Grand Ole Opry star David Houston, 57, who won a Grammy for the 1966 million-seller country music classic "Almost Persuaded," died yesterday. He had suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm Thanksgiving Day and never regained consciousness, said Paul Hockett, spokesman for Bossier Medical Center in Bossier City, La., where he died. "Almost Persuaded" chronicled a honky-tonk flirtation in which a married man considered cheating on his wife. "A song like that comes along once in a lifetime," he said in a 1977 interview. He was one of the most successful country singers in the mid-1960s and had performed on the Grand Ole Opry since 1972. He lived in Kenner, La., and last appeared on the Opry Nov. 6. He had not been an active recording artist for the past 10 years.
William J. Trent Jr., 83, who helped form the United Negro College Fund and ran it for 20 years, died Nov. 27 in Greensboro, N.C. He was an economics teacher and basketball coach at Bennett College in Greensboro when he joined the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938 as an adviser on black affairs.
He was asked in 1944 to help form an association of private black colleges, and he helped raise millions of dollars for 41 colleges during his 20 years as head of the United Negro College Fund. A Yale University student named George Bush introduced himself to Mr. Trent after one of the latter's lectures on the fund in 1948, and the conversation led to a lifelong friendship between him and the future president. He left his director's post in 1964 to become an executive with publishing giant Time Inc. before returning to Greensboro in the mid-1970s.
Bernard V. Bothmer, 81, a New York University professor known for his expertise in ancient Egyptian art, died of cancer Nov. 24. He was an expert in sculpture of the Late Period, approximately 750 B.C. to 100 A.D. He began teaching at the university in 1960 and was named the Lila Acheson Wallace Professor of Ancient Egyptian Art in 1982. He also was chairman of the department of Egyptian, classical and ancient Middle Eastern art at the Brooklyn Museum from 1977 to 1982.
Arthur Lodge, 75, a supervisor of early television news for NBC and later producer of TV documentaries, died of a heart attack Sunday in New York. He joined NBC radio news in 1945 after three years' service in the Coast Guard. Before the war he worked for United Press in Minneapolis. From 1949 to 1953 he supervised the writers, editors and cameramen of the newly organized NBC television news and special events department. Reuven Frank, former NBC News president, credited him with establishing rules that TV news writers still follow. Mr. Lodge eventually formed his own company, Arthur Lodge Productions, which made television, educational and corporate documentaries.