The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California on February 5, 2007 · Page 82
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California · Page 82

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ME_B_7_B7_VN_1_02-05-07_mo_1_CMYK 2007:02:04:22:14:06_ VN MONDAY,FEBRUARY5,2007 B7 LOSANGELESTIMES Obituaries Hans J. Wegner, 92; furniture designer made elegant chairs Hans J. Wegner, 92, a Danish furniture designer best known for his functional yet elegant chairs, died Jan. 26 at his home in Copenhagen, said his daughter, Eva Wegner. She did not provide a cause of death. Born in 1914 to a master cobbler in Tonder, Denmark, Wegner was trained as a cabinetmakerbefore attending the Copenhagen School of Arts and Crafts. His international breakthrough came in 1949 with the Round Chair, which soon became a classic. Itwas used 11 years later in thetelevised U.S.presidential debates between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. “All designers should be carpenters,” Wegner told the New York Times in 1998. “When you sit in a chair, you should feel that the person who has made it has enjoyed it, that every detail has been worked out.” George Becker, 78; was sixth president of steelworkers union George Becker, 78, the sixth president of the United Steelworkers of America, died Saturday of prostate cancer at his home in Gibsonia, Pa. Becker, a second-generation steelworker, rose through the union’s ranks and was elected president in 1993. He was reelected four years later. As president, he helped implement mergers with the United Rubber Workers and the Aluminum, Brick and Glass Workers Union. Those actions brought 140,000 new members into the steelworkers union. Starting in 1985, Becker served two terms as the union’s international vice president for administration. Becker grew up near the steel plant in Granite City, Ill., where he started working at the age of 15. He also worked as acrane operator at General Steel Castings and an assembler at Fisher Body. He served in the Marines after World War II and was in the Army during the Korean War. From Times Staff and Wire Reports PASSINGS Jakob Maarbjerg HANS J. WEGNER The furniture designer’s Round Chair was used in the televised U.S. presidential debates between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon in 1960. Looking for an obituary that appeared in The Times last week? You can still find it on the Internet. Go to The Times’ website at la- times.com/obits. Finding News Obituaries By Dennis McLellan Times Staff Writer For 40 years, from 1947 to 1987, Floyd Levin owned a downtown Los Angeles textile manufacturing company that made tablecloths, aprons, toaster and barbecue covers, and other housewares. But Levin also had an abiding passion for jazz, and for nearly two decades longer than the four he spent at Parvin Manufacturing Co. he had asecond career as a jazz journalist and historian. He was on a first-name basis with musical greats such as Louis Armstrong, in whose honor Levin led a fundraising campaign to erect a statue of the legendary jazz trumpeter in his hometown of New Orleans. Levin died Jan. 29 of a heart attack at his home in Studio City, said his grandson, Marc Levin. He was 84. Beginning with his first published article in 1949 — on trombonist Edward “Kid” Ory in Melody Maker — and continuing up to his death, Levin wrote hundreds of reviews and profiles that appeared in such publications as Jazz Journal, Metronome and Down Beat. The author of “Classic Jazz: A Personal View of the Music and the Musicians,” a 2000 book published by the University of California Press, Levin also conducted scores of oral interviews with jazz musicians that he donated to the Smithsonian Institution and to the jazz archive at Tulane University in New Orleans. “Although he was very good friends with Louis Armstrong and he wrote about other giants like Duke Ellington and Count Basie, he was always interested in the underdog, the guy who very few other people knew about but who played a very significant role in music,” said Dan Del Fiorentino,historian for the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, Calif. In 1949, Levin co-founded the Southern California Hot Jazz Society, the second oldest jazz appreciation club in the United States. Levin’s visitto New Orleans in the late 1960s led to his efforts to honor Armstrong with a statue. “He was on a tour bus and there was no mention of Louis Armstrong or his contribution to the city,” Marc Levin said. “He, at that moment, decided that was an injustice to Louis Armstrong and started a fundraising campaign on that bus.” As a major fundraiser for the statue in 1970, Levin produced a 70th birthday party for Armstrong at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Emceed by songwriter-mu- sician Hoagy Carmichael, the onstage birthday bash before anear-capacity crowd of 6,000 included Armstrong’s reminiscences as a slide show chronicled his life and an array of traditionalist musicians played the music that represented the various phases of his career. The memorable musical evening also featured songs by Sarah Vaughan and other artists, a six-tiered, 800-pound, 11-foot-tall