Bishop Francis A. Quinn, 97, the oldest living Catholic bishop in the country and Sacramento’s spiritual head of Catholics, died Thursday
Quinn was said to inspire faith through action. He went out of his way to minister to people on the margins of society, including death-row inmates and AIDS patients. He distributed groceries at food closets and washed dishes in soup kitchens. He roamed K Street Mall in Sacramento at night, slipping $20 bills to homeless people.
Alan Krueger, 58, the Princeton University economist who served as chairman of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers and was one of the profession’s top experts on the labor market, was found dead in his home in Princeton, New Jersey, on March 16. His family said Krueger took his own life.
Krueger, who had been a professor at Princeton since 1987, served in Obama’s White House from 2011 to 2013 after a stint as the Treasury Department’s assistant secretary for economic policy. In addition, he served as chief economist at the Labor Department for a year during President Bill Clinton’s administration.
Krueger’s research focused mainly on the labor market, yet he often managed to hit the key political and social debates of the day. He argued in the 1990s that increases in the minimum wage didn’t necessarily lead to job losses. He introduced the notion of the “Great Gatsby Curve” to show links between wealth concentration and social mobility across generations.
Barbara Hammer, 79, an experimental filmmaker who began celebrating lesbian sexuality and history in her work in the 1970s, and who in her last years turned her battle against cancer into cinematic art, died March 16 in her partner’s home in Manhattan. The cause was endometrioid ovarian cancer.
“One of my goals was to put a lesbian on camera — on film — in the 20th century and now into the 21st century, because when I began there weren’t any that I could find,” she told Nomorepotlucks, an online art, culture and politics journal, in a 2009 interview.
Dick Dale, 81, whose pounding, blaringly loud power-chord instrumentals on songs like “Miserlou” and “Let’s Go Trippin’” earned him the title King of the Surf Guitar, died March 16. Dale said he developed his musical style when he sought to merge the sounds of the crashing ocean waves he heard while surfing with melodies inspired by the rockabilly music he loved. His fingering style was so frenetic that he shredded guitar picks during songs, a technique that forced him to stash spares on his guitar’s body.
W.S. Merwin, 91, prolific and versatile master of modern poetry who evolved through a wide range of styles as he celebrated nature, condemned war and industrialism and reached for the elusive past, died in his sleep March 15 at his Maui home in Hawaii. A double Pulitzer Prize winner — in 1971 and 2009 — and former U.S. poet laureate, he completed more than 20 books and ranked high in the pantheon for decades, from early works inspired by myths and legends to late meditations on age and time. He received virtually every honor a poet could ask for — more, it turned out, than he wanted. To protest the Vietnam War, he declined the Pulitzer in 1971 for “The Carrier of Ladders.”
Jake Phelps, 56, the caustic, funny and brash longtime editor of skateboarding’s most revered magazine, Thrasher, a position that made him a tastemaker in a subculture known for resenting authority, was found dead March 14 at his home in San Francisco. His death was announced by Thrasher in an Instagram post, which did not specify a cause.
Vikram Jandhyala, 47, the University of Washington’s innovation leader and a conduit between the school and the region’s tech community, has died. The cause was suicide.
After leading the department of electrical and computer engineering, he overhauled UW’s startup office by changing its focus and rebranding it CoMotion, shifting the office’s mission from helping fledgling tech companies to bridging innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the university. Last month, Jandhyala announced he planned to step down as executive director of CoMotion after five years of leading the center.
Jandhyala also helped launch and became the co-CEO of the Global Innovation Exchange (GIX). The graduate institution was a new kind of partnership between UW and China’s Tsinghua University. The Bellevue-based GIX graduated its first class in December.
Bernard Krisher, 87, an idealistic, driven journalist who founded Cambodia’s first English-language daily newspaper and, as a philanthropist, established a hospital, an orphanage and hundreds of schools around Cambodia, died March 5 in Tokyo. His death was reported Mondayby his newspaper, The Cambodia Daily, which quoted family members as saying the cause was heart failure.