Other Notable Deaths

OTHER NOTABLE DEATHS

July 29, 2006

Dika Newlin, 82, who composed a symphony at 11, became a distinguished composer and musicologist and emerged, in her 70s and 80s, as a most unlikely punk rocker, died July 22 of complications from a broken arm in Richmond, Va.

"It is hard to find out about me because I'm involved in so many different things," she said in an interview with The Richmond Times-Dispatch in 1996. One continuing thread: She was a professor at various universities, until her retirement from Virginia Commonwealth University two years ago.

Her latest incarnation was as leather-clad, bright-orange-haired punk rocker and occasional Elvis impersonator, belting out tunes such as "Love Songs for People Who Hate Each Other," which she wrote. Her flamboyant image was not exactly dulled when she posed in her 70s for a pinup calendar.

Her earlier prominence grew out of her studies as a teenager with the composer Arnold Schoenberg. Dr. Newlin, among the last surviving pupils of Schoenberg, wrote the entry on him for the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Her doctoral dissertation was published as the book Bruckner, Mahler, Schoenberg (1947, 1968). She also translated Schoenberg's works from German to English.

Bill Meistrell, 77, whose synthetic Body Glove wet suits transformed surfing and deep-sea diving, died of Parkinson's disease Tuesday at his home in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

As a dive-shop owner in the 1950s, he saw a market for wet suits that were more flexible and lighter than the rigid rubber skins available at the time. He sold his neoprene suits under the name Thermocline until his friend Duke Boyd, founder of the Hang Ten surf brand, urged him to pick a catchier name.

Legend has it that Mr. Boyd asked Mr. Meistrell what made his wet suits better than what already was available. Mr. Meistrell responded that his suits "fit like a glove." From then on, the company was called Body Glove.

Mr. Meistrell co-founded the company with his twin brother, Bob, in 1965. The company, which does more than $200 million a year in business, is still mostly owned by the family and now sells swimsuits, cell phone sleeves, camera cases and sportswear.

Louise Simone Bennett-Coverly, 86, a Jamaican poet and folklorist who popularized her country's culture before its independence from Britain, died Wednesday in Toronto, according to the government-run Jamaica Information Service.

Born in 1919, she was one of her country's most beloved cultural icons. She appeared in Kingston theater productions in the 1940s, and in 1948 became the first black person to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

Known in Jamaica as "Miss Lou," Ms. Bennett-Coverly advocated the teaching of Jamaican culture, and in the mid-1950s joined the British Broadcasting Corp.'s Caribbean Service as a folklorist. In 1953, she recorded an album, Jamaican Folksongs, and in 1966 published a collection of poems called Jamaica Labrish.

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