Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

November 08, 2003

Thomas F. McBride,

74, former associate Watergate prosecutor and associate dean at Stanford University Law School, died Oct. 31 in Portland, Ore.. He was 74.

Mr. McBride suffered a fall in Portland's Laurelhurst Park, the day before he was to attend an event in Washington, D.C., marking the 30th anniversary of the "Saturday Night Massacre," when President Richard M. Nixon fired the Watergate special prosecutor, and other events leading to the president's resignation.

Mr. McBride's wife, Catherine Milton, said she and her husband were having dinner when the news bulletin hit in 1973. Ms. Milton said her husband, fearing that important paperwork would be destroyed, immediately drove to the office to remove files for safety and preservation.

As associate prosecutor, Mr. McBride led the task force on campaign contributions and the selling of ambassadorships. He was responsible for accepting guilty pleas from some high-level officials, such as Maurice Stans, President Nixon's chief fund-raiser for his re-election campaign.

Reginald Murray Williams,

95, who went from dirty and dangerous jobs in the Australian Outback to found one of the nation's best-known clothing lines, died Tuesday at his home near Toowoomba, west of Brisbane. The cause of death was not immediately released.

The "R.M. Williams" clothing brand featuring products such as sturdy leather boots, moleskin trousers and flannel shirts turned the former ranch hand into a millionaire. The clothing line has stores all over Australia as well as in London and New York.

According to the Web site of the company he founded, Mr. Williams started his working life in the Outback of northern Victoria state. He joined an expedition to survey areas of Australia's vast and arid interior and worked on cattle ranches.

William Swetland,

90, a venerable character actor on Broadway and in regional theater who specialized in stalwart, older characters, died yesterday in Branford, Conn.

Tall and imposing, with a thick mane of hair and aquiline features, Mr. Swetland was one of the country's premier actors in regional theater. He was in the original company at the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, which was founded in 1965, and was in more than 75 plays there into the 1990s.

He also acted at the Hartford Stage Co. and the McCarter Theater in Princeton, N.J. His Broadway credits include The National Health in 1974 and the revival of Eugene O'Neill's Ah, Wilderness! the following year with Geraldine Fitzgerald and Swoosie Kurtz.

Both The National Health and Ah, Wilderness! were nominated for Tony Awards for the director, Arvin Brown, who was also the longtime artistic director of Long Wharf Theater.

Mr. Swetland played older men of varying degrees of morality. He was a roguish father in The Philadelphia Story and George Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara but was also the model avuncular parent in Ah, Wilderness! and a stern Union officer in the Civil War in Borak.

Sheila Smythe,

71, a former head of Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield and dean of the school of public health at New York Medical College in Valhalla, N.Y., died Tuesday at New York Weill Cornell Center.

The cause was a heart attack, a spokeswoman at the college said.

Ms. Smythe was appointed dean in 1990, when she also became professor of health policy and economics at the school. She became its executive vice president in 1995.

From 1987 to 1990, she was chief health policy adviser in the U.S. General Accounting Office. From 1983 to 1985, she was president and chief operating officer of Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, where she worked for 20 years.

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