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"

Ellen McGarr

An extraordinary obituary -- via Legacy.com. Thanks to Kay Powell on Obit Forum for posting this to attention!

Abdias do Nascimento

Writer, scholar, painter, politician and civil rights leader -- via the New York Times.

Billy Harris

Pitcher -- via the Times and Transcript.

Albert M. Sack

Antiques dealer, expert and writer -- via the New York Times.

Da Real One aka Willie Lee Bell

Poet -- via the Miami Herald. A vibrant voice, cut down by killers.

Solvi Wang

Actress and singer -- via Nyheter.

Ram Man Trishit

Lyricist -- via myrepublica.com.

Syed Saleem Shahzad

Investigative journalist -- via the Daily Times (Pakistan). He was kidnapped, tortured and killed, presumably by Pakistan security forces.

Adolfas Mekas

Filmmaker, teacher and co-founder of Film Culture -- via the New York Times.

Hans Keilson

Novelist and psychoanalyst -- via the New York Times.

Andrew Gold

Singer, songwriter and musician -- via Yakkity Yak. He started being noticed due to his work with Linda Ronstadt during the height of her popularity (he played the guitar solos on "You're No Good"), then became a hit in his own right for songs such as "Lonely Boy" and "Thank You for Being a Friend." He is survived by his mother, the famous Marni Nixon, voiceover singer for Deborah Kerr, Natalie Wood and Audrey Hepburn. His father, Ernest Gold, won an Oscar for composing the score for "Exodus."

James Arness

Actor who played Marshal Dillon in TV's "Gunsmoke" for decades -- via the Hollywood Reporter. After small movie roles such as a baddie in "Wagon Master" and the creature in "The Thing from Another World," he landed a part that would make him a television icon. "Gunsmoke" was not just a Western; it was a dramatic anthology crammed with great writing and acting. Arness held it all together.

Haleh Sahabi

Scholar and women's rights activist -- via Frontline. She died under extremely suspicious circumstances in conflict with state security forces at her dissident father's funeral.

Dean Wells

Head of the electrical department at the Home Depot in Joplin, Missouri -- via the Effingham Daily News. He saved many lives during the devastating tornado of May 22; he was killed while searching for more people to rescue.

Wayne Greenhaw

Writer and journalist -- via blog.al.com.

Shiyani Ngcobo

Musician -- via worldmusic.net. A master of the rare and vanishing maskanda style.

Simon Anthony Helyar Walker-Heneage

Co-founder of the Cartoon Museum in London -- via the Telegraph.

Mala Sen

Writer, TV researcher and screenwriter -- via the Telegraph. She told the amazing but true story of India's Bandit Queen, Phoolan Devi, and turned it into an acclaimed film.

Leona "Little Rusty" Kronberg

Portland's "queen of vice"; madam -- via oregonlive.com.

Giorgio Tozzi

Bass-baritone -- via Spinner. He was a great success and a regular at the Metropolitan Opera; he also achieved greatness on the Broadway stage. The amazing singing of Emile de Beque in the 1958 film version of "South Pacific"? Acted by Rossano Brazzi; VOICED by Tozzi.

Leo Rangell

Psychoanalyst -- via the L.A. Times.

Clarice Taylor

Stage, TV and screen actress -- via TheaterMania. She may be best remembered as Grandma Huxtable on "The Cosby Show" and Harriet on "Sesame Street," but she worked in many films, as well as originating the role of Addaperle in "The Wiz," and won an Obie for her one-woman Moms Mabley show.

James "Curley" Cooke

Guitarist and teacher -- via the Seattle Times. A blues master, he was an original member of the Steve Miller Band.

Alys Robi aka Alice Robitaille

Singer -- via the Montreal Gazette.

Roger Franklin

Actor -- via voy.com. He played the original Officer Krupke in "West Side Story"; he will be best remembered as the long-time Santa Claus at the South Street Seaport in Manhattan.

Rick Dial

Actor -- via the Malvern Daily Record.

Jon Blake

Actor -- via ABC News.

Michael A. DeLuca aka Mikey Wild

Punk rocker, artist and South Street fixture -- via the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Lillian Adams

Actress -- via westernboothill.blogspot.com.

Nicholas V. Riasanovsky

Expert in Russian history -- via the New York Times.

Eugene "Gene" Smith

Great Negro Leagues pitcher -- via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Janet Brown

Actress, comedian and impressionist -- via the Telegraph.

Dana Brand

The ultimate Mets fan -- via the New York Times. A professor at Hofstra, he turned his lifelong obsession with the A-Mazin's into a wonderful blog and many books.

Kalsuri Arisen Ahubudu

Writer, teacher, orator, poet and lyricist -- via slbc.lk.


Nina Leopold Bradley

Conservationist, researcher and writer -- via the Hudson (Wis.) Star-Observer.

Larry Kinley

Singer -- via Cincinnati.com.

Irene Gilbert

Actress and acting teacher - via the L.A. Times.

Steve Rutt

Engineer, inventor and artist -- via the New York Times.

Edwin Honig

Poet, playwright and translator -- via projo.com.

Mergen

Herder -- via the Guardian.

Amanda Franklin

Wing walker -- via AOPA Online.

Jeremy Paul aka Jeremy Roche

TV writer -- via the Guardian. He wrote for many of the great British TV series of the day: "Upstairs, Downstairs," "Danger: UXB," "Lovejoy" and the the Granada "Sherlock Holmes" adventures. He also composed the wonderfully over-the-top "Countess Dracula," a wonderfully cheesy Ingrid Pitt vehicle.

George DeRoe

Hermit -- via the Guardian.

Ivan Hel

Journalist and human rights activist -- via the Guardian.

David Stone

Radical film producer, innovative film programmer and drug counselor -- via the Guardian.

Jose Claudio Ribeira da Sila and Maria do Espirito Santo

Rubber tappers and environmental activists -- via HuffPo Green. They were murdered by as-yet unknown parties in Brazil.

Leonora Carrington

Painter and sculptor -- via the Telegraph. The last of the Surrealists, her life was a template of it.

George McDonald

Original and beloved San Diego Padre -- via Sign On San Diego.