"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"

"Michigan Mike" Torpie

Nice photo by Eric Abramson!
Musical entrepreneur; concert promoter -- via the Daily Camera.

Digby Jacks

Student leader and union activist -- via the Independent.

Franz-Josef Degenhardt

Folksinger, songwriter, poet, novelist and and satirist; counter-cultural figure -- via the Independent.

John Craig "Sonny" Dixon

Former MLB pitcher -- via the Charlotte Observer.

Jack Elinson

Comedy writer -- via the Hollywood Reporter.

Syd Cain

Art director and production designer - viami6-hq.com/

Anne McCaffrey

Fantasy writer -- via the New York Times.

Gary Garcia

Musician and songwriter -- via kotaku.com. Half of the duo of Buckner and Garcia, his big hit was "Pac-Man Fever."

Robert Party

Actor -- via westernsallitaliana.blogspot.com.

Sena Jurinac aka Srebrenka Jurinac

Soprano -- via the Telegraph.

Alvin Schwartz

Comic-book writer -- via the Superman Super Site.

Rene Morel

Luthier -- via the Telegraph.

Eva Monley

Legendary film location scout -- via the New York Times. Worked on everything from the Stewart Granger "King Solomon's Mines" to "The African Queen" to "Exodus" to "Lawrence of Arabia" to "Out of Africa" to "Mississippi Masala."

Gregory Papalexis

Frankfurter king -- via the New York Daily News. Owner of the ubiquitous Sabrett chain of hot-dog carts in New York City.

Michael Hastings

Playwright -- via the Telegraph.

Daniel Sada

Novelist and poet -- via the Latin American Herald Tribune.

Paul Motian

Bandleader, composer, and one of the greatest jazz drummers -- via the New York Times. LOVE HIM!

Russ Garcia

Composer and arranger -- via home.nestor.minsk.by.

Paul Yandell

Guitarist -- via premierguitar.com. Worked with Chet Atkins for many, many years!

Paul Thomas

Blues/funk bassist -- via azcentral.com. He played with such names as Bo Diddley, Ike Turner, Carol Fran, Kim Wilson, Pinetop Perkins, Henry Gray, Jimmy Rogers, Nappy Brown, Lynwood Slim, Rick Estrin, Kid Ramos, Junior Watson and Louisiana Red.

J.D. Falk

Anti-spam activist and all-round do-gooder -- via the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group.

Vinette Doree

Advocate for the disabled -- via the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Yvone "Miss Dixie" Fasnacht

Bar owner and musician -- via the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Bruce Kellman

Photojournalist -- via the Tacoma News Tribune. Here's a great quote from him: "When the shutter is open, it's like I hear music."

Bruno Rubeo

Excellent production designer -- via the Hollywood Reporter. For some random reason, here's a fun video of Bruno doing some major-league bargaining with a Shanghai merchant.

Bruno gives a lesson in haggling in Shanghai from Raymond Prado on Vimeo.

Jean Julich

Anti-Nazi dissident -- via the Independent. He and other teenage "Edelweiss Pirates" evaded the German draft and fought the Nazi war efforts as they hid out.

Adrian Cowell

Documentary filmmaker and journalist -- via the Guardian.

Jon Weaving

Operatic tenor -- via the Telegraph.

Andrew Laszlo

Cinematographer -- via the Guardian.

Killa Keise aka Markeise Henry

Rapper -- via the Mercury News.

Shelagh Delaney

Playwright and screenwriter -- via the Guardian. Best known for her debut work, "A Taste of Honey," she launched the lauded "kitchen sink" movement of realism in British theatre in the 1950s. She also wrote the excellent "Dance with a Stranger."

Greg Halman

Mariners outfielder -- via Today.

Jesse Morris aka the Punk Rock Johnny Cash

Musician and busker -- via the San Francisco Weekly.

Daniela D'Ercole

Jazz vocalist -- via Jazz Times. Sadly, struck down by a car in Manhattan at the age of only 32.

Lael Stegall

Adventurer and activist -- via the Washington Post.

John Neville

Actor on stage in film and on television; stage director; artistic director of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival -- via Playbill. One of the best Shakespearean actors of his generation, he will be best remembered for playing John Churchill in the BBC series "The First Churchills" and the title character in Terry Gilliam's "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen."

William Shakespeare - Sonnet 30 - John Neville by poetictouch

Andrea True aka Andrea Marie Truden aka Inger Kissin aka Andrea Travis aka Catherine Warren aka Singh Low aka Singe Low

Disco diva and adult film actress -- via joemygod.blogspot.com.

Boots Plata

Film director and writer --via entertainment.inquirer.net.

H.G. Francis aka Hans Gerhard Franciskowsky

Writer of science fiction, and radio drama -- via Dr Spiegel.

Morris Philipson

Novelist and leader of the University of Chicago Press -- via news.gnom.es.

Annabelle Lyon

Ballerina -- via the New York Times.

Mark Hall

Animator and animation producer -- via the New York Times. Best known as the co-creator of "Danger Mouse"!

Peretz Kidron

Anti-occupation activist, refusenik, writer, journalist and translator -- via Yesh Gvul.

Issac Chocron Serfaty

Playwright, essayist and novelist -- via faceshuk.jewpi.com.

Tomas Segovia

Author and poet -- via latino.foxnews.com.

Dov Schwartzman

Rabbi -- via Matzav.com.