Under the direction of Christian “Hitsch” Albin, the Four Seasons restaurant in New York won a James Beard award, the culinary equivalent of an Oscar. (Richard Drew / Associated Press)
Carl Pursell

Mich. GOP congressman

Carl Pursell, 76, a Michigan Republican who served in the House of Representatives from 1977 to 1993, died of heart disease Thursday at his home in Plymouth, Mich.

Pursell represented Michigan's lower peninsula, including the Detroit suburbs and Ann Arbor, where the University of Michigan is located. During his career in the House, Pursell served on the Appropriations Committee and was the ranking Republican on the education subcommittee. He also won a seat on the Committee on Committees, the panel that makes assignments for House Republicans.

While serving on the Appropriations Committee in 1981, he became a leader of the "Gypsy Moths," a group of moderate and liberal Republicans who opposed the Reagan administration's budget cuts for social programs.

After a 1982 redistricting that gave him a constituency that was largely Republican and more conservative than his previous district, he changed tactics, opting to pursue bipartisan compromise.

In 1990, his concern over the deficit prompted him to remove from a spending bill a $3-million Army Corps of Engineers project in his district; he urged colleagues to do the same.

Carl Duane Pursell was born Dec. 19, 1932, in Imlay City, Mich. He received a bachelor's degree in 1957 and a master's degree in education in 1962, both from Eastern Michigan University.

He served in the Army in the late 1950s and then worked as a teacher and a publisher and ran a real estate firm before going into politics. He served on the Wayne County Board of Commissioners and in the Michigan Senate before winning his U.S. House seat. He did not seek reelection in the U.S. House in 1992.

Pursell served on Eastern Michigan's board of regents from 1993 to 2000.

Christian 'Hitsch' Albin

Executive chef at N.Y. Four Seasons

Christian "Hitsch" Albin, 62, who fed the world's luminaries for decades as executive chef of the Four Seasons in New York City, died Saturday at New York University Medical Center less than a week after being diagnosed with cancer.

"He was our hero: the man we always turned to when we knew we had to achieve the impossible," said a statement from the 50-year-old restaurant's managing partners, Julian Niccolini and Alex von Bidder.

Albin put in 14-hour days at the restaurant off Park Avenue. With him in the kitchen, the Four Seasons won a James Beard Foundation Award, the culinary equivalent of an Oscar.

Albin trained in his native Switzerland before moving to the United States in the early 1970s. New York magazine once called him "a culinary Rip van Winkle, reawakening what was once too-familiar fare with subtle but surprisingly adventurous new flavors."

"He was always an old-school chef -- a strong, compassionate manager who treated everyone fairly while demanding the best from his cooks," Niccolini and von Bidder said.

Hugh Hopper

Bassist, composer for Soft Machine

Hugh Hopper, 64, a bassist and composer for the progressive rock group Soft Machine, died of leukemia June 7 in Kent, England.

After serving as the group's road manager, Hopper stepped up to offer compositions and virtuoso performances on six of the group's albums. His songs include "Facelift" and "Kings and Queens." He left the group in 1973 to pursue a variety of projects in experimental jazz and avant-garde rock.

Born in Canterbury, England, on April 29, 1945, he was largely self-taught as a musician playing guitar before turning to electric bass. He was a founding member of the group Wilde Flowers in the 1960s. That group gradually became Soft Machine.

His first album, "1984," was released in 1973. Over the years he toured and recorded with a number of fusion bands including a group led by Carla Bley.

Several years ago, he was reunited with other former Soft Machine members for the group Soft Machine Legacy, which mixed original compositions with songs from the group's glory days.

Bernard Zimmerman

L.A. architecture teacher, promoter

Bernard Zimmerman, 79, an architect who helped found the architecture department at Cal Poly Pomona's School of Environmental Design and taught there for more than 30 years, died June 4 at his Los Angeles home after a long illness, the school announced.

A mentor to local architects and students, Zimmerman organized many seminars and group exhibitions of their work over the last four decades. Among the most successful events he helped organize were "New Blood 101" at the Pacific Design Center in 1998, showcasing 101 emerging Southern California architects, and "9 in 99," a 1999 conference for architects held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

Zimmerman also helped create the Masters of Architecture lecture series in 1991, an annual event that is held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

In 2001 he co-founded the Los Angeles Institute of Architecture and Design, a private architecture school offering college-level courses. He also helped launch the Architecture + Design Museum, now located opposite LACMA.

Born April 22, 1930, in Cleveland, Zimmerman received a bachelor's degree in architecture from UC Berkeley in 1953 and a master's in architecture and city and regional planning from USC in 1955.

Zimmerman, who practiced as an architect for more than 40 years, was honored with a lifetime achievement award from the American Institute of Architects in 1999.

-- times staff and wire reports