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The Daily Goodbye

We have more details on the victims of the Washington D.C. subway train crash of two days ago.

News of Ed McMahon's death broke just as we were posting yesterday. Here are a few of his obits, from the Washington Post, New York Times and Los Angeles Times. Tell us in the comments section which one you like best, and why.

Isabelle Belance was a classically trained musician, but what brought her joy was being a member of an all-female Beatles tribute band, and playing at the world-renowned Cavern Club in Liverpool. The daughter of well-known Haitian poet, she became a mother at the age of 50 (!) before cancer struck.

Andy Knapp logged more than 156,000 miles during his various outings, including a 2,655-mile bike ride to Alaska in 1967 repeated in 2007, a 500-mile backpack trip through the Brooks Range in the Canadian Yukon in 1972, and in 1996 a 30-day circumnavigation of Lake Superior in a kayak. Knapp also climbed to the top of Mount McKinley and reached summits of 21,000 feet while mountain climbing in Nepal. And did you get your exercise in today?

We did the handwriting analysis correspondence course at the age of 12 and left it behind, along with bad poetry and bicycling to the tennis courts in the heat of summer. William H. Storer stuck with it, though, and his examinations of signatures helped convict murderers, pedophiles and forgers. He examined thousands of cases, including those of a doctor who tampered with medical records and a judge who tried to alter relatives' wills after their deaths, and he was said to be unflappable on the witness stand.

The startlingly white muttonchops on the face of Beech-Nut Foods executive Frank C. Nicholas is what caught my eye first, but here's a story of corporate success and, if not his downfall, at least a scandal during his tenure as a leader.

Anderson J. Pigatt
, an African-American artist whose work reflected the "African methods of high and low relief West Indian craft traditions of rough whittling," died in Baltimore last weekend. He had been a singing group that appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and American Bandstand earlier in his life.

You have to like this unnamed 97-year-old's style. He enjoyed a Bloody Mary, ate fast food and drove a convertible he bought at age 86. For the man who hated stingy obits, here's the full version.

By Patricia Sullivan  |  June 24, 2009; 8:23 AM ET
Categories:  Patricia Sullivan , The Daily Goodbye  
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Next: South Pole Doctor Dies


Did you notice that out of the three McMahon obits you refer to, yours is the only one that gets the survivor details right? The NYT implies that Michael McMahon is still alive, and the LAT doesn't mention him at all. I wonder how his siblings would feel about that.

Posted by: Blurgle | June 24, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

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