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"

Carlos Montsivais


Mexican journalist, critic and activist -- via the Wall Street Journal

Tom Leahy


Wichita's "Major Astro" was kids' show host for decades - via MSNBC

Bob Hartman


Former MLB pitcher -- via KLUK-TV

Manute Bol


Sudanese NBA star and activist on behalf of his native land -- via the Washington Post

James "Pugs" Pugliano

 Pugliano, top right, in a publicity photo from 1968.
Rock drummer was a member of The Jaggerz, who had a hit with "The Rapper" -- via groups.google.com/group/alt.obituaries and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Steve Johnston


Journalist and humorist -- via groups.google.com/group/alt.obituaries and the Seattle Times

Norman Macrae


Writer and editor -- via the Economist

Jose Saramago


A provocative and uncompromising writer who won the Nobel Prize -- via the New York Times

Ronald Neame


British director, cinematographer and screenwriter -- via groups.google.com/group/alt.obituaries and the BBC. He directed such films as "Tunes of Glory," "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie," "The Poseidon Adventure" and "Hopscotch"; he co-wrote for Noel Coward and David Lean on "This Happy Breed," "Blithe Spirit," "Great Expectations" and "Brief Encounter." A great contributor to the world of film.

Elzbieta Czyzewska


Brilliant Polish actress whose career was derailed due to governmental interference, bad luck -- via the New York Times

Teshome H. Gabriel


UCLA prof was first to champion the cinema of the Third World -- via the L.A. Times

Maureen Forrester


Beloved Canadian contralto -- via the Toronto Globe and Mail

David Soggot


Anti-apartheid lawyer defended victims of injustice in Namibia -- including Biko; via the Independent

Don Jones


Up-and-coming opera singer shot to death in D.C. -- via Fox News

Garry Shider


Composer, guitarist extraordinaire, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member was a key part of Parliament, Funkadelic, and the P-Funk All-Stars. Via the Star-Ledger.

He was popularly known as "Diaper Man" for his distinctive concert-wear, but he was so much more. I got to hear you play, Garry, and I am richer for it. God bless you!

Peter Brunette


Film historian and writer -- via the Hollywood Reporter

Busi Mhlongo


South African singer/songwriter -- via Bilboard

Bill Dixon


Free jazz trumpeter -- via jazzwise magazine

Quotes:

"If you are you, 24 hours a day, then you do not have to remember who you are supposed to be in different situations -- something that I imagine could be troublesome."



"My career has been different from most people, but I knew what I was not going to do. I knew I was not going to be controlled. I knew there was a price for this, but I did not know there was as large a price as it turned out to be."



"Whether I get adequate attention or not, people here do know the work I have been doing systematically and without compromise for over 40 years. I get tired of people making excuses for guys who don't continue the art because they can't make a living."  

Joselito Agustin, Desiderio Camangyan

 Joselito Agustin, in an undated photo via the Voice of America website.
These two Philippines journalists were shot to death in public over the last 24 hours. Both spoke out against corruption. Total journalists slain in Philippines since 1986 -- 139. A dangerous place to speak truth to power. Via the New York Times

John Morekas


Radio host served the East Coast's Greek-American community for over 50 years -- via groups.google.com/group/alt.obituaries and the Baltimore Sun

William Holloman


Tuskegee airman and historian -- via groups.google.com/group/alt.obituaries and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Willie Pope


Negro Leagues pitcher -- via groups.google.com/group/alt.obituaries and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Don Shirreff


In 1956, this British intelligence officer vehemently protested selecting nuclear bombing targets in the USSR, for which he was fired. He became a teacher, writer and activist. Via the Independent

Jonathan Wolkening


Co-founder of dance company Pilobolus -- via the New York Times. "We created a circus and then ran off and joined it."

David Lewis


Social activist co-founded a successful drug treatment and prisoner rehabilitation program, after time in jail and recovering from his own addictions -- via the L.A. Times. He was shot in the back in what police are calling a targeted attack. He was 54.

Ferdinand Oyono


Cameroonian writer and civil servant -- he produced key works of 20th century African literature -- "Houseboy," "The Old Man and the Medal," and "Road to Europe" -- via afriquejet.com and Wikipedia

Ernest Fleischmann


Long-time Executive Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic worked hard to build a world-class artistic entity -- via the L.A. Times

Sir Idwal Pugh


British civil servant was an ombudsman -- that is, he fought the establishment's abuses on behalf of the disenfranchised. An excellent idea, and a noble career! Via the Telegraph

Leonida Georgievna Romanov


Born on the eve of the October Revolution -- was she, for a time, the Empress of All the Russias? -- via the Times of London

Oscar Azocar


Former Yankee outfielder was only 45 -- via ESPN

Edna Stewart


Chicago restaurateur was known as a "queen of soul food" -- via the Chicago Tribune

Al Williamson


Illustrator was renowned for his work on science fiction and fantasy titles -- 50 years' worth! -- via Comic Mix and Wikipedia

George Susce


Pitcher -- via legacy.com

Jimmy Dean


Country/Western singer and businessman -- via the New York Times. He will always be remembered for his enormous hit, "Big Bad John." One of my earliest memories was watching his TV show -- he had a genial persona and a way with a tune.

John Grabb


Postman and local historian -- via the Chillicothe, Ohio Gazette

Leonara Degnan aka Nonnie


Beloved proprietor of Cape Cod eatery -- via Cape Cod Times