Jazz Bassist

Major Quincy "Mule" Holley Jr., 66, a jazz bassist known for his grace, large sound, impeccable sense of rhythm, and classic improvisation and who performed with such stars as Duke Ellington, Woody Herman, Ella Fitzgerald and Benny Goodman, died of a heart attack Oct. 25 at the home of a friend in Maplewood, N.J.

After World War II Navy service, he got his first professional gig in San Diego with an ensemble led by saxophonists Wardell Gray and Dexter Gordon. He went on to perform with a long list of music greats including Charlie Parker, Art Tatum, the Kenny Burrell Trio, Oscar Peterson, Rose Murphy, Zoot Sims and Al Cohn.

He spent the 1950s as a musician with BBC television. He performed "Mack the Knife" on Frank Sinatra's 1986 "L.A. Is My Lady" album, at the invitation of record producer Quincy Jones. He taught at Berklee College in Boston from 1967 to 1970, and toured Europe with the Kings of Jazz in the mid-1970s.


Los Alamos Official

Robert N. Thorn, 66, a former deputy director of Los Alamos National Laboratory who developed more than a dozen nuclear warhead designs, died Oct. 25 in Los Alamos, N.M. The cause of death was not reported.

He joined the lab in 1953 as a staff member in the theoretical division and conducted pioneering weapons research during his first nine years at the laboratory. In 1962, he became leader of the lab's thermonuclear weapons physics and design group. In 1971, he was appointed leader of the lab's theoretical design division.

Mr. Thorn was a deputy director at the lab from 1979 to 1985. He was the senior adviser at the lab when he retired in 1989. He also had served on advisory groups to the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Air Force.


Irish Writer

Breandan O hEithir, 60, author of "Lig Sinn i gCathu," the first Irish-language novel to lead Ireland's bestseller list, and whose other books included "Over the Bar," "The Begrudger's Guide to Irish Politics" and "Willie the Plain Pint agus An Papa," died of cancer Oct. 26 at a hospital in Dublin.

His 1976 novel was the only Irish-language book ever to top the nation's hardback bestseller list. The book, translated in English as "Lead Us Into Temptation," was set in a university town in 1948, the year Ireland declared itself a republic and withdrew from the Commonwealth.

In 1957, Mr. O hEithir joined the Irish Press as Irish language editor and remained with the newspaper until 1963. He later was a scriptwriter for RTE, the national television service; wrote film scripts for Gael Linn, the Irish cultural organization; and was a columnist with the Irish Times.