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The Daily Goodbye

Patricia Sullivan

Feeling a little sluggish this morning? Wishing you could just loll about? You may have a case of the mid-summer lazies, but probably not chronic fatigue syndrome, which Theodore Van Zeist helped define, after a notable career in soils testing.

Since you don't have CFS, maybe you just need a shot of polka music! Elmer Marks played every Saturday morning, said his son, whose bedroom was upstairs. And when he had a wedding party at his Wisconsin nightclub, "Dad made sure it was the best day of your life," his son said, often sweating through two t-shirts in his efforts to get revelers up and dancing.

Marlon D. Green spent six years and his life's savings after Continental Airlines refused to hire him as a pilot because he was an African-American. The U.S. Supreme Court, in a landmark ruling, banned such discrimination and in 1965, Mr. Green got back into the cockpit and flew 14 years for the airline.

Nothing quirky or out-of-the-ordinary about this obit -- maybe it's his name. Harry J. Gray led United Technologies, one of the world's broadest and most powerful conglomerates.

If you run with the bulls, someone's going to get gored. One reveler at Pamplona, Spain died Friday, the 15th death since record-keeping began in 1924. (Now put down those scissors before you poke your eye out!)

We assume our readers are savvy enough to always check the Washington Post obits page before going about their daily duties. And
we're still interested in your reaction to our previous post: Six Life Lessons from the Dead. Tell us what you've learned from obits. (NewsTenn on Twitter told us: "How much good caregivers can mean to a family as life winds down; Wish I'd mentioned them in the (paid) obit.")

By Patricia Sullivan  |  July 10, 2009; 8:13 AM ET
Categories:  Patricia Sullivan , The Daily Goodbye  
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Next: Remarkable People, Despite the Odds

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