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Laura Schmidt Pizzarello

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Categories: Writers/Editors

Laura Schmidt Pizzarello, a freelance medical writer who specialized in covering end-of-life issues, died on Feb. 25 from pancreatic cancer. She was 51.
A New York native, Schmidt earned a bachelor’s degree from Marymount College in Arlington, Va., and completed her master’s degree in thantology from Hood College in Frederick, Md.
As a freelance writer, Schmidt spent the past 12 years penning articles for AARP and hospice newsletters and Web sites. She advocated for patients’ rights and called for caregivers to improve the quality of end-of-life care.
Her cancer was detected last summer after a back massage left her covered in bruises. Schmidt was chronicling her remaining months into a book, but the medications she took made her too ill to write. In December, Schmidt’s story was featured on the ABC television show, “Nightline.” She and her husband Joseph also participated in a video documentary produced by AARP and the DC Coalition of End-of-Life Care for health care professionals.

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Karl Weintraub

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Categories: Education, Writers/Editors

kweintraub.jpgProfessor Karl Joachim Weintraub was such a popular teacher that students at the University of Chicago used to stand in line overnight just to register for one of his classes. The annual event was reported in the student newspaper with the headline: “Waiting for Weintraub.”
Born in Germany to a Jewish father and a Christian mother, Weintraub’s family hid him with a Christian family in Holland during World War II to avoid the Holocaust. After the war, Quakers arranged for him to come to the United States, where he earned a doctorate in history from the University of Chicago.
He joined the faculty in 1954 and spent nearly 60 years teaching Western history and culture at the school. In his courses, Weintraub challenged students to broaden their outlooks by seeing history through the eyes of its major players. Changes in higher education led to the downsizing of many western civilization classes, but those taught by Weintraub and his wife, Katy O’Brien Weintraub, were left intact.
Weintraub won numerous awards during his distinguished academic career, including two Quantrell Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the E. Harris Harbison Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Amoco Foundation Award for Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Teaching. He served as the chair of the Committee on the History of Culture and dean of the Humanities Division.
Although Weintraub technically retired in 2001 as the Thomas E. Donnelley Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in History, he continued teaching for another year without pay. The author of numerous articles, he also penned two books: “Visions of Culture: Voltaire-Guizot-Burckhardt-Lamprecht-Huizinga-Ortega y Gassett” and “The Value of the Individual: Self and Circumstance in Autobiography.”
Weintraub died on March 25 from a brain tumor. He was 79.

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Jan Berry

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Categories: Musicians

William Jan Berry, one-half of the 1960s duo Jan & Dean, died on March 26. Cause of death was not released. He was 62.
Berry was attending University High School in West Los Angeles when he and his friends formed a doo-wop group called The Barons. Berry transformed his family’s garage into a practice area, complete with reel-to-reel tape machines and a piano, and hooked up with his friend Baron Arnie Ginsburg to record the song, “Jennie Lee.”
They went to a local recording studio to convert their tape into a record, and the catchy tune was overheard by producer Joe Lubin, vice president of Arwin Records. In June 1958, “Jennie Lee” by Jan & Arnie became a Top 10 hit. They appeared on the “Dick Clark Show” and played in front of nearly 12,000 fans at the first rock-n-roll show ever held at the Hollywood Bowl, but their follow-up singles didn’t sell as well. The duo broke up at the end of the year, and Arnie went to college to study architecture. The Barons also disbanded at graduation.
Berry and classmate Dean Torrence still wanted to make music, so they joined forces in college to form Jan & Dean. Inside Berry’s garage, they recorded the song, “Baby Talk,” which hit the Top 10 in 1959 and led to an appearance on Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand.” Jan & Dean became pioneers of the West Coast sound during the 1960s, chronicling the surf world of Southern California with a string of hits such as “Linda,” “The Little Old Lady From Pasadena” and “Surf City.”
“Deadman’s Curve,” which was co-written with Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, became a prophetic anthem for teens who risked their lives by driving too fast. In 1966, Berry’s own career was cut short when his speeding Corvette hit a parked landscaping truck. He suffered severe brain damage that left him partially paralyzed and unable to talk, and was forced to undergo years of recovery in order to resume singing and songwriting. In the mid-1980s, Southern California Rehabilitation Services launched the Jan Berry Center for the Brain Injured.
Discography

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Matthew Gribble

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Categories: Sports

Matthew Gribble, an Olympic swimmer who once held the world record in the 100-meter butterfly, died on March 21 in an automobile accident. He was 41.

Gribble and his 3 1/2-year-old son, Trahern, were returning home from the Miami-Dade County Fair when another driver hit their car head-on. Gribble died at the scene; his son was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital and later listed in stable condition.

An All-American at the University of Miami, Gribble won two NCAA titles and still holds the school record in the 100-meter fly with a time of 47.26. During his freshman year, he was selected for the Olympic swim team, but did not compete because the United States boycotted the 1980 Moscow Games.

Gribble was a member of the 400-meter medley relay team that won the gold medal at the 1982 World Games in Ecuador. The following year, he set and held the world record for the 100-meter butterfly for 326 days.

After winning three gold medals at the 1983 Pan American Games, Gribble made the 1984 U.S. swim team. He attended the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, but suffered a back injury and never competed past the preliminary round.

A financial officer at Hasbro, Gribble was a member of the University of Miami Hall of Fame.

[Update – June 2, 2005: The corner of SW 117th Ave. and 128 St. was renamed Matthew O. Gribble Street in honor of the late University of Miami swimmer and Olympian.]

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