PASSINGS: Miriam Seegar Whelan, Glenn R. Watson, Catherine ‘Kay’ Kerr, Edward P. Evans
Miriam Seegar Whelan
Actress became an interior designer
Miriam Seegar Whelan, 103, an actress from the early days of talking films who was married to director Tim Whelan, died Sunday of age-related causes at her home in Pasadena, said her daughter-in-law Harriet Whelan.
After her acting career ended, Whelan became an interior designer in Los Angeles.
She was born Sept. 1, 1907, in Greentown, Ind., where she and her sisters enjoyed play-acting as children. In her teens she joined a traveling group of stage performers in the Midwest and New York. She eventually made her way to London and starred opposite Ernest Truex in a West End production of “Crime.”
She began appearing in British films in the late 1920s, earning top billing in “Valley of the Ghosts” (1928). She met her future husband on the set of “When Knights Were Bold,” a 1929 film he directed.
After the couple returned to the United States, she starred in such Hollywood films as the 1930 romantic comedy “What a Man,” the 1930 western “The Dawn Trail” and the 1932 crime drama “Out of Singapore.”
She left acting to raise the two sons she had with Whelan. He died in 1957.
Glenn R. Watson
Lawyer helped cities incorporate
Glenn R. Watson, 93, an attorney who worked for several Southern California cities during their incorporations, died Dec. 26 at a convalescent facility in Arcadia of complications from aging, his law firm announced.
Watson’s first role in the formation of a city was in 1956 for Dairy Valley, now Cerritos. He was city attorney there until the mid-1960s.
Watson also was involved in the formation of Rancho Palos Verdes, City of Industry and Carson. He worked for Carson from the city’s incorporation in 1968 until 2000.
Other cities he worked for included Rosemead, Seal Beach, Avalon and South El Monte. Watson took a leave of absence from his law firm in the 1960s to serve as general manager of a proposed World’s Fair in California.
Glenn Robert Watson was born May 2, 1917, in Ada, Okla. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma’s law school in 1939 and served in the Navy during World War II.
Watson opened a law office in Los Angeles in 1946. He retired in 2001 from Richards, Watson & Gershon.
Catherine ‘Kay’ Kerr
Co-founder of Save the Bay
Catherine “Kay” Kerr, 99, co-founder of the first environmental organization dedicated solely to protecting San Francisco Bay, died Dec. 18 at her home in El Cerrito, the University of California said.
Kerr was the widow of former University of California President Clark Kerr. She and two other wives of UC Berkeley faculty members, Sylvia McLaughlin and Esther Gulick, founded Save the Bay in 1961 to fight a plan by the city of Berkeley to fill in part of the bay.
The organization became a model of early environmental grass-roots activism and helped start the country’s first coastal protection agency, the Bay Conservation and Development Commission.
Save the Bay also secured a moratorium on landfill in the bay and pushed for the establishment of one of the country’s largest urban wildlife refuges.
She was born Catherine Spaulding on March 22, 1911, in Los Angeles and received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Stanford University. She married Kerr in 1934; he died in 2003.
Edward P. Evans
Thoroughbred owner and breeder
Edward P. Evans, 68, one of thoroughbred racing’s leading owners and breeders, died Friday at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan of acute myeloid leukemia, his personal secretary Catherine Moraetis told the Associated Press.
Evans owned Spring Hill Farm in Casanova, Va., and his horses won more than 100 stakes races during his 30-plus years as an owner. He also was a former chairman of publisher MacMillan Inc.
Quality Road was among Evans’ best horses, earning more than $2.2 million, with victories that included the Woodward Stakes and the Metropolitan Handicap in 2010. Quality Road won or placed in 12 of 13 career starts and was among the Kentucky Derby favorites in 2009 before being sidelined with hoof issues.
Other horses bred by Evans included 2005 Horse of the Year Saint Liam, Gygistar and Tap Dance.
Evans, who was born in Pittsburgh on Jan. 31, 1942, was the son of Thomas Mellon Evans, also a breeder-owner whose Buckland Farm produced 1981 Kentucky Derby winner Pleasant Colony. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale University in 1964 and an MBA from Harvard in 1967.
— Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports
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