"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"

Walter Muller

Inventor of the MIDI wind controller (futuristic harmonica) the Millioniser -- via createdigitalmusic.com.

Aaron Beamish

Drummer -- via carbonated.tv.

Joey Bowker aka The Bat Poet

Electronic entertainer and folk hero -- via Nashville Scene.

Roy Smalley Jr.

Shortstop for the Cubs, Braves and Phillies -- via the Chicago Tribune.

Anis Mansour

Writer -- via Ahram Online.

Tone Pavcek

Poet, translator and essayist -- via ukom.gov.si.

Charles Hamm

First historian of American popular music -- via the New York Times.

Freddy Ferrera

Baritone with Johnny Maestro & the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Del Satins -- via voy.com.Brooklyn Bridge's biggest hit was theri cover of Jimmy Webb's "The Worst That Could Happen"; the Del Satins sang backup for Dion on "Runaround Sue" and "The Wanderer."

Sue Lloyd

Actress in film and television -- via the Guardian.

Jerzy Bielecki

War hero -- via the Washington Post. He smuggled a Jewish girl he fell in love with, Cyla Cybulska, out of Auschwitz. They separated and lost track of each other, and built new lives. Reuniting after 39 years, they remained great friends.

Harold Davison

Music impresario -- via the BBC.

Edmundo Ros

Bandleader -- via the BBC.

Robert Pierpoint

Broadcast journalist -- via the New York Times.

Merritt Ranew

Former MLB catcher -- via the Albany Journal.

Chris Kent

Bassist -- via Nashville Scene.

Terry Span

Guitarist -- via the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Dennis Hall

Cinematographer -- via the Hollywood Reporter.

Mickey Goldsen

Music publisher -- via Billboard.

Sheila Allen

Actress -- via the Guardian.

Paul Dickson

Film and television director -- via the Telegraph.

Dinah Kaye

Jazz singer -- via the Independent.

John-Alex Mason

Bluesman -- via the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Peter J. Hammond

Actor and director -- via the Telegraph.

Paul Leka

Songwriter, arranger and producer -- via the New York Times. He wrote "Gren Tambourine" and co-wrote "Na Na Hey Hey"!

Winstone Zulu

AIDS activist -- via pulitzercenter.org.

Barbara Kent aka Barbara Cloutman

Actress -- via the New York Times. One of the last surviving stars of the Silent Era.

A delicate business: feature story on morticians

An interesting feature story on the challenges of being a mortician -- via the Twin Falls, Id. Times-News.

Margaret Draper

Actress -- via welovesoaps.net.

Andrea Zanzotto

Poet -- via AP News.

Ramaz Chkhikvadze

Actor -- via pik.tv.

George Chaloupka

Expert on aboriginal rock art -- via the Australian.

Bob Brunning

Bassist, teacher and writer -- via dead-celeb.com. Bob was the first bassist for Fleetwood Mac -- for a few weeks only, however; John McVie quit John Mayall and joined the outfit, replacing Bob. However, Bob recorded "Long Grey Mare" with the group. Later, he worked with Savoy Brown --