Ross G. Guy, 67, of Riverside, Calif., died Jan. 14. Guy was awarded the Carnegie Medal in 2003 for his actions of Jan. 10, 2002, by which he helped to save a man from a burning car after an accident in Moreno Valley, Calif. Then 52, Guy drove upon the scene and helped two other motorists remove the man from the car, which was destroyed in the accident and fire. Guy sustained smoke inhalation and cuts, but he recovered. Guy was a veteran of the U.S. Marines, having served in Vietnam as a helicopter door gunner. “Many children look up to their father as a hero,” his obituary read. “We have proof!”
Henry L. Hillman, 98, of Pittsburgh died April 14. He was a former member of the Commission, having been elected in 1951 and remaining on the board for 24 years. Hillman and his late wife, Elsie, had a long history of service to the Pittsburgh region, serving on numerous public and private organizations, and will be remembered for their extraordinary generosity. Their benefactions include the Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems at the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, and in 2008 the foundation bearing the Hillman name gave $10 million to Carnegie Mellon University for the Hillman Center for Future-Generation Technologies. From an editorial in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Hillman’s passing: “In philanthropy, the Hillmans were the embodiment of donors who did more than write checks. They gave their time, energy and spirit to causes large and small.”
Jack Markowitz, 85, of Pittsburgh died April 4. He was a friend of the Commission, having written A Walk on the Crust of Hell (The Stephen Greene Press, Brattleboro, Vt., 1973), an anthology of accounts of the heroic acts of awardees of the Carnegie Medal. Markowitz, then the business editor of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, took the title of his book from the case of Joseph C. Wiest, who was awarded the medal in 1971 for carrying a stricken steel worker to safety across the crust of hot slag. Markowitz writes in the book’s introduction: “If there be, in this world of forms, documents, and filing cabinets, any sort of official report worthy of regard as a literary form unto itself, it must be a Carnegie Hero Fund field report. Some I have consulted run to a dozen or more legal-sized, single-spaced pages: great, grey regions of tightly packed words, names, and numbers—but how the suspense builds and the drama leaps from those heavily-laden pages of fact after fact after fact!”
Mary Laverne McDaniel, 89, of Longview, Texas, died March 21. She was the widow of Carnegie Medal awardee James Young McDaniel, who was fatally wounded while struggling with a gunman in the foyer of a church in Daingerfield, Texas, during morning worship on June 22, 1980. Four others were killed, and 10 were wounded by gunfire, including Mrs. McDaniel. The Hero Fund resumed a relationship with her in 2006, providing a monthly grant, to help with living expenses, that extended to the time of her passing.
Robert D. Reinhart, Jr., 61, of East Petersburg, Pa., died Feb. 19. He was awarded the medal in 1997 for rescuing a woman from a man who was stabbing her in the lobby of a building in Lancaster, Pa., on Feb. 27, 1996. Reinhart, then 40, stopped the attack, allowing the woman to flee, but the assailant broke free of Reinhart, chased after her, and resumed his assault. Reinhart again intervened, taking the assailant to the pavement and helping to subdue him until police arrived. The medal “has made me proud,” Reinhart wrote on receiving it, “and has helped others see that getting involved is the right thing to do.”
Raymond L. Robinson, 50, of Chicago, Ill., died Feb. 22. He was a recent awardee of the medal, having received it last August in recognition of his heroic actions of Feb. 14, 2015. Robinson was an assistant manager of a drug store in Chicago when he and another man teamed up to rescue two city police officers who were struggling to arrest a suspected shoplifter in the parking lot. The struggle took the three men to the pavement, where the suspect gained control of one of the officers’ guns and fired it. Robinson and the other man intervened, Robinson freeing the gun from the assailant’s grasp. Robinson fractured a rib and sprained a knee during the rescue, and he recovered.
James R. Ussery, Jr., 69, of Havelock, N.C., died Feb. 15. “Bob” was awarded the medal in 1982 to cite his actions of Aug. 15, 1981, by which he helped to save a 9-year-old boy from drowning in the Atlantic Ocean at Atlantic Beach, N.C. Ussery, then a carpenter, 34, was fishing from a pier at the scene when he saw that the boy was being swept from shore by a current. Ussery jumped feet first from the pier into the water and, despite incurring disabling injuries to his legs from hitting the ocean floor, managed to secure the boy and hold him to a piling until both could be rescued. Ussery required lengthy hospitalization and numerous surgeries on his legs. Up to the time of his passing he was given a monthly grant by the Hero Fund to help with the cost of living.
David Anderson Young, 70, of Murrayville, Ga., died Dec. 31. He was awarded the medal in 1967 for attempting to save three Boy Scouts and their leader after leaked gasoline fumes exploded in the cave they were exploring in Trenton, Ga., on April 16, 1966. Then a 19-year-old college student, Young was exploring another cave in the vicinity when he learned of the accident. He and others entered the stricken cave, and while engaged in rescue efforts, Young became nauseated and lost consciousness. He was taken from the cave and recovered after hospital treatment. The scouts were rescued later, their leader dying in the accident. Young continued caving and in 1982 was part of the team that set a rappelling world record on Mount Thor, Baffin Island, Canada.