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The Daily Goodbye

Patricia Sullivan

Good morning, all.

In case you missed it, the leading ufologist (I still can't believe that's a word) Richard Hall has died. Love the lead, from our ace intern Rick Rojas: "Richard H. Hall was never abducted by aliens and never saw a UFO with his own eyes. Yet his life became a quest to delve into the unending, mysterious universe and find life beyond Earth."

Gordon Woods, who died in Colorado at age 57, cloned the first mule, Idaho Gem, who went on to success on the mule racing circuit in Nevada and California. Why clone a mule, you ask, as well you should. Apparently, it was part of a larger project intended to better understand human diseases. I have to look this up every time I write about mules, donkeys or asses, which is pretty often here in Washington: A mule is a cross between a female horse (a mare) and a male donkey (a jack).)

If you have any appreciation at all for photojournalism, mourn the passing of Angus MacDougall, who has died at age 92. He taught or influenced generations of shooters, and set standards of excellence in photography, photography editing, and photojournalism education, to name just a few fields.

A member of the soft-rock group Bread, who played with the Dixie Chicks and won a Grammy Award for his arrangement of Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Waters," Larry Knechtel lived and died in Yakima, Wash. Over the years he played with artists as diverse as Neil Diamond, Randy Newman, Ray Charles, The Beach Boys, The Doors, Elvis Presley, Hank Williams Jr. and Elvis Costello.

In town composed almost entirely of cemeteries, Violet Chelone has no intention of ever leaving. Her burial plot is but a few feet from the caretaker's residence where she grew up and spends most of her days. She's the liveliest person in town and makes everyone who visits feel good, her acquaintances say.

Very interesting perspective by investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell on the death of Billy Wayne Posey, who never faced murder charges in the June 21, 1964, killings of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andy Goodman and Mickey Schwerner.

Here are a couple from English newspapers for you: John Philby, who idolized his father, the spy Kim Philby, and Ernest Renggli, a Swiss farmworker in Burgundy during World War II who became a key player in the rescue, shelter and escape of British airmen shot down in his area.

And finally, Apple's phone-calendar-toy the iPhone offers a new application called the Fun Obit, which allows its customers to write obits for themselves and their friends, or they can use a template which will fill in the blanks with rather random details for you. You can ask friends to write one for you, but be careful whom you ask -- you don't want them to get any ideas about hurrying that obit into print.

By Patricia Sullivan  |  August 24, 2009; 7:41 AM ET
Categories:  Patricia Sullivan , The Daily Goodbye  
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I've missed this previously and have to say that it is the most positive and interesting approach to obituaries that I've seen.

Posted by: wizard2 | August 24, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

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