Sara Boutelle

Architectural Historian

Sara Boutelle, 90, an architectural historian who rediscovered the work of the woman who designed William Randolph Hearst's California castle, died May 26, it was reported in Santa Cruz, Calif. The cause of death was not given.

Until Ms. Boutelle published "Julia Morgan, Architect" in 1988, little was known about Morgan beyond her work on Hearst's spectacular castle, San Simeon. Her book revealed that Morgan designed nearly 800 buildings, a legacy rivaling that of Frank Lloyd Wright. Her accomplishment also came at a time when women rarely were able to enter the profession.

Ms. Boutelle discovered that Morgan had worked alone and destroyed most of her blueprints shortly before her death in 1957. She reconstructed Morgan's designs from the scattered records of her former clients.

In 1991, she was made an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects, the highest award the organization gives to someone who is not an architect.

Frank Gunther

Radio Systems Inventor

Frank Gunther, 91, who devised some of the first radio communications devices, died May 24 in Venice, Fla. The cause of death was not reported.

Mr. Gunther helped create shortwave, two-way and FM systems, often working with the military and police and fire departments. In 1932, he built what is believed to be the first two-way mobile police radio system for the Bayonne, N.J., police department.

In 1931, he took part in the first public broadcast from an aircraft. A year later, he installed the first two-way radio system on an airplane.

William R. Lawley Jr.

Medal of Honor Winner

William R. Lawley Jr., 78, a retired Air Force colonel who was awarded the Medal of Honor during World War II for bringing a badly damaged bomber back to base despite his wounds, died in Montgomery, Ala., May 30. The cause of death was not reported.

Col. Lawley was a 24-year-old lieutenant when he participated in the Feb. 20, 1944, raid on German aircraft centers--the largest raid on the continent at the time.

As his plane was coming off the target in Liepzig, Germany, it was attacked by 20 enemy fighters. Eight crew members, including the co-pilot, were killed, and the brand-new B-17 bomber was severely crippled, with one engine on fire.

Col. Lawley suffered serious wounds to his face, according to his citation, but forced the co-pilot's body off the controls and brought the plane out of a steep dive.

Ralph J. Geffen


Ralph J. Geffen, 74, a federal magistrate who ordered the release of papers that documented the FBI's efforts to monitor gay rights organizations, died of cancer May 26, it was reported in Los Angeles.

Mr. Geffen ruled in 1988 that there was no "plausible law enforcement basis" for the FBI's surveillance and infiltration operations, conducted for more than 30 years.

Undercover probes by the FBI using paid informers were "based upon the anti-homosexual bias of the late FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and his belief that homosexuals, especially when organized or joining in groups, posed a threat" to national security, Mr. Geffen said in his ruling.

The FBI released more than 5,800 pages of documents, but many files were withheld and passages were blacked out on those that were released.

Mr. Geffen's ruling was made in a 1983 lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Charles F. McErlean Sr.

Airline Company President

Charles F. McErlean Sr., 87, former president of UAL Inc., the parent company of United Airlines, died May 21 in Oak Brook, Ill. The cause of death was not given.

Mr. McErlean, who had a law degree and had worked for the National Labor Relations Board, was hired in 1945 by W.A. Patterson, founder of United Airlines.

He started the company's legal department and held several jobs over the next few decades, including vice president and senior vice president, and he was a member of the company's board of directors.