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"

Googie Withers aka Georgette Lizette Withers

Actress on stage ,and in film and TV -- via the Guardian. A beautiful and wickedly intelligent performer, she can be seen in such classic films as "Dead of Night," "Night and the City," "Shine" and "The Lady Vanishes."

George M. Ross aka George Martin Rosenkoff

Philanthropist -- via the New York Times. His persistence and funding gave birth to the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia.

W.L. Mundell

Teacher, community leader and theatrical producer -- via the Chillicothe Gazette.

Lee Vines

TV announcer -- via the L.A. Times.

Daniel Claps aka Marshal Wild Windy Bill McKay

Amusement park entertainer - via AP.

Alfonso "Fonce" Mizell

Music producer -- via NME.

Roberts Blossom

Actor on stage and in film and TV -- via the New York Times.

Theodore Roszak

Historian, writer and teacher -- via the San Francisco Chronicle. He originated the concpet of a "counter culture."

Bruce Trinz

Art-house cinema manager -- via Roger Ebert.

Pat Jackson

Film and television director -- via the Guardian.

Frank Riordan

"Renaissance man" -- via the ST. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Sherwood Schwartz

Writer for radio and television comedy, TV producer, and creator of "Gilligan's Island" and "The Brady Bunch" -- via the Los Angeles Daily News. For better or worse, his 60's sitcoms hugely influenced everyone, especially me. Schwartz started off writing for Bob Hope's radio show, then for Ozzie and Harriet and "The Alan Young Show." He moved to TV, writing for "I Married Joan" and Red Skelton. He created the hit series "Gilligan's Island," "The Brady Bunch" and a little-known, really bad show I really liked about time-traveling astronauts and cavemen called "It's About Time," with Imogene Coca, Joe E. Ross and Mike Mazurki. Schwatrz even helped write his show's theme songs! Schwartz always intended his shows to impart moral lessons . . . I learned that they never could get off the island.



Rob Grill

Lead singer for the Grass Roots -- via CBS News. With the loss of Grill and drummer Rick Coonce, who died on Feb. 25, this leaves only guitarists Creed Bratton (best known now as a cast member of "The Office") and Warren Entner from the original group.



Pete Duranko aka Diesel

Football player -- via the Johnstown, PA Tribune-Democrat. An early standout for the Denver Broncos, he was quite frightening.

Sam Denoff

TV comedy writer -- via the New York Times. With Bill Persky, he wrote most of the great episodes of "The Dick van Dyke Show," and convinced me that writing comedy would be the best career path ever!

Billy Blanco

Composer and performer -- via AP. Known as "the diamond of Bossa Nova," he wrote more than 300 songs.

Tomas Mac Anna

Playwright and artistic director of the Abbey Theatre -- via the Guardian.

Raymond Jones

Keyboardist, composer, producer -- via eurweb.com. Played with Chic, Sister Sledge, Patti Labelle and the films of Spike Lee.

Dusan Janicijevic

Actor -- via westernsallitaliana.blogspot.com.

Roland Petit

Choreographer -- via the New York Times.

Serban Cantacuzio

Prince and actor -- via the Washington Post.

John Sweet

Actor and teacher -- via powell-pressburger.org. This amateur actor had a leading role in Michael Powell's "A Canterbury Tale" of 1944. He donated his earnings for the film to the NAACP. After some post-war acting, he returned to teaching, and lived a good life.

What if death took a holiday?

The Haymarket Martyrs' Monument by Albert Weinert, in the German Waldheim Cemetery in Forest Park. Ironically, the Haymarket affair resulted in advances for unionized labor.
From the Chicago Tribune -- funeral home workers to go on strike. Don't worry, they have replacement workers. Um, would you really like that?

Facundo Cabral

Singer/songwriter -- via the New York Times.

Malcolm Forsyth

Composer -- via the CBC.

Wes Covington

Major league left fielder -- via the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. His play helped the Braves beat the Yankees in the 1957 World Series.

Gerhard Unger

Tenor -- via artsjournal.com.

Shinji Wada

Manga artist -- via staticmultimedia.com.

Yuri Kukin

Singer/songwriter -- via en.ura-inform.com.