Frederick Fennell, 90, a classical music conductor and teacher acclaimed for creating an innovative wind ensemble at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., died Tuesday at his home in Siesta Key, Fla.
While bedridden with hepatitis for six weeks in 1952, Mr. Fennell dreamed up the notion of redefining the typical wind-and-brass band by whittling down its numbers and emphasizing its musical dexterity and virtuosity.
His Eastman Wind Ensemble, signed by Mercury Records in the 1950s, went on to record 22 albums. His creation revolutionized the way students learn to play wind instruments. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians credits him with bringing about a complete "reconsideration of the wind medium, establishing a model for the 20,000 wind ensembles subsequently established in American schools."
J.B. Nethercutt, 91, who co-founded Merle Norman Cosmetics and used part of his wealth from the company to assemble one of the world's best automobile collections, died Monday in Santa Monica, Calif. He had been in failing health for some time.
Mr. Nethercutt, who was widely respected as an expert on cosmetics chemistry, developed some of his firm's most popular products, including blush rouge, perfume and lipsticks.
He also was well-known for the Nethercutt Collection and Museum, which includes nearly 250 automobiles and has become a popular destination for car enthusiasts and collectors since it opened in the 1970s.
Jerry Scoggins, 93, whose mellow baritone warbled "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" to introduce the eccentric, oil-rich Clampett clan in both the 1960s television series The Beverly Hillbillies and a 1993 motion picture, died Tuesday of natural causes at his home in Westlake Village, Calif.
Mr. Scoggins was the lead singer of the Cass County Boys, who backed Gene Autry and Bing Crosby in the 1940s and 50s. In 1962, the country-and-western singer was working as a stockbroker and singing on weekends when he was asked to record a theme song for a television series pilot starring Buddy Ebsen.
Allen Haskell , 69, a world-renowned horticulturist whose clients included the queen of the Netherlands and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, died Tuesday in New Bedford, Mass.
In 1954, he opened Allen C. Haskell Horticulturists Inc. The 10-acre nursery in New Bedford, set up like an old English country village, is widely considered the premier small nursery in New England.
Mr. Haskell, a lifelong resident of New Bedford, was a staunch supporter of local institutions, including his alma mater, the Bristol County Agricultural School. He appeared frequently with Martha Stewart on her television show.
David Wellington Chappell , 64, author, scholar and educator on the history of Buddhism, peace advocate and the principal founder of the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies, died Dec. 2 of heart failure in Laguna Hills, Calif.
A professor of religion at the University of Hawaii for three decades, he moved to Southern California in 2000 to become professor of comparative religion at Soka University of America in Aliso Viejo, Calif.
He helped create the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies in the 1980s and served as founding editor of its journal, Buddhist-Christian Studies. In 2001, he published Buddhist Peacework: Creating Cultures of Peace, after soliciting essays from religious and lay leaders. The concept for the book sprang from a 1994 UNESCO conference on how religion could help promote a culture of peace.
Pierre Berton, 84, a journalist who became the most popular historian in Canada and a well-known television personality, died Nov. 30 in Toronto of heart failure.
He published 50 books and worked as a newspaper columnist, magazine editor and a broadcast personality. He was known for his humor, his eccentric take on the world and his trademark bow tie and bushy white sideburns.
Mr. Berton's history books covered a wide range of topics, from Canadian troops who fought in World War I to the Klondike gold rush and the building of the first transcontinental railroad in Canada.