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"

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