Jerry Van Dyke was a comic actor who was featured in several TV series, including “Coach” and “My Mother the Car.” He died Jan. 5 at his ranch in Arkansas. He was 86. Van Dyke, younger brother of actor Dick Van Dyke, made one of his earliest TV appearances in 1962 on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” as Stacey Petrie, brother of Dick’s character, Rob Petrie. He became best known for his co-starring role as Luther Van Dam on ABC’s “Coach,” which aired from 1989 to 1997. The role earned him four Emmy nominations for supporting actor in a comedy series in the early 1990s.
John Young was an astronaut who walked on the moon and later commanded the first space shuttle flight. He died Jan. 5 at his home in Houston following complications from pneumonia, NASA said. He was 87. Young was the only astronaut to span NASA’s Gemini, Apollo and shuttle programs, and the first to fly into space six times. He was the ninth man to walk on the moon, as commander of Apollo 16 in 1972. He also commanded the space shuttle Columbia’s successful maiden voyage in 1981. He was in NASA’s second astronaut class, chosen in 1962, along with the likes of Neil Armstrong, Pete Conrad and James Lovell.
Thomas S. Monson was president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for almost a decade. He died Jan. 2 at his home in Salt Lake City, according to a church spokesman. He was 90. Monson spent more than five decades serving in top church leadership councils for the Mormons. He became the youngest church apostle in a half century when he was appointed to the post in 1963 at the age of 36. He served as a counselor for three church presidents before assuming the role of the top leader of the church in February 2008.
Brendan Byrne was a former two-term Democratic governor of New Jersey who brought casino gambling to Atlantic City. He died Jan. 4 in Livingston, N.J. He was 93. Byrne won his first term as governor in 1973. He also signed New Jersey’s first income tax into law and pushed for construction of the Meadowlands Sports Complex to entice the New York Giants to move to the state.
Erica Garner was an outspoken activist against police brutality after her father’s death at the hands of a New York police officer. She died Dec. 30 in New York after a weeklong hospital stay following a heart attack. She was 27. Garner’s father, Eric Garner, died after he was subdued with a chokehold on Staten Island in 2014. Garner’s last words, “I can’t breathe,” became a slogan for activists. Erica Garner became a voice for police accountability after her father’s death, criticizing Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio over policing matters.
Maurice Peress was a conductor who led the Kansas City Philharmonic from 1974 to 1980. He died Dec. 31 at his home in New York. He was 87. Peress spent the last 33 years conducting the student orchestra at Queens College Aaron Copland School of Music. Before settling into that role, he led major orchestras, conducted the premieres of important works by Leonard Bernstein and others, and helped Duke Ellington orchestrate some of his signature compositions.
Rick Hall was a producer who forged the Southern soul style known as the Muscle Shoals sound. He died Jan. 2 at his home in Muscle Shoals, Ala. His wife said the cause was prostate cancer. He was 85. Hall founded FAME Studios in 1959 in Florence, Ala., and it moved to nearby Muscle Shoals in 1961. He also started FAME Publishing, which would amass a substantial catalog of hits, and FAME Records. He was a producer, co-producer or engineer for major hits by Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Clarence Carter, Etta James, the Osmonds, Mac Davis, Paul Anka and the country group Shenandoah, among many others. He received the Grammy Trustees Award for lifetime achievement in 2014.
Bruce Halle was the billionaire founder of the nationwide Discount Tire chain. He died Jan. 4, officials of the company said. He was 87. Halle founded Discount Tire in 1960 in Ann Arbor, Mich., and started with an inventory of six tires, including four retreads. The company grew to become the largest independent tire dealer in North America and now has 975 stores in 34 states. Forbes magazine listed Halle as the richest person in Arizona, with a net worth of more than $5 billion.
Tatsuro Toyoda was a former Toyota Motor Corp. president who led the company’s climb to become one of the world’s top automakers. He died Dec. 30 of pneumonia, the Japanese automaker said. He was 88. Toyoda, a son of the company’s founder, was the automaker’s seventh president and stepped down from the position in 1995.
Robert Mann was a violinist and one of the founders of the internationally renowned Juilliard String Quartet. He died Jan. 1 at home in New York. He was 97. Mann was first violinist of the group that was conceived in 1946. He remained with the ensemble for 51 years. By the time he retired in 1997 he had outlasted the quartet’s entire original lineup, as well as several subsequent permutations, to become one of the longest-serving members of any chamber group in the world.
Carmen “Carm” Cozza was a Hall of Fame coach who led Yale to 10 Ivy League football titles. He died Jan. 4 in New Haven, Conn. He was 87. Cozza coached the Bulldogs from 1965 to 1996 and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002. He had a career record of 179-119-5, including an undefeated 1968 season that ended in a famous 29-29 tie with Harvard when the Crimson scored 16 points in the final minute.
Compiled from news service reports by Chris Carter, email@example.com.