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"

Clarence Clemons Jr. aka The Big Man

Saxophonist best known for his contributions to the music of Bruce Springsteen -- via CNN.

Bob Banner

TV writer, producer and director -- via the New York Times. Best known for his extensive work with Carol Burnett.

John Litchfield

Ski instructor, soldier, stunt man and original owner of the Red Onion restaurant -- via the Aspen Times.

Swami Nigamanda

Holy man and activist -- via dailybhaskar.com.

James J. Rahal

Infectious-diseases specialist -- via the New York Times. He was very involved in fighting West Niles virus; he also gave early warning concerning the overuse of antibiotics and the rise of drug-resistant bacteria.

William "Robbie" Robinson

Gardener -- via the Oregonian.

Darryl Pandy

Singer and house music pioneer -- via San Francisco Weekly.

Ron Tibbetts


Science teacher and "bubble man" -- via the Wichita Eagle.

Ran Jianxin

Head of anti-corruption bureau -- via Bloomberg.

Gus Tyler aka Augustus Tilove

Socialist firebrand labor leader, activist, and writer -- via the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Herschel K. Swinger

Clinical psychologist who worked to provide low-income urban fathers with therapy, support and training-- via the L.A. Times.

Hoda Saber

Journalist and activist -- via the Guardian.

Gunnar Fischer

Cinematographer -- via the New York Times. He will be best remembered for his collaborations with Ingmar Bergman on all of that director's early significant films.

Anthony Basurto

Lead singer for Joan Red -- via the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Kathyrn Tucker Windham

Author -- via the New York Times.

Michael Nerandzic

Blimp pilot -- via the Herald and Weekly Times.

Thomas Calvin Hannah

Photojournalist -- via ongo.com.

Igor Yakovlevich Birman

Economist -- via the Telegraph.

Michael Laws

Cruciverbalist (that is, one who creates crossword puzzles) -- via the Independent.

Reach Sambath

Journalist, mentor and teacher -- via VOACambodia.com.

Robert Velaise aka Robert Bloch

Film producer -- via the Independent. As a distributor, he purchased the rights to and preserved many rare and important films.

Alan Rubin aka Mr. Fabulous

Instrumentalist -- via the Bangor Daily News. He played just about everything with just about everyone.

Winfred Seymour

Train conductor -- via the Denver Post.

Tomoko Kawakami

Voice actress -- via themarysue.com.

Maynard Luther Hill

Metallurgist, inventor and designer of first model airplane to cross the Atlantic -- via the Telegraph.

Claude Leveillee

Actor and singer/songwriter -- via the Montreal Gazette.

Mildred Wolf

Silent film pianist -- via the Hollywood Reporter.

Grant Sullivan

Actor -- via westernboothill.blogspot.com.

John Mackenzie aka Frenzy Mackenzie

Film director -- via the Telegraph. He made one of the most amazing movies ever -- "The Long Good Friday."

Robert Foster

TV writer and producer - via Variety.

Laura Ziskin

Movie producer -- via popeater.com. No Ziskin, no "No Way Out," "Pretty Woman," "What About Bob?", "To Die For" and the "Spiderman" trilogy.

Carl Gardner

Co-founder and lead vocalist of The Coasters -- via Spinner. He co-founded the group with Billy Nunn, after leaving The Robins in 1955. The Coasters are one of the great vocal groups of all time -- a conduit for the profound silliness of Leiber and Stoller's brilliant songwriting, which had a truckload of hits and got exploited and shortchanged.

Gardner's theatricality, fine voice and ability to entertain helped make this ensemble's efforts forever memorable.


Not only did they serve as the exponents of the Lieber and Stoller songbook, but they made amazing covers of songs such as "Brazil," "Besame Mucho" and "Zing! Went the Strings of my Heart".

Rudy Williams

Trumpeter was the "mayor of Beale Street" -- via the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Larry Berg

He led the town band for 30 years, and did much more for his community -- via the Bonner Springs Chieftain.

Lee J. Ames

Artist and illustrator -- via newsfromme.com. The author of the famous "Draw 50" instructional series.

Claudio Bravo

Artist -- via the New York Times.

Esthercita Forero aka Esther Foroero Celis aka La Novia di Barranquilla

Singer and composer -- via repeatingislands.com.

Sam Dardick

Disability rights activist -- via The Union.

Tommy Brent aka Thomas Brent Cheseldine

Theatrical producer -- via the New York Times.

Mietek Pemper

Man who typed "Schindler's List," saving more than 1,000 Jewish lives during the Holocaust -- via the Jerusalem Post.

Dennis Mascari

Man who created mausoleum for Cubs fans -- via the Chicago Tribune.

Wolfgang Laufer

Cellist -- via the Alanta Journal Constitution. A founding member of the Fine Arts Quartet!