Vermont Governor

Deane C. Davis, 90, a former two-term Republican governor of Vermont who held office from 1969 to 1973 and was the author of two books of Vermont humor, died Dec. 8 at a hospital in Berlin, Vt., after gall bladder surgery.

In 1970, he enjoyed one of the most successful legislative sessions ever by a Vermont governor. Legislators enacted a pioneering law that controlled major development projects by establishing how they would be evaluated; an innovative water quality law; and legislation restructuring the government into so-called superagencies.

In 1940, he served as general counsel for the National Life Insurance Co. in Montpelier, Vt. Ten years later he became president of the company, which he helped build into one of the largest firms in the nation.

A farmer by birth and lawyer by training, Davis had neither served in the state legislature nor held statewide elective office before running for governor.


Metropolitan Opera Tenor

John Alexander, 67, an opera and voice professor at the University of Cincinnati who was an acclaimed tenor with New York's Metropolitan Opera for 25 years before retiring in 1987, died Dec. 8 at a hospital in Meridian, Miss., after a heart attack.

He was the first American-born tenor to establish a reputation for interpretation of 19th century bel canto roles, a style of singing that is characterized by brilliant vocal display and purity of tone and most often associated with Italian artists.

Mr. Alexander was known for his Mozart roles, including Belmonte in "The Abduction from the Seraglio" and Ferrando in "Cosi Fan Tutte." He also was acclaimed as Bacchus is Strauss's "Ariadne auf Naxos."


Football Coach

Ralph "Mac" McKinzie, 96, President Reagan's college football coach, died Dec. 7 in Eureka, Ill. The cause of death was not reported.

Mr. McKinzie also coached baseball and basketball during almost 35 years at Eureka College, from which Reagan graduated in 1932. He also coached at Wartburg College in Iowa and at Northern Illinois University.