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PASSINGS: John 'Jack' Zilly, Richard Saylor

John 'Jack' Zilly, Notre Dame and L.A. Rams football player, dies at 88; Richard Saylor, conductor and former chairman of Cal State San Bernardino music department, dies at 83

December 20, 2009
  • Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times (kuxat8nc20091219154448 )

John 'Jack' Zilly

Player for Notre Dame, L.A. Rams

John "Jack" Zilly, 88, who played on two national championship football teams for Notre Dame in the 1940s and played five seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, died Friday in Narragansett, R.I., Notre Dame announced. No cause of death was given.

Born Nov. 11, 1921, in Waterbury, Conn., Zilly was a right end on Notre Dame's 1943 championship team. He then joined the Navy and served two years in the Pacific during World War II. He returned to school and played on the 1946 team.

Zilly played for the Rams from 1947 to 1951, then was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for the 1952 season.

He was on the Montana State University coaching staff in 1955 and spent three years coaching ends at Notre Dame, from 1956 to '58.

Richard Saylor

Conductor and music professor

Richard Saylor, 83, a composer, conductor and former chairman of the music department at Cal State San Bernardino, died Dec. 11 of natural causes at his home in Arcadia, family members said.

Saylor started teaching at San Bernardino in 1968. He conducted the university's chamber orchestra for more than 20 years and conducted the Riverside Opera orchestra, Palm Springs Symphony and performances of the San Bernardino Symphony.

Richard Samuel Saylor was born Aug. 6, 1926, in Reading, Pa., and played clarinet and saxophone in jazz groups during high school. He enlisted in the Navy after graduating from high school and was a sonar operator on ships during World War II.

He received an undergraduate degree from Ithaca College in New York, a master's from the University of Michigan and a doctorate in orchestral conducting from Stanford. While in college he composed "Prisoner of War," band music chosen by the Army to commemorate the Bataan Day Rites in the Philippines.

Saylor taught high school and was a professor at Xavier and St. Lawrence universities before coming to San Bernardino. He was chairman of the music department there until 1991, when he became an emeritus professor.

Saylor was an early teacher of electronic music and received a Smithsonian grant to study the classical music of South India. He lived with his family for a year in Madras, now known as Chennai.

His "Five Pieces for Piano" was included by pianist Althea Waites on her 1993 recording "Along the Western Shore."

-- times staff and wire reports news.obits@latimes.com

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