Departures: World War II vet, theologian dies at 98 | WORLD
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Departures: World War II vet, theologian dies at 98

Jürgen Moltmann became a Christian in a British POW camp

Clockwise from top left: Jürgen Moltmann, Bill Walton, David Boaz, Larry Allen and Richard M. Sherman Moltmann: Bernd Weissbrod / Picture-Alliance / dpa / AP; Walton: Allen Berezovsky / Getty; Boaz: Brian Cahn / Zuma Wire / Alamy; Allen: Jerry Larson / Waco Tribune Herald/AP; Sherman: Eric Charbonneau / Invision / AP

Departures: World War II vet, theologian dies at 98
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Jürgen Moltmann

Moltmann, one of the most widely read Protestant theologians of the past century, died June 3 at the age of 98. Raised in a nonreligious German household, Moltmann was pressed into military service at 16 during World War II. After surrendering, Moltmann became a Christian in a British POW camp and, after the war, became a theologian. He affiliated himself with the Confessing Church, a strand of Lutheranism that opposed Nazi ideology. His 1964 book Theology of Hope suggested Christians live their lives in light of their promised resurrection. As Moltmann acknowledged, some of his teachings—including his hope for universal salvation—were innovations conflicting with historical Christian theology.

Bill Walton

A basketball legend whose immense talent and love for the game was marred by a series of injuries, Walton died May 27. He was 71. Walton emerged from UCLA with three national player of the year awards and two championships. He led the Portland Trail Blazers to a championship in 1977 before stress fractures of his foot degraded his abilities. Walton missed three full seasons of his prime recovering from surgeries (he underwent 38 orthopedic surgeries in his life). In one final season of passable health, he contributed to a Boston Celtics 1986 finals victory. Walton overcame a lifelong stutter in his late 20s, and after retiring from the court, he donned a headset and became a basketball color analyst.

David Boaz

A writer and scholar who helped carve out a space in American politics for libertarians, Boaz died June 7. He was 70. The Kentucky native joined the libertarian Cato Institute in 1981 and helped turn the think tank into a significant policymaking force over the ensuing four decades. He argued for a live-and-let-live attitude, most vociferously for an end to the War on Drugs as early as 1988. Boaz, who lived in a decades-long gay relationship, preferred to solve culture war issues such as homosexual marriage by removing the role of the state entirely—although he proclaimed the 2015 Supreme Court decision forcing the nationwide legalization of gay marriage as an improvement on the status quo.

Larry Allen

A Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman and Hall of Famer whose profound strength stood out even in a league of strongmen, Allen died June 2. He was 52. Drafted out of a small college squad by the Cowboys in 1994, Allen made an almost immediate impact on the team, starting 16 games at guard his second season en route to his first of 11 Pro Bowls and a victory in the 1996 Super Bowl. Allen earned inclusion on the NFL’s All-Decade teams for both the 1990s and 2000s. But he may be best remembered for his athleticism, as when he chased down an opposing linebacker from behind after an interception in 1994 and, in 2001, bench-pressed 700 pounds.

Richard M. Sherman

An American songwriter whose tunes lodged themselves in the American subconscious, Sherman died May 25 at age 95. The son of a Tin Pan Alley composer, Sherman and his brother were hired by Walt Disney as staff songwriters. The brothers wrote their best-known song, “It’s a Small World,” for a Disney attraction at the 1964 World’s Fair. In 2014, Time magazine called it the most played song in history after accounting for its near continuous play in multiple Disney theme parks. In 1965, the Sherman Brothers won academy awards for the Mary Poppins musical score and the song “Chim Chim Cher-ee.” Sherman also composed the music for The Jungle Book and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.


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