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In passing

Stan Kimmitt, 86, Montana politician

Washington, D.C.

Stan Kimmitt, a Montana native who became secretary of the U.S. Senate and was a longtime associate of Sen. Mike Mansfield, D-Mont., died Tuesday. He was 86.

Kimmitt died after collapsing at a party in Washington, D.C., and was pronounced dead at George Washington University Hospital, son Robert “Bob” Kimmitt said Wednesday from Virginia, where his father lived. The District of Columbia medical examiner did not immediately release the cause of death.

Kimmitt, dubbed Montana’s “third senator” for his influence and political know-how, was secretary of the Senate, its top operational officer, from 1977-81. He held the position after 11 years as secretary for the Senate majority when Mansfield was the majority leader.

Kimmitt collapsed at a Democratic Leadership Council reception for the retiring Sen. John Breaux, D-La., a past chairman of the council. Breaux eulogized him on the Senate floor Wednesday.

Irving Lawrence Petite, 84, author

Keller, Wash.

Irving Lawrence Petite, author of a best-selling book about raising an orphaned bear cub and other writings about his love of animals and unspoiled nature, died Nov. 27. He was 84.

Petite, a freelance writer for the Seattle Times and author of five books, died in his sleep in this hamlet on the Colville Indian Reservation in north-central Washington, relatives said.

In decades of living on a rustic ranch east of Seattle, he was known as the “Issaquah Thoreau.” Besides the best-seller “Mister B,” published in 1963, his books were “The Elderberry Tree” in 1964, “The Best Time of Year” in 1966, “Life on Tiger Mountain” in 1968 and “Meander to Alaska” in 1970.

Petite was so fond of animals that when one of his 12 goats was born with a hole in the heart and needed care, he moved the goat into his cabin, let the other goats in when they became jealous and wound up living for a time in his shed.

J.B. Nethercutt, 91, cosmetics, car collector

Santa Monica, Calif.

J.B. Nethercutt, who co-founded Merle Norman Cosmetics and used part of his wealth from the company to assemble one of the world’s best automobile collections, died Monday. He was 91.

Nethercutt died at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, said his son, Jack Nethercutt. He had been in failing health for some time.

Nethercutt, a widely respected expert on cosmetic chemistry, developed some of his firm’s most popular products, including blush rouge, perfume and lipsticks.

Nethercutt may be better known for his private car collection, which is housed in two buildings in Sylmar. The Nethercutt Collection and Museum includes nearly 250 automobiles, and has become a mecca for car enthusiasts since it opened in the 1970s.

Anders Thunborg, 70, Swedish diplomat

Stockholm, Sweden

Anders Thunborg, a motorcycle racer who became Sweden’s defense minister and ambassador to both the United States and Soviet Union, died. He was 70.

His death was announced by his family, but the cause was not disclosed.

After a career as a motorcycle racer in the 1950s, Thunborg spent the rest of his life working for the Swedish government.

In 1977, he became the Scandinavian country’s ambassador to the United Nations, eventually serving as vice president of the general assembly.

He was Sweden’s defense minister in 1983-1985 and then went to Moscow as ambassador to the then-Soviet Union. In 1989, he became ambassador to the United States for five years.


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