John H. Morrow Sr.


John H. Morrow Sr., 89, who from 1959 to 1961 was the first U.S. ambassador to the west African republic of Guinea, died Jan. 11 at a Manor Care facility in Fountain Valley, Calif. He had Alzheimer's disease.

Dr. Morrow also had served as alternate delegate to the United Nations General Assembly in 1961 and as representative to UNESCO in Paris from 1961 to 1963. A former professor of French and Spanish at Talladega, Clark and North Carolina colleges, he returned to academia in 1964 as chairman of the foreign language department at University College of Rutgers University. He retired there in 1978 and moved to California.

John Morris Rankin


John Morris Rankin, 40, a member of the musical family that helped popularize Cape Breton-style Celtic music, was killed Jan. 16 when his truck ran off a road into the ocean. He was driving his son and two other teenagers to a morning hockey game when he skidded off a twisting coastal highway and plunged over a 75-foot cliff into a cove on Cape Breton Island. The three youths were all rescued unharmed from the frigid ocean water off Nova Scotia in eastern Canada.

Mr. Rankin played fiddle and piano with his four siblings in groups known first as the Rankin Family and then as the Rankins. Their music drew from the strong traditional Celtic roots of Cape Breton Island, a part of Nova Scotia.

The group sold more than 2 million records and won five Juno Awards, the Canadian equivalent of the Grammy. The Rankins broke up last summer.