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"

Erol Gunaydin

Actor -- via westernboothill.blogspot.com.

Bill Dees

Musician and songwriter -- via blog.bcdb.com. Co-wrote "Oh, Pretty Woman" and "It's Over" with Roy Orbison.




Michael Marra aka the Bard of Dundee

Singer/songwriter -- via the Scotsman.

Wilhelm Brasse

Photographer and survivor of the Holocaust -- via the New York Times.

Anita Bjork

Actress -- via the New York Times.



Jacques Barzun

Cultural historian -- via the New York Times.

Joel Marston

Actor -- via westernboothill.blogspot.com.

Norma Fire

Actress and much more -- via legacy.com. Whoever wrote this excellent, loving, and comprehensive obituary did an exemplary job!She sounds like a wonderful person.


Shubha Phutela

Actress and model -- via Zee News.

Issac "Dickie" Freeman

Gospel singer -- via the Tennessean. The bass voice in the amazing Fairfield Four.



Joe Cullinane

Sports broadcaster -- via the Denver Post.


Eddie Harvey

Musician and teacher -- via the Guardian.

Steve Paul

Club owner, music manager, record label head -- via the New York Times.

Jaspal Bhatti

Comedic writer, director, and actor -- via indianexpress.com.

Donald Takayama

Surfer and board designer and shaper -- via the L.A. Times

From Aljazeera: The art of obituary writing

Nicholas Muirhead of The Listening Post with a video survey of bit desks at newspapers -- via aljazeera.com.

Franck Barcellini

Composer -- via artsjournal.com. Best known for his composition of the theme from Jacques Tati's "Mon Oncle."

Sunil Gangopadhyay

Poet and novelist -- via The Hindu.


Lu Zijian aka The Knight of the Yangtze

118-year-old martial arts master -- via danwei.com.

Alfred Kumalo

Photographer -- via the Washington Post. He bravely documented the brutalities of apartheid.





Paul Kurtz

Philosopher and publisher; paragon of secular humanism -- via the New York Times.

Antoni Dobrowolski

Teacher; oldest survivor of Auschwitz -- via the Huffington Post. The Nazis didn't want Poles to get more than four years of elementary education, as they were to be a "slave race." Dobrowwolski defied them.

Mike Karandzieff

The guy behind the counter at Crown Candy Kitchen -- via the St. Louis Times-Dispatch.


William Major aka Chilly Willy

Homeless person -- via the Charlotte Observer.

Stanford Ovshinsky

Prolific inventor -- via the New York Times. Among his creations: the nickel-metal hyride battery, and contributions to the rewritable CD, solar panels, flat screens, and on and on.

Yash Chopra

Screenwriter, producer, and director -- via the Guardian.

Rick Chadock

Guitarist -- via ultimateclassicrock.com.



Larry Sloan

Funny-book publisher; co-creator of Mad Libs -- via the L.A. Times.

John Clive

Actor and writer -- via the Guardian. Best known for his roles in "The Italian Job," as the voice of John Lennon in "Yellow Submarine," and "A Clockwork Orange."

Mike Singleton

Writer and video game developer -- via the Guardian.

The death of David Rose, who never existed

Not "David Rose," but Hunter Dunn, who is alive and well.
A report that a 24-year-old deaf paraplegic Internet sensation had died turned into a story about impersonation, big-time fiction making, and the lure of misrepresentation -- via theCHIVE and the Huffington Post.

B.B. Cunningham

Musician, frontman, songwriter, session player, engineer and producer -- via the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Marc Swayze

Comic-book artist; first to draw Mary Marvel -- via the Monroe News-Star.


Saaichi Maruya aka Saaichi Nemura

Writer, translator, and literary critic -- via the Kyodo News.

Bretislav Pojar

Puppeteer, animator, and film director -- via awn.com.





Frank Alamo aka Jean-Francois Grandin

Singer -- via artsjournal.com.

Erik Moseholm

Bassist and composer -- via dsise.blogspot.com.



Marina Golub

Actress -- via the Moscow Times.

Bidit Lal Das

Singer, songwriter; folklorist -- via newagebd.com.



Ken Sansom

Actor and voice actor -- via the Salt Lake Tribune.


Mersad Berber

Painter -- via croatianews.com.


Dave May

Former MLB outfielder -- via delawaretoday.com.

Larry Block

Actor -- via the New York Times.

Ivo Michiels aka Henri Ceuppens

Writer -- via De Standaard.


Hank Moonjean

Film producer -- via Deadline.

Wiley Reed

Bluesman -- via noise11.com.