Baltimore Sun’s BEST party in 2 weeks


The Baltimore Sun

JIM JONTZ, 55 Congressman

Former Rep. Jim Jontz, whose environmental activism led him to three terms in Congress, died Saturday at his home in Portland, Ore., said his stepfather, Paul A. Lennon of Indianapolis.

Mr. Jontz had lived in Oregon since 1999.

He was diagnosed two years ago with advanced colon cancer that had spread to his liver. He had been at home under hospice care, said his sister, Mary Lee Turk.

Mr. Jontz, a Democrat, was 35 when he was elected to his first term in Congress in 1986. A liberal who took on environmental causes such as protecting the Pacific Northwest's old-growth forests, he represented a largely rural swath of northern Indiana from southern Lake County through the Kokomo and Marion areas until he lost to Republican Steve Buyer in 1992.

After leaving Congress, Mr. Jontz led an anti-NAFTA coalition of labor unions, environmentalists and others as Congress debated the free-trade treaty in 1993.

JAMES ALJIAN, 75 Casino executive

James Aljian, a Tracinda Corp. executive and MGM Mirage board member, died of cancer Thursday at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to a statement issued by MGM Mirage Inc., where Aljian had served on the board of directors since 1988.

He was part of a team that developed several major Las Vegas casinos, including Caesars Palace, the Flamingo Hotel, the International Hotel - now the Las Vegas Hilton - and the first MGM Grand Hotel, the statement said.

Mr. Aljian, of Marina del Rey, Calif., was a close associate and friend of MGM Mirage majority shareholder Kirk Kerkorian. At the time of his death, he was an executive with Kerkorian's investment company Tracinda Corp.

A native of Oakland, Mr. Aljian had served in the Army.

JOHN W. HENRY, 71 Software company founder

John W. "Jack" Henry, who co-founded the banking software company that bears his name, died Friday. He had suffered from heart disease and had been in a hospital for about two weeks, said Jack Prim, the chief executive of Jack Henry & Associates.

Mr. Henry founded the company in 1976 with Jerry Hall after United Missouri Bancshares bought Gillioz Bank and Trust Co., where Mr. Henry worked as vice president of operations.

Mr. Henry and Mr. Hall were both computer programmers and thought there was a market for providing computer systems to community banks.

Within four years, the company bought its first plane so Mr. Henry and Mr. Hall could fly around the country installing computer systems.

The company went public in 1985 and now has annual revenue of $2.2 billion, providing computer and data processing systems to more than 8,700 institutions.

TAYLOR MCKENZIE, 76 Doctor, Navajo leader

Taylor McKenzie, a former vice president of the Navajo Nation and a distinguished physician who served as the tribe's first medical officer, died Friday in Albuquerque, N.M.

Dr. McKenzie was vice president from 1999 to 2003 and was appointed as the first Navajo medical officer in December 2005. Before entering public office, he had a 30-year career as a physician and surgeon with the Public Health Service on the Navajo Nation.

Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr. said Dr. McKenzie was someone all American Indians could look up to.

Dr. McKenzie graduated from Wheaton College in 1954 and earned his medical degree from Baylor University in 1958. He completed his surgery residency at Pontiac General Hospital in Michigan.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad