Other Notable Deaths

OTHER NOTABLE DEATHS

December 17, 2005

James E. Ostendarp, a Baltimore native and former Amherst College football coach and running back for the New York Giants, died Thursday of complications from Alzheimer's disease at the Soldier's Home in Holyoke, Mass. He was 82.

A graduate of Polytechnic Institute, Mr. Ostendarp earned a degree in education from Bucknell University and a master's degree in counseling from Columbia University.

At Amherst, he led the football team for 33 seasons, retiring in 1992 with a record of 168-91-5. He was elected vice president of the American Football Coaches Association in 1981 and president in 1982.

In his honor, his former students, friends and colleagues at Amherst created The John E. Ostendarp professorship.

Mr. Ostendarp played football for Bucknell, the Giants and Canada's Montreal Alouettes.

During World War II, he served as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division.

He is survived by his wife, Shirley, and seven children.

Leona Nevler, 79, a prominent book editor who 50 years ago helped secure the publication of a first novel set in an imaginary town called Peyton Place, died Dec. 10 of a pulmonary embolism at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

For much of her career she was an executive at Fawcett Books. Known primarily for publishing paperbacks, Ms. Nevler handled the work of many prominent writers, among them John Updike, Margaret Atwood, Jane Smiley, P.D. James, Dick Francis, James A. Michener, Jeffrey Archer, Amy Tan and Fannie Flagg.

Leona Joan Nevler was born in Lynn, Mass., and earned a bachelor's degree in English from Boston University in 1947. Her first publishing job was with Little, Brown, followed, in the mid-1950s, by a stint as a manuscript reader for Lippincott. She joined Fawcett in 1955.

While reading for Lippincott, she was sent the draft of a novel by a New Hampshire housewife named Grace Metalious. Originally titled The Tree and the Blossom, it chronicled the dark sexual underside of a New England town. The book had far too much steam for Lippincott, as Ms. Nevler knew. She recommended it instead to Kathryn G. Messner, who ran Julian Messner, an independent publishing house in New York. Messner snapped it up, asking Ms. Nevler to help edit the manuscript as a freelance.

Published in 1956, Peyton Place went on to sell more than 10 million copies and spawn several movies and a television series. The title became a catchphrase for suburban dysfunction.

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