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"

Gunther Kaufmann

Actor -- via dw.de.

Evelyn Johnson

Aviatrix -- via the New York Times.

Tony DeZuniga

Comics artist; co-creator of Jonah Hex -- via gmanetwork.com.

Carroll Shelby

Auto racer and designer -- via the New York Daily News.

Horst Faas

Photographer -- via the New York Times.

Madame Suzanne Wilkie aka Suzanne Gendarme

Trapeze artist -- via the Telegraph.

Caloi aka Carlos Loiseau

Cartoonist -- via the Buenos Aires Herald.

Carl Beane

Public address announcer for the Red Sox -- via espn.com.

Gunnar Sonsteby

WWII resistance fighter -- via the Telegraph.

Elliot Fine

Drummer -- via moderndrummer.com.

Joyce Redman

Actress -- via the BBC. A beautiful and intensely intelligent performer on stage, and in film and television. She receive two Oscar nominations -- the first for her role as the lascivious Mrs. Waters in "Tom Jones" and the second as Desdemona's maid Emilia in Olivier's "Othello."



Michael "Iron Man" Burks

Blues and R & B guitarist, vocalist and composer -- via the Christian Post.



Jesse "Sweet Joe" Russell

Tenor and founding member of the Persuasions -- via soultrackscom.










Everett Lilly

Bluegrass legend -- via the Columbus, Ind. Republic. As part of the Lilly Brothers and Don Stover, one of the last of the first-generation bluegrass lights.



Ernest Douglas Warren

Founding member of the Spaniels -- via Goldmine. Originally Pookie Hudson and the Hudsonaires, this Gary, Ind. group became the first successful Midwestern doo-wop group. As well, they pioneered the lead-backup two-mic system. Warren had a fine falsetto, and he also sang lead on "Hey Sister Lizzie."







From Cracked: Can you cheat death? Sure.

Here's a lovely story about several individuals who proved (relatively) death-proof, thanks to writers Matt Piner and Matteo Gatto.

Jerry McMorris

Businessman and original owner of the Colorado Rockies -- via the Denver Post.

James Isaac

Film director and special effects artist -- via Fangoria.

Roman Totenberg

Violinist and teacher -- via the New York Times.

Amy Rauch Neilson

Writer -- via the Detroit Free Press.

Gregory Larsen

Organist -- via the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Premysl Dobias

Jeweler and Holocaust survivor -- via the Telegraph. Though not Jewish, he helped operate an escape network for them, was captured by the Nazis, and suffered imprisonment in the concentration camps.

Muddy Fraser aka Robert Scrivens

Blues guitarist -- via the Vancouver Sun.


Horace "Duke" Dawson

Blues drummer -- via the Macomb Daily.

Larry Donn aka Larry Donn Gillihan

Rockabilly star -- via liveblues.info.

Frank H. Pearl

Publisher -- via the New York Times.

David Bowman

Novelist and critic -- via the New York Times.

Cuneyt Turel

Actor -- via hurriyetdailynews.com.

Arlene Goings-Means

Teacher, attorney and actress -- via westernboothill.blogspot.com.


Emma Yong

Actress and singer -- via channelnewsasia.com.

Nelida Gomez de Navajas

Leader of Las Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo -- via abuelas.org.ar.

Maurice Sendak

Writer and illustrator -- via the New York Times. He does not need or deserve the qualification of the title "children's writer" -- he was simply one of the great writers and illustrators, one of the great storytellers, of all time.

Felix Werder

Composer -- via the Australian Music Centre.

Willie French Lowery

Composer and singer -- via indyweek.com.

Guillermo Luna Varela, Gabriel Huge, Esteban Rodiguez and Irasema Becarra

Journalists -- via USA Today. Murdered and dismembered for reporting on the drug cartels.

Edith Bliss aka Eda Bliss

Singer and television host -- via the Telegraph (Australia).

Bob Stewart aka Isidore Steinberg

TV producer -- via the L.A. Times. A master of the game show, he created "The Price is Right," "What's My Line?", "Password," "The $10,000 Pyramid" and many others.

Margie Stewart

WWII pinup girl -- via the New York Times.

Yale Summers

Actor -- via Variety. Best remembered as Jack Dane in "Daktari."

Rich Ramirez

Comedian -- via laughspin.com.

Iraj Ghaderi

Film director and actor -- via nabz.com.


Digby Wolfe

Emmy-winning writer and actor -- via Variety.


George "Goober" Lindsey

Actor and comedian -- via wsmv.com.








Jim McCrary

Rock photographer -- via the L.A. Times. As staff photographer for A & M Records, he took images that graced more than 300 album covers.

John Nickens Jr.

Civil engineer and clarinetist -- via the Sacramento Bee.

Gay Austin

Preschool educator -- via Berkeleyside.

Bill Pierce

Librarian and horticulturalist -- via the Sacramento Bee.