A roundup of the week's notable obituaries

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David Broder, 81, a longtime Washington Post reporter and columnist so renowned for his evenhanded, down-the-middle approach that politicians spent years debating whether he was at heart a Republican or a Democrat, died Wednesday from complications from diabetes.

Jean Bartel, 87, the UCLA student who became Miss America of 1943 and was credited with selling $2.5 million in war bonds, died in her sleep last Sunday in Brentwood, Calif.

Kim Hill, 44, whose childhood battle with leukemia was the catalyst for creation of the first Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia in 1974, died March 5 in Orange, Calif., of brain tumors from radiation she received in the ’70s.

Mike DeStefano, a burly, tattooed comedian who turned his recovery from heroin addiction into honest, profanity-laced routines, died last Sunday in the Bronx. He was in his 40s; his lawyer could not provide a cause of death.

Mike Starr, 44, former bassist with Alice in Chains, was found dead in a home near downtown Salt Lake City on Tuesday. Police would not reveal further details about Starr, the original bassist for the Seattle-based grunge band. Salt Lake City police arrested him last month on suspicion of possession of medications without a required prescription.

Simon van der Meer, 85, a Dutch-born engineer and scientist and a Nobel laureate whose precise, ingenious technique for controlling beams of subatomic particles was vital to the success of one of the landmark experiments of modern science, died of undisclosed causes March 4 in Geneva.

Emmett J. Rice, 91, a former World Bank official and member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, died Thursday at his home in Camas, Clark County. He was the father of Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

John Lounge, 64, an astronaut who was part of the first shuttle mission after the 1986 Challenger disaster and logged a total 20 days in space before leaving to become director of space-shuttle and space-station program development for Boeing-NASA Systems, died Tuesday in Houston of undisclosed causes.

Eddie Kirkland, 87, a guitarist, singer, songwriter and harmonica player who performed with some of the greatest names in blues and soul, including John Lee Hooker and Otis Redding, died Feb. 27 in Tampa, Fla., of injuries sustained in an automobile accident as he drove between gigs that morning.

Hugh Martin, 96, the composer-songwriter whose works include “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “The Trolley Song,” died Friday in Encinitas, Calif.

Jean Dinning, 86, a songwriter who wrote the 1959 teen-tragedy hit “Teen Angel,” died Feb. 22 in Garden Grove, Calif.

Sally Meyerhoff, 27, a top American marathon runner who was training for the 2012 Olympic Trials, was killed Tuesday when she struck a pickup while riding her bike in Maricopa, Ariz.

Sam Chwat, 57, whose Speech Center in Manhattan has helped thousands of clients prepare for acting roles, succeed in business or assimilate into the rushing stream of American argot by losing — or gaining — regional accents, died of lymphoma Thursday in Manhasset, N.Y.