April 17, 2005 in Nation/World

In passing

The Spokesman-Review
 

Kalman Ferenczfalvi, 84, saved lives of Jews

Budapest, Hungary

Kalman Ferenczfalvi, credited with saving the lives of some 2,000 Jews during the Holocaust, has died at the age of 84.

Ferenczfalvi died April 8 in the eastern Hungarian city of Debrecen after suffering a brain hemorrhage, said Balazs Kiss, a filmmaker who directed a documentary featuring testimony about his lifesaving acts during World War II.

In 1988, Ferenczfalvi was granted the title of “Righteous Among The Nations” by Israel’s Yad Vashem Institute, which recognizes non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

During World War II, Ferenczfalvi worked as an administrator of a labor brigade, which many Jews were forced into during the latter stages of the war.

Disregarding orders, Ferenczfalvi designated the workers to guard the Budapest headquarters of the International Red Cross, thereby protecting the brigade members from deportation and likely death.

He also forged papers for Jews and others being persecuted by the Nazis and their Hungarian allies. The documents, written in Hungarian and German, were accepted as authentic by the Nazis.

A widower, he is survived by a son and daughter.

Iakovos, 93, led Greek Orthodox Church

Stamford, Conn.

Archbishop Iakovos, who transformed the Greek Orthodox Church in the Americas while championing religious unity and human rights, has died. He was 93.

Iakovos died April 10 at Stamford Hospital from a pulmonary ailment, according to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Iakovos headed the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, with an estimated 2 million followers, from 1959 until 1996. He was apparently forced into retirement over his support for the idea of uniting the various Eastern Orthodox branches in a single American church.

During his long tenure as archbishop, Iakovos led the Greek Orthodox Church out of immigrant isolation and into the mainstream of American religious life, playing a leading role in bringing English into the liturgy.

Iakovos is survived by a niece in Canada and other relatives in Greece.

Roberta Nichols, 73, fuels engineer

Plymouth, Mich.

Roberta Nichols, pioneering female aerospace and automotive engineer who led development of alternative fuel vehicles for Ford Motor Co., has died. She was 73.

Nichols died April 3 of leukemia at her home in Plymouth, Mich.

The holder of three patents for the Flexible Fuel Vehicle, Nichols worked for Ford from 1979 until her retirement in 1995 as manager of its alternative fuel vehicle department. She worked extensively on methanol, ethanol, natural gas and electric vehicles and began experimenting with hybrid electric and gasoline vehicles.

A veteran of boat and vintage car racing, Nichols in 1994 drove Ford’s electric Ecostar van in the 600-mile American Tour de Sol, believed to be the world’s largest electric and solar vehicle road rally. She finished second, behind another Ecostar. “We expected to come away from the rally with more real-world information about the performance of the Ecostar under these kinds of extreme conditions,” she told Battery & EV Technology trade magazine after the race. “What we didn’t expect was to do so well in our first race.”

She is survived by her husband of 20 years, Lynn Yakel; a daughter, Kathleen McDonald, from her earlier marriage to the late William McDonald; two stepsons, David and Dennis Yakel; a sister, Jacqueline Oblinger; and four grandchildren.


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