Hobert Skaggs,74, who taught his son, Ricky,...


Hobert Skaggs,74, who taught his son, Ricky, to play the mandolin at age 5, died Friday in Blaine, Ky. He was a popular musician in eastern Kentucky, appearing on local radio shows and at churches. His son went on to country music stardom and membership in the Grand Ole Opry.

"He was a welder," Ricky Skaggs said in 1984. "People with jobs would call the Ashland local [union] and ask for Hobert Skaggs because they knew when they got him, the job would be right. He was that way in his welding, he was that way in his music."

Cao Yu,86, a realist playwright whose tales of China's pre-Communist decadence and suffering made him one of modern Chinese drama's seminal figures, died Friday in Beijing.

He published his first play, "Thunderstorm," in 1933 when he was 23. The play was heralded as one of the first successful uses of realism in Chinese drama, then a declining art form struggling under traditional formalism.

After the Communist Party came to power in 1949, he was named head of the premier performing arts company, the Beijing People's Arts Theater.

The Right Rev. Gerald Moverley,74, a Roman Catholic bishop who refused to offer Mass for a dying Irish Republican Army hunger-striker, died Saturday at his home in Sheffield, England, the church announced. He was bishop of nearby Hallam.

Father Moverley, who resigned five months ago citing ill health, gained national attention in 1976, when, as auxiliary bishop of Leeds, he refused a sickroom Mass to the IRA hunger-striker.

Frank Stagg, 34, an inmate at the Wakefield jail, was more than 50 days into his fast when he asked for the service in the prison hospital. Father Moverley said there was "no pastoral necessity" and refused. Mr. Stagg died 10 days later.

T. M. Jim Parham,69, a former aide to President Jimmy Carter and three Georgia governors, died Friday of complications from a stroke in Atlanta. He helped shape social policy while serving Mr. Carter as an associate assistant and later as deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Human Development Services from 1977 to 1979. The governors he served were Mr. Carter, Carl Sanders and George Busbee.

Pub Date: 12/16/96

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