''These people out in suburbia are easy targets for humor,'' Mr. Lorenz said, ''but Chuck saw beyond that to the bitter side of it: people too cautious to take advantage of the very opportunities that their privileged position offered them.''

''I think it's important to say he was sardonic even to the end,'' Mr. Packard said of Mr. Saxon. ''At home, when he had his heart seizure, in the process of falling down he knocked down a lamp. He seemed to be pretty sure he was dying, and when the medical technicians were taking him out on a stretcher, he said, 'I guess I'd better die; I just broke our best lamp.' ''