Susan Hibbert

Witness to Germany's surrender

Susan Hibbert, 84, who typed the English version of the German surrender document ending World War II and then messaged London to announce the accord had been signed, died Feb. 2, according to the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph.

As a staff sergeant in Britain's Auxiliary Territorial Service in northeastern France, Hibbert -- then Susan Heald -- had to type and retype the surrender document several times from the beginning to reflect amendments in the surrender terms.

She is believed to be the last British subject to have been present on May 7, 1945, when German Gen. Alfred Jodl formally surrendered to the Allies.

Despite her fatigue from five days of typing documents, she was assigned the added duty of sending a cable to London confirming that the war was over.

The cable read: "The mission of this Allied Force was fulfilled at 0241, local time, May 7th, 1945."

After the war, she moved to Frankfurt, Germany, to work for the control commission for Germany. She later moved to Berlin, where she met her husband, Basil Hibbert, a former Royal Air Force fighter pilot. He died in 2001.

Hibbert was born in London on May 21, 1924. She elected to go to secretarial school instead of a university, completing a two-year course in nine months.

She worked on highly classified documents on U.S. Army Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower's staff during the war.

After her father entered Parliament in 1950, she worked for him and other members of Parliament for 35 years.

Joe Cuba

Musician created 'Latin Boogaloo'

Joe Cuba, 78, dubbed the "Father of Latin Boogaloo" for weaving a fluid, bilingual mix of musical influences, died Sunday at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City of complications from a persistent bacterial infection, the Associated Press reported.

"He had a dynamic group," with a signature vibraphone-fronted sound that "caused a craze because it was different," Cheo Feliciano, a longtime friend and singer in Cuba's band, told the AP.

Cuba was born Gilberto Miguel Calderon in New York City to parents from Puerto Rico.

He was a teenager when he took up the conga drums and decided to become a professional musician after seeing percussionist and band leader Tito Puente.

He played with several New York-based groups before forming his own band in the 1950s. His agent suggested he call his group the Joe Cuba Sextet.

Cuba called "Latin boogaloo" a "bastard sound" and said it came out of years of playing dances in and around New York, noting how "the audience relates to what you are doing," the New York Times reported in its obituary of Cuba.

Virgil Griffin

Klan leader in deadly N.C. clash

Virgil Griffin, 64, the leader of a Ku Klux Klan chapter in North Carolina that was involved in a deadly 1979 clash with members of the Communist Workers Party, died Feb. 11 at Gaston County Memorial Hospital in Gastonia, N.C.

Griffin, a Klan member for 40 years, became known nationally when five marchers were killed Nov. 3, 1979, in a clash with Klan members during a Communist-inspired "Death to the Klan" rally in Greensboro.

Griffin, who lived in Charlotte at the time, led a caravan of nine cars carrying members of the American Nazi Party and Klansmen to Greensboro to stage a counter-protest.

They drove their cars through a throng of leftist protesters and eventually got out of their vehicles and opened fire, killing five and injuring 10.

In 1980, an all-white jury acquitted six Klansmen and Nazis of first-degree murder in the case. Griffin was not among those tried on state charges, but he did face federal charges of violating the protesters' civil rights. He was acquitted in 1984.

Over the years, Griffin blamed Communists for the deadly incident and said members of the group he led were merely protecting themselves.

Griffin, who made his living as an auto mechanic and working in the textile mills, was involved in several splinter groups of the Klan, including the Cleveland Knights of the KKK based in Mount Holly, N.C.

Kamila Skolimowska, winner of the gold medal in the women's hammer throw at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, died Wednesday after collapsing during a training session in Portugal. The cause of death has not been determined. She was 26.

-- times staff and wire reports