Mary Kay Bergman

Cartoon Voice

Mary Kay Bergman, 38, who gave voice to the mothers of "South Park" characters such as Stan, Cartman and Kenny, died Nov. 11 at her home in Venice Beach, Calif. A spokesman for the Los Angeles County coroner said that she died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound and that her death was suicide.

Mrs. Bergman was one of the most sought-after voice actresses in Hollywood. She was the voice of the heroine, Daphne Blake, in "Scooby Doo on Zombie Island" in 1998 and this year's "Scooby Doo and the Witch's Ghost."

She also portrayed Batgirl in "Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero" last year and gave voice to various characters in this year's animated feature, "The Iron Giant." On television, she was the voice of all but one of the female characters in the "South Park" series.

John Paul Stapp

Fast Man

John Paul Stapp, 89, a retired Air Force colonel, physician and space research pioneer who was once known as the "the fastest man on Earth" for his rocket sled test runs in the New Mexico desert, died Nov. 13 in Almogordo, N.M. He had emphysema and diabetes.

During the 1950s, he subjected himself to 29 rocket sled rides, proving human beings could withstand more than 40 times the force of gravity. Information collected in these tests provided criteria for crash protection designs for aircraft, space cabins and ground vehicles as well as for tolerance limits for pilots in aircraft ejection seats.

Col. Stapp also is credited with popularizing Murphy's Law: "If anything can go wrong, it will." At a news conference on the project, he told reporters its good safety record was attributable to a firm belief in Murphy's Law and the need to circumvent it. The law was named in 1949 after Capt. Edward A. Murphy, an engineer at Edwards Air Force Base.

Doug Sahm


Doug Sahm, 58, leader of the Sir Douglas Quintet and one of the principals of the Grammy-winning Texas Tornados, was found dead Thursday in Taos, N.M.. A Taos police spokesman said that he apparently died of natural causes and that an autopsy had been ordered.

Mr. Sahm was a steel guitar prodigy who also was proficient on fiddle, mandolin and guitar. His music went in many different directions, mixing 1960s pop with psychedelia, swing, country, blues and Mexican conjunto.

Sir Douglas Quintet started charting hits in 1965 with the song "She's About a Mover." He later recorded with Bob Dylan and Dr. John. The Texas Tornados was formed in 1989 with Mr. Sahm, Augie Meyers, vocalist and guitarist Freddy Fender and accordionist Flaco Jimenez. The group won a 1991 Grammy for its first album.

Beatrice Colen

TV Actress

Beatrice Colen, 51, an actress who was best known as the roller-skating carhop on early episodes of the ABC-TV series "Happy Days," died Nov. 18 in Los Angeles. She had lung cancer.

From 1974 to 1976, she played Marsha, a carhop on the popular "Happy Days" comedy. She also appeared in the "Wonder Woman" TV series as Cpl. Etta Candy, the heroine's sidekick.

Mrs. Colen, the granddaughter of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright George S. Kaufman, appeared in more than 200 TV shows, commercials and movies. These included TV guest appearances on "Alice," "Barney Miller" and "All in the Family," and roles in such movies as "American Pop" in 1981 and Mel Brooks's 1977 comedy "High Anxiety."

R.J. Vealey


R.J. Vealey, 37, the drummer for Atlanta Rhythm Section, died Nov. 13 in Orlando after a heart attack. He collapsed shortly after a performance.

He performed at President Ronald Reagan's 1985 Inaugural Ball, toured Japan with Yamaha-sponsored "Percussion 80" and won the outstanding soloist award at Ohio State University.

Before joining Atlanta Rhythm Section in 1995, Mr. Vealey had toured with the techno-dance band Fashion Reaction. He also recorded with artists including Section Eight, Zaccaria, Tone Poets, Circle O'fifths and Stonefish.

Reagan V. Brown

Agriculture Commissioner

Reagan V. Brown, 78, who served six years as Texas agriculture commissioner in the late 1970s and early 1980s, was found dead Nov. 16 at his ranch in Bryan, Tex.

Authorities said that the tractor Mr. Brown was driving apparently rolled down an embankment and landed in an empty creek bed and that his death has been ruled an accident.

Mr. Brown, a World War II veteran, became agriculture commissioner in 1977.

William Burkett

Banker and Politician

William Burkett, 86, a banker and politician whose words are inscribed at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, died Nov. 11 at his home in Pebble Beach, Calif., after a heart attack.

He gained national recognition in 1935 when he wrote a 500-word history of the United States that was chosen in a contest to be recorded at Mount Rushmore.

Mr. Burkett was a special agent in the U.S. Treasury Department's intelligence unit after serving in World War II. He served in the cabinet of California Gov. Goodwin Knight (R) in several roles from 1953 to 1958, including state employment director and chairman of the refugee relief commission.

