"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"

Ralph Ferraro

Orchestrator, composer, and percussionist -- via westernsallitaliana.blogspot.com.

Luke Askew

Character actor -- via westernsallitaliana.blogspot.com.

Fang Lizhi

Astrophysicist and pro-democracy activist -- via the New York Times.

Elan Steinberg

Former executive director of the World Jewish Congress -- via the New York Times.

Roger Furst

Co-founder of Eastern Mountain Sports -- via the New York Times.

Gil Noble

Journalist -- via the New York Daily News.

Edmund Epstein

Scholar, editor and publisher -- via the New York Times. He most famously reprinted "Lord of the Flies," making it a popular success.

Jim Mansell

Educator and activist for the learning-disabled -- via the Guardian.

Gerald Estrin

Computer pioneer -- via the Jewish Daily Forward.

James S. Herr

Potato-chip maker -- via the Philadelphia Inquirer. They are delicious!

Anne Commire

Playwright, editor and author -- via the L.A. Times.

Paul S. Boyer

Historian -- via the New York Times.

John Griffiths

Illustrator -- via the Guardian.

Bernard O. Gruenke

Stained-glass artist -- via legacy.com.

Olimpia Cavalli

Actress -- via westernsallitaliana.blogspot.com.

Jamaa Fanaka aka Walter Gordon

Filmmaker -- via the L.A. Times.

Neil Travis

Editor for film and television -- via Variety. He won an Oscar for "Dances with Wolves" and an Emmy for "Roots."

Elizabeth Catlett

Sculptor and artist -- via the New York Times.

Owen "Sonny" Igoe

Drummer -- via northjersey.com.

Peter Loizos aka Peter Papaloizou

Anthropologist, writer and filmmaker -- via the Guardian.

Mike Wallace aka Myron Wallik

Journalist, writer, broadcaster, announcer, game-show host, actor -- via the New York Times. Found his niche and fame as an investigative reporter for the CBS new series "60 Minutes."