OBITUARIES - Dec. 18, 1999


Alice Coldwell; Co-Founder of Pets Unlimited

Alice Elizabeth Leigh Coldwell, 104, a San Francisco socialite and co-founder of Pets Unlimited. Born in Oakland and graduated from UC Berkeley, Coldwell was an outstanding amateur ice skater. She won the women’s California indoor skating championship in 1934 and the California indoor figure skating pairs championship in 1936. She was a member of the St. Moritz Ice Skating Club and helped organize the San Francisco Figure Skating Club. Also an avid dancer and actress, she frequently appeared at the Green Room Club. Coldwell was a founder of the San Francisco Music Society, a board member of the Pacific Music Society and a supporter of the San Francisco Opera. Shortly after college graduation, Alice Leigh married Cedric Sayle Coldwell, son of the founder of Coldwell Banker Real Estate. A lifelong supporter of animal welfare, she and a friend, Carter Dowling, founded Pets Unlimited in 1947. The organization, which finds homes for stray and abandoned animals and provides medical services for pets, has become the largest independent animal shelter in Northern California. Coldwell’s 100th birthday celebration was held at Pets Unlimited in downtown San Francisco in 1995. Her work on behalf of animals earned her commendations from four San Francisco mayors, nine county supervisors, two governors and President Reagan. On Nov. 5 in San Francisco.

For the record:

12:00 a.m. Dec. 23, 1999 For the Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday December 23, 1999 Home Edition Part A Page 28 Metro Desk 1 inches; 21 words Type of Material: Correction
Coldwell Banker--The obituary of Alice Coldwell on Dec. 18 incorrectly stated the name of the founder of Coldwell Banker. He was Colbert Coldwell.

Lula Fields-Walker; Founded Self-Improvement School

Lula Fields-Walker, the founder of the Lula Fields School of Modeling and Self Improvement in Los Angeles. A graduate of Howard University, Fields-Walker worked as a fashion model, then as a fashion coordinator for Sears, before starting the first black-owned self-improvement and modeling school in California in 1967. In 1980 she moved the school from its original location in the Crenshaw district to a site in Beverly Hills. Known as “the black Miss Manners,” Fields-Walker also wrote a syndicated newspaper column on beauty, fashion and entertaining. She offered basic rules at her school such as “Never wear curlers in public” and “Always write thank-you notes.” “Some of the people who came to me weren’t polished, or didn’t know how to dress,” she said several years ago. “I saw good people who just needed nurturing.” She retired in 1995 after the death of her husband and moved to the Washington, D.C. area. A memorial tribute in Los Angeles is being planned. In Stamford, Conn. on Nov. 25 after a two-year battle with bone cancer.

Roger Frison-Roche; Mountaineering Writer

Roger Frison-Roche, 93, a mountaineer and writer who made the first live radio broadcast from summit of Europe’s highest peak, Mont Blanc. Frison-Roche was born in Paris in 1906 and moved to Chamonix in the French Alps in 1923 when he began to train as a mountain and ski guide. In 1932, he produced the first live radio program from the top of Mont Blanc for Radio Lyon. During World War II he was a correspondent who covered the fighting in North Africa. He was arrested by the Germans, escaped and joined the French Resistance. He described his experiences as a freedom fighter in “Mountain Dwellers of the Night” and wrote a novel about that time, translated into English by Paul Bowles, called “The Lost Trail of the Sahara.” He wrote many books about mountaineering, including a well-received 1996 coffee-table book, “A History of Mountain Climbing,” described by one reviewer as an “adrenalizing and copiously illustrated survey” of the world’s most challenging peaks and the adventurers who tackled them. “The normal human race is not made to live so high,” the noted alpinist wrote. His other books include “The Great Crevice,” “Arctic Light” and “Hunters of the Arctic.” On Thursday in Chamonix, France.


Krishan Sharma; Vice President of India’s Hindu Party

Krishan Lal Sharma, 74, vice president of India’s ruling Hindu nationalist party who twice went to prison to defend its ideology. He was born Nov. 1, 1925, in Lodhran, which became part of Pakistan when India was partitioned in 1947. Sharma later moved with his family to the farming state of Punjab in northern India. For the next five decades, he was an activist in the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological fountainhead of Prime Minister Atal Bihari’s Bharatiya Janata Party. Sharma was a party spokesman. In 1948, when the organization was banned by India’s government for the alleged involvement of some of its members in the assassination of freedom movement leader Mohandas K. Gandhi, Sharma was imprisoned. He again went to jail for 17 months in 1975 when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi imposed emergency rule on the country. On Friday of a heart attack at a New Delhi hospital.

Nelson H. Tiffany; Newspaper Photographer

Nelson H. Tiffany, 77, a newspaper photographer who worked for the Los Angeles Times and before that the defunct Los Angeles Mirror and the Hollywood Citizen News. Born in Rochester, N.Y., Tiffany grew up in Bridgeport, Conn., and served as a combat cameraman in the Air Force during World War II. He spent two years in the South Pacific theater and settled in Southern California after the war. He began his newspaper career with the Citizen News in 1946 and moved to the Mirror, an afternoon newspaper just being started by the Times Mirror Co., in 1948. He worked for the Mirror until it folded in 1962 and then worked for its sister paper, The Times. Tiffany resigned in 1968 to pursue freelance photographic work in Palm Springs. In the 1970s, he worked for the Daily Breeze as a picture editor. He was a member of the California Press Photographers Assn. and the National Press Photographers Assn. There will be a military burial at 11:30 a.m. Monday at Rosecrans Cemetery on Point Loma in San Diego. On Dec. 8 in Poway.