Obituaries 1st – 7th March 2013

Claude King, Rajasulochana, James Strong, Sir Alan Smith & Don Scott have passed away. May their souls rest in peace.


Claude King: February 5th 1923 – March 7th 2013
Claude King, the country music singer whose 1962 smash-hit song "Wolveton Mountain" sold over a million units, has passed away this week at the age of 90. Born in Keithville, Louisiana, King bought his first guitar aged 12 and later in life joined the TV and radio show "Louisiana Hayride" which he frequented with such esteemed guests as Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and Elvis Presley. 1961 saw him sign with Columbia Records where he secured his first top ten country hit with the song "Big River, Big Man." His other hits included "The Burning of Atlanta," "Sheepskin Valley" and "Hey Lucille!" King also had minor roles in a handful of movies and appeared in the TV series "The Blue and the Gray." He is survived by his wife, three sons and six grandchildren.

Rajasulochana: August 15th, 1935 – March 5th, 2013
Indian actress and dancer, Rajasulochana has passed away this week aged 78. Born in what is now Vijayawada, India, she learned classical dance from a young age and her first acting break came with an appearance in the 1953 movie "Gunasagari." She went on to appear in over 300 films, often acting with some of India's most well-known stars such as Sivaji Ganesan, A. P. Nagarajan and Rajkumar. In 1961 Rajasulochana founded the dance school Pushpanjali Nritya Kala Kendram. She was married to the Director/Actor C.S. Rao. Rajasulochana is survived by her son and two daughters.

James Strong: July 31st, 1944 – March 3rd, 2013
Philanthropist, businessman and CEO of Qantas Airlines, James Strong, has passed away this week at the age of 68. Born in Lismore, Australia, he went on to attend the Universities of Queensland and Sydney before working as a lawyer. Strong became CEO of Australian Airlines in 1986 and managing director of the DB Breweries Group of New Zealand in 1992. 1993-2001 saw him act as chief executive and managing director of Qantas, later being appointed to the board. Strong took a keen interest in the arts and dedicated much of his time to organisations such as the Australian Council for the Arts and Opera Australia, as well as a number of sporting ventures. In 2001 he was awarded the Centenary Medal and five years later was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia. Strong is survived by his wife and two sons.

Sir Alan Smith: March 14th, 1917 – March 1st, 2013
Businessman and former Second World War ace Spitfire pilot Sir Alan Smith passed away this week aged 95. Born in South Shields, UK, he later volunteered to join the Royal Air Force where he eventually flew for its No. 616 Squadron for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery. Smith also trained Americans to fly the Spitfire, based in Florida. He left the force in 1945, moving to Scotland where he became managing director of a leading textile company. 1976 saw him appointed as a Commander of the British Empire and he was knighted in 1982. Smith is survived by his second wife, three sons and two daughters.

Don Scott: July 23rd, 1928 – March 1st, 2013
Former British Olympic boxer, Don Scott, has passed away at the age of 84. Born in Derby, UK, he took up boxing aged 12 and represented Britain as an amateur at the 1948 Summer Olympic Games were he won the Silver medal in the Light Heavyweight division. Two years later he won gold at the Empire Games in New Zealand. He later turned professional then took to coaching the sport in his home town where he also worked in the retail management sector. Last year Scott was one of the bearers of the torch at the London Olympics. He is survived by his two children, two grandchildren and great grandson.

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