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"

Achdiat Karta Mihardja


Indonesian novelist and playwright -- via the Jakarta Post

Bekim Fehmiu


Albanian actor -- via the Telegraph

Janine Thomason


Tough and resourceful TV news producer -- via the Guardian

Frank Ahearn


Boston comedy club manager -- via the Bsoton Globe

Bill Porter

Legendary Nashville sound engineer -- via Australia's Elvis site. He recorded, among other hits, the Everly Brothers' "Cathy's Clown," Roy Orbison's "Only the Lonely" and "Oh, Pretty Woman," and most of Elvis' great work -- "Are You Lonesome Tonight," "Stuck on You," "Good Luck Charm," and more . . . he helped create "The Nashville Sound."

Simon Kornblit


Respected film advertising and marketing executive reinvented himself -- as a actor! Via the Atlanta Journal-Constistution

Joshua Cohen


Doctor on the ship Exodus during Jewish struggle for Palestine -- via the Jerusalem Post

Marj Abrams


Rip-snorting Chiacgo publicist -- via the Chicago Sun-Times

Joya Sherrill


Vocalist and TV-show host -- via the New York Times

Robbie Jansen


South African jazzman - via the Mail & Guardian

The business of obituaries


A story from Poynter Online regarding paid obituary notices -- just FYI. This includes links to previously cited studies and comments, but they are useful to look at and keep in mind!

Harvey Fuqua


Singer, songwriter, music producer and label exec and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member -- via Yahoo News. He gave Marvin Gaye his start. He distributed Detroit's very first hit single, Barrett Strong's "Money (That's What I Want".) He co-founded the Moonglows ("Sincerely," "The Ten Commandments of Love"). He put Tami Terrell and Marvin Gaye together, produced their hits together, as well as Gaye's later "Sexual Healing." He discovered disco queen Sylvester and the Weather Girls. He's responsible for a lot of great American music.








Robert Neil Butler


Gerontologist and psychiatrist coined the word "ageism," fought for the rights of and understanding for older people -- via AP

Geoffrey Dutton


Scientist, outdoorsman, gardener and writer -- via the Telegraph

Lattie Moore


Rockabilly musician -- via the Guardian

Laurent Terzieff


French actor -- via AFP

Cesare Siepi


Legendary operatic bass -- via Reuters.

There are plenty of clips that illuminate his genius -- the next clip is his great turn as Philip in "Don Carlo":




Israel Hicks

Theatre director was the first to preside over all 10 parts of August Wilson's cycle of history plays -- via the Denver Post. A really nice tribute from John Moore at the Denver Post.