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Uli Derickson, 60, hero during hijacking

Tucson, Ariz. Uli Derickson, the flight attendant who served as a buffer between terrorists and passengers during a 1985 airline hijacking that dragged on for 17 days, died Feb. 18 at her home, funeral home officials said. She was 60.

During the hijacking of Trans World Airlines Flight 847 in June 1985, Derickson talked to the Shiite Muslim terrorists and is credited with shielding passengers whose names sounded Jewish by hiding their passports.

The flight began in Athens but ended up in Beirut, where the crew and 39 passengers were held for 17 days.

A Navy diver on the flight was singled out and killed by the terrorists. Passengers credited Derickson with preventing more killings.

Derickson was the first woman to receive the United States Silver Medal of Honor for helping hold the hijackers at bay and was awarded the Silver Cross for Valor by the Legion of Valor, a veterans’ group.

She resumed flying with TWA soon after the hijacking but retired in the late 1980s. She tried working in real estate but missed flying, so she joined Delta Air Lines in the early 1990s and continued working, mainly on international flights, until she was diagnosed with cancer in 2003.

Edward Patten, 66, Grammy-winning singer

Atlanta Edward Patten, a member of the Grammy-winning Gladys Knight & The Pips, died Friday at a suburban Detroit hospital, said his cousin, another member of the group. He was 66.

Patten, an Atlanta native who lived in Detroit, died from a stroke he suffered a few days before, William Guest said.

The group – Knight, her brother, Merald “Bubba” Knight, and their cousins Guest and Patten – recorded for Motown from 1966-1973 and for Buddah Records from 1973-77. They later recorded for CBS until breaking up in 1989.

The group, whose hits included “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and “Midnight Train To Georgia,” won four Grammys and was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

Patten was one of the founders of Crew Records, based in Detroit and Atlanta, and sang backup for the label’s recording artists, Crew spokeswoman Denise Fussell said.

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