"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"

Ruth Foster

Actress -- via westernboothill.blogspot.com.

Kevin Hickey

Former MLB pitcher -- via the Chicago Tribune.

Katya Filipova

Singer -- via novinite.com.

Jean Craighead George

Writer -- via the New York Times. She is best know for her young people's literature, especially "My Side of the Mountain" (one of my faves) and "Julie of the Wolves" -- both Newbery Prize winners.

Maria Biesu

Soprano -- via allmoldava.com.

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

Baritone; one of the great singers of the 20th century -- via the Guardian.Not just a pretty voice -- he understood and could communicate the most subtle shades of meaning, making clear the most complex lieder and aria! Here is a wonderful meditation on his talent, integrity, influence and importance by Anthony Tommasini in the New York Times. I was another one of those people who never "got" lieder, and could see no use for it -- until I put on Fischer-Dieskau. An indispensable artist.

Donna Summer aka LaDonna Adrian Gaines

Singer -- via tmz.com. "The Queen of Disco" enjoyed a long career.

Doug Dillard

Bluegrass banjo great -- via the boot.com. As part of the Dillards, he strongly influenced the West Coast folk rock, country rock and progressive bluegrass movements. The Dillards were also among the first to electrify their instruments!

Chuck Brown

Musician, singer and songwriter; the Godfather of go-go -- via the Washington Post.

Gerry Hostetler

Obit writer -- via the Charlotte Observer. She wrote her own, of course.

Mark Shurilla

Musician -- via the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Frank Knight

Tree warden and preservationist -- via the Chicago Sun-Times. He worked for years to preserve a certain majestic tree; part of it was saved after it died, and will serve as his coffin.

Ramesh Mehta

Playwright, director, actor and translator -- via rediff.com.

Taruni Sachdev

Actress -- via indiatoday.com.

Carlos Fuentes

Novelist, essayist, and writer in many other genres -- via the Washington Post. "Terra Nostra" kicks ass.

Frank Wills

Former MLB pitcher -- via nolasports.com.

Belita Woods

Singer -- via soul-source.co.uk.

Mike McGrady

Journalist and prankster -- via the New York Times.

Don Ritchie

"The Angel of the Gap" prevented many suicides -- via the Telegraph.

Terry Martin

Surfboard shaper -- via surfline.com.

Donald "Duck" Dunn

Hall of Fame bassist -- via Spinner. He was part of Booker T. and the M.G.'s; he was a session player at Stax. His sounds were, are and will be influential -- a great artist.

Bernardo Sassetti

Jazz pianist and composer -- via euronews.com.

Kimberly Wells

Writer for television -- via the Hollywood Reporter.

Stephen Lord aka Stephen J. Loyacano

Writer-producer for TV; playwright, novelist and composer -- via Variety.

Lorena Escalera

Dancer -- via metro.us.