"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"

Sheldon Moldoff

Comic book artist -- via the New York Times.

Ralph McQuarrie

Illustrator and concept artist -- via the L.A. Times. His work created the look of the "Star Wars" films.

Gladys O'Connor

Actress -- via the Toronto Globe and Mail.

Shaun O'Brien

Dancer -- via the New York Times.

Ed Brigadier

Actor -- via westernboothill.blogspot.com.

Peter Bergman

Writer and comedian; founder of Firesign Theatre -- via KPCC. Their subversive, avant-garde, stream-of-consciousness, and otherwise-unhyphenated audio comedy changed my life . . . I think. You should listen to all their original albums. If you do not have them, you can come over and listen to mine.

Jimmy Ellis

Lead singer for The Trammps -- via AP. Their number-one hit: "Disco Inferno."

Albert Leslie Cochran

"Peace activist, cross-dresser, urban outdoorsman and outspoken critic of police treatment of the homeless" -- via the Austin American-Statesman. He kept Austin weird.

Martha Stewart

Actress -- via the Chicago Tribune.

Lucio Dalla

Singer and songwriter -- via the New York Times.

Edna Milton Chadwell

 Madam -- via the Associated Press.

Bruce Surtees aka The Prince of Darkness

Cinematographer -- via the New York Times. He worked on such great films as "High Plains Drifter," "Lenny," "Night Moves," "Escape from Alcatrz" and "White Dog."

Hal Roach aka "The King of Blarney"

Comedian -- via Irish Central. A classic joke-teller -- look for a longer tribute soon.

Marion Mathie

Actress -- via The Stage. She may be best remembered as the second actress to play She Who Must Be Obeyed on the "Rumpole" series.

Alan Lee

Cruciverbalist -- via the Montreal Gazette.

Atha Tehon aka Atha Tehon Thiras

Children's book designer and art director -- via Publisher's Weekly.

Maurice Andre

Trumpeter -- via the New York Times.

Louisiana Red aka Iverson Mintner aka Rocky Fuller

Bluesman -- via his website.

Jaroslav Velinsky aka Kapitan Kid aka Václav Rabský aka C.P. Stonebridge aka Agáta Bílá

According to Wikipedia, he was a "science fiction and detective writer, publisher, songwriter and musician. He was also a miner, metalsmith, graphic artist." Via ceskenoviny.cz.

Thom Enright

Blues guitarist -- via the Providence Journal.

Yusuf Kurcenli

Film director -- via eu.greekreporter.com.

Rami al-Sayed

Journalist -- via the BBC.

Sebhat Gebre-Egziabher

Author -- via Ethiaobay.com.

SN Lakshmi

Actress -- via dnaindia.com.

Sullivan Walker

Actor -- via the New York Daily News.

Ken Goodwin

Comedian -- via the Guardian.

Ronnie Montrose

One of the great rock guitarists -- via Rolling Stone. Here's a switch -- he ran away TO Denver when he was a teenager. He played with Edgar Winter Group on hits such as "Frankenstein" and "Free Ride," then formed Montrose. Hits include "Bad Motor Scooter," "Rock Candy" and "I Got the Fire." An inspired musician!

Howie Nunn

Former MLB pitcher -- via baseball-fever.com.

Bubi Chen

Pianist -- via the Jakarta Post.

Humayun Faridi

Actor -- via sangbad.com.au.

Jodie Christian

Pianist  -- via the Chicago Tribune.

Tonmi Lillman

Drummer -- via blabbermouth.net.

Ustad Shamim Ahmed Khan

Master of the sitar -- via the Times of India.

William Gay

Writer -- via the New York Times.

Peter Halliday

Actor -- via the Guardian.

Howard Kissel

Theatre critic -- via the New York Times.

James W. "Red" Holloway

Saxophonist -- via the L.A. Times.

Lina Romay aka Rosa María Almirall Martínez

Actress -- via Fangoria. Muse and companion to cult filmmaker Jess Franco, she starred in a number of the transgressive European horror/erotic features of the time.

Olivier Mathot aka Claude Plaut aka Oliver Mathews aka Oliver Matthau aka Claude Plaud

Film actor and director -- via westernsallitaliana.blogspot.com.

Al De Lory

Producer and arranger -- via the Tennessean.

Lydia Lamaison

Actress -- via the Buenos Aires Herald.