Other notable deaths


December 25, 2006


Author on Appalachia

Wilma Dykeman, who chronicled the people of Appalachia and the land that shaped them in 18 novels and nonfiction books, died Friday in Asheville, N.C., from complications of hip replacement surgery.

She is considered a literary bridge between the era of fellow Asheville native Thomas Wolfe and the current generation of Appalachian writers. She was among the first writers to offer a stark portrait of what she called "the unique virtues and tragic flaws" of mountain people.

Her first book was The French Broad, published in 1955. It proved to be deeply influential on Appalachian writers and was described by one critic as a "love poem" to the region and its people.

She wrote several books with her husband, poet James R. Stokely Jr., including Neither Black nor White in 1957, which won the Sidney Hillman Award as the best book of the year on world peace, race relations or civil liberties.

Her nonfiction books included biographies of Will Alexander, a champion of racial equality, and Edna Rankin McKinnon, an early proponent of birth control.

DENNIS LINDE, 63 Songwriter

Dennis Linde, who wrote Elvis Presley's "Burning Love" and "Goodbye Earl" for the Dixie Chicks, died Friday in Nashville, Tenn., of a rare lung disease, his daughter, Lisa Marsden, said.

"Burning Love" was a hit for Presley in 1972. "Goodbye Earl" was a hit by the Dixie Chicks in 1999 and was recorded later by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes.

Mr. Linde, who was born in Abilene, Texas, and also raised in San Angelo, Texas, Miami and St. Louis, became hooked on music after his grandmother gave him a $14 guitar.

Friends remember him as a quick wit who blended quirky lyrics with uptempo melodies.

Me also wrote "Callin' Baton Rouge," a Garth Brooks hit in 1993, "It Sure Is Monday" recorded by Mark Chesnutt; "Janie Baker's Love Slave" by Shenandoah; "John Deere Green" by Joe Diffie; and "Queen of My Double Wide Trailer" by Sammy Kershaw.

He was elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2001 and selected as BMI's Songwriter of the Year in 1994.

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