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"

Edward Krtizler

Writer -- via Legacy.com. His best-known work is "Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean."

William W. "Bill" Norton

Screenwriter, and gunrunner -- via the L.A. Times

Rhys Isaac

Australian historian, the only to ever win a Pulitzer Prize. He won for his 1983 tome, "The Transformation of Virginia, 1740-1790."

Metring David

Comic actress -- via ABS/CBN News

Jack Berntsen

Folk singer -- via an.no.

Gudrun Loftus

Lecturer in German at Oxford -- via the BBC

Linda Norgrove

Aid worker killed by her Afghan captors during U.S. raid -- via the Guardian and gulfnews

SS Chandran

Comic actor -- via the Times of India.

Alvin Paige

Artist -- via Masslive.com

Albertina Walker

Gospel singer -- via the Chicago Tribune.

Ian Morris

New Zealand musician was guitarist with Th'Dudes -- via stuff.co.nz

Cheeky new website examines 'Life Before Death'

Lifebeforedeath.com tries to take the sting out of the end of things -- incudes bucket lists, "happy coffins," death on Facebook, last playlists and more . . . interesting.

Interview with Jim Sheeler, obituarist

Pulitzer Prize-winner interviewed by the Case Western Reserve University student newspaper -- Sheeler teaches there now.

Bobby Dunlap

Boxing trainer and shoeshine man -- via the Denver Post

The Washington Post on "The Lives of the Obscure"

A column about the non-famous and the significance of their life stories.

George Evans

A conscientious and hard-working reporter -- via the Telegraph

Maurice Broomfield

Photographer who focused on industry, the workplace and the worker -- via the Telegraph

Patti Cramer

Artist whose whimsical drawings of Denver life decorated many Westword magazines -- via Westword.

Max Raabe

Dentist known for his civil-rights efforts -- via the Denver Post

Antonie Kamerling

Actor -- via International Business Times.

Carlos Guradado

Burrito man -- via the Washington Post

Janis Klovans

Chess grandmaster -- via Chess Vibes

Dan Gordon-Levitt aka "Burning Dan"

Fire dancer and flow artist -- via CNN.

Keiji Oshawa

Baseball player and manager -- via japanesebaseballcards.blogspot.com.

Steve Richko

Jazz pianist -- via Feeep.com

Roy Ward Baker

Film and television director -- via blog.saint.org. Here's the New York Times obit. A major architect of the imaginations of my generation, he made some of Hammer Film Production's best -- and campiest -- horror films. On TV, he worked on some of the best British series -- "The Avengers," "The Champions," "The Saint," "Danger UXB," "Fairly Secret Army" and "The Irish R.M." See my full salute to him at Preview Reviewer.

William Shakespeare aka John Stanley Cave aka Billy Shake

Australian glam rock singer -- via www.undercover.fm. It's hard to run this one -- the name, alone. He did some bad things, came down in the world, suffered addiction. When it comes down to it, he was a person. May he rest in peace.

Gilda O'Neill

Historian and novelist -- via the Guardian

Colette Renard

Chanteuse and actress -- via Telerama.fr. A saucy singer who originated the title role in "Irma la Douce."

Steve Lee

Lead singer of Swiss rock band Gotthard -- via Swissinfo.ch.

Gregorio Ros

Award-winning makeup artist and designer for TV, stage and film -- via Spain Broadway World. He worked on several films with Pedro Almodovar, including "Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" and "High Heels."

Ed Wilson aka Edson Vieria de Barros

Singer and songwriter was a part of the Jovem Guarda movement in Brazilian music -- via O Globo.

Marshall Flaum

Top-notch, Emmy-wining and Oscar-nominated documentary producer, director and writer -- via the L.A. Times

Dolores Wilson

A Met soprano for many years -- via the New York Times. She originated the role of Baby Doe in Moore's opera "The Ballad of Baby Doe," at the Central City Opera House in Central City, Colorado on July 7, 1956.

Norman Wisdom

Comedian, singer and comic actor -- via the BBC. Now a cult figure, he was the most profitable comic of his day, a favorite of Chaplin's as well. He played coy, clumsy characters who fell in love and sang. Oddly, he is an object of worship in Albania, where good old dictator Enver Hoxha, for some reason (perhaps his wholesome tunefulness) named him as the only Western actor whose films were shown in that country.

Philippa Foot

Philosopher specializing in questions of morals and ethics -- via The Edge of the American West. She conceived the noted "trolley problem."

Andy Albeck

Producer and studio head -- via ABC News. He greenlighted "Raging Bull," and unfrotunately "Heaven's Gate" as well. He has a bit part as a movie producer in Woody Allen's "Stardust Memories."

Caroline Mueller

Pioneering organic farmer -- via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Harry Flavel

Eccentric and recluse -- via the Daily Astorian. He and his family's brushes with the law were documented in a New Yoker article by Calvin Trillin -- "First Family of Astoria."

Pat Cody

Bookstore owner and activist -- via Berkeyside

Maury Allen

Sportswriter -- via the New York Times. He wrote 38 books, most on the subject of baseball.

Anthony Close

Cervantes scholar who reminded us how funny "Don Quixote" is -- via the Guardian

Kurt Albert

Mountaineer -- via the Telegraph

Junko Ikeuchi

Actress -- via Tokyograph. Lovers of camp will remember her as a leading player in Japan's "Super Giant/Starman" series, which were cut up, dubbed and run on American TV in the mid-'60s as the film series "Attack from Space," "Atomic Rulers of the World," "Invaders from Space" and "Evil Brain from Outer Space." Surrealistic bliss!

Martin Ljung

Swedish comedian and actor -- via Radio Sweden's Facebook page. Here's him doing a "Viking" routine: don't know what he's saying, but he's killin' the crowd!