exordia

"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"

Ljiljana Buttler


Singer was "the mother of Gypsy soul" -- via the Telegraph

Babz Chula


Actress -- via the Vancouver Sun

Sheena Duncan


Activist who fought apartheid -- via the New York Times

Jan van der Marck


Maverick museum administrator -- via the New York Times

Robin Roberts


Hall of Famer still has best record for Phillies right-hander -- via the New York Times

Debby Lynn Underwood Gross


Woman crafted her own hilarious obituary -- via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Giulietta Simionato


Beloved mezzo-soprano -- via the New York Times

Michael J. Dupey


Businessman created Michael's craft stores -- via the Dallas Morning News

Bill Reel


Columnist focused on ordinary New Yorkers -- via the New York Daily News

Gwyn "Jocko" Thomas


Journalist was quintessential crime reporter -- via the Toronto Star Globe and Mail

Robert Gary


Script supervisor worked on everything from "The Searchers" to the "Star Trek" series -- via Variety

Ernie Harwell


Legendary baseball broadcaster, best known for his long-time radio stint with the Detroit Tigers -- via the Detroit Free Press. It was a privilege to listen to him down through the years.

Roy Carrier


Zydeco musician -- via the Lafayette, La. Advertiser

Peter O'Donnell


British novelist created comic strip heroine Modesty Blaise -- via the Times of London

Lynn Redgrave


Oscar-nominated actress and member of theatrical dynasty -- via the New York Times.

UPDATE: Here are full write-ups from the New York Times, the Guardian and the Times of London.

Danny Aiello III


Stuntman and stunt coordinator -- via NorthJersey.com

Helen Wagner


Soap opera actress ("As the World Turns") held world record for playing one TV character for longest time -- via the New York Times

Dick Kenworthy


Infielder played six seasons with the White Sox -- via the Indianapolis Star. (Why does his Topps card place him with the Mets?)

UPDATE: Faithful reader and old high-school pal Paul K. gives us the anwer to my above-posed question. "I researched and found that the White Sox traded him to the Mets for Ken Boyer in '67 and he finished his career there. Just missing his shot at the Series in '69." Thanks!

Rob McConnell


Trombonist and bandleader -- via ejazznews. And here's a nice profile by Ashante Infantry from 2008 in the Toronto Star --

Ron Fimrite


Great writer whose focus was sports -- via the San Francisco Chronicle

Morris Pert


Composer and musician was popular session man -- via the Scotsman

Billy Bob Beattie


A nice guy -- via the Tampa Bay Times

Remembering Charles McCue


A beautiful story from John Fleming of the Tampa Bay Times. It's an investigation of the overlooked life and death of former artistic producing director of the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival. Here's the original obit from the San Francisco Chronicle --

Peter Cheeseman


Outstanding British theatre director influenced a generation -- via the Times of London

Peter "Billy" Cleland


Master stonemason supervised the completion of the Washington National Cathedral -- via the Washington Post

Sotigui Kouyate


Actor best known for his work with Peter Brook -- via the Guardian

Theodore Noose


Police officer who became an actor -- via the Chicago Tribune

Will Owsley


Singer/songwriter/musician -- via the Tennessean

Harold Berliner


District attorney helped craft pivotal Miranda warning -- via the Sacramento Bee

Susan Reed


Folksinger suffered in Red Scare -- via the New York Times

Houston Caldwell


Promising young banjoist -- via WSLS

Pete Castiglione


Major league infielder -- via the DeadBallEra.com

Adrian Ramos


Young magician killed in robbery attempt -- via the Orange County Register