PERE OBIT: The death has been announced of Lacy Van Zant, the whitebeared father of Ronnie Van Zant. Van Zant junior founded Lynyrd Skynyrd and, after his death in the 1977 plane crash, his role was taken over by another of Lacy's children, Johnny. A third boy, Donnie, was a member of the band .38 Special. Despite having committed the grevious sin of stunt-naming his kids (Ronnie, Johnny, Donnie?), Lacy was well-regarded and viewed by many as the "father of Southern rock." In the early days, he underwrote Lynyrd Skynyrd's activities, acting as unpaid driver, hosting rehearsal sessions and even stumping up a spot of cash when required. The 89 year old died from a pulminory illness.