L. Clyde Carter, 92, who helped put Riceland Foods on...

Deaths Elsewhere

April 16, 2002

L. Clyde Carter, 92, who helped put Riceland Foods on the map as a national force in food marketing, died yesterday in Stuttgart, Ala.

Until he retired in 1977, Mr. Carter had been president and chief executive of the 28 cooperatives that comprised the Riceland Foods organization.

Mr. Carter joined the Arkansas Agricultural Extension Service in 1934, and in 1937 was named director-in-charge of the University of Arkansas' Rice Branch Experiment Station at Stuttgart. He gained experience with the rice industry and experimented with processing ideas that would later become the modern grain drier, thus radically changing rice farming and the grain industry economy.

In 1944, Mr. Carter became general manager of the Arkansas Rice Growers Cooperative Association -- forerunner of Riceland Foods Inc. During the next 33 years, his leadership helped change a small, farmer-owned marketing cooperative with less than $2 million in annual sales into a major national and international rice and soybean marketing complex.

Dermot P. Coyne, 72, a prominent plant geneticist, died Friday in Lincoln, Neb., of complications from a steroid treatment for a form of nonviral hepatitis.

Mr. Coyne, who worked at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, developed varieties of beans, such as pinto beans, that were resistant to common blight, rust and other bacterial diseases. The developments helped feed people in countries such as the Dominican Republic, which has achieved self-sufficiency in bean production thanks in part to Mr. Coyne's work.

Mr. Coyne was national president of the American Society for Horticultural Science in 1985.

Elisabeth Reed Wagner, 21, celebrated by country singer Billy Gilman in the song "Elisabeth" on his "Dare to Dream" CD, died of cancer Thursday in Dallas.

Ms. Wagner had been diagnosed at age 3 with neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form on nerves. Ms. Wagner enrolled in Texas A&M University in 1998 to work on a degree in elementary education, but stopped when the genetic disorder progressed into cancer.

The song "Elisabeth" was written by Ms. Wagner's aunt, Liz Rose, and her friend, Kim Patton Johnston.

At the State Fair of Texas in October, Mr. Gilman sang "Elisabeth, you make the world a better place, with the kindness of your smile and your love, and your beauty will live on and on."

Harvey Quaytman, 64, an abstract painter, died of cancer April 9 in New York City. His works are included in the collections of the Tate Gallery in London; the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington; the Fogg Art Museum in Cambridge, Mass.; and the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

His painting combined austere geometry and a quietly hedonistic sensuality of surface and color. His spare, layered compositions of gridded, hard-edged bands or centered crosses, often on shaped canvases, were realized in subdued yet lush hues. Velvety blacks and grays and rich blues would be accented by strips of bright red or by rust, a signature ingredient.

Emerging in the 1960s, he responded to minimalism and formalist abstraction by producing sleek hybrids of painting and sculpture. In the 1970s, he began to focus on extending traditions of reductive abstract painting that began with early modernist works of artists like Kasimir Malevich and Piet Mondrian.

Robert G. McGruder, 60, executive editor of The Detroit Free Press, died of cancer Friday at a hospice in a Detroit suburb. He was known for his efforts in breaking down racial barriers in the newspaper industry by encouraging the hiring of staffs that reflected the racial makeup of the communities they covered.

He led The Free Press during most of a 5 1/2 -year strike in the 1990s, which he called "easily the most painful time in my life as a newspaperman." Mr. McGruder was born in Louisville, Ky., in 1942. At 6, he contracted polio but recovered after months in a hospital and a rehabilitation center. He graduated from Kent State University in 1963 and the same year became the first black reporter for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland.

In 1996, he became the first black executive editor of The Free Press, a year after becoming the first black president of the Associated Press Managing Editors.

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