Other Notable Deaths


November 18, 2007


Founder of Dexter Shoes

Harold Alfond, the founder of a shoe business and a philanthropist who donated tens of millions of dollars to nonprofit organizations, died Friday in Maine, where he had traveled from his Palm Beach, Fla., home to be treated for cancer.

The founder of Dexter Shoe Co., Mr. Alfond shared his wealth with the University of Maine, to which he gave more than $8 million, as well as with other institutions and causes.

The Harold Alfond Foundation has given away more than $100 million to charitable causes, said Sen. Susan M. Collins, a Maine Republican.

Mr. Alfond started Dexter Shoe in 1958 after buying an old woolen mill in the town of Dexter, Maine. At its peak, the company manufactured 7.5 million pairs of shoes annually.

The company thrived by offering a quality shoe for a reasonable price, but foreign competition had an impact on business.

In 1993, Berkshire-Hathaway Inc. agreed to buy Dexter Shoe for stock worth about $420 million. A few years later, the company's manufacturing plants in Maine began closing, and by 2001 all Dexter shoes were made in other countries.

In June, Payless ShoeSource Inc. became the exclusive U.S. seller of Dexter brand shoes.

WAYNE DEHONEY, 89 Southern Baptist Convention president

The Rev. Wayne Dehoney, who was president of the Southern Baptist Convention for two terms in the 1960s and later became pastor of the oldest Baptist church in Louisville, Ky., died Thursday. He had endured health problems since suffering a massive stroke in 1996, his daughter Kathy Dehoney Evitts said.

Mr. Dehoney began an 18-year ministry at Walnut Street Baptist Church in downtown Louisville in 1967, leading the church into its television ministry and the development of nearly an entire city block surrounding the church.

His moderate stance on theological and social issues helped Mr. Dehoney become president of the Southern Baptist Convention for two years. There were 10 million members during his first term and 10.5 million members by his second year as president. It was at the time the largest Protestant denomination in the country. He was pastor of the 2,000-member First Baptist Church of Jackson, Tenn., at the time.

Mr. Dehoney went on missionary tours around the world and had been president of the Southern Baptist Pastors Conference and a leader in the Baptist World Alliance, an organization that focuses on missions, human rights and religious freedom.

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