Kermit Tyler, 96, an American pilot who dismissed initial reports of what turned out to be the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, died Jan. 23, 2010, in San Diego. He had suffered two strokes in the past two years. Mr. Tyler was on duty Dec. 7, 1941, when two privates reported a large blip on their radar screen. Mr. Tyler famously responded, "Don't worry about it," thinking it was a flight of U.S. B-17 bombers. Those words haunted him for years, though congressional committees and military inquiries that looked into what happened at Pearl Harbor did not find him at fault.
Jeanne M. Holm, 88, who opened doors for women in the military as the first female general in the Air Force and the first woman in any military branch to reach the rank of two-star general, died Feb. 15, 2010, of cardiovascular disease in Annapolis, Md. From 1965 to 1975, she was the highest-ranking woman in the Air Force, which had been resistant to accepting women. Women were not allowed to fly and only nurses were permitted near front lines. In 1971 she was promoted to brigadier general, the first woman in the Air Force to receive a general's star. Two years later, she became the most visible symbol of the progress she advocated when she became a two-star major general.
Menachem Porush, 93, a well-known Israeli rabbi and longtime leader of one of the most influential ultra-Orthodox parties in Parliament, died Feb. 21, 2010. Mr. Porush served for more than 30 years in Israel's Parliament, acting twice as deputy labor minister. He was known for leading the minority ultra-Orthodox Jewish community's efforts to slow secularization in Israel.
Robert Myers, 97, one of the nation's foremost Social Security experts, died Feb. 13, 2010, of respiratory failure at his home in suburban Silver Spring, Md. Mr. Myers served for 23 years as the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration and briefly as its deputy commissioner under President Ronald Reagan. He wrote five books and more than 900 articles on the Social Security program, which he helped design and tweak in a career that spanned more than six decades.
Linda Grover, 76, who devoted more than 10 years to establishing Jan. 1 as a worldwide day of peace, died Feb. 20, 2010, of uterine and ovarian cancer in Washington, D.C. Global Family Day, recognized by the U.S. Congress, the U.N. General Assembly and scores of heads of state, encourages people to share meals, pledge nonviolence and celebrate by ringing a bell or beating a drum on the first day of each year.