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Marshall Erdman, 72, a builder whose first...


Marshall Erdman, 72, a builder whose first big project was a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed church without a steeple and who became a major producer of prefabricated structures, died of cancer Sunday in a hospital in Madison, Wis., his hometown.

Although the construction of Wright's First Unitarian Society Meeting House in Madison in 1951 left Mr. Erdman broke -- he borrowed against his life insurance to finish the job -- it brought professional fame. He also built several Wright-designed houses.

Eventually, his company, Marshall Erdman & Associates, built 500 houses, nearly 2,500 doctors' office buildings, and dozens of schools and other projects in the Midwest and elsewhere. The company has 800 workers and grosses $175 million a year.

His latest project, a five-story branch of the Mayo Clinic, opened in July in Eau Claire, Wis.

Ground was broken last month on what he called his swan song, a European-style, pedestrian-oriented community, with a small-town atmosphere, in Middleton, Wis.

Dr. James Watt, 84, a public health researcher and administrator who was the director of the National Heart Institute in the 1950s, died Aug. 22 in Norfolk, Va., where he lived. The cause was prostate cancer, said a friend who recently reported the death.

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