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The Daily Goodbye

Patricia Sullivan

Good autumn morning.

Raise a glass (but just one) to Joseph Barboriak, who found that a few drinks a day helps to lower choloesterol. But no more than one or two and no more than one ounce of the hard stuff.

Al Martino whose smooth ballad crooning was popular in the pre-rock-and-roll days, has died. You may better remember him as the nightclub singer owned by the Mafia in the "Godfather" movies.

Is it a miracle or is it an anomoly? Mary E. Heibel, an Annapolis, Md. antiques dealer, was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2004. She had chemotherapy, and began praying to Francis X. Seelos, a 19th-century Maryland priest. To the amazement of her physician and Mrs. Heibel, who wore a fragment of the priest's bone in a brass necklace reliquary, her metastatic cancer vanished. Her experience is being used to lobby the Catholic Church for sainthood for Rev. Seelos. BTW, Mrs. Heibel died of pneumonia.

You'd think the Godfather of Soul would have a soul brother as a promoter. No... the late soul singer James Brown called Bob Patton's daughter, "the goddaughter to the godfather." In 1968, James Brown offered Patton a full-time job as his advance man, concert promoter and booking agent. He held the position nine years and died Oct. 7.

Stephen Lagakos was a rising young biostatistics professor nearly 30 years ago when Woburn, Mass. activists visited the Harvard School of Public Health to talk about contaminated water wells and the rising numbers of sick children. In a team of researchers, he helped design a study that proved the community's case. (You may have heard about it in the movie "A Civil Action.") Dr. Logakos died Monday in a traffic accident.

Here's another reason to read the obits: "Jerry" Dominelli whose elaborate Ponzi scheme shook San Diego society to its core in the 1980s and brought down a mayor, died so quietly in Chicago a couple of months ago that word of his death is just getting out. He had been convicted for his crimes and released after serving a decade in prison and then apparently disappeared into the crowd.

If we overlooked any important or quirky obits, let us know. Drop us a comment, below.

By Patricia Sullivan  |  October 14, 2009; 8:24 AM ET
Categories:  Patricia Sullivan , The Daily Goodbye  
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