Pieter van der Byl

Rhodesian Politician

Pieter van der Byl, 76, a Rhodesian government minister who signed an independence declaration to block efforts to steer the country to nonracial rule, died Nov. 15 in Fairfield, South Africa, after a stroke.

In 1965, he signed the Unilateral Declaration of Independence, an attempt to block efforts by Britain and the United Nations to foster nonracial rule in Rhodesia. It triggered a civil war by rebels, who in 1981 installed a Marxist government and renamed the country Zimbabwe under black rule.

In 1982, Mr. Van der Byl in 1982 returned to South Africa, where he was raised, but he traveled frequently to the new Zimbabwe to continue service in Parliament until 1987, when the black government kicked out white members.

Georgia Hoffman

Horse Breeder

Georgia Hoffman, 91, a leading thoroughbred racehorse breeder who was the widow of Philip Hoffman, the board chairman of Johnson & Johnson and an avid horseman, died Nov. 14 in Bal Harbour, Fla. She had leukemia.

She bred champions Sky Beauty, Gold Beauty and Dayjur and Preakness winner Louis Quatorze. She sold all of the breeding stock in her Wycombe House Stud operation for $12 million on Nov. 7.

Mrs. Hoffman was born Georgia Ellis on an Alabama farm where she rode horses. She later moved to New York, where she was a fashion model and actress. She had once appeared in a Ziegfeld musical.

Benjamin Schwartz

China Expert

Benjamin Schwartz, 82, a scholar of ancient and modern China who had taught history and political science at Harvard University from 1950 to 1987, died Nov. 15 in Cambridge, Mass. The cause of death was not reported.

In 1979, he was elected president of the Association for Asian Studies. Last year, the American Historical Association gave him its Award for Scholarly Distinction.

Dr. Schwartz was one of the first scholars to show that Chinese communism was not a copy of Soviet communism but had its own historical roots and practices. He wrote several books on modern and ancient China.

Curtis English

College President

Curtis English, 65, a retired Navy captain who had served as president of Hiwassee College in Tennessee since 1996, died Nov. 13 in Madisonville, Tenn., after a heart attack.

Dr. English had been a career Navy officer. He had served on the staff of the chief of Naval Operations and at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and also had served as executive director of the Presidential Commission on Merchant Marine and Defense before retiring from active duty.

Before his appointment at Hiwassee, he had served as vice president for finance at East Stroudsburg University and Cheyney University and as interim president of Bloomsburg University, all in Pennsylvania.

Rollin P. Eckis


Rollin P. Eckis, 94, a former oil company executive and geologist who helped discover major oil fields in Alaska and California, died Nov. 12 in San Diego. He had Alzheimer's disease.

Over the years, Mr. Eckis poured millions of dollars into Alaska exploration with few results until 1968 when oil was discovered at Prudhoe Bay.

He joined Richfield Oil Co. in 1937 as a field geologist and a year later discovered the Kern County oil field near Bakersfield, Calif. He rose through the company ranks to become chief geologist and then manager of the company's foreign exploration department. He became a vice president of Arco in 1966, following Richfield's merger with Atlantic Refining Co., and retired in 1974.

"Cowboy" Jimmy Moore

Billiards Champion

"Cowboy" Jimmy Moore, 89, a championship billiards player and technical adviser to films and television programs involving the sport, died Nov. 17 in Albuquerque, N.M. The cause of death was not reported.

Mr. Moore won the National Invitational Professional Pocket Billiards Championship in New York in 1965. Nineteen years later, when he was 74, he won the Legends of Pocket Billiards competition on ESPN. As a young man, he had won four Michigan state titles.

He had served as technical adviser for pool-playing scenes in such television series as "My Living Doll," starring Bob Cummings and Julie Newmar, and such movies as Jerry Lewis's "The Family Jewels."

Shaol Lee Pozez

Company Co-Founder

Shaol Lee Pozez, 74, co-founder of the Payless ShoeSource chain, died Nov. 15 in Tucson. The cause of death was not reported.

He and his cousin, Louis Pozez, started the shoe chain in 1956 in Topeka, Kan. They stayed on as president and chief executive officer, respectively, when the company was bought by May Department Stores in 1979. May spun the unit off in 1996 and there are now about 4,400 Payless stores in the United States and Canada.

Charles E. Odegaard

University President

Charles E. Odegaard, 88, a historian who served as president of the University of Washington from 1958 to 1973, died Nov. 14 in Seattle. The cause of death was not reported.

Enrollment at the university grew from 16,000 to 34,000 and minority enrollment reached 10 percent under Odegaard's supervision. The Seattle campus also underwent a $195 million face lift, and its graduate programs, particularly its medical school, gained prestige.