Arrow-right Camera


In passing

Sun., Oct. 24, 2004, midnight

Linda Maurer, 65, wore first medical bracelet

Turlock, Calif. Linda Collins Maurer, a pro golfer who became the first person to wear a “Medic Alert” bracelet after her parents created the chains, has died. She was 65.

Maurer died Oct. 13 of breast cancer, said her son, Paul Maurer.

As a teenager, Maurer suffered a severe allergic reaction to a tetanus serum. Her father, a doctor, suggested she carry a written warning about her allergy. She did, attaching it to a bracelet.

Her parents later designed a silver identification bracelet, which listed her allergies and the words “Medic Alert,” along with the symbol of the medical profession – two serpents wrapped around a staff.

In 1956, Maurer’s parents launched the Medic Alert Foundation to offer the bracelets to warn medical professionals about patients’ serious health conditions in an emergency. Her original bracelet is now in the Smithsonian Institution.

Maurer won many amateur golf titles before turning professional. She also twice won the Ladies Professional Golf Association Senior Teaching Division National Championship.

Lewis Urry, 77, made long-lasting batteries

Middleburg Heights, Ohio Lewis Urry, the “father of alkaline,” who invented the long-lasting alkaline batteries that power Gameboys and other portable devices, died Tuesday after a short illness. He was 77.

Urry retired in May from Energizer, the successor to Union Carbide’s National Carbon Co., where Urry developed the first practical long-life battery in the 1950s.

National Carbon, which made Eveready batteries, transferred Urry in 1955 to its Cleveland laboratory to work on ways to improve carbon zinc batteries that didn’t last very long.

Urry came up with a practical, long-lasting alkaline battery using powdered zinc as the electrolyte.

An estimated 80 percent of the dry cell batteries in the world today are based on the work of Urry, who held 51 patents.

Urry was born in Pontypool, Ontario, served in the Canadian army, and later earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at the University of Toronto in 1950.

Betty Hill, 85, claimed UFO abduction

Portsmouth, N.H. Betty Hill, whose tale of being abducted by aliens launched her to fame and became the subject of a best-selling book and television movie, has died. She was 85.

Hill died at her home Oct. 17 after a battle with lung cancer.

Hill claimed that she and her husband, Barney, were abducted by extraterrestrials in New Hampshire’s White Mountains on a trip home from Canada in 1961.

The Hills were puzzled when they arrived home and noticed Betty’s torn and stained dress, Barney’s scuffed shoes, shiny spots on their car, stopped watches and no memory of two hours of the drive.

Under hypnosis three years later, they recounted being kidnapped and examined by aliens.

The couple gained international notoriety after going public with their story, traveling across the country to give speeches and making numerous television and radio appearances.

Their story also became the focus of John G. Fuller’s 1966 best-selling book, “Interrupted Journey,” and a television movie starring James Earl Jones and Estelle Parsons.

Hill retired from UFO lecturing in her 70s and complained that the quest for knowledge about extraterrestrials had become tainted with commercialism. Too many people with “flaky ideas, fantasies and imaginations” were making UFO and abduction reports, she told the Associated Press in 1991.


Click here to comment on this story »