July 10, 2004

David Webb Chaney, 88, who helped create parachute cords, AstroTurf and fiber for sweaters and carpets, died of a cerebral hemorrhage Sunday in Raleigh, N.C..

He worked for American Viscose from 1942 to 1946 and helped develop nylon for parachute cords during World War II. From 1947 to 1967, he worked for Chemstrand, where he led the research team that developed an artificial grass that became known as AstroTurf, and fiber used to make sweaters and carpets.

He was instrumental in bringing Chemstrand's research center to North Carolina's Research Triangle Park in 1960. He moved to Raleigh in 1962 and took over the leadership of North Carolina State University's textile school in 1967, leading the school for 14 years.

Carl A. Totemeier Jr., 77, a horticulturalist who helped reclaim the New York Botanical Garden from neglect in the mid-1980s and led efforts to restore other public gardens around the country, died July 3 at a hospital near his home in Fayetteville, Ark.

He was known to New Yorkers for his work at the botanical garden, where, as vice president of horticulture, he helped create the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden and restored many neglected plant collections, including daylilies, irises and herbaceous peonies.

His career included owning and running the Totemeier Garden Center in Burlington, Iowa; directing the DuPage Horticultural School in Chicago; and directing a number of public gardens on Long Island.

Robert Burchfield, 81, a daring and innovative lexicographer who was chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionaries from 1971 to 1984, died Monday in Oxfordshire, central England.

His interest in all brands of English went into the Oxford English Dictionaries, which he broadened to include words from North America, Australia, South Africa, India, Pakistan and the Caribbean, as well as his native land of New Zealand.

He went to court to defend the OED's right to include derogatory terms, arguing that a dictionary describes language as it is, not as readers would like it to be. He also wrote a biography of James Murray, the first editor of the OED.

Stewart Richardson, 78, a former top editor at Doubleday and other publishing houses, died of a lung infection Wednesday at a hospital in Manhattan. He was 78 and lived in New York.

He was the executive editor and later editor in chief of Doubleday during the 1960s and '70s, and he later led several other publishing ventures, including Richardson & Snyder, Richardson & Steirman and Birch Lane.

Among the authors he edited were Wallace Stegner, whose 1971 novel Angle of Repose won the Pulitzer Prize; Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, whose memoir, Times to Remember, was published in 1974; Robert F. Kennedy; Edward M. Kennedy; Patricia Kennedy Lawford; John Updike; and James Dickey.

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