birthday cake and several songs sung by Armstrong himself, who led the crowd in a sing-along rendition of “Hello, Dolly!” as midnight approached and July 3 turned into the Fourth of July, his birthday. “I’ve had a lot of wonderful honors in my life,” Armstrong said when it was over, “but tonight has been the biggest thrill of all.” Then, in what then-Times critic Leonard Feather wrote “was a rare display of offstage emotion,” Armstrong kissed Levin on the cheek. Armstrong died in 1971, but Levin continued to raise funds for the statue. Among the donors was Bing Crosby, who provided an urgently needed $10,000 for the statue’s completion in time to be unveiled, on a flatbed truck, in New Orleans during national television coverage of the nation’s bicentennial celebration on July 4, 1976. In 1980, the 11-foot-tall bronze statue of “Satchmo” holding his trademark trumpet and handkerchief was dedicated at Louis Armstrong Park. Born in Minneapolis on Sept. 24, 1922, Levin moved to California with his family when he was 2. He attended UCLA for two years before working at Douglas Aircraft during World WarII and then going into business with his father, Sam. By then he had developed his lifelong interest in jazz, which later included producing numerous jazz albums. Marc Levin said his grandfather made arrangements to donate the majority of his jazz collection to the Smithsonian. The extensive collection, he said, includes thousands of recordings, photos and news articles, numerous instruments from jazz-musician friends, and one of Levin’s most prized possessions: “Louis Armstrong’s mouthpiece that was a gift to him many years ago.” In addition to his grandson, Levin is survived by his wife of 65 years, Lucille; his son, Dennis; and a great- granddaughter. dennis.mclellan@ latimes.com ‘He was always interested in the underdog.’ Dan Del Fiorentino, historian for the Museum of Making Music Floyd Levin, 84; influential jazz journalist and historian FLOYD LEVIN The journalist, shown with Louis Armstrong in 1970, led a drive to honor the jazz legend with a statue in his birthplace, New Orleans. threats. A reporter for the radio station was assaulted and had an interview tape stolen as he left the campus. Police arrested asuspect in September, and he is scheduled for arraignment tomorrow. Long before the arrest, I had been calling, e-mailing and dropping by the school to see for myself what was up, but my requests for interviews and visits went nowhere. Now that Semillas del Pueblo is up for renewal, the founders, trustees and many supportive families who send their children to the school are clearly worried. So, with Caprice Young,who heads the California Charter Schools Assn.,greasing my way (her group has been supportive of the school and is evaluating whether to let it stay under its umbrella), I finally made it past the reception desk. Aguilar and Ferguson and other trustees bloomed as activists during their college days in the Chicano rights movement of the ’60s and ’70s, and continue to express provocative views. Two years ago, for instance, in discussing Semillas del Pueblo and its single-minded devotion to “indigenous” children, Aguilar told an interviewer for an online UCLA education publication: “The whole issue of segregation and the whole issue of the civil rights movement is all within the box of the white culture and white supremacy....And ultimately the white way, the American way, the neo- liberal, capitalist way of life will eventually lead to our own destruction.” Awebsite for the hyperventilating Mexica movement ( www.mexicauprising.net ) posted Aguilar’s remarks along with a letter from the school protesting the “hate speech” against it, further enflaming blogland. In my brief tour of the school last week, I saw nothing to suggest that such stridency has trickled down to the colorful learning areas, which sprawl one into another over two floors in accord with the school’s collaborative teaching philosophy — Hueheutlamachilistle — “the way of our ancestors.” Throughout the school, the students appeared happy and engaged. A class of younger children greeted us haltingly in the four languages the school teaches: Spanish, English, Mandarin and Nahuatl — an indigenous tongue. With ceilings that could be 25-feet high in the main area, the school roars with children’s voices — a pleasant roar. On my other attempts to visit, I’d glimpsed a similar scene, and also watched the children and teachers — most of whom wear bright red T-shirts — pound drums and dance on the small asphalt playground. So far, the school’s test scores are lousy — but pretty much on apar with other schools in the area’s poor, Spanish-speaking neighborhoods. Sixth-graders’ test scores, however, have shown marked improvement, Young, of the charter schools group,says. As my tour progressed, we picked up an entourage, and by the time we arrived in a conference room, guided by a nice public relations person, a dozen people, some dressed in colorful native clothing, had gathered, including the school’s visiting Zuni elder storyteller. Parents said they loved the way the school involved the community and encouraged creativity. One mother spoke