Deaths elsewhere

  • Updated: May 9, 2008 - 8:41 PM

Louis Peck, a former Vermont Supreme Court Justice who survived a debilitating war injury to become one of Vermont's most respected lawyers and jurists, died Thursday in Montpelier, Vt. He was 89. A paratrooper in World War II, Peck was wounded jumping into Germany, where an aircraft crashed on top of him, putting him in the hospital for two years and leaving him with a limp for the rest of his life. A longtime attorney with the state attorney general's office, he spent 10 years on the Supreme Court bench, beginning in 1981. But it was as a plaintiff that he achieved the most notoriety: He refused to step down at the age of 70, arguing that the state constitution mandating retirement at that age violated federal age discrimination statutes.

Jerry Wallace, who shot to fame in the late 1950s with a pair of hit songs, died Monday in Victorville, Calif. He was 79. Wallace began recording in 1951 and scored his first major hit in 1958 with the release of "How the Time Flies," followed a year later with the upbeat "Primrose Lane." Gene Kennedy, owner of Tennessee-based Door Knob Records, which released several of Wallace's records in the late 1970s, said "Primrose Lane" sold more than a million copies.

Douglas C. Wilson, the Providence Journal reporter who broke the story that President Richard Nixon would resign, died Monday. He was 67. Wilson died at his home in Amherst, Mass., said Annie Hondrogen, the parish administrator of Grace Episcopal Church where his funeral was held Friday. A cause was not immediately known. Wilson was the newspaper's Washington bureau chief on Aug. 7, 1974, when Nixon confidant Baruch Korff tipped him off that the president would resign. He dictated the news for the Journal's afternoon edition. Nixon announced his resignation the following day. Wilson was awarded the Merriman Smith Memorial Award for the scoop from the White House Correspondents Association. Wilson left the Journal in 1975 to become associate secretary of Amherst College, his alma mater. He worked there until 2003.

Paul B. Gordon, who grew Gordon Food Service Inc. into one of the largest family-owned food distributors in North America, has died in Wyoming, Mich. He was 84.

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