Obituaries in the news

AP News
Posted: Nov 13, 2009 10:05 PM

Bruce King

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) _ Former New Mexico Gov. Bruce King was a back-slapping, hand-pumping, old-fashioned politician, equally at home on the ranch or in the Roundhouse.

His death, at 85, marks the end of an era in New Mexico politics.

King was with family members at his ranch in Stanley when he died Friday morning, less than a year after the death of his wife of 61 years, Alice.

King served a total of 12 years as governor in separate terms that spanned three decades.

Former President Bill Clinton, a friend for 30 years, said King used homespun manner to demonstrate a razor-sharp mind and an amazing wit.

King's political career covered 40 years. Before being elected governor in 1970, 1978 and 1990, he was a lawmaker and county commissioner.

When he retired in 1994 _ after losing re-election to a younger political outsider, Republican Gary Johnson _ New Mexico's political landscape had changed.

The importance of political bosses had dwindled. The notion that you had to start at the bottom of the political ladder had been tossed aside. It was all about campaign consultants, big bucks and the televised sound bites _ something the inarticulate King never quite mastered.

Brian Sanderoff, an aide to King in his middle term who went on to become the state's most prominent pollster, was the last of the politicians whose success derived from personal friendships with everyday New Mexicans.


Elijah Joshua "E.J." Williams

BLUFFTON, S.C. (AP) _ The father of former NBA star Jayson Williams has died.

The Brice W. Herndon and Sons Funeral Home said Elijah Joshua "E.J." Williams died Tuesday. He was 76.

Christopher Adams, an attorney for Jayson Williams, said E.J. Williams died at his son's home in Bluffton, S.C., of complications from several strokes.

E.J. Williams was a longtime resident of Ritter, S.C., and owned a construction company with his son.

Jayson Williams played nine seasons in the NBA for the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets, retiring in 2000. He faces a retrial in January on reckless manslaughter charges stemming from the fatal shooting of a hired driver at his New Jersey estate in 2002.