Donald Justice


Donald Justice, 78, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who taught at the University of Iowa, died Aug. 6 at a nursing home in Iowa City. He developed pneumonia after suffering a stroke.

Mr. Justice wrote 10 poetry books, including "Selected Poems," which won him the 1980 Pulitzer for poetry. The Miami native also was an accomplished music composer and painter.

J. McKenny Willis Jr.

Poultry Farmer

J. McKenny Willis Jr., 100, who founded one of the first poultry operations that included a hatchery and processing plant, died of a heart ailment Aug 4 at a retirement community in Easton, Md.

Mr. Willis, a native of Oxford, Md., established in 1930 J. McKenny Willis & Son, a company that sold wholesale and retail agricultural products. He added a grain division that bought wheat, corn and barley grown by Eastern Shore farmers. He gave Depression-era farmers fertilizer on credit, and he charged them only after their crops were harvested and sold.

In the late 1940s, he bought a chicken processing plant in Milford, Del., and developed an egg hatching program in North Carolina. After several mergers, Mr. Willis retired in 1968, after the company was bought by Kane-Miller Corp. of New York.

Robert 'Willie' Egan

Blues Singer, Pianist

Robert "Willie" Egan, 70, a blues singer and pianist who recorded boogie-woogie-tinged R & B on his own and as Johnny in the popular duo Marvin & Johnny, died Aug. 5 at a hospital in Inglewood, Calif. He had cancer.

In 1949, Mr. Egan made a couple of recordings for the small Elko label. But he hit his stride in the mid-1950s, recording for Larry Mead's Mambo and Vita labels. Often mistakenly credited as Willie Eggins or Egans, he recorded the successful singles "Wow Wow," "What a Shame," "Come On," "She's Gone Away, But" and "Wear Your Black Dress."

Later he teamed with Marvin Phillips, who had a series of partners as "Johnny" under the Marvin & Johnny name, for a couple of lackluster records. Eventually Mr. Egan abandoned music to work as a hospital orderly. He enjoyed a comeback in the 1980s as Europe rediscovered mid-century rhythm and blues.