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Archive: The Daily Goodbye

Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 10/21/2009

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning.

If you've ever served on a jury, you've probably noticed the court reporter, sitting over a little machine taking notes at the speed of speech. Coley Griffin was a court reporter, but he used a fountain pen with purple ink. He took notes at 260 words per minute, despite witnesses with thick brogues and technical experts spouting terms such as oxyacetylene and potassium dichromate. He died Sunday at age 92.

OK, I passed this obit yesterday but found that people are wild about it -- mostly because Vic Mizzy wrote the earwigs of the TV show theme songs for the Addams Famly and Green Acres. Good luck getting these low-rent tunes out of your head today.

Sheldon Segal who led the team that developed the first significant birth control since the Pill, died Saturday. He created the intrauterine device Mirena, but his most notable breakthrough came with Norplant.

Marjorie L. Nagle, 92 years old when she died, is remembered by residents of Carroll County, Maryland for the ice cream she and her family made at their general store since the early 1920s. All ice cream that is sold is wrapped in newspaper -- Hey! Here's a way to save the newspaper industry!

Time for me to head off to the newsroom and do my part. Have a lively day, everyone.



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Posted at 8:15 AM ET, 10/20/2009

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning.

Some cult leaders are ridiculous, and others are just sad, but few are as successful as Elizabeth Clare Prophet, or "Guru Ma," spiritual leader of the Church Universal and Triumphant. Outsiders looking in saw a dangerous collection of people and guns who didn't trust outsiders, willing to believe nuclear annihilation was on its way.

Howard Unruh killed 13 of his neighbors in East Camden, N.J. in 1949. A paranoid schizophrenic, he told police "I'm no psycho." He was never found competent to stand trial after the killing spree and spent the rest of his life in a mental hopsital. He died Monday.

Let's turn away from the bizarre and criminal. Helen Henry spent the majority of her 89 years working and protesting for the rights of the dispossessed, the overlooked and the downtrodden. Even into her 80s she was marching with the American Indian Coalition. She died Sept. 26.

The British papers are full of obits for Sir Ludovic Kennedy, who fought unjust convictions and campaigned for legalization of euthanasia, died Oct. 18.

In Australia, Graeme ''Woody'' Gooding, a forest professional who was intensely passionate about conserving the Australian bush while using it wisely, has died of cancer at a hospice in Kew. He was 55.

Andy MacKenzie, Royal Canadian Air Force pilot, was shot down -- twice -- by friendly fire in two wars. He also spent 24 months in a harsh Chinese prison where "Every minute was an hour and every hour was a day and every day was a week. Nobody knew I was still alive. Every day, [the Chinese] reminded me they could shoot me and nobody would know the difference." He died of cancer in Kemptville, Ont., on Sept. 21.

This next two obits appear here thanks to Matthew Kruk and the community at alt.obits newsgroup: The Akuntsu tribe in the Brazilian Amazon has lost its oldest member, UrurĂº, leaving the tribe with only five surviving members, according to a New Zealand news source. Unrelated: The Iowa doctor who perfected a non-surgical treatment for clubfoot in infants has also died.

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Posted at 6:30 AM ET, 10/19/2009

The Daily Goodbye

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for wisemanl.jpgGood morning and happy Monday.

With all the talk of swine flu and vaccines, I found the obituary on Ruth L. Kirschstein, 83, a pathologist who helped increase the safety of the polio and measles vaccines, timely and interesting. In addition to this work, Dr. Kirschstein was the first woman appointed as an NIH institute director and was one of the first to respond to the AIDS epidemic.

In more local news, former Congressman and director of the U.S. Mint, Jay W. Johnson (D-Wisc.), 66, died Saturday. The Washington resident also was a former television news anchor in Green Bay, Wisc., and later a coin consultant.