of being mistreated and discriminated against when she was a public school student. She said her child thrives at Semillas del Pueblo because it’s safe and honors the dignity of indigenous culture. The white father of a child whose mother is Latino said the school teaches respect for all cultures and peaceful conflict resolution. The school’s philosophy draws from mystical influences, such as Nahui Olin — “the four forces or movements” — but Semillas del Pueblo is also training its teachers to adopt the early grade variation of the International Baccalaureate Organization, a respected program used by schools worldwide “to teach children world citizenship and encourage them to be active learners, well-rounded individuals and engaged international citizens.” But where does the United States fit in? Conservative blogs have blasted the school for its allegiance to a fuzzy notion of pan- native wisdom, apparently at the expense of assimilation into what might be termed traditional “American values.” As a starting point into this thorny area, I raised the question of whether students say the Pledge of Allegiance. The conversation spiraled into a rhetorical vortex where “yes” or “no” was supplanted with a scolding about mainstream public schools’ failure to teach the U.S. Constitution’s roots in indigenous cultures, a lecture on Europeans’ slaughter of this continent’s original inhabitants, arap about the importance of “choice” as a democratic principle, assurances that the school teaches to state standards, and this: “I’m sure many gang members say the Pledge of Allegiance.” I’m not sure it means much if aschool does or doesn’t encourage students to salute the flag. But please don’t play readers of this column for chumps. Give a straight answer, move on to a deeper discussion of ideological loyalties and let readers evaluate your reasoning. Me, I happen to think that, while flawed, the U.S. at this moment in the 21st century is about as good as civilization has gotten for most people — and notches above most collectivist societies, indigenous or otherwise. But that’s mainly because of our freedoms, our opportunities, our ever-increasing tolerance and the penchant for risk-taking those benefits encourage. So what the heck. If parents want to send their kids to a school that teaches the Aztecs’ math system, and if the students are happy and learning to read and write as well as kids in regular schools nearby, why not let the experiment continue? Who can doubt that the mainstream has more to learn from the cultures it has merged with or supplanted? Sure, Aguilar, Ferguson and company exude a kooky, cultic vibe. But they clearly care deeply about their students. It’s not as if the district offers great alternatives in poor Latino neighborhoods. Nor are the sweet- looking kids I met likely to blossom anytime soon into an organized cadre of latter-day Aztec warriors. Even if critics’ worst fears were to prove accurate, it would take a while for these students to start repossessing the homes and health club memberships of anyone whose DNA doesn’t reveal a mil- lennium of ancestral habitation on this “stolen” continent. After all, despite their immersion into all things indigenous, other powerful influences, good and ugly, are simultaneously working on these young souls. Even as they’re out there dancing beside the school’s beautiful two-story Aztec mural, they can’t help but glance over the chain-link to another looming message from the dominant culture: a monstrous billboard for Burger King. To discuss this column or the question, “Should taxpayer money be spent on schools with controversial agendas?” please visit latimes.com/schoolme. Bob Sipchen can be reached at bob.sipchen@latimes.com. Political indoctrination’s place in public schools [ Sipchen, from Page B1 ] FREE CONSULTATION FREE CONSULTATION No Recovery  No Fee No Recovery  No Fee If you suspect a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, CALL NOW! Maher, Guiley and Maher, P.A. Concentrating in Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Cases www.maherlawfirm.com www.maherlawfirm.com (TollFree) 888-859-2043 (Toll Free) 888-859-2043 NURSING HOME NEGLECT StevenR.Maher.Esq. Steven R. Maher. Esq. UnexplainedInjuries  Unexplained Injuries BrokenBones  Broken Bones Dehydration  Dehydration DecubitusUlcers(Bedsores)  Decubitus Ulcers (Bedsores) WeightLoss  Weight Loss BUENO, M.D.,Jesse R. Born in Los Angeles November 21, 1920, passed away in Dana Point on January 27, 2007. Dr. Bueno retired from his busy medical practice in East Los Angeles in 1985 and served as volunteer clinical professor of anatomy at UCI School of Medicine for 40 years. Students rated him among the top teachers in the basic sciences curriculum. He was a Lauds & Laurels recipient in 1997 honored as Distinguished Alumnus for his career-long efforts and success in bringing attention to and funding for the Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology. He served on the Admission Committee and was an inspiring mentor to many of his students. Dr. Bueno served in Africa during World War II. He later enjoyed world travel and was a member of Los Angeles Adventurer’s Club and