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The Daily Goodbye

Hortensia Bussi, the widow of Chilean President Salvador Allende who helped lead opposition to the military dictatorship that ousted her socialist husband in a bloody 1973 coup, died Thursday. She was 94.

Helen Boosalis, the first female president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, died in Lincoln, Neb. earlier this week.

Admiral Sardarilal Nanda, commander of the Indian Navy who led it to victory in the 1971 India-Pakistan War, died last month. But the anecdotes are too good to let pass: When the US Seventh Fleet entered the Indian Ocean and threatened to intervene in the war, Nanda told Prime Minister Indira Gandhi: "Madam, I have given instructions to my captains to treat them as friends, and to invite them over for a drink - as the US Navy do not have a bar on board. You should not worry on any account."

It's not just about the great ones. Art Briggs, who swept sidewalks in Delta, Colo. for many years, died at the age of 70.

Nic Fiore, the maitre'd of ski at Yosemite National Park's Badger Pass ski area, died Tuesday at 88. While teaching skiing in the winter, he worked summers in the park's hotels, including serving as maitre d'hotel of the Ahwahnee and managing the Glacier Point Lodge and the Wawona Hotel. He also managed Yosemite's five High Sierra camps in the wilderness back country.

Tomoji Tanabe, the world's oldest man, has died at the age of 113. Japanese people have among the world's longest life expectancies--nearly 86 years for women and 79 years for men--which is often attributed to the country's healthy diet rich in fish and rice. The number of Japanese living past 100 has more than doubled in the last six years, reaching a record high of 36,000 people in 2008. The country's centenarian ranks are dominated by women, who make up 86 percent of the total.

By Patricia Sullivan  |  June 19, 2009; 8:17 AM ET
Categories:  Patricia Sullivan , The Daily Goodbye  
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