exordia

"How are we to help those who die and those who have died?" --
Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

"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"

Brian Cobby

Actor and voice artist -- via The Argus. Best known as the voice of England's "Speaking Clock" for decades. His was the voice that would give you the correct time when you called for it on the telephone.

John Hessler aka Big John

Former MLB pitcher -- via legacy.com. He pitched six games for the Astros in 1978.

Han Suyin

Writer -- via the Guardian. Her best-remembered work is the novel "A Many-Spendoured Thing," which became the 1955 movie "Love is a Many-Splendored Thing" and the theme song associated with it. Her support and later apologia for Mao and the Cultural Revolution gained her many detractors.

Gae Aulenti

Architect -- via the New York Times. Responsible for the Musee d'Orsay.

John Cooper Fitch

Race driver and inventor -- via the New York Times. The barrels filled with sand at the off-ramps? Those are Fitch Inertial Barriers. To date, it is estimated that they have saved 17,000 lives.