Stephen Hertz, Betty Sherrill, Arthur Gelb: Obits This Week

This week’s notable deaths included a mergers and acquisitions attorney who leapt from his New York high-rise; the doyenne of Manhattan interior design who served an elite clientele; and a former managing editor of the New York Times who helped reshape the newspaper. Below are summaries of these and other obituaries from the past week.

Stephen Hertz, 55, was a partner at New York-based Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. During his 29-year career at the law firm, he specialized in M&A and restructuring deals for private equity clients. Died May 16 after leaping from his 22nd-floor apartment on the city’s Upper West Side.

Betty Sherrill, 91, created the interior design for some of New York’s wealthiest people for more than four decades. Clients of her firm, McMillen Inc., included Laurance and Mary Rockefeller, CBS Inc. Chairman William S. Paley and singer Diana Ross. Died May 12 at her Manhattan home.

Arthur Gelb, 90, joined the New York Times as a copy boy in 1944 and ascended the newspaper’s hierarchy to managing editor, the No. 2 editorial position, before retiring in 1989. As a top editor at the paper in the 1970s, he helped introduce daily sections on dining, sports, science and culture that continue today. Died May 20 of complications from a stroke at his home in Manhattan.

Frank Woods, 81, a former Procter & Gamble Co. advertising and marketing executive, co-founded Clos du Bois wines in the 1970s. His vineyard’s success helped establish Sonoma County, California, as a region for world-class winemaking. Died May 8 at a gym near his home in San Francisco.