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Two women - each of whom made a mark on the 20th century, albeit very different marks - passed away yesterday.

• Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a grocer's daughter who became the only woman to achieve that office, passed away yesterday after suffering the latest in a series of strokes. She was 87, and reportedly had been suffering from the effects of Alzheimer's disease.

Known as the "Iron Lady" for her political and governing toughness, Thatcher was a proponent of nationalism, moral absolutism, and a Conservative agenda that made her a natural ally of US President Ronald Reagan.

• Annette Funicello, who was a Mouseketeer on "The Mickey Mouse Show" during the 1950s, and then starred with Frankie Avalon in a series of beach party movies during the 1960s, died yesterday of complications related to a two-decade battle with multiple sclerosis. She was 70.
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