If you are into cars and toys you will appreciate the obituary on Donald Kaufman, who garnered a collection of more than 7,000 toy cars and trucks that he kept at his home in Pittsfield, Mass. His varied collection included vehicles of all kinds: taxicabs, ice trucks, dump trucks, fire engines, race cars and steam engines. Most of the cars actually worked.
Mr. Kaufman, who retired in 1981 as the as vice president of the KB Toys store chain, had just recently begun to auction his collection. Two auctions already have generated more than $7 million.

As football is always on my mind this time of year, the obituary on Cullen Bryant seems like a good one to point out. The former NFL running back was at the center of a legal case that tested the power of then-NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle to regulate free agency. He also was a member of the LA Rams 1980 Super Bowl team and in 13 seasons with the league, scored a total of 23 rushing and receiving touchdowns.

I hope this is enough to get you started for the day. Please check back later in the day for more updates.


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Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 10/16/2009

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning on a rainy Friday (at my house, anyway).

Were your hopes of becoming the next Wilt Chamberlain dashed when you failed to shoot up past 4-foot-10, sprout? Did your layout lay about and when you set a pick, others picked you off? Is that what's troubling you, bunky? Well, shake off those blues and be like James "Blinky" Brown and have a hand in basketball history by opening the gym for the future Wilts.

An Oakland, Calif. physician known for fighting HIV/AIDS has himself died. Dr. Robert C. Scott III was renowned for giving free treatment to indigent patients in Oakland, spreading awareness of and compassion for sufferers of the illness and even setting up a volunteer practice in Zimbabwe.

Margo Wilson, an evolutionary psychologist, shed light on why animals - human and non-human - kill each other, attack their spouses and experience jealousy. "Men lay claim to particular women as songbirds lay claim to territories, as lions lay claim to a kill, or as people of both sexes lay claim to valuables," she once wrote.

If you ever doubt the hold that American football holds on its fans, Rex Plock, a fan of the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers, could educate you. He held off death to watch Nebraska defeat Missouri in a televised football game.

This obit is a little dated, but the Economist weighs in on Reinhard Mohn, who led Bertelsmann, the world's sixth-biggest media group.

For ecologists, burial in the traditional manner poses all kinds of problems. Robert Krulwich, one of the finest American broadcast reporters, considers whether to casket or go au naturel. In other radio news, reader alerted me to the BBC's obituary series, The Last Word, which airs on Fridays. It's not online yet although it will be in a few hours. I've listened to several and they're quite good.

Have a great weekend; I'm off Monday but we'll have someone else sitting in on this shift, so don't forget to come back then.

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Posted at 8:13 AM ET, 10/15/2009

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning, insiders.

After the deaths of "Bid 'em up" Bruce Wasserstein, wrestler Captain Lou Albano and Nan Robertson, who chronicled the lawsuit that basically made well-paid careers possible for female journalists, it's going to be interesting to see what news comes today.

William Wayne Justice, whose rulings changed the way the state educated children, treated prisoners and housed its poorest and most vulnerable citizens, has died. Judge Justice -- was there ever a better name for a magistrate? -- ruled that Texas prisons constituted cruel and unusual punishment, which led to sweeping changes. But he thought his most important ruling came in Plyler vs. Doe, which gave the children of illegal immigrants the right to a free public education.

Ah, this country has so much variety. Way down in New Orleans, the grand marshal of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club has died. So well known was Harold Dudley, who imparted a somber grandeur to the funeral processions he led for three decades, that a local joke says "If you were in the hospital and you knew Dudley was coming, you woke up right away. You recuperated fast."

South African saxophonist Winston Monwabisi Mankunku Ngozi bridged the gap between South African and American jazz music. "His compositions are already standards, they're anthems for South African jazz music," said Cape Town International Jazz Festival organiser Rashid Lombard.

Bob Westmoreland, a Hollywood makeup artist best known for "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and "Hill Street Blues," died in Hawaii Oct. 6.

Remember the sculptor whose giant inflatable artwork broke free from its moorings in July 2006, killing two women when they fell from the Dreamscape sculpture? Maurice Agis has died in Spain.

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The Daily Goodbye

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...