spent 6 months in the jungles of the Amazon. He was an avid golfer and member of El Niguel Country Club and won many Pro-Am tournaments in Nevada over the years. He played basketball as a youth, surfed and enjoyed snow-skiing with his family. He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Elizabeth, and their children Kimberly, Spencer, Camille and Snoka, Erik, Thor (wife Jennifer), his children from a previous marriage and one grandchild, Odin, born last September. Those wishing to honor Dr. Bueno’s lifetime achievements may make a contribution to UCI School of Medicine, Dept. of Anatomy and Neurobiology. No services per decedent’s wishes. BAUS,Ruth Brumme Died February 1, 2007. She was born in New York in 1917 and moved to Los Angeles as a child. She attended UCLA and later helped found the UCLA Friends of Archaeology. She became one of the first woman stockbrokers in Los Angeles and was associated with Crowell Weedon for over 40 years. Ruth was a devoted supporter of the Los Angeles Philharmonic through her work on the Executive Board and as a past President of the Committee of Professional Women. She loved art and was a generous benefactor of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She was an enthusiastic and adventurous world traveler. Ruth will be greatly missed by her many friends. _______________________________________ ForObituaryAssistance call1-800-528-4637 Ext.77241or77242 LEWIS,Lillian Perell Gilbert In Loving Memory (1914-2007) Dearly beloved mother of Lawrence Gilbert (Karen Crotty) and Linda Thieben (Norman Alden). Devoted grandmother of Kevin (Teresa), Randall, Sherri Thieben, Laurie (Todd) Strassman, Liz (Adam) Schaffer and Leslie (Jeff) Goldstein. Proud great-grandmother (GG) of Jessica, Danielle, Amelia, Hayden, Olivia, Oshiana Lilly and Ella. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Westside Children’s Center, 12120 Wagner St., Culver City, CA 90230 or to your charity of choice. LEVY,Rebecca Mount Sinai Memorial Parks and Mortuaries - Hollywood Hills (800) 600-0076 KORAN,Marion Mount Sinai Memorial Parks & Mortuaries - Hollywood Hills (800) 600-0076 GELLER,Fred Marvin Hillside Mortuary (800)576-1994 EIGENBRODT,Doris T. Born July 8, 1924 Beloved wife, mother and grandmother passed away Thursday, February 1, 2007. Devoted wife of Bob; loving mother of Bill, Susan and Eric; special mother-in-law to Kari and Sam; and one-of-a-kind grandmother to Nora Mary, Elijah, Jakob and Joshua. Doris is also remembered by her many family members and friends from her hometown state of Minnesota. A memorial service will be held Wednesday, Feb. 7th at 1p.m. in the Faith Chapel at Forest Lawn/Hollywood Hills. A viewing will be held Tuesday, Feb. 6th between 5 and 9 p.m. at Forest Lawn/Hollywood Hills. DRESSER,Harold Alvin Mount Sinai Memorial Parks & Mortuaries - Hollywood Hills (800) 600-0076 ForObituaryAssistance call1-800-528-4637 Ext.77241or77242 TRACY,Pierre J. 95 years old. Born June 4, 1911in St. Louis, MO, raised in Chicago and died Jan. 29, 2007, Huntington Beach, CA. He was in excellent health until Dec. 23 and declined rapidly due to CHF. Pierre was preceded in death by his wife Mary who passed July 16, 2001. Survived by five children, William Tracy, Portland, OR., Barbara Tracy, Mary Galyonand Frances Carles all from Orange County, CA and Joseph Tracy from Encinitas, CA., 11grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and one great- great-grandson. Pierre (Pete) was a Teacher, Counselor, Helper, Hero, Husband, Father and our Best Friend. Rosary will be held at Heritage Memorial Services, Huntington Beach, Monday, Feb. 5, 2007 at p.m. Funeral Feb. 6, 2007 at St. Bonaventure Catholic Church at 12:30 p.m. Burial immediately follows at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery. SAGET,Benjamin M. The memorial service for Benjamin M. Sagetwas held Sunday, February 4, 2007 at Mount Sinai Memorial Park , in the Hollywood Hills . Benjamin Morton Saget passed away on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 due to complications from congestive heart failure. He was born August 28, 1917 and is survived by his wife of sixty-three years, Dolly, his son Bob, and grandchildren, Adam, Aubrey, Lara and Jennie. A retired Senior Executive with a supermarket chain after forty-one years, Ben Saget happily resided in Brentwood with Dolly until the time of his death. The family has asked that any donations be made to the Scleroderma Research Foundation 1-800-441-CURE. Toplacean ObituaryNotice CallMs.Ryan orMs.Smith 1-800-528-4637 Ext.77241orExt.77242 Forassistance regarding ObituaryNotices CallMs.Ryan orMs.Smith forunderstandingand helpfulservice 1-800-528-4637 Ext.77241orExt.77242 paidobits@latimes.com INGLEWOOD MEMORIAL PARK 2 Dbl Plots, C & D, "Siesta" area, $6,000 each (970) 759-8193 pp EDEN MEMORIAL-2 Maus. spaces, Court of Prophets, level G. $14, 500 (760)772-1268 or (760) 567-0185 pp FOREST LAWN COVINA HILLS, 2 side by side lots, "Inspiration" Lot 588 $3,500 ea/obo (951) 201-4002 pp FOREST LAWN HOLLYWOOD HILLS "Eternal Love" Section. 1cemetery plot, $3500. Call (800) 397-4146. CemeteryLots/Crypts

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