Elmer 'Len' Dresslar Jr.

Voice of Jolly Green Giant

Elmer "Len" Dresslar Jr., 80, who extolled vegetables to generations of TV watchers as the booming voice of the Jolly Green Giant, died of cancer Oct. 16 in Palm Springs, Calif.

Mr. Dresslar was an entertainer and singer for nearly six decades, but his voice rang through millions of households when he sang the simple refrain "Ho, Ho, Ho" in an advertising jingle for Green Giant foods.

He was a Kansas native and Navy veteran who carved out a career singing in clubs, on television and in advertising jingles. He recorded 15 albums with the Singers Unlimited jazz group and appeared on the CBS-TV show "In Town Tonight" from 1955 to 1960.

Ad jingles were the most consistent part of his career, and Mr. Dresslar landed commercials for Kellogg's Rice Krispies cereal, Marlboro cigarettes, Amoco oil and Dinty Moore beef stew. He periodically re-recorded the "Ho, Ho, Ho" for Jolly Green Giant commercials, most recently about 10 years ago.

Michael Ward


Michael Ward, 80, a British mountaineer who was the expedition doctor for the historic ascent of Mount Everest by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, died Oct. 7 at his London home. No cause of death was reported.

Mr. Ward did much of the research that indicated it was possible to climb Everest from the southern Nepalese side. Futile attempts had been made from the Tibetan side. He came across a series of aerial photographs and a forgotten map that helped prepare the successful 1953 trip.

Mr. Ward's medical duties prevented him from trying to reach the summit of Everest. He nevertheless climbed to one of the highest camps on the peak -- Camp VII on the Lhotse face. He later took part in mountaineering trips on the remote Bhutan-Tibet border and in western China. He also conducted respected medical studies on the effects of high altitude on health.

Jose Azcona

Former Honduran President

Jose Azcona Hoyo, 78, a former president of Honduras who oversaw the start of the dismantling of bases for U.S.-backed Nicaraguan rebels in his country, died of a heart attack Oct. 24 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Mr. Azcona, who was president of the Central American nation from 1986 to 1990, led Honduras at a time when the neighboring Central American nations of Nicaragua and El Salvador were enveloped in civil wars.

As part of peace efforts, Mr. Azcona oversaw the start of the dismantling of bases for some 16,000 U.S.-backed Nicaraguan rebels whose presence Honduras had once denied. After leaving the presidency, he ran a construction company.