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"

Earl Gilliam

Blues pianist -- via the Houston Chronicle.

Piri Thomas

Writer and poet -- via the New York Times.

Barry Feinstein

Great rock photographer -- via the New York Times.

Edgar Villchur

Master innovator of high-fidelity sound -- via the New York Times. He invented many improvements to the transmission of recorded playback, including the hi-fi speaker, the dome tweeter and turntable rumble reduction.

Ray Aranha

Playwright, director and actor -- via legacy.com.

Pietro "Pete" Rugulo

Jazz composer and arranger -- via the New York Times. He started off arranging for Stan Kenton; he produced "The Birth of the Cool" sessions. He wrote the themes for "The Fugitive" and "Run for Your Life."

Chuck Ruff

Drummer -- via Modern Drummer. He played with the Edgar Winter Group, Sammy Hagar and others; he played on "Frankenstein" and "Free Ride"!

Marty Harris

Jazz pianist -- via allaboutjazz.com. Played with Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Jack Sheldon and Anita O'Day, among others.

Buddy Sharpe aka Bernard E. Gareis

Rockabilly musician; leader of Buddy Sharpe and the Shakers -- via the Weirton Daily News.

Taku Mafika

Musician -- via ziviso.wordpress.com.

Sue Mengers

Hollywood agent -- via the New York Times.

Miguel Angel Granados Chapa

Journalist -- via the L.A. Times.

Elouise Cobell aka Yellow Bird Woman

Tribal leader -- via the Telegraph.

Anita Caspary

Rebel Catholic -- via the New York Times.

Laura Pollan Toldeo

Teacher and dissident -- via MSNBC.

Norman Corwin

The outstanding writer/director/producer of radio's Golden Age -- via the L.A. Times.

Michel Peissel

Ethnologist, explorer and author -- via the New York Times.

Howard "Tim" Hays

Editor and publisher who fought for First Amendment rights -- via the L.A. Times.

Tongai Moyo aka Dhewa

Musician -- via newzimbabwe,com.

William A. "Billy" Naylor

Child actor -- via the TC Palm.

Betty Driver

Actress -- via the BBC. Beloved long-time member of the cast of England's immortal soap opera "Coronation Street."

Janos Hershko

Actor and director -- via hvg.hu/kultura.

Chris Doig

Opera singer and sports administrator -- via the New Zealand Herald.

Vibeke Mowinckel Falk

Actress -- via blog.norway.com.

Ralph Temple

Lawyer who focused on civil liberties -- via the Mail Tribune.

Arthur Dubin

Railway historian and architect -- via the New York Times.

Mildred Savage

Writer -- via the New York Times.

Joel "Taz" DiGregorio

Keyboardist and composer -- via the Hollywood Reporter.

Maricela Ochoa

Actress -- via the Galveston Daily News.

Heinz Bennent

Actor in film, TV and on the stage -- via mubi.com. He appeared in such notable films as "The Last Metro," "The Tin Drum" and "The Serpent's Egg."

Shirley Prestia

Actress and comedian -- via nola.com.