Wife of Former Prime Minister

Lady Home, 80, the wife of former British prime minister Alec Douglas-Home, who now is Lord Home, died of a stroke Sept. 3 at a hospital in Carluke, a southern Scottish town near the family's shooting estate at Castlemains.

Lady Home, the former Elizabeth Alington, was the daughter of the Very Rev. Cecil Alington, who was headmaster of Eton when Alec Douglas-Home -- then Lord Dunglass -- attended the famed boys' boarding school during World War I. She married Home in 1936 after they had met again as adults when she visited Scotland. They had one son and three daughters.

Home became the 14th Earl of Home and scion of an ancient Scottish aristocratic family before renouncing his titles in 1963 to lead a Conservative government as prime minister. He served in that post until 1964, was later knighted and given a life title, Lord Home of the Hirsel, in 1974.


TV Series Inspiration

Doris Giannini Hamner, 86, the mother of Earl H. Hamner Jr., creator of "The Waltons" and other television programs who based characters and events in the TV series on his mother's life, died Aug. 31 at her home in Schuyler, Va. She had Alzheimer's disease.

Hamner said his mother instilled in him a sense of self-worth that deeply affected his writing. He remembered her as an upbeat person, even in the darkest days of the Depression. "She'd be washing dishes and singing. She sang her way through the Depression," he said.


Jazz Singer

Laura Washington, 64, a smoky-voiced jazz vocalist who sang with Erskine Hawkins' orchestra on Broadway in the 1940s and made the hit record "I've Got a Right to Cry," died of cancer Aug. 30 in Birmingham, Ala.

She made her debut at the Strand Theater on Broadway in 1946, the same year she made "I've Got a Right to Cry." She performed in the 1940s as the only woman member of Hawkins' 18-piece band. She retired in the 1950s to raise a family and began performing professionally again in the 1980s.



Sueb Nakasathien, 41, known as one of Thailand's most dedicated wildlife conservationists, was found dead Sept. 1 in a vast wilderness area he fought to protect.

A provincial governor said the death was believed a suicide. He said Sueb killed himself with a pistol at his quarters in Huay Khakaeng Wildlife Reserve.

Sueb spent years at Huay Khakaeng and adjacent Thung Yai sanctuary, which contain one of the last great forests of mainland Southeast Asia and an abundance of animal life. He assailed a plan to build a major dam in the area and tried to ward off encroachments by loggers and poachers. The dam plan was shelved in 1988.


Art Gallery Founder

David Smith, 67, a Joseph Conrad scholar who also founded the Baxter Art Gallery at the California Institute of Technology in 1969 and served as its director before it closed in 1985, died of cancer Aug. 31 in Malibu, Calif.

The gallery's exhibits were controversial. One involved a computer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology running a program called "Doctor," which represented a form of psychotherapy. That computer was linked to one at Caltech that was running a program called "Parry," which represented paranoid schizophrenia. Exchanges between the machines were displayed on a screen.