exordia

"How are we to help those who die and those who have died?"
Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

"By writing or reading obituaries,
we can discover ways to make our time on earth more worthwhile, more productive, more meaningful to others."
Alana Baranick, "Life on the Death Beat"


"'I always read the obituaries in The Times,' I explained to her. 'They make me bloody glad to be alive.'"
John Mortimer, "Rumpole's Return"

Mike Cuellar


Gifted pitcher won the fifth and deciding game of the 1970 World Series. Via the Baltimore Sun. Four times, he won 20 or more games. Seven times, he pitched more than 248 innings in a season! First Latin American to win the Cy Young Award. And he was profoundly superstitious. I loved him! God bless you, Crazy Horse.

"I gave Mike Cuellar more chances than my first wife." -- Earl Weaver

John Forsythe


Dapper actor will always be remembered for his work on TV's "Dynasty" -- via the Insider. Here are tributes from the L.A. Times and the New York Times. Although he had a straight-arrow demeanor, he made some interesting choices -- including playing roles in films such as "In Cold Blood," "Kitten with a Whip," "Scrooged," "...And Justice for All," and two films for Hitchcock.

John Bunch


Pianist started out in the swing era, moved to bop and beyond -- via the New York Times

Who gets an obit?


Good story from the Chicago Reader about the criteria for inclusion in a major paper's obituary section --

Jerald F. terHorst


He served as White House press secretary for 30 days, resigning on principle when Ford pardoned Nixon. A man with character. Via the Washington Post

Tom Dixon


Radio host was the voice of classical music in L.A. -- via the L.A. Times

David Mills


Acclaimed TV writer -- via the Washington Post

Joe Gates


Played 24 games for the White Sox; he was a beloved coach for the Gary Southside Railcats -- via the Railcats Web site

Jaime Escalante


Legendary teacher inspired "Stand and Deliver" film -- via the L.A. Times



Digital death


Social networking spreads the word faster; online memorials abound. From Matt Frassica of the Louisville Courier-Journal

Paul Dunlap


Film composer scored 133 movies, including many for Sam Fuller -- via Variety

Blanche Thebom


Opera singer was Met favorite -- via the New York Times

Herb Ellis

Jazz guitar great -- via the Washington Post. Finally! 24 hours later, the L.A. Times



June Havoc


Child star, fine comic actress, director and author; younger sister of Gypsy Rose Lee immortalized as Baby June in "Gypsy" -- via Playbill. Additional material from the New York Times and the L.A. Times.