Floyd Kalber

Television Newsman

Floyd Kalber, 79, a television news anchorman who won five Emmy awards, stints on NBC's "Today" show and on two highly rated programs in Chicago, died of emphysema May 13 at his home in the Chicago suburb of Burr Ridge.

Mr. Kalber started his career in television at KMTV-TV in Omaha, where he was born. He served in the Army in the South Pacific during World War II. He was the anchorman for Chicago's WMAQ-TV for 16 years until leaving in 1976 to appear on the "Today" show in New York. He left that job after three years to work as a network correspondent with NBC until 1981, when he retired.

But Kalber came out of retirement in 1984 to help revive Chicago's WLS-TV, anchoring its evening newscast. He enjoyed a run of 14 years with top ratings and retired from the ABC affiliate in 1998.

Dorothy Van Engle


Dorothy Van Engle, 87, a black leading lady known for her beauty, sophistication and intelligence in "Murder in Harlem" and other so-called "race films" of the 1930s, died May 10 after being hospitalized for a protein deficiency in Ocala, Fla. No cause of death was available.

Van Engle co-starred in the 1935 mystery-drama "Murder in Harlem" and the 1938 musical-drama "Swing!" She also acted in "Harlem After Midnight" and other low-budget movies made by pioneer black filmmaker Oscar Micheaux, who used her as one of his top female leads.

She played strong, intelligent, competent women, and she made all of the clothes she wore in the films. She wasn't paid for any of the roles, her cousin said. Born Donessa Dorothy Van Engle in Harlem, N.Y., she grew up in the same 145th Street apartment building as Lena Horne. After she married, she stopped acting and lived in New York, Teaneck, N.J., and Port Charlotte, Fla. She worked in the public library in Port Charlotte until four years ago.

Alfred 'Alf' Valentine

Cricket Player

Alfred "Alf" Valentine, 74, whose left-handed spinning helped popularize West Indies cricket in the 1950s, died May 11 in Orlando. No cause of death was reported.

Paired with Sonny Ramadhin, Mr. Valentine helped the West Indies capture its first victory in England in the 1950s. The duo inspired a popular Calypso song, "Those little pals of mine -- Ramadhin and Valentine."

Mr. Valentine was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1951. He played his last test match in 1962 and later served as the national coach of Jamaica along with J.K. Holt. Mr. Valentine retired to Florida, where he had a second career as a youth counselor in Orlando.

Robert Mokros


Robert Mokros, 90, an amputee who made custom-made shoes for people with disfigured feet, died in his sleep May 1 at his home in Minneapolis.

Mr. Mokros learned to be a shoemaker at a religious school for children with disabilities, where he was sent after losing his foot in a farming accident in his native Germany when he was 13. Eventually he would make footwear for customers all over the United States.

The shoemaker could look at a person's feet and cut a likeness of them from a block of wood, his son said. He would also use sketches, footprints on dye, and paper and plaster casts of disfigured feet, eventually transforming his designs into leather shoes and boots.

James Roos

Music Critic

James Roos, 60, a classical music critic for the Miami Herald for more than three decades, died of brain cancer May 13 in Miami.

Herald Executive Editor Tom Fiedler, a longtime newsroom colleague, said that Roos "always wrote with honesty; his influence on South Florida culture can't be overestimated." Jerry Ceppos, vice president of news for Knight Ridder, parent company of the Herald, said "he had a sophistication that was rare at the Herald at the time."

Mr. Roos, a native of Chicago, took violin and piano lessons in his youth. His career choice was sparked by attending Chicago Symphony Orchestra performances.

After graduation from the University of Illinois and graduate studies at Michigan State University and the University of Southern California, Mr. Roos logged stints at the Saturday Review and the Metropolitan Opera, editing programs, before moving to South Florida in 1971.

Emmy-winning anchorman Floyd Kalber came out of retirement in 1984 and returned to Chicago to help revive WLS-TV, an ABC affiliate.