"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