Obituaries, 8th-14th of February 2013

Richard Collins, Yodtong Senanan, Lyle Lahey, Zhuang Zedong & Reginald Turnill have passed away. May their souls rest in peace.


Richard Collins: July 20th 1914 – February 14th 2013
Hollywood director, screenwriter and producer, Richard Collins, has passed away this week aged 98. Born in New York City, Collins studied in schools across America and in France then attended the University of Stanford before landing a job with Columbia Pictures and later Fox. He went on to work for more of America's most prominent film studios including Warner Bros, Paramount and Universal. Collin's was involved with some of the country's most popular programs during the 1950s and 60s such as "Bonanza" and "Matlock," though his career was setback somewhat due to his links with the Communist Party in the 1930s. He was also a former member of the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League and the Joint Anti-Fascist Committee. Collins is survived by his son.

Yodtong Senanan: 1937 – February 8th 2013
Yodtong Senanan, a grandmaster of the martial art, Muay Thai, has passed away at the age of 75. A lifelong resident of Pattaya, Thailand, Senanan went on to produce nearly 60 tournaments, the greatest number in his country's history. His gym, Sityodtong, has been visited by top pugilists from around the world, by not only Muay Thai fighters, but those involved in UFC and K-1. Renowned American UFC fighter, Mark Dellagrotte, is a leading upholder of the sport in the US. Senanan remains the only Thai teacher to be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by his nation's Royal Family for his contribution to sport in Thailand.

Lyle Lahey: August 23rd 1931 – February 8th 2013
Writer, reporter and award-winning political cartoonist, Lyle Lahey has passed away. He was 81. Born in Abrams, Wisconsin, Lahey gained a journalism degree from Wisconsin-Madison University after fighting for the US Army in the Korean War. He later worked for WBAY TV and the Green Bay News Chronicle, the latter for nearly five decades. Lahey was greatly interested in politics, sport and environmental issues. He also authored the book, "The Packer Chronicles". Lahey is survived by his wife, three children, two step-children and step-grandchildren.

Zhuang Zedong: August 25th 1940 – February 10th 2013
Three-time world men's singles table tennis champion, Zhuang Zedong, has passed away this week. He was 72. Such was his status and success he is credited with helping improve China's relationship with America in the early 1970s, something that became known as "Ping Pong Diplomacy". A keen sportsman from a young age, Zhuang began competing in major tournaments while still in his teens, winning his first world championship in 1961. He went on to marry twice, his first wife being the pianist, Bao Huiqiao. Zhuang later founded an international table tennis club in Beijing and in 2007, toured numerous American universities to discuss his part in aiding improved relationships between the two nations. He is survived by his daughter.

Reginald Turnill: May 12th 1915 – February 12th 2013
Leading BBC aerospace journalist, Reginald Turnill, has passed away at the age of 97. Born in Dover, UK, Turnill secured his first media job as a reporter's telephonist for the Press Association aged only 15 where he was to work his way through the ranks until his recruitment to the BBC in the 1956. Turnill went on to be the broadcaster's top reporter of the NASA program, including all of the Apollo missions as well as the introduction of the supersonic passenger jet, Concorde. Turnill also contributed to numerous books regarding space and wrote for leading British newspapers including The Times and The Guardian. 2006 saw him honored with the Sir Arthur Clarke Lifetime Achievement Award. Tunrill is survived by his wife, two sons and two grandchildren.


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