Hugh Newell Jacobsen, 91, award-winning architect whose deceptively simple designs for homes and prominent public buildings honored the values of traditional styles while cleverly infusing modernist sensibilities, died Thursday of complications from COVID-19 in a Front Royal, Virginia, nursing home. He won some of his profession’s highest accolades, Architectural Digest inducted him into its hall of fame, and he was a regular member of the AD100, the magazine’s annual list of the world’s top architects and designers.
Bunny Wailer, 73, reggae luminary who was the last surviving founding member of the legendary group The Wailers, died Tuesday at a hospital in his native Jamaica. He died of complications from a stroke he had in July.
Wailer, a baritone born Neville O’Riley Livingston, formed The Wailers in 1963 with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh when they lived in a slum in Jamaica’s capital, Kingston. They catapulted to international fame with the album, “Catch a Fire” and helped popularize Rastafarian culture among better-off Jamaicans starting in the 1970s. Best known for his work in songs including “Simmer Down,” “Rude Boy,” “Get Up, Stand Up,” “I Shot the Sheriff,” “Stir It Up,” “Blackheart Man” and dozens more, Wailer’s Zen-like approach to music creation helped manifest a whole new language, one focused on groove and vibe. After leaving the Wailers in 1973, Wailer carried on as a solo artist, releasing more than two dozen studio albums.
Vernon Jordan, 85, who rose from humble beginnings in the segregated South to become a champion of civil rights before reinventing himself as a Washington insider and corporate influencer, died at his Washington, D.C., home Monday night. A cause was not given.
He was a key campaign adviser to Clinton during his first presidential campaign and co-chaired Clinton’s transition team. Although Jordan held no official role in the Clinton White House, he was influential and had such labels as the “first friend.”
After serving as field secretary for the Georgia NAACP and executive director of the United Negro College Fund, Jordan headed the National Urban League, becoming the face of Black America’s modern struggle for jobs and justice for more than a decade. He was nearly killed by a racist’s bullet in 1980 before transitioning to business and politics.
Growing up in the Jim Crow South and living much of his life in a segregated America, Jordan took a strategic view of race issues. “My view on all this business about race is never to get angry, no, but to get even,” Jordan said in a New York Times interview in 2000. “You don’t take it out in anger; you take it out in achievement.”
Toko Shinoda, 107, a Japanese artist who worked in the ancient tradition of calligraphy, using ink that was centuries old to produce works that were regarded as gems of modern abstract expressionism, died March 1 at a hospital in Tokyo.
In a career that lasted more than seven decades, Shinoda attracted attention in Asia, the United States and Europe, although in some critical estimations she was denied the degree of fame her talents deserved. Writing in the London Independent in 2011, gallerist Richard Ingleby described Shinoda as “one of the greatest of all 20th-century Japanese artists.”
“It is a rare artist whose modernism is rooted in tradition without compromise in either direction,” art critic John Canaday wrote in The New York Times in 1971, declaring Shinoda “such a rarity.”
Johnny Briggs, 85, a British actor best known for his role as Cockney clothing factory boss Mike Baldwin for 30 years in the long-running TV soap opera “Coronation Street,” died peacefully on the morning of Feb. 28 after a long illness. Briggs was appointed an MBE, or a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, in Queen Elizabeth II’s New Year Honors in 2006.
Deems Tsutakawa, 69, a notable Seattle jazz pianist, who was born into one of the city’s most esteemed families of artists — his father was the renowned sculptor George Tsutakawa, his mother classical musician Ayame Tsutakawa — died Feb. 25. The cause was cancer.
A ubiquitous presence in the Seattle region, Tsutakawa performed everywhere from Benaroya Hall to the King Cat Theater and Highway 99 Blues Club, extending all the way to Hawaii. In 2018 he released “Deems and Friends Live in Hawaii,” which was nominated for Jazz Album of the Year by the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts. His sound was described as light of touch and buoyant, yet enriched by soul and Tsutakawa’s big heart.
Margaret Maron, 82, whose crime fiction, much of it set in her native North Carolina, racked up mystery-writing awards and a devoted army of fans, died Feb. 23 in hospice care in Raleigh, North Carolina. The cause was stroke-related illness.
Maron was known for two series featuring strong female characters. The first, introduced in “One Coffee With” in 1981, was Sigrid Harald, a New York City police detective, who solved crimes and dealt with the obstacles of being a woman in what was at the time a largely male profession.
Charlie Brydon, 81, a pioneering Seattle LGBTQ+ activist and successful entrepreneur, died on Feb. 9 in Oakland, California. The cause was complications of Alzheimer’s disease, according to his family. He was described by friends and colleagues as undeterred if someone would disagree with him about civil rights for gays and lesbians.Skeptics would be old they simply needed more information.
Brydon, a master networker, established the game-changing Dorian Group in Seattle in the mid-1970s. The organization brought together gay professionals in public luncheons. The idea for participants was to share experiences and ideas about how to make Seattle a more friendly place for those who are LGBTQ+. At the time, inviting LGBTQ+ Seattleites out of the closet was a novel step toward equality.
Brydon and the Dorian Group built bridges at those gatherings with such local leaders as Mayor Wes Uhlman, police Chief Robert Hanson, Seattle City Council members and Catholic Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen.