Robert summers Yellowtail Sr., a patriarch of the Crow Indian Tribe who once turned down the post of commissioner of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, has died at age 98. Yellowtail died Saturday in his sleep at his cattle ranch near Lodge Grass, Mont. His rejection of the BIA post came in the 1950's during the Eisenhower administration. He served several times as tribal chairman, and the BIA appointed him superintendent of his reservation - the first Indian to hold the post. He held the job 11 years. Yellowtail studied law and planned to become a lawyer but instead became involved in tribal affairs and politics.

In Rockville, Md. Gladys Noon Spellman, a Democratic congresswoman from Maryland's 5th District who has been in a coma for eight years, died Sunday at 70. While nearing re-election to a fourth term, Spellman suffered a massive heart attack while judging a Halloween costume contest in Laurel, Md., on Oct. 31, 1980. Never regaining consciousness, she died of complications from the attack. Despite the seizure, she was re-elected in 1980 with 80 percent of the votes cast.And in Redondo Beach, Calif., the ashes of surfing pioneer Lewis Earl "Hoppy" Swarts were carried to sea on a surfboard and scattered in the Pacific Ocean after a service on the beach he roamed for 50 years. About 15 surfers joined the crowd of 100 after dawn Sunday to hear eulogies to Swarts, who died June 9 of a stroke while on his way to a surfing contest in northern California. He was 71.