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Peter Bloch; Helped Develop Ultrasound Technology

Peter Bloch, 79, who co-founded the company that developed ultrasound technology. A refugee from Nazi Germany, Bloch started Branson Instruments in 1946 with two other men in a garage in Danbury, Conn. The company developed ultrasound and applied it to several medical uses, including fetal monitoring. It also developed devices to test railroad tracks, turbines and ship hulls. On July 7 in New London, N.H., of an apparent aneurysm.

* Jimmy Driftwood; Folk Singer Who Wrote ‘Battle of New Orleans’

Jimmy Driftwood, 91, a schoolteacher who tied a history lesson to a new career with his folk song, “The Battle of New Orleans.” Born James Corbett Morris, he wrote the song to teach war history to his students. He recorded the song in 1957, but it became famous with a 1960 version by the late Johnny Horton. Morris changed his name to Jimmy Driftwood and went on to write about 6,000 folk songs, 300 of which were published or recorded. He won Grammy awards for “The Battle of New Orleans,” “Wilderness Roads,” “Songs of Billy Yank and Johnny Reb” and “Tennessee Stud,” which was a hit for Eddy Arnold. Driftwood performed with the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn., and created the Ozark Folk Center at Mountain View, Ark. He also established the Driftwood Barn near there and gave free weekly performances. He deeded the barn to what is now the University of Central Arkansas to promote the study of folk music. On Sunday in Fayetteville, Ark., of a heart attack.

* Abe Lipsey; Attorney, Furrier and Philanthropist

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Abe Lipsey, 94, attorney, furrier and philanthropist who supported medical and educational institutions. Born in Geneva, N.Y., Lipsey moved west while a teenager and studied at Los Angeles High School and USC and its law school. He became a fur dealer and was known as “furrier to the stars.” He was also a respected amateur golfer and boosted the careers of such golf champions as Gary Player. Lipsey befriended clients and golf associates, among them Glen Campbell, Carroll O’Connor, Ernest Borgnine and Frank Sinatra Jr. Lipsey and his wife funded the Muriel and Abraham Lipsey Clinical Laboratory at UCLA, the heliport at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and a psychology department chair at Pepperdine University. On Sunday in Beverly Hills.

* James Andrew Willett; Restaurant Manager and Wine Expert

James Andrew Willett, 77, restaurant manager and wine expert. Born in Pennsylvania and reared in a Troy, N.Y., orphanage, Willett attended La Salle Military Institute and served in Normandy during World War II. After working in New York’s textile industry, he moved to Southern California in 1960. With his partner, veteran Times wine columnist Robert Lawrence Balzer, Willett built and operated the award-winning Tirol restaurant in Idyllwild. Among their clients were Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Marlon Brando and Gloria Swanson. Willett and Balzer later turned their talents to the Villa Fontana restaurant in Orange, and Willett went on to work as food and beverage director at the Grand Hotel in Anaheim. He later managed Sequoia Cellars in Newport Beach and the Bob Burns restaurant in Newport Beach, and became founding director of the Wine Exchange. On Friday in Orange of cardiac complications connected to Alzheimer’s disease.


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