By Patricia Sullivan | October 14, 2009; 08:24 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning, all. A Jewish refugee who fought in the Battle of the Bulge, helped liberate Nuremburg, interrogated Nazi war criminals and then helped RCA create color television has died. Richard Sonnenfeldt died Friday at his home in Port Washington, N.Y. after 86 years of changing the world. The first...

By Patricia Sullivan | October 13, 2009; 08:15 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning! Harriett Allen, who knew a good desert when she saw one, has died after of lifetime of protecting the dry California environment. In her early 80s, a fellow activist spotted her in the Mojave Desert "camped in her sleeping bag at a 5,000-foot elevation -- and loving it."...

By Patricia Sullivan | October 12, 2009; 08:11 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning, and farewell to Ben Ali. Pedro Elias Zadunaisky, an Argentine astronomer and mathematician whose calculations helped determine the orbit of Saturn's outermost moon, Phoebe, as well as Halley's Comet, died Wednesday. He was 91. Lest you think all shoemaking has been outsourced to high-end Italy or low-end Asian...

By Patricia Sullivan | October 9, 2009; 08:15 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning, readers. There's nothing newspaper writers like better, other than other ink-stained wretches, than photographers, and Irving Penn's death yesterday brought out the full range of obits from the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe and the Associated Press. Just as Washington...

By Patricia Sullivan | October 8, 2009; 09:02 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning, everyone. Rev. Angus Finucane, a Dublin priest who became a missionary to Africa, died Tuesday. "There can be few Irish people, of his generation or of any other generation, who have contributed as much to improving the lives of so much of humanity," said the current head of...

By Patricia Sullivan | October 7, 2009; 08:16 AM ET | Comments (2)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning. Just the thought of a cup of Coca-Cola in a cake makes my tongue shrivel this morning, but it was popular with Bernice Watson's family, friends and (of course!) customers of the Coke cafeteria in Atlanta. Alvena Smith Lupo, the manager of a New Orleans movie house who...

By Patricia Sullivan | October 6, 2009; 08:10 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Happy Monday. Grammy-winning singer Mercedes Sosa, an Argentine singer who often sang of the political struggles and turmoil of the Argentine people, died. Her politically infused songs earned her the nickname, the "voice of the voiceless." She released 70 albums over a career that spanned six decades and sang with...

By Lauren Wiseman | October 5, 2009; 08:08 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning and welcome to Friday. I'll bet you never thought about the history of dentistry. Dr. John M. Hyson Jr. could have filled you in. Before his death last weekend, he wrote about the history of the toothbrush, George Washington's dental health and his wooden dentures, African-American contract dental...

By Patricia Sullivan | October 2, 2009; 08:09 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good (brrr) morning. If you want to be really chilly, read about Charles Houston's adventures in the Himalayas. He almost gasped his last in 1953 during an epic retreat on K2, the world's second highest mountain, and later immersed himself in the study of why we get sick at high...

By Patricia Sullivan | October 1, 2009; 09:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning! We in the obituaries game love librarians and researchers and archivists of all kinds so the Philadelphia Daily News obit of Keith Doms doesn't surprise in the least. "There is something magical about walking through the Free Library's main branch with Keith Doms, something enchanting and exhilarating, like...

By Patricia Sullivan | September 30, 2009; 09:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning everyone. Former president Guillermo Endara, who led Panama to democracy after the U.S. invasion that toppled dictator Gen. Manuel Noriega, died Monday. He was 73. Maybe you didn't know that Milwaukee, that stalwart blue-collar city in the middle of the U.S., had a Socialist mayor for a dozen...

By Patricia Sullivan | September 29, 2009; 09:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning already. In case you didn't hear the news yesterday, conservative political columnist and "oracle of language" William Safire died Sunday. Lovely obit by Timesman Robert D. McFadden; our own cleanup hitter, Joe Holley, penned a quick piece on deadline. Donald G. Fisher, co-founder of the Gap, has died....

By Patricia Sullivan | September 28, 2009; 09:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning, all. Susan Atkins, convicted of eight