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Gus Cifelli

NFL, college football star

Gus Cifelli, 84, a tackle who played on three national championship teams at Notre Dame and helped the Detroit Lions to the 1952 National Football League title, died of natural causes March 26 at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., according to A.J. Desmond & Sons funeral home.

Augustus Cifelli was born in Philadelphia in 1925 and served in the Marines during World War II. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1950. That year Cifelli was drafted by the Detroit Lions. He also played for Green Bay, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

After his football career ended, he earned a law degree at the University of Detroit Mercy. He was elected in 1973 as a judge to the 48th District Court in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

Cifelli called on his athletic ability in the courtroom in 1978, according to a report in The Times that year. When a litigant pulled out a gun and grabbed his attorney after a suit the man had filed was dismissed, the judge leaped over the bench and tackled the man, holding him until police arrived. Cifelli retired from the bench in 2000.

Richard Matlow

Thoroughbred horse trainer

Richard Matlow, 66, a longtime thoroughbred trainer who won his only graded stakes race in November at Hollywood Park, died Tuesday at his home in Monrovia, his family said.

He had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the progressive neurodegenerative disease commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Matlow retired in January, only weeks after Jack O'Lantern, a 19-1 shot, won the $103,700 Hollywood Prevue race at Hollywood Park on Nov. 23.

He had been training horses since 1968, mostly lower-level allowance horses and claiming stock.

Born May 28, 1942, in Los Angeles, Matlow ran horses at Santa Anita Park and Del Mar, in addition to Hollywood Park.

He also worked as a bloodstock agent, evaluating young horses headed for the auction block.

-- times staff and wire reports news.obits@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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