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The Daily Goodbye

Patricia Sullivan

Good morning, obit fans.

Here's a thoughtful piece on why it seems that so many celebrities have died this past summer. In sum, it's not them, it's us. And along those lines, we learned of the deaths yesterday of Henry Gibson of Laugh-In, Mary Travers of the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary and Frank Coghlan Jr. an actor who transformed into Captain Marvel by uttering the magical word "Shazam!" in the landmark 1941 serial "Adventures of Captain Marvel.

Then we have the non-celebrities, like Bertha I. Dix, who lived in the same home for 50 years and worked for racial harmony in her West Baltimore neighborhood.

According to a Catholic newspaper in India, Bishop Bartholomew Yu Chengti of Hanzhong, Shaanxi province, China, died of stomach cancer on Sept. 14 at the age of 90. The Chinese government was so fearful of him that it refused to recognize he was a bishop, and only 1,000 Catholics were allowed to attend the funeral.

An 88-year-old newspaper editor who crusaded against the Ku Klux Klan has died. W. Horace Carter's newspaper shared in the 1953 Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service for its campaign against the Klan, despite personal and financial danger. More than 100 KKKers were convicted, and terrorism in his community ended.

Finally, I wanted to alert you to a new-ish feature on the Washington Post's obits page. You can chat with us and other people interested in obits at our new discussion group, called Lives Remembered. You can post your thoughts on obits in general, or any one in particular. Of course, you're always welcome to comment on this blog, as well.

By Patricia Sullivan |  September 17, 2009; 8:25 AM ET  | Category:  Patricia Sullivan , The Daily Goodbye
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