Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

February 16, 2005

Eleanor Gould Packard, 87, who was known for her proofreading, copy editing and probing of the language of thousands of articles in The New Yorker, died Sunday in New York.

Though she was not known by a particular title at the magazine, she was noted for her intricate attention to vocabulary, syntax, grammar, flow and punctuation of many contributing nonfiction writers, including E.B. White, Roger Angell, and Wolcott Gibbs.

Born Eleanor Gould in Newark, N.Y., she graduated summa cum laude from Oberlin College in Ohio and moved to New York after being taught editing by the New Jersey poet Aline Kilmer. In 1945, she joined the magazine's staff, and a year later she married colleague Frederick A. Packard.

She remained at the magazine for 54 years before retiring after a stroke. Many there believe she was responsible for the style of the magazine's prose.

John Patterson, 64, an award-winning television director who worked on dozens of shows including The Sopranos, Law & Order and Hill Street Blues, died of prostate cancer Feb. 7 in Los Angeles.

Over his 40-year career, Mr. Patterson worked on a number of made-for-TV movies but was best known for directing popular dramatic series including The Rockford Files, Magnum P.I., The Practice, CSI and Six Feet Under. He directed 13 episodes, including every season finale, of HBO's The Sopranos, claiming Emmy nominations in 2000 and 2003 as well as a Directors Guild award for TV drama.

Connie Scovill Small, 103, who helped her husband, Elson, guide seafarers in Maine and New Hampshire and wrote a folksy memoir popular with lighthouse lovers, died Jan. 25 in a nursing home in Portsmouth, N.H.

Tim Harrison, president of the American Lighthouse Foundation, said the memoir she wrote at age 85, The Lighthouse Keeper's Wife, "a great history of lighthouse life in the early to mid-1900s, but it is also one of the greatest lighthouse love stories ever told."

Mrs. Small and her husband maintained lighthouses from the Canadian border to Portsmouth Harbor from 1920 to 1948. Seven days a week, Mr. Small turned on the light at dusk and turned it off at dawn, no matter the weather conditions.

The couple lived in remote locations, usually without electricity and communication with the mainland. It was lonely, tough, and sometimes dangerous work, but Mrs. Small found it rewarding. `'I see the lighthouse as a spiritual symbol, because every time the light flashed it was like something coming from inside of me saying, `I'm saving lives and property,'" she said in a article published in The Boston Globe in 1998.

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