Marion Bertram

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Categories: Military

Marion Elizabeth O’Neal was working as a medical assistant in a South Florida hospital when she married Dr. A.J. Bertram. Her husband was also a pilot and he shared his love of aviation with her.
Bertram took flying lessons and became one of the first members of the Ninety-Nines, Amelia Earhart’s female flying club. During World War II, she enlisted in the Army Air Corps, flying cargo shipments and giving flight lessons to male pilots. At the time, women were not allowed to serve in battle.
Dr. Bertram also served in the war. When he returned home, the couple spent their remaining years together in the Florida Keys. He died in 1944.
Marion Bertram moved to Turkey in the 1960s. She befriended a Turkish dance teacher and became an expert ballroom dancer. She also did administrative work for the U.S. Air Force, a job that brought her many awards, including the Sustained Superior Performance Award.
Bertram died of pneumonia on March 4. She was 99.


Zaki Nassif


Categories: Musicians

Zaki Nassif, one of Lebanon’s most renowned composers, died on March 11 from a heart attack. He was 88.
Nassif studied music at the American University of Beirut in the 1930s. He launched his show business career as a singer and composer for Radio-Orient and Radio Liban.
An accomplished songwriter, Nassif composed or sang more than 2,000 folk songs during his six-decade career. His music preserved the essence of traditional Lebanese music, and was performed by many famous Lebanese artists, including diva Fairuz and Wadih Safi, the country’s most famous singer. He was best known for writing the patriotic anthem, “Rajeh Yittammar Libnan” (Lebanon Will Be Rebuilt), a song that encouraged citizens to reconstruct their country after the 1975-1990 civil war.
In 1995, Nassif composed an album with Fairuz, titled “Fairuz Chante Zaki Nassif” (Fairuz Sings Zaki Nassif). He also served as a judge on the TV talent show, “Studio El Fann” (Art Studio).
Listen to a MIDI of Nassif Music


Robert D. Orr

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Categories: Business, Military, Politicians

Robert Dunkerson Orr, the former governor of Indiana, died on March 10 from complications following kidney surgery. He was 86.
Orr attended Yale University and Harvard Graduate School of Business before enlisting in the Army in 1942. After fighting in the Pacific during World War II, he returned to Indiana to work in the Orr Iron Co., the family business.
Orr entered politics in the late 1960s. He was elected as a Republican to the state Senate and became Indiana’s lieutenant governor. In 1981, he ran against John Hillenbrand for governor and beat him by more than 300,000 votes.
In his two-term tenure, Orr energized the economy by luring foreign investment to Indiana. He passed two major tax increases to pay for his education reform bills and to fix the state’s budget problems. Orr also sat on the steering committee of the Education Commission of the States, and was the only governor asked to participate on U.S. Department of Education Secretary William Bennett’s Study Group on Elementary Education.
Unable to run for a third term, Orr left office in 1989. He spent the next three years as the U.S. ambassador to Singapore, then formed Alliance for Global Commerce, a consulting firm.
The Robert D. Orr Scholarship for Global Studies has been established at the University of Southern Indiana. The Interstate 164 Bypass is also named in his honor.


Frances Schreuder


Categories: Criminals

In 1978, Frances Bernice Schreuder was a New York socialite. She sat on the board of directors of the New York City Ballet, lived in a luxury apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and was known to buy $40,000 earrings at Tiffany’s.

Her father, Franklin Bradshaw, preferred to live frugally in Utah. Although the Salt Lake City oil and auto-parts magnate was worth at least $10 million, he drove a rusty pickup truck and bought his clothes at thrift stores. When he tired of his daughter’s extravagant spending habits and threatened to cut her out of his will, Frances decided to kill him.

At the high-profile trial, her 17-year-old son Marc Schreuder testified that Frances ordered he and his brother Larry to steal $200,000 in cash, checks and stock certificates from their 76-year-old grandfather. Marc also said his mother gave him drugs to poison Bradshaw’s oatmeal, but he refused to carry out the plan.

Frances then hired a hit man for $5,000, who also backed out of the deal and disappeared. So she threatened to kick Marc out of the house if he didn’t murder Bradshaw. The teen acquiesced, and on July 23, 1978, he shot and killed his grandfather with a .357 Magnum handgun.

The case was chronicled in two true crime books, two TV miniseries and a documentary on Court TV. In 1982, Marc Schreuder was convicted of second-degree murder. He was paroled 12 years later and reconciled with his mother.

Although she denied any involvement in the crime, Frances Schreuder was convicted of first-degree murder in 1983. She was a model inmate at the Utah State Prison and earned two degrees while incarcerated. She was paroled in 1996. Prior to the murder, Schreuder attended Bryn Mawr College, but was suspended in 1958 for stealing and forging checks.

Schreuder died on March 30 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She was 65.


Sidney James

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Categories: Media, Sports, Writers/Editors

Sidney Lorraine James, the founding editor of Sports Illustrated, died on March 11. Cause of death was not released. He was 97.
James launched his journalism career at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He freelanced for Time Magazine, and was offered a staff writer position in 1936. Over the next decade, he would serve as the publication’s Chicago bureau chief and the chief of its western editorial operations in Los Angeles.
After World War II, James moved to New York, worked his way up the editorial ranks at Life and coordinated the first televised coverage of the Republican and Democratic national conventions in 1948 with NBC. Five years later, Time Inc.’s co-founder Henry R. Luce tapped him to develop a national publication devoted to sports.
Sports Illustrated debuted on Aug. 16, 1954. James spent six years as SI’s top editor and five as its publisher. He was also responsible for convincing William Faulkner, Robert Frost, Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck to contribute articles.
In the 1970s, James became the chairman of the National Public Affairs Center for Television, and helped coordinate the gavel-to-gavel coverage of Senate Watergate hearings for public television. His memoir, “Press Pass: The Journalist’s Tale,” was published in 1994.

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