David Jones, florist to Hollywood, dies at 78

Published Oct. 18, 2014

David Jones, 78, a Hollywood florist who for 50 years adorned the grand social affairs of a roster of famous clients that included Eleanor Roosevelt, Mamie Eisenhower, Jacqueline Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson, as well as Ronald and Nancy Reagan, died of bone dancer Sept. 17 in Los Angeles.

Carolyn Kizer, 89, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who was perhaps best known for her wry, unsentimental verse about the experiences of women, expressed with formal precision and wry detachment, died of complications of dementia Oct. 9 in Sonoma, Calif. She was a formidable presence in literary circles for decades and was addressing the concerns of women in her early work in the 1950s, before the term "feminism" became popular.

Siegfried Lenz, 88, a German writer acclaimed for novels and stories that frankly explored his country's role in the rise of Nazism, died Oct. 7 in Hamburg, Germany. Along with Gunter Grass, Heinrich Boll and other German writers who rose to international prominence after World War II, he was a member of Gruppe 47, a literary cohort that encouraged democracy, free expression and confrontation with Germany's Nazi era.

Zilpha Keatley Snyder, 87, who mined memories of little demons at the foot of her childhood bed to spin tales of wonder, mystery and suspense that beguiled two generations of children and young adults in nearly 50 books, died of a stroke Oct. 7 in San Francisco. Her work was recognized three times with the Newbery Honor, a top prize in children's literature.

Tim Hauser, 72, a singer and showman who founded the Manhattan Transfer, a Grammy-winning vocal group that brought four-part harmonies to several decades' worth of American popular songs, died of cardiac arrest Thursday in Sayre, Pa.

Elizabeth Peña, 55, an actor who appeared in major studio pictures like Rush Hour, independent films like John Sayles' Lone Star, and a host of TV shows, died Tuesday in Los Angeles. More recently she played the mother of Sofia Vergara's character on Modern Family.