Shaker Eldress

Bertha Lindsay, 93, the country's last Shaker eldress, died Oct. 3 in Canterbury, N.H., leaving only a few followers to practice the religion's 200-year-old tenets of simple living, celibacy and pacifism. The cause of death was not reported.

Originating in England in the 1770s as the Shaking Quakers, the religion grew strong under the leadership of "Mother" Ann Lee, who moved to New York in 1774 with eight followers. The community in Canterbury was founded in the 1780s. The Shakers, a celibate religious group able to expand only by taking in orphans and converts, officially stopped taking new members in 1965.


Doll Maker

Beatrice Alexander Behrman, 95, whose handcrafted Madame Alexander dolls became collectors' items and were exhibited in museums around the world, died Oct. 3 in New York City. The cause of death was not reported.

She founded the Alexander Doll Co. in 1923 and sold it to two New York businessmen in 1988, remaining as a consultant. In 1968, the Smithsonian Institution chose two dolls to include in its collection. They were the "Madame" doll, based on the American Revolution, and the "Scarlett O'Hara" doll from "Gone With the Wind."


Opera Singer

Eleanor Steber, 76, who began singing solos as a child in West Virginia and went on to become a star of the Metropolitan Opera, died of congestive heart failure Oct. 3 at the Attleboro Nursing Home in Langhorne, Pa.

From 1940 through 1966, Miss Steber sang 404 Met performances in 33 roles. She was known especially as a Mozart interpreter, portraying such heroines as Donna Anna, Fiordiligi, Pamina, Donna Elvira and Constanze, the latter at the Metropolitan premiere of "The Abduction from the Seraglio," in 1946. She also headed the voice department at the Cleveland Institute of Music and taught at the Juilliard School of Music.


Czechoslovak Minister

Alexej Cepicka, 80, a former Czechoslovak defense minister who was expelled from the Communist Party in the 1960s for his support of Stalinist policies, died Sept. 30 in Prague, the state news agency CTK announced. The cause of death was not reported.

Mr. Cepicka, the son-in-law of former Czechoslovak communist leader Klement Gottwald, who generally is blamed for the Stalinist repression in the years immediately after World War II, became defense minister in 1950. He was dismissed from the post in 1956 and was expelled from the party in 1963 for his role in the Stalinist period, CTK said.