Scientist and Inventor

Nathaniel Wyeth, 78, the inventor of the plastic soda bottle, and the brother of artist Andrew Wyeth and a son of artist-illustrator N.C. Wyeth, died July 4 at a hospital in Penobscot, Maine. He suffered complications from a stroke.

He spent 40 years as a scientist with the Du Pont Co. He was best known for developing the polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, bottle, in the early 1970s. The bottle is used for carbonated beverages, wine, liquor and food because of its light weight and impact resistance. It was patented in 1973, and more than 6 million PET bottles are produced annually around the world.

Mr. Wyeth invented 25 processes and products that spanned a wide range, including plastics, textile fibers, electronics and mechanical systems. His awards included the 1981 Society of Plastics Engineers International Award for Outstanding Achievement for the development of the PET bottle.


TV Reporter

Paul Wynne, 46, a television reporter who hosted the weekly "Paul Wynne's Journal" on San Francisco's KGO-TV and received nationwide attention during the six months he reported on his personal battle with AIDS, died of the ailment July 5 at a hospital in San Francisco.

He joined KGO in 1981 as an entertainment reporter after a career in Bay Area television. In 1984, however, the station did not renew his contract. He was unemployed until January, when a former colleague at KGO proposed the AIDS diary. The show was an immediate hit.

The series was taped from his hospital bed in recent weeks, and in a recent broadcast Mr. Wynne said, "I'm very sick and I'm very weak; my life is very joyless and I'm very afraid."


Journalist and Novelist

Olive Ann Burns, 65, a journalist who wrote the best-selling novel "Cold Sassy Tree" as therapy when she became ill with cancer, died July 4 at a hospital in Atlanta. She had lymphoma since 1975.

Her novel, although written for her own pleasure, was a Book of the Month Club alternate selection in 1984. Five years later, the book -- about small-town life in Georgia -- was made into a cable TV movie for Turner Network Television, starring Faye Dunaway and Richard Widmark.

Miss Burns had written nonfiction for several years. She had contributed articles to the Sunday magazine of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and had been a free-lance writer and advice columnist for the Atlanta Constitution.


Baltimore Psychiatrist

Jacob H. Conn, 86, a past president of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis and the Maryland Association of Private Practicing Psychiatrists, died of pneumonia July 4 at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

Dr. Conn was a Baltimore psychiatrist from 1933 to 1981. His specialities included child psychiatry and medical hypnosis. He had been affiliated with the Johns Hopkins University medical school and Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1931 to 1981.