Nevadans said goodbye to Lanni, Glick, Gilliam, other notables in 2011


Gaming industry veteran Terry Lanni, UNR President Milton Glick and ex-Rebel standout Armon Gilliam were among notable Nevadans or those with strong ties that forever link them to the state who died in 2011.

Lanni, who played a key role in directing the growth of two of the world's largest casino companies, died July 14 after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 68.

He oversaw Caesars World in the 1980s as company president, directing the company's expansion into Atlantic City. He joined what then was MGM Grand Inc. as president, chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors in June 1995, and steered it through the $6.4 billion purchase of Mirage Resorts in 2000 and the $7.9 billion buyout of the Mandalay Resort Group in 2005.

Glick, the 15th president of the University of Nevada, Reno, died April 16 after suffering a stroke. He was 73.

Hailed for overseeing academic and building improvements during his five years at the university's helm, he oversaw the recruitment of a record number of National Merit Scholars and Presidential Scholars and an increase in the number of minority students. He also was forced to impose major budget cuts due to the state's financial crisis.

A UNLV basketball legend, Gilliam, 47, died July 5 from an apparent heart attack while playing in a pickup basketball game near Pittsburgh.

The power forward, nicknamed "The Hammer," was a second-team All-American as a senior and was the No. 2 overall pick in the 1987 NBA Draft after leading the Rebels to the Final Four that spring.

Other notable deaths included:

Frederick H. Alexander, 92, World War II fighter pilot ace.

Jim Arnold, 68, labor leader.

Cameron McVicar Batjer, 91, Nevada Supreme Court justice.

Rex Bell Jr., 76, former Clark County district attorney.

Lewis Brown, 56, former UNLV basketball player.

Charlie Callas, 83, stand-up comedian.

Cary Casey, 65, finance director of Las Vegas Valley Water District and Southern Nevada Water Authority.

"Papa" Joe Chevalier, 62, sports radio talk show host.

Steve Dacri, age not known, magician .

John P. Davis, 76, judge in the Fifth District serving Nye, Mineral and Esmeralda counties.

Scott DeGraff, 47, nightclub executive.

Nick Driscoll, 44, owner of the Order in the Court Cafe.

Bob Flanigan, 84, singer in the Four Freshman.

David Frye, 77, comic.

Dolores Fuller, 88, Elvis songwriter and Ed Woods muse.

Leo Friedman, 92, photographer.

Gary Hanna, 81, car dealer.

Audrey Holmes, 95, mother of performer Clint Holmes.

John Kell Houssels III, 61, president of Showboat Inc.

James "Stony" Jackson Jr., age not known, Clark County bailiff .

Tony Knap, 96, former UNLV head football coach.

John Laxalt, 85, lawyer and business leader, brother of former U.S. senator.

Jack Leone, 73, corporate communications.

Sister Rosemary Lynch, 93, co-founder of Pace e Bene.

Judge John Mendoza, 83, member of undefeated 1944 Las Vegas High School football team.

John Meren, 72, theater promoter.

Elburt Miller, 66, former UNLV basketball star.

Larry Moffett, age not known, former UNLV basketball player .

May Mushkin, 83, business owner.

Dan Neer, Las Vegas Motor Speedway Drag Strip announcer .

William Pennington, 88, casino industry pioneer.

Andrew Puccinelli, 58, Elko District Court judge.

Sarah Ralston, 50, former Las Vegas newscaster.

Ed Roman, 61, guitar builder.

Maryellen Vallier Sadovich, 85, longtime historian.

Jack Schaefer, 64, contractor leader.

Dr. Steven Shearing, 76, eye surgery pioneer.

Jeff Simpson, 51, journalist.

Alan Sloane, 85, TV personality.

William W. Spruance, 94, retired Air Force brigadier general.

Violetta Villas, 73, Polish singer and Strip performer.

Curtis Watson, 64, former UNLV basketball player.

Ron Wielochowski, 73, former UNLV basketball player.

Aaron Williams, 91, first African-American elected to municipal office in Nevada.

Dick Williams, 82, Hall of Fame baseball manager.

 

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