CATHERINE POLLARD, 88 Fought Scouts for equality
Catherine Pollard, whose 14-year legal battle helped open the doors for women to become Scoutmasters and other leaders within the Boy Scouts of America, died Wednesday in Seminole, Fla.
Mrs. Pollard's battle with the organization began after her application for a leadership position in Connecticut was denied in 1974 and 1976. She was rejected even though she had run a Milford, Conn., troop from 1973 to 1975 when no men volunteered. The Boy Scouts contended that a woman was not a good role model for young boys in Scouting.
She successfully challenged the action before the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, but that ruling was reversed in state courts. But in February 1988 the Boy Scouts of America did away with all gender restrictions on volunteer positions, abandoning its 78-year-old policy that banned women from six leadership roles. Mrs. Pollard, who was 69 at the time, officially became Milford's first female Scoutmaster in 1988.
GEORGIA GIBBS, 87 Singer on radio and TV
Georgia Gibbs, a versatile singer who starred on radio and television's popular Hit Parade in the 1950s, performed with the big bands of Tommy Dorsey and Artie Shaw and was perhaps best known for the song "Kiss of Fire," died Dec. 9 of complications from leukemia at a New York City hospital.
Ms. Gibbs, born Freda Lip- schitz, in Worcester, Mass., began singing in Boston ballrooms as a teenager and went on to a career that included novelty songs, pop, country and smoky ballads. She was one of the first white singers to cover rhythm and blues hits.
Besides a stint on Hit Parade, which showcased the most popular songs each week, she was a regular on programs hosted by Garry Moore, Jimmy Durante and comedian Danny Kaye and was a frequent guest on other radio and early television variety shows. Mr. Moore came up with the title "Her Nibs, Miss Georgia Gibbs."
MARTHA TILTON, 91 Singer with Benny Goodman
Martha Tilton, the big-band singer known for "And the Angels Sing" with Benny Goodman and the World War II ballad "I'll Walk Alone," died Dec. 8 of natural causes at her home in Brentwood, Calif.
After working with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra beginning in 1935, she joined Mr. Goodman in 1937, remaining with him until 1939. While with Mr. Goodman, she performed in a famous swing concert at Carnegie Hall in 1938. She worked with Artie Shaw briefly before joining the Billy Mills Orchestra on the Fibber McGee and Molly radio show in 1941. She also was the host of her own NBC radio show, Liltin' Martha Tilton Time.
Besides "I'll Walk Alone" in 1944, other big hits were "I Should Care" and "A Stranger in Town" in 1945; "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?" from Finian's Rainbow; "That's My Desire"; and "I Wonder, I Wonder, I Wonder."
FRED MARSDEN, 66 Pacemakers drummer
Fred Marsden, 66, the drummer in the band Gerry and the Pacemakers, died of cancer Dec. 9 in Southport, England.
The band, fronted by Mr. Marsden's brother, Gerry, was the second group signed by Brian Epstein, whose first band was The Beatles. Gerry and the Pacemakers became the first from Liverpool to have a No. 1 single with "How Do You Do It?" in 1963, followed that year by another chart-topper, "I Like It." LEONARD M. GREENE, 88 Invented plane stall alert
Leonard M. Greene, an inventor who developed an instrument to warn pilots when their planes were about to stall and who sold more than half a million of the devices over six decades, died of complications from lung cancer Nov. 30 at a hospital in White Plains, N.Y.
Mr. Greene also founded and financed the Institute for SocioEconomic Studies, which helped advance his ideas on welfare reform, health care, tax reform and -- after his son, Donald F. Greene, was killed aboard United Airlines Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001 -- foreign affairs.