Born Elizabeth Jane Haaby on March 13, 1930, in Roseau, Minn., near the Canadian border, she sang in a church choir and learned to play the mandolin as a child. At age 13, she moved with her family to Grand Forks, N.D., and at 16 married Casey Anderson. The couple moved to Northern California and she worked as a secretary before becoming a songwriter.
Del Reeves was the first country music singer to record one of Anderson's songs, following by Roy Drusky, who had a hit with "Pick of the Week" in 1964.
That year Haggard and Bonnie Owens sang a duet on "Just Between the Two of Us," a song Anderson wrote with her husband. A year later, Haggard had a top 10 country hit with Anderson's "(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers." Then he recorded another Anderson composition, ''I'm a Lonesome Fugitive," that went to No. 1 on the country charts and became one of his signature songs.
Conway Twitty, Tammy Wynette, Jerry Lee Lewis, Waylon Jennings and Ernest Tubb also recorded her songs. Anderson wrote "Ride, Ride, Ride" and "Big Girls Don't Cry" for her daughter, Lynn, and they teamed up for a duet on "Mother May I."
Thomas McNeeley Jr.
Boxer fought Floyd Patterson in 1961 bout
Thomas McNeeley Jr., 74, a boxer who battled heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson in a memorable 1961 match, died Oct. 25 at a hospital in Weymouth, Mass., of complications from a seizure.
McNeeley was 23-0 when he took on Patterson, who stopped him in the fourth round of their bout in Toronto after knocking him to the canvas repeatedly.
"The stories about the fight said I went down nine or 10 times," McNeeley told the Boston Globe in a 1994 interview. "The writers were being nice to me. I have the film. It was more like 12 or 13."
A decided underdog, McNeeley said he had no doubt that he would win before the fight. He recalled that before introductions, he was daydreaming about who would sing the national anthem before his first title defense. But McNeeley hit the floor twice in the first round, then several more times after.
After the fight, while Patterson was facing tough questions during an interview, McNeeley spoke out and said: "If anyone here ever calls him anything but a real champion — then they have to answer to me!"
McNeeley later served as commissioner of the Massachusetts Boxing Commission and as a U.S. marshal. He also worked in the Massachusetts House of Corrections Athletic Department and finished his career as a counselor for state employees.
One of McNeeley's four sons, Peter, followed his father into boxing and was Mike Tyson's first opponent after the champion had served three years in prison for rape. Tyson stopped McNeeley a minute and a half into their 1995 bout.
George Rountree, 61, a key behind-the-scenes associate of the Four Tops who worked as the Motown quartet's musical director for more than 30 years and also played keyboards, died Sunday in a Las Vegas hospital. Rountree suffered from kidney disorders but died of heart failure, said his close friend and fellow musician Will Miller.
—Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports