The week’s passages
A roundup of notable obituaries from the week ending Aug. 30.
Steve Harris, 68, praised as a visionary police chief, who headed the Redmond Police Department for 28 years and retired in 2009, died Sunday night in a head-on car crash near Redmond that critically injured his wife, Margaret, and killed the other driver.
Bob Gogerty, 74, a Seattle native son who as a political strategist and business consultant became one of the city’s most influential and connected citizens — notably, orchestrating public approval and funding for the new Seahawks stadium and helping preserve Pike Place Market — died in his sleep after going to bed Aug. 22 in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
John A. Walker Jr., 77, the retired U.S. Navy warrant officer convicted during the Cold War of leading a family spy ring for the Soviet Union — considered at the time among the largest and most devastating leaks of military secrets in the nation’s history, which led to a life sentence — died Thursday in a prison hospital in Butner, N.C. The cause of death was not released.
John Sperling, 93, who was illiterate into his teens, became a college professor and then the billionaire founder of the for-profit University of Phoenix, which launched a revolution in higher education with its focus on adult and distance learning, died Aug. 22 in Greenbrae, Calif.
Richard Attenborough, 90, who after a distinguished stage and film acting career in Britain became the internationally admired director of the monumental “Gandhi” and other films, died last Sunday. No location was given.
Philippine de Rothschild, 80, “the baroness,” a member of the vaunted winemaking family who as its first female head in generations helped modernize and expand the renowned enterprise, died Aug. 23 in Paris of complications from surgery.
Gerald One Feather, 76, the respected Oglala Sioux leader, former tribal president and tireless advocate for educational opportunities, died Aug. 21 in Rapid City, S.D., from a stroke suffered while on dialysis.
Helen Bamber, 89, whose volunteering to comfort broken survivors of a Nazi concentration camp when she was 19 inspired her to devote her next seven decades to helping more than 50,000 victims of torture in 90 countries through nonprofits, some of which she founded, died Aug. 21 in London.
Ahmed Seif, 63, one of Egypt’s most prominent civil-rights lawyers and campaigners, who endured imprisonment and torture in the 1970s and ’80s, died Wednesday in Cairo from complications after heart surgery.
John Akers, 79, the CEO and chairman who restructured IBM when the rise of the personal computer undercut the profitability of the mainframe computer business, died Aug. 22, of a stroke, in Boston.
Steven Nagel, 67, an Air Force test pilot and astronaut who flew on four space-shuttle flights, died of cancer Aug. 21 in Columbia, Mo.