"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"

Opalanga Pugh

Master storyteller succumbs to cancer at age 57 -- via the Denver Post

Arne Backstrom

Freeskier dies on Peruvian mountain at age 29 -- via the Statesman

Brian Duffy

British photographer documented the Swinging '60s -- via the Telegraph and the Times of London

John Wooden

Greatest college basketball coach of all time -- via the New York Times. A more comprehensive tribute is here, via the L.A. Times.

Eddie Barth

Prolific TV actor -- via the Hollywood Reporter

Richard Dunn

Actor -- via the Long Island Press

Johnny Gibson

Tuscon icon was barber, health enthusiast -- and here he relates his hair-raising memories of battle in World War II -- via KOLD-TV and ww2paratroopers.com.

Stephanie Leathers

One of the greatest Cubs fans, and editor of "The Bleacher Banter" -- via the Chicago Sun-Times

Frances R. Gioe

Professional mermaid -- via the Orlando Sentinel

Morrie Martin

Former MLB pitcher -- via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Joseph Strick

Film iconoclast did the impossible -- adapted James Joyce for the screen. He also won an Oscar for his documentary efforts. Via the L.A. Times

Rogelio 'Limonar' Martinez

Cuban baseball legend -- via El Nuevo Herald

Giuseppe Taddei

Wonderful operatic baritone, who worked with Callas, Pavarotti, Nilsson, Toscanini and many more -- via Wikipedia

Josefa Cotillo Martinez aka 'La Polaca'

Dancer and actress -- via La Verdad. A summation of her career in English at the excellent requiem site Boot Hill (westernboothill.blogspot.com).

Sherwin Sloan

Opera fan championed Wagner's "Ring" cycle -- via the L.A. Times

Peter Price

Master carpenter created for stage, rock and corporate projects -- via The Stage

Esther Mabry

Blueswoman and owner of Esther's Orbit Room -- via the Oakland Tribune

Pat D'Arcy

English teacher and author -- via the Guardian

Polly Renton

40-year-old documentary filmmaker dies in road accident -- via the Telegraph

Marie Caillet

Gardener championed Louisiana irises -- via the Dallas Morning News

Lorrie Otto

Environmentalist and educator was known as the "mother of natural landscaping" -- via the Seattle Times

Danny Street

Ubiquitous British session singer -- via the Telegraph

Roger Manderscheid

Luxemborgian author -- via Nomadics. Pretty unknown due to his writing in Letzebuergesch, but a translated poem on the referenced page is pretty good!

Dorothy DeBorba

Former "Our Gang" member -- via Wikipedia

Thomas 'Butch' White

Doo-wop singer had hit with 'Teardrops' -- via Philadelphia Daily News

Larry Dale aka Ennis Lowery

Blues guitarist and vocalist -- via the Washington Post

Humor: P.J. O'Rourke proposes 'pre-obituaries'

The well-known satirist posits a jab at the not-quite-dead -- via the Weekly Standard

Tom C. Alusheff aka Morey Cohen

 Police officer, candymaker, comedian, wrestler and more -- via cleveland.com

Floribert Chebeya

Human rights activist -- via AFP

Rue McClanahan

Actress best known for her work on TV's "Maude," "Golden Girls" -- via People magazine

Joan Rhodes aka Josie Terena

Strongwoman -- via the Telegraph

Yvonne Howell Stevens

 Silent-film actress was 107; was one of Mack Sennett's Bathing Beauties -- via

Hsiao Li Lindsay

Peeress was part of China's 20th-century tumult; wrote engaging memoir "Bold Plum" -- via the Guardian

Ruben Juarez

 Argentine accordionist and singer -- via the Latin American Herald Tribune

Randolph Stow

Australian writer -- via the Australian

Benjamin Lees

 Composer -- via the Desert Sun

Jeanne Robinson

Choreographer, dancer and writer -- via the Chronicle Herald

William Fraker

Primarily known as a marvelous and indefatigable cinematographer, he also directed a great Western, "Monte Walsh" -- via the L.A. Times

Leslie Scalapino

A prodigious writer who was a poet, playwright, publisher and more -- via epf

Jackson Kaujeua

Namibian composer and singer -- via the Southern Times

Anthony Harley, aka Little Benny

Trumpeter, vocalist was pioneer of go-go music -- via the Washington Post

Jeriome Robertson

Former MLB pitcher -- via mlb.com

Karle Seydel

Urban activist championed Denver's "LoDo" -- via the Denver Post

Andrei Voznesensky

Soviet poet -- via the New York Times

Louise Bourgeois

Sculptor -- via the New York Times

Peter Orlovsky

Poet and partner of Allen Ginsberg -- via the L.A. Times

Klaus George Roy

Composer and musical commentator -- via the Cleveland Plain Dealer

Ali "Ollie" Woodson

Former Temptations singer wrote "Treat He Like a Lady" -- via the Detroit News

Carol Marsh

British actress -- via the Telegraph