John Yoshio Naka
John Yoshio Naka, 89, a world-renowned bonsai master who was credited with bringing the art to Western culture, died May 19 at the Whittier (Calif.) Hospital Medical Center. The cause of death was not announced.
Mr. Naka was regarded as one of the greatest bonsai masters of his time, even in Japan. He created landscapes, such as his remarkable "Goshin," a collection of 11 juniper trees, each representing a grandchild. The piece took 55 years for him to grow, and in 1990, it became a featured piece of the National Arboretum's John Y. Naka Bonsai Pavilion, a collection of trees from bonsai masters around the world.
Mr. Naka was named in 1992 as a National Heritage Fellow in the National Endowment for the Arts program to recognize individuals who carry on folk traditions in the United States. In 1985, Emperor Hirohito of Japan granted him the Fifth Class Order of the Rising Sun, the nation's highest honor conferred to non-citizens. His definitive books on the art have been translated into five languages and, through workshops and conventions and classes held around the world, he taught bonsai to hundreds of people.
Dori Hutson, 96, a commercial and fine artist who drew pen-and-ink greeting cards, illustrated department store fashion advertisements and self-published a wry book on privies and outhouses, died May 16 in Denver. No cause of death was given.
Raised on a homestead in eastern Colorado, she bragged that she could kill rattlesnakes by whipping them with the buckle of her horse's reins. She studied at the Denver Institute of Arts and was one of 50 artists represented in a 1997 exhibition at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, with a painting of hikers all but eclipsed by the towering walls of Canyon de Chelly National Monument.
By the late 1990s, Mrs. Hutson's eyesight was nearly gone. She turned from painting to working with clay, combining it with costume jewelry for what she called "crude but fun" art.
Russel N. Cassel
Russel N. Cassel, 92, a psychology professor who devised more than a dozen psychological tests while working with the military and the State Department, died of congestive heart failure May 18 at a hospital in Chula Vista, Calif. He wrote nine books and dozens of articles on psychology.
A veteran of World War II and the Korean War, Mr. Cassel conducted a psychological study of offenders in an Army stockade and later reviewed court-martial cases and studied the psychological effects of combat missions on U.S. Army Air Forces pilots.
He supervised reserve officer training at six colleges during the Korean War and, as a State Department official during the Vietnam War, served as an adviser to Vietnamese universities. He later directed personnel services for schools in Liberia until taking a post as a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he specialized in educational psychology and measurement.