exordia

"How are we to help those who die and those who have died?" --
Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

"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"

Swarnalatha

Award-winning film playback singer -- via thebollywoodactress.com.

FYI: a playback singer is one who pre-records songs for use in Bollywood films. While Hollywood, etc. has come to rely on post-dubbing of singing voices for those of film actors not quite up to stuff, in Bollywood the recorded songs are played back, and mimed and lip-synched to, by the actors in a given shot.

Peter Gubser

Scholar, author and humanitarian -- via the Washington Post

Susan Kerchmar

Cafe owner with a remarkable life story -- via the Elyria, Ohio Chronicle-Telegram. Another striking aspect of this obituary is that it is written by one of the most talented and respected obituarists of the day, Alana Baranick. The depth and richness of the story, and the care with which photographic illustrations have been contributed by the family, carefully captioned and displayed, gives this obituary a thoroughness and three-dimensionality that vividly evokes the person portrayed.

Joseph Gelberman

Rabbi and psychotherapist -- via belief.net. He was "a pioneer of the interfaith movement," and a Holocaust survivor.

Rebel Randall aka Alaine Brandes

Model and actress -- via Final Farewell Forum and glamourgirlsofthescreen.com.

Billie Mae Richards

Voice actor -- via the CBC.She will be best remembered as the voice of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in the 1964 Rankin/Bass stop-motion animated TV special.

Kei Tani aka Yasuo Wantanabe


Comedian, actor and musician -- via the Japan Times.

Kevin McCarthy

Actor on stage and film and television -- via the L.A. Times. He will be best remembered for his role in the original "Invasion of the Body Snatchers."

Pogo Poge aka Morgan Branch White


This incredibly popular, wacky and personable Denver DJ made the reputation of KIMN-AM -- via the Denver Post. An entire generation grew up listening to him during the early days of rock 'n' roll.

Claude Chabrol

Brilliant French film director, and a member of the fabled New Wave -- via the New York Times.