SIR BERNARD ASHLEY, 82
Co-founder of Laura Ashley brand
Sir Bernard Ashley, who teamed up with his wife to build the Laura Ashley fashion and home furnishing brand into a global business, died Saturday at his home in the Elan Valley in Wales, his family said Monday. The cause of death was not announced.
Sir Bernard had the business acumen that propelled his wife's flair for nostalgic designs into a thriving business.
He married Laura Mountney in 1949. Inspired by a trip to Italy in 1953, she designed some head scarves. The couple, who had invested 10 pounds in a screen, dyes and linens, made the scarves in their apartment and found a ready market.
They gradually built up the business; by the time Laura Ashley died in 1985, the group had 220 shops in 12 countries.
LOUIE BELLSON, 84
Big-band drummer Louie Bellson, who performed with such greats as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman and Oscar Peterson, died Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles of complications from Parkinson's disease after suffering a broken hip in November.
Mr. Bellson, whose career spanned more than six decades, performed on more than 200 albums with musical greats including Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Woody Herman, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong and Pearl Bailey.
Mr. Bellson wrote more than 1,000 compositions and arrangements in several genres, including jazz, swing, orchestral suites, symphonic works and ballets. As an author, he published more than a dozen books on drums and percussion.