Mark Sandman


Mark Sandman, 47, the lead singer of the Boston rock band Morphine, died of a heart attack after collapsing in front of several thousand spectators at a concert outside Rome on July 3, police said.

His group was participating in a three-day music festival at the Giardini del Principe in Palestrina outside Rome. Mr. Sandman played bass, sang and wrote songs for the trio, which includes Dana Colley on saxophone and Billy Conway on drums.

The band started out playing loft parties and bars around Boston and Cambridge in the early 1990s and built a solid cult following. Morphine has released four albums: "Good," "Cure for Pain," "yes" and "Like Swimming."

Antonino 'Tony' Alessi

Olive Importer

Antonino "Tony" Alessi Sr., 93, founder of the Alessi Vigo Importing Co., the largest importer of Greek olives in the nation, died July 2 in Tampa. The cause of death was not reported.

Mr. Alessi established the business in 1947. He first operated it out of his garage, but eventually it grew into a multimillion-dollar family business in Tampa. It also imports olive oil, Greek peppers, cheese and pasta.

Mr. Alessi was just 7 when he came to the United States from San Biaggio, a town in Sicily. At 17, he worked 16-hour days as a clerk in a supermarket. From there, he took a job sweeping floors at Swift Packing Co. After World War II, Alessi struck out on his own. His sons now run the business.

J. Curtis Counts

Labor Negotiator

J. Curtis Counts, 83, a longtime labor negotiator who headed the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service during the Nixon administration, died June 30 at his home in Los Angeles. The cause of death was not reported.

Mr. Counts negotiated with many well-known organized labor figures, including Teamsters leaders Jimmy Hoffa, Jackie Presser and Frank Fitzsimmons, and George Meany of the AFL-CIO.

He had a 30-year career at Douglas Aircraft, rising to vice president of employee relations and negotiating all contracts with the unions. He left in 1969 to work for four years for his old friend, Richard M. Nixon, as head of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

Xavier Gelin


Xavier Gelin, 53, an actor who was a mainstay of popular French cinema for more than three decades, died of cancer July 2 in Paris.

Mr. Gelin was the son of French film stars Daniel Gelin and Daniele Delorme. He played supporting roles in more than 20 films, including Gerard Oury's 1973 comic hit "The Adventures of Rabbi Jacob" with Louis de Funes.

He also starred in Claude Lelouche's "Adventure, It's Adventure," and "The Devil by the Tail" (1968), by Philippe de Broca.

Other hits include Claude Pinoteau's "The Slap" and "The Party-2," and "A Simple Story," directed by Claude Sautet.