"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"

Joe South aka Joseph Souter

Songwriter and guitarist -- via the New York Times. Among his hits were "Games People Play," "Walk a Mile in My Shoes," "(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden," "Hush," and "Down in the Boondocks." An accomplished session musician as well, he played on Aretha Franklin's "Chain of Fools" and Dylan's "Blonde on Blonde" album.

Marianne Challis

Singer and voice coach -- via Playbill.

Emogene Turtle

Mezzo-soprano -- via the Sacramento Bee.

Steve Franken

Actor -- via the New York Times. Although best known as the obnoxious Chatsworth Osborne Jr. on the TV series "Dobie Gillis," he worked extensively in film and television, in both comic and serious roles.

Sarah Rowland

Farmer -- via the Austin Chronicle.

Carlos Flores

Bassist -- via Spinner.

Norbert Zeilberger

Classical keyboardist -- via artsjournal.com.

Richard Jones

Leading expert on the rare Tucker automobile -- via blog.hemmings.com.

Roger D. Fisher

Peacemaker -- via the New York Times. Law professor by trade, Fisher was an expert in negotiation strategy and problem-solving, leading to peace agreements around the world!

Malcom Browne

Pulitzer-winning journalist and photographer -- via the Guardian. Known best for his documentation of the suicidal immolation of Vietnamese monk Thich Quang Duc.

Heidi Holland

Writer and journalist -- via The Economist.

Florence Gerson Shay

Owner of the legendary Chicago bookstore Titles Inc. -- via the Chicago Tribune.

Simon Chan

Biologist -- via the Woodland, CA Daily Democrat.

Chalmers "Babe" Loughridge

Physician; one of the team at Alexandria Hospital to implement emergency medicine as a practice specialty -- via the Washington Post.

Robert McMinn

Anatomist; creator of the Colour Atlas of Human Anatomy -- via the Telegraph.

Eileen Beasley

Welsh language activist -- via walesonline.co.uk.

Michael Clarke Duncan

Actor -- via the Washington Post. Best known for his role as John Coffey in "The Green Mile."

Gustave Field aka Gustave Hirchfeld

Screenwriter -- via the Hollywood Reporter. Started out as a press photographer; pioneered the use of the 35mm camera in that work. Photographed the atomic explosion at Nagasaki from the plane that dropped the bomb.

Glenn Griffin

Music and dance critic -- via the Denver Post. For almost 40 years, an integral part of the region's critical community. Honest, accurate, and fair!

Willa Ward Moultrie Royster

Gospel singer -- via the New York Times.

Tissa David

Animator -- via the L.A. Times.

Joaquin Luis Romero Marchent

Director, screenwriter, and producer -- via westernboothill.blogspot.com. WARNING: "Cutthroats Nine" trailer not SFW or family-friendly!

It looks as though he made some remarkable Eurotrash entries in the film encyclopedia.

Willie "El Curro" Champion

Flamenco guitarist -- via mysanantonio.com.

Rosemary Rice

Actress -- via the New York Times.

Al Rabin

Soap opera producer and director -- salemspectator.com.

Musfik Kenter

Actor -- via hurriyetdailynews.com.

Altamiro Carrilho

Flutist and composer -- via globo.com.

T.G. Kamala Devi aka Kamala Chandra Babu aka Thota Govindamma

Dubbing artist, playback singer, and actor; champion billiards player -- via ap7am.com.

Lou Martin

Pianist, organist, songwriter, and record producer -- via rorygallagher.com.

Ra.Ki. Rangarajan

Writer, journalist, and translator -- via The Hindu.

Haashke yah Niya aka Harrison Begay

Painter -- via indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com.

Maite Nahyr

Actress -- via the Hollywood Reporter. Appeared in films as diverse as Fellini's "City of Women," Polanski's  "The Tenant," and Istvan Szabo's vastly underrated "Meeting Venus."

Laura Latini

Actress -- via voy.com.

Donal Henahan

Damn good arts writer -- via the New York Times.

Daryl Hine

Poet, editor, and translator -- via the New York Times.

Virginia Dwyer Gorman

Actress -- via welovesoaps.net. Best known for her portrayal of Mary Matthews on "Another World."

Michalis Menidiatis

Singer -- via sbs.com.au.