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"

King Coleman

R & B singer -- via AP.

Barbel Bohley

Artist and activist -- via the Local

Panduleni Kali

Activist who survived torture and imprisonment -- via the Independent

Lucius Walker

Activist minister -- via the New York Times

William H. Goetzmann

Historian and writer -- via the New York Times. His "The West of the Imagination" is one of my favorite books.

Bent Larsen

Danish chess grandmaster -- via the New York Times

Irwin Silber

Journalist, editor, publisher, political activist -- via AP. Most importantly, he co-founded Sing Out ! magazine with Pete Seeger and Alan Lomax, and spent the bulk of his life collecting, preserving and promoting American music of the vernacular --labor songs, folk songs, protest songs, and music and lyrics that defined every period of American history.

Nana Kweku Addai aka Agyaaku

Notable highlife singer -- via Ghana News

Thomas Guinzburg

Editor and publisher, and co-founder of the Paris Review -- via the New York Times

Glass ceiling for women -- even in the obits?

Women relatively ignored in business obits, says Forbes.

Elizabeth R. King

Pioneering geophysicist -- via the Washington Post

Virginia Smith

Former president of Vassar College -- via the EDGE

Helen Krogh

Founded widowhood support group -- via the L.A. Times

Hadley Caliman

Bebop saxophonist -- via the Seattle Jazz Scene

Jack Phipps

Promoter of music and culture -- via the Guardian

Sid Rawle

England's "King of the Hippies" -- via the Telegraph

Fernando Fernandez

Artist and illustrator -- via the Guardian

Edward M. Swartz

Lawyer fought hard on safety issues, especially for children -- via the Washington Post

R.W."Bob" Loveless

Master knife-maker -- via the L.A. Times

Michael Cherubino

Optical manufacturing salesman who also raised lots of money for good causes -- and loved the Pirates -- via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Jenny Alpha

Singer and comedienne -- via Le Figaro

Rich Cronin

Singer/songwriter -- via MTV. Best known for his work with LFo and his big hit, "Summer Girls."

Roderick Brydon

Conductor and artistic director of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra -- via the Guardian

Mitch Faber


Northern California-based blues guitarist -- via Bananas at Large

Murali

Film actor -- via the Hindu

Riad al-Saray

Iraqi journalist -- via the BBC. The number of journalists killed in Iraq since 2003? 230.

Jefferson Thomas

One of nine students who integrated Little Rock Central High School in 1957 -- via the New York Times. A brave guy.

David Dortort

Writer for film and TV, and producer whose claim to fame will always be his creation of "Bonanza" -- via the L.A. Times


And hey, remember "The High Chaparral"? He created that, too.

Sam Sittipong Kalayanee

Activist, humanitarian worker, photographer, documentary filmmaker;  most recently involved with the Oscar-nominated film "Burma VJ" -- via the Irrawaddy

Michael Burn

Author and journalist -- via BBC News. He was initially enamored of Nazi Germany, but then became a war hero and survived the infamous Colditz prison. And he later became a left-winger, and came to terms with his bisexuality as well, according to this story in the Telegraph.

Corneille

Painter -- via the New York Times

Glenn Shadix

Character actor best known for his work with Tim Burton -- via the Birmingham News

Clive Donner

Director best known for "The Caretaker," "What's New, Pussycat?" and the George C. Scott "Christmas Carol" -- via the Guardian

Elizabeth Jenkins

Author -- via the Telegraph

Jim McKeown

Episcopal priest who focused on social issues -- via the Boulder Daily Camera

Noah Howard

Jazz saxophonist -- via allaboutjazz.com. I can't embed a video sample of him at work, but you can find it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7N2A1g2du1o.

Oleg Bebenin

Web activist and opposition leader -- via Aljazeera. His supposed suicide is extremely suspicious and it is thought the totalitarian government of Belarus played a role in his death.

Larry Ashmead

A brilliant editor -- via the New York Times. Not only that, but he compiled the hilarious "Bertha Venation and Hundreds of Other Funny Names of Real People"!

Mike Edwards aka Deva Pramada

Cellist and founding member of ELO -- via the Daily Mail

Kihachiro Kawamoto

Animator and puppet maker -- via the Guardian

Shirley Evans

Accordionist -- via the Guardian

Yusof Chong

Malaysian comedian -- via bernama.com