Thrusday, December 31, 1998

Death dimmed shining lights of the Tristate

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Deaths among us diminished 1998 and took the well-known as well as those known only to Tristate residents lucky enough to have encountered them.

        Few exceeded the reach of Don Webb, the “dean of radio newsmen,” unless it was National Football League coach Wilbur Charles “Weeb” Ewbank and his televised triumphs.

        Estelle Berman's activism in neighborhood causes and the City Planning Commission shaped our lives in other ways, including the resurrection of the long-abandoned riverfront.

Controversial figures
        Another activist, whose work also made her the focus of controversy, was Ann Buford Mitchell, the retired executive director of Planned Parenthood of Cincinnati. She helped lead the recovery from an anti-abortion arsonist who destroyed Planned Parenthood's clinic in Mount Auburn.

        There were sighs of relief as well as gratitude for a life well- lived when the Rev. Maurice McCrackin, an anti-war campaigner and foe of racism, died. He inspired others to lives of simplicity and activism — but bedeviled police and prosecutors, who jailed him only to learn he would rather starve than cooperate with a system he considered unjust.

        Marian Ahlering was a Cincinnati Recreation Commission employee who also was a volunteer in recreation and planning.

        The medical community lost Cincinnati internist Herbert G. Magenheim; John R. Lyons, former chief of staff at Otto C. Epp Memorial Hospital; Judd Uhl, Hamilton anesthesiologist; Erwin Carl Binstadt, former medical director at Cincinnati Milacron; Thomas E. Fox, physician and community leader; Clifford Grulee Jr., former dean of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine; Charles Aring, founder of UC's department of neurology and Aring Institute; Kenneth Macleod, former Cincinnati health commissioner; and William Ransohoff, co-founder of UC's division of psychosomatic medicine.

Children's tragedies
        Hope emanated from the loss of James and Christopher Frank, teen-age brothers who died after a road accident in Clermont County, when their parents donated organs and tissue to at least seven people.

        A different message trailed the discovery of the body of Mary Love, a 6-year-old Colerain Township girl whose rape and slaying are blamed on a neighbor.

        Roger W. Blanchard, Epis copal bishop of Southern Ohio who helped Cincinnati recover from race riots in the 1960s, was the best-known local religious figure who died in 1998.

        Others were Sister Francine Nason, first principal of the St. Joseph Academy (now McNicholas High School), and Maria Bernardin, mother of the late Cardinal (and former Cincinnati archbishop) Joseph Bernardin.

Multifaceted givers
        A woman whose contributions defied categories was Harriet Janszen, community activist, public relations specialist, spokeswoman for Good Samaritan Hospital, committed Catholic laywoman and an Enquirer Woman of the Year in 1989.

        Enthusiasm for young people tied together the many facets of Ruth Voss' life. She was a former Enquirer reporter and youth editor who moved into activism and helped create the Lighthouse Youth Services (formerly New Life for Girls Inc.) She also was a director of public relations for Kings Island.

        The business community lost Assad Saba Halaby, a leader in the local Arab community and retired owner of Halaby Import Co.; John J. “Jack” Schiff, who started what became Cincinnati Financial Corp., and Anton Lenhardt, founder of the UC-area restaurant bearing his family name. John R. Roflow, florist and Turtlecreek Township trustee, and Joe R. Kidd, owner and president of several auto dealerships, also were among those who died in 1998.

Arts contributions
        The arts lost Judith Arron, a longtime manager at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, who became executive director of New York's Carnegie Hall; P.W. Manchester, the London-born writer and pioneer in dance criticism; Andrew White, baritone and professor emeritus at UC's College-Conservatory of Music; guitarist and teacher Lloyd Hazelbaker; jazz drummer Terry Moore; and Albert Washington, a leader in the Cincinnati blues scene.

        Public officials and figures who died in 1998 included E. Robert Turner, former Cincinnati city manager and former vice president for Federated Department Stores; Oscar Harold Koeppel, retired assistant postmaster for Middletown; Robert L. Marrs, former Butler County Common Pleas judge; Julie Winters, a Cincinnati police dispatcher who received parts of lungs from two brothers to slow the ravages of cystic fibrosis; Harold Daniel Jacobs, former Hamilton County health commissioner; and John H. Zenni, a Hamilton County Board of Elections administrator.

        And finally, people who needed a mover and shaker lost a powerful ally when businessman and philanthropist Edgar J. “Buddy” Mack Jr. died.


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