PASSINGS: Nancy Stoner Sage, James R. Beniger, Bill Mullikin, J. Bruce Llewellyn

Nancy Stoner Sage
1906 San Francisco quake survivor

Nancy Stoner Sage, 105, one of the few remaining survivors of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, died Thursday, three days before the 104th anniversary of the temblor. She died of natural causes at a Colorado nursing home, her son told the Oakland Tribune.

Born in 1905, she was 15 months old when the quake struck on April 18, 1906. Her family lost everything in the resulting fire and her mother died soon after. Sent to Idaho to be raised by her grandfather and his wife, she grew up to become a librarian in a small farming town in the state.

Sage was widowed at 47 in 1952 when her husband was killed in a logging accident. She never remarried.


James R. Beniger
USC professor

James R. Beniger, 63, a USC professor who wrote about the origins of the information society, died of Alzheimer’s disease April 12 in Torrance, USC announced.

James Ralph Beniger was born Dec. 16, 1946 in Sheboygan, Wis. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history at Harvard University in 1969, and then earned a master’s in sociology and statistics and a doctorate in sociology at UC Berkeley in 1978.

He started teaching at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication in 1985. He also taught at Princeton University and UC Berkeley. In addition, he served from 1986 to 1993 as associate editor of the academic publication “Communication Research.”


“The Control Revolution: Technological and Economic Origins of the Information Society,” published in 1986, maintains that the information age grew out of a crisis of control in transportation and manufacturing during the latter half of the 19th century rather than the development of electronic communication technologies.

Bill Mullikin
Broadway actor in ‘Hello Dolly’

Bill Mullikin, 83, an actor best known for his long-running role as Cornelius Hackle in “Hello Dolly,” died April 3 in Aptos, Calif., said his daughter, Kate. He had Alzheimer’s disease and was in hospice care.

He was born April 19, 1926, in Baltimore and graduated from Loyola University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in history.


Bill Mullikin obituary: A brief obituary of actor Bill Mullikin in the April 21 LATExtra section gave his age as 83 and said he was born April 19, 1926. He was born April 19, 1927, and was 82 at the time of his death. —

He made his Broadway debut in “New Faces of 1952" and appeared in more than 2,000 performances of “Hello Dolly” with such actresses as Ginger Rogers, Dorothy Lamour and Phyllis Diller in the title role, his daughter said. His film work included “Hell Is for Heroes” in 1962.

J. Bruce Llewellyn
Renowned black businessman

J. Bruce Llewellyn, 82, who became one of the country’s most renowned and wealthy black businessmen, died of renal failure April 7 in New York, said his wife, Shahara Ahmad-Llewellyn.

In 1969, he bought a 10-store chain of supermarkets and expanded it to 29 stores throughout Harlem and the South Bronx, making it one of the largest minority-owned businesses in the country. He owned a television station in Buffalo, N.Y., which he later sold to become a shareholder in a New York cable business.


In 1985, after selling the supermarket chain, he partnered with other black entrepreneurs and became the majority owner of Philadelphia Coca-Cola Bottling Co., which became the nation’s fourth-largest Coke bottler in the country under his leadership and among the nation’s largest African American-owned businesses.

By the time he reached a deal to sell the company, it employed 1,200 people and had $540 million in annual revenue.

James Bruce Llewellyn was born to Jamaican parents in Harlem on July 16, 1927.

At a young age, his parents moved the family to White Plains, a middle-class suburb of New York City that was then predominantly white. After graduating from high school, he served in the Army, attended college on the GI Bill and earned a law degree from New York Law School in 1960.


-- Times staff and wire reports