March 13, 2005 in Nation/World

In passing

The Spokesman-Review

Dr. Baxter, who tried to save JFK, dies at 75

Dallas Dr. Charles R. Baxter, one of the surgeons who tried to save President John F. Kennedy after he was shot, has died, a colleague said. He was 75.

The surgeon died Thursday of pneumonia at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, where he had been professor emeritus of surgery since 1993, said Dr. Robert Rege, chairman of surgery.

Baxter was the emergency room director at Parkland Memorial Hospital, where Kennedy was taken after being shot by Lee Harvey Oswald on Nov. 22, 1963.

“As soon as we realized we had nothing medical to do, we all backed off from the man with a reverence that one has for one’s president,” Baxter said in 1988. “And we did not continue to be doctors from that point on. We became citizens again, and there were probably more tears shed in that room than in the surrounding hundred miles.”

Baxter then operated on Texas Gov. John Connally, who was seriously wounded by Oswald.

Baxter also developed a formula for burn patients. He discovered that patients with large, severe burns need tremendous amounts of the fluid the first day of treatment, especially during the first eight hours of their ordeal. He also also founded a tissue bank at Parkland hospital to provide skin grafts for burn patients.

Austria’s last pro whistler dead at 80

Vienna, Austria Jeanette Schmid, Austria’s last professional whistler, who once shared a stage with Frank Sinatra, has died of the flu at age 80, a newspaper reported Thursday.

Schmid, better known as Baroness Lips von Lipstrill, died in her Vienna apartment, the newspaper Kurier reported. The report did not specify when she died.

Schmid, born as a man in what now is the Czech Republic, underwent a gender change in 1964 in Cairo, where she lived for 15 years.

She embarked on a whistling career during a visit to Tehran to perform for the shah of Iran. Her costume as a dancer was deemed too skimpy, so she whistled a Johann Strauss Jr. polka instead.

She whistled on stage with Sinatra, Marlene Dietrich and Edith Piaf, and she continued performing even in recent years.

“I’ll whistle through life until I die,” she was quoted as saying.

Schmid was a popular performer on cruises, where she delighted audiences by hitting the high C.

Waikiki band leader Martin Denny dies

Honolulu Musician Martin Denny, known for creating a unique genre of pop music that enjoyed a renewed popularity with lounge music and tiki culture, died March 2, his daughter said. He was 93.

Denny created a sound that he described as a fusion of Asian, South Pacific, American jazz, Latin American and classical. He was best known for his song and album entitled “Quiet Village.”

Born in 1911 in New York City, Denny studied piano as a child, and as a young man toured South America with a six-piece band, picking up the Latin elements that would later influence his sound.

During the 1950s and ‘60s, Denny was a fixture in Waikiki, playing the old Shell Bar at the Kaiser Hawaiian Village Hotel and Don the Beachcomber’s, which later became Duke Kahanamoku’s in the International Market Place.

His music was rediscovered by a new generation of fans in the 1990s, when most of his early catalog was reissued on CD.

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