Noble 'Thin Man' Watts
Blues, Jazz Saxophonist
Noble "Thin Man" Watts, 78, the blues and jazz saxophonist who led the house band at Sugar Ray Robinson's club in Harlem, played with Lionel Hampton's orchestra and played on rock-and-roll tours with Fats Domino and Jerry Lee Lewis, died Aug. 24 in a DeLand, Fla., nursing home. He had emphysema and pneumonia.
Mr. Watts released a series of singles on Baton Records, including the instrumental hits "Hard Times (the Slop)" in 1957 and "Jookin' " in 1961.
But Mr. Watts established his professional reputation in Robinson's club in the 1950s.
Saxophonists from King Curtis to Bruce Springsteen's sideman Clarence Clemons were influenced by his booming tenor sound.
Born in DeLand, Mr. Watts attended Florida A&M University, where he played in the marching band with future jazz legends Cannonball and Nat Adderley.
In May, the African American Museum of the Arts in DeLand dedicated an amphitheater named after him.
And Stetson University, where he raked leaves as a boy to pay for music lessons, awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2000.
Celia Gonzales Torres
Hispanic Women's Activist
Celia Gonzales Torres, who helped found the National Network of Hispanic Women to mentor professional women in leadership roles, died of lung cancer Aug. 19 at her home in Solvang, Calif. She was 68.
At its height, the network, founded in the early 1980s, had chapters in five cities. Mrs. Torres, also the executive vice president of Torres Enterprises, an investment and management firm, launched and supported scholarship programs at her alma mater, Mount St. Mary's College in Los Angeles and at Loyola Marymount University, where she co-founded the Mexican American Alumni Association scholarship program in 1981.
Born Celia Gonzales, she was raised by her grandmother and an aunt from the time she was 8, when her mother became ill with tuberculosis. After college graduation, she worked in public welfare until she married Julio Torres.
When the first of their five children entered college, she began work on a master's degree in sociology at the University of Southern California, which she completed in 1980.
She is survived by her husband; five children; and nine grandchildren.