updated 04/21/2004 at 12:00 AM EDT

originally published 02/02/1998 12:00AM

Joan Wight, the model for the character Helen Herriot in her husband James Alfred Wight's series of best-sellers that began with "All Creatures Great and Small," Wednesday, in New York. She was in her 80s, and her health had deteriorated since the death of James in 1995.

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