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"

Eleanor Josaitis

Activist who fought racism, poverty and injustice -- via WXYZ.com.

Ray Anderson

Pioneering "green" businessman -- via the New York Times.

Dale Osborn

Singer and guitarist -- via syracuse.com.

Leo Mattioli

Singer -- via the Buenos Aires Herald.

Jennifer Minetti

Actress -- via allvoices.com.

Sam Loco Efe

Actor -- via vanguardngr.com.

Hind Rostom

Actress -- via the Egyptian Gazette.

James Kelly

Journalist -- via the Independent (Eire).

Billy Grammer

Singer and guitarist -- via the New York Times.

Jani Lane aka John Kennedy Oswald

Singer, lyricist and songwriter -- via Us magazine.

Nat Allbright

Broadcaster and "last of the game re-creators" -- via the Washington Post. In the old days of radio, when live play-by-play broadcasting of baseball games was too technically challenging and/or expensive, radio announcers would mimic a live broadcast using data sent via wire service.

Nat Allbright - Out of the Past - 2008 from Chuck Langdon on Vimeo.

Geraint Bowen

Scholar and Archdruid -- via the Independent.

Brigitte Borchert

The last surviving performer from the seminal 1930 German film "Menschen am Sonntag (People on Sunday)" -- via voy.com. Why is this film so important? An independent film shot on a shoestring budget, it's a marvelous piece of work -- a last glimpse of pre-Hitler Germany. Among those involved were Billy Wilder, Edgar Ulmer, Robert and Curt Siodmak, Fred Zinnemann and Eugen Schufftan -- some of the greatest figures in film history.

Henri Tisot

Comic actor -- via Le Figaro.

Terry Hutchinson

Singer -- via the Bay Area Reporter.

Andrew "Mac" McDermott

Singer -- via roadrunnerrecords.com.

Henk Alkema

Composer, musician and teacher -- via concertblog.wordpress.com.

Al Federoff

Former Detroit Tiger, manager and mentor to Jim Leyland -- via the Detroit News.

John Graham Rule

Social historian -- via the Guardian.

Ian Wheeler

Jazzman -- via the Independent.

Nancy Wake aka The White Mouse

World War II heroine -- via the Daily Telegraph. A Resistance fighter and British agent who saved the lives of thousands.

Conrad Schnitzler aka Conrad von Berlin

Experimental musician -- via Spinner. He helped found Tangerine Dream, and was instrumental in the creation of Kosmiche, or Krautrock.

Devi Prasad

"Studio potter, educationist, political activist, painter, photographer and author" -- via the Guardian.

Ken Graydon

Poet and storyteller -- via the L.A. Times.

Ian Harwood

Lutenist and luthier -- via the Telegraph.

Jean-Claude Bajeux

Scholar and human-rights activist -- via the Miami Herald.

Takuo "Tak" Miyasishima

Film design engineer -- via cinemasight.com. No Tak, no Panavision!

Stanley "Chick" Meischke

Master of the outdoor Christmas display -- via nj.com.

Gordie Duane

Surfboard maker -- via Surfer Today.

Max Harry Weil

Doctor who created the intensive-care unit -- via the L.A. Times.

William Jacobson

Comedy writer and actor -- via Variety.

Joe Yamanaka

Singer and actor -- via Tokyograph.

Francesco Quinn

Actor -- via UPI.

Ralph Berkowitz

Composer and music administrator -- via peteramescarlin.com.

Ida Rosaire

Circus performer and wild animal trainer -- via the Telegraph.

Joe Mogotsi

Singer and lyricist -- via the Guardian. As part ofthe Manhtaan Brothers, he provided early exposure for the careers of Hugh Masekela and Miriam Makeba.

Marshall Grant

Innovative bassist best known for his work with Johnny Cash -- via the Charlotte Observer.


John Wood

Actor on stage and film, and in television -- via the BBC. A superb, if sometimes overlooked, performer especially noted for his work in Shakespeare and Stoppard.

Alan Neal Hubbs

Actor, director, designer and writer -- via Variety.

Christopher Neame

Actor and many, many other kinds of jobs in the film industry -- via the Telegraph. Actor, agent, producer, screenwriter, assistant director, production manager, and playwright.

George Kimball

Sportswriter -- via the Guardian.

David M. Aiken

Baritone -- via the Greene County Daily World. He originated the role of King Melchior in Menotti's "Amahl and the Night Visitors."

Silvio Narizzano

Film and television director -- via the Guardian. His big hit? "Georgy Girl."

Sakyo Komatsu

Science-fiction writer and screenwriter -- via Japan Times.

Agota Kristof

Writer -- via the Independent.

Judy Sowinski aka The Polish Ace aka the Queen of Mean

Roller derby queen and Hall of Fame member - via blog.nj.com/roller-derby.


Rudolf Brazda

Perhaps the last survivor of Hitler's efforts to destroy homosexuals -- via the New York Times. He lived to see the beginning of gay liberation and acceptance in most Western cultures. If only the dozens of my friends who died of AIDS-related causes could have made it as far! I still miss them.

Claude Laydu

Actor -- via the Guardian. Best known for his work in the title role of Bresson's masterpiece, "The Diary of a Country Priest."

Mariella Lo Giudice

Actress -- via La Repubblica Palermo.