Otto A. Silha

Newspaper Publisher

Otto A. Silha, 80, who in 1984 retired as publisher and president of the Minneapolis Star and Tribune and a champion of media ethics, died Sept. 11 in Minneapolis after a heart attack. He had multiple myeloma.

He began his career in 1940 as a copy editor at the former Minneapolis Star. He spent 40 years with the Minneapolis Star and Tribune and Cowles Media Co., becoming chief executive and board chairman of Cowles Media, the former owner of the Star Tribune, as the newspaper is now called.

The University of Minnesota, his alma mater to which he had given more than $2.5 million, announced in 1984 it would establish the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law within the university's School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Beau JocqueAccordion Player

Beau Jocque, 45, a 6-foot-6 accordion player who helped revitalize Louisiana's zydeco music with such hits as "Give Him Cornbread," died Sept. 10 at his home in Kinder, La., after an apparent heart attack.

Mr. Jocque, whose given name was Andrus Espre, worked as a welder before picking up his father's piano-key accordion. In his version of zydeco, he combined rhythm and blues, hip-hop beats, funk and Texas blues-rock.

He was credited with bringing zydeco, a mix of old-time Cajun music and rhythm and blues, to contemporary audiences, filling Louisiana halls he often played with his band, the Zydeco Hi-Rollers. He also played overseas and on the David Letterman and Conan O'Brien shows.

Alfredo `El Guero' Gil

Mexican Musician

Alfredo "El Guero" Gil, 84, a Mexican musician who was the last surviving member of the original romantic trio Los Panchos, died Sept. 10 in Mexico City. He had emphysema.

He was born in the central state of Puebla and became a professional musician at 15. In 1944, he was in New York when he linked up with two other musicians -- Chucho Navarro and Hernando Aviles of Puerto Rico -- to form Los Panchos, in which Mr. Gil played the requinto, a small guitar.

The trio was known for its soft harmonics, particularly in the romantic bolero. Its emotional interpretations of "Besame Mucho (Kiss Me a Lot)," "Quizas, Quizas, Quizas (Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps)" and "Sin Ti (Without You)" propelled them to international fame. The band appeared in more than 50 films during Mexico's "golden era" of cinema.

John Molloy

Actor and Novelist

John Molloy, 79, a Dublin-born actor and novelist, died Sept. 2 in Oakland, Calif. The cause of death was not reported.

Mr. Molloy ran away from home at 14 to join a troupe of actors that roamed the country performing in small towns, and he later worked with Marcel Marceau in Paris and with the Gate and Abbey theaters in Dublin.

He went on to appear in 60 movies and played Broadway in his own two-man show, "Double Dublin," in 1963-64. He wrote 39 revues, two musicals, many TV and radio plays and a best-selling novel, "Alive, Alive-O."

Enrique Alferez


Enrique Alferez, 98, an artist who gained almost as much fame for his travels with Pancho Villa as for his art deco sculptures that decorate New Orleans, died Sept. 13, the Associated Press reported in New Orleans. The cause of death was not reported.

More than 20 of his works grace New Orleans City Park, and his sculptures mark numerous neighborhoods throughout the city, as well as in Mexico.

At age 12, Mr. Alferez began serving with the Revolutionary forces. He was featured in a Public Broadcasting Service special "American Experience: The Hunt for Pancho Villa," as one of the last survivors of Villa's army.

After the Revolution, he came to the United States. He arrived in New Orleans in 1929 to join Tulane University's expedition to Uxmal, Mexico, to reproduce the Quadrangle of the Nunnery for the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago.

But it was the "Fountain of the Four Winds" he created for New Orleans's Lakefront Airport in 1937 that gained him the most notoriety. One of the four figures on the statue was a well-endowed nude male. Mr. Alferez was ordered to chisel off the genitalia. He refused, standing guard at the fountain with a rifle until then-first lady Eleanor Roosevelt intervened on his behalf.

Stanley M. Simmons

Set Designer

Stanley M. Simmons, 71, who designed sets and costumes for Broadway shows and ballets, died Sept. 4 at a Los Angeles hospital of complications related to a heart attack.

The designer created costumes for the original production of Tennessee Williams's "Garden District" and "Bar of a Tokyo Hotel" and for such musicals as "Show Boat," "The King and I," "Brigadoon" and "Lena: The Lady and Her Music."

He also designed costumes and sets for "Coppelia" and costumed major U.S. ballet companies, including the Joffrey Ballet.

Mr. Simmons also collaborated with the choreographers Agnes de Mille and Jerome Robbins and worked on sets for ballet and opera productions at the Vienna State Opera and Spoleto Festival.