,000 after their 14-year-old son died while performing a sexual act described in Hustler.


Film Pioneer

Vankutre Shantaram, 88, an actor, director and producer of films promoted harmony between Hindus and Moslems, died of cardiac arrest Oct. 28 at his home in Bombay.

He was praised for addressing social issues in his films, which still are shown in cinemas and on television throughout India, and are also widely known in the Middle East. Indian state television scheduled one of his films from the 1940s after a week of clashes between Hindus and Moslems that left nearly 100 people dead.

He began working in theater at age 13, pulling curtains between acts for a Bombay troupe. He started directing in 1927 and formed his own company two years later, continuing to star in films throughout most of his career.

He died at his home in Bombay.


Japanese Justice Minister

Shin Hasegawa, 71, a former Japanese justice minister, died Oct. 28 at a hospital in Tokyo after a heart attack.

He served in the upper house of Japan's parliament before being named a vice minister of communications and deputy secretary-general of the governing Liberal Democratic Party. Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu named him justice minister on Feb. 28, and he stepped down when he became ill.


Ivana Trump's Father

Milos Zelnicek, 63, the father of New York businesswoman and social figure Ivana Trump, the estranged wife of real estate developer Donald Trump, died Oct. 28 at a hospital in Prague after a heart attack.

Mr. Zelnicek was a retired engineer.



Maurice Hexter, 99, a major fund-raiser for Jewish causes in British-mandate Palestine and across the United States, who also was a past executive director of the Milwaukee Federation of Jewish Charities, died Oct. 28 at his home in Manhattan. The cause of death was not reported.

He joined the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York in 1938 on his return from Palestine, and by 1967, as executive vice president, distributed nearly a half-billion dollars to its health and welfare agencies. In 1929, he moved to Jerusalem for a time to administer the Palestine Emergency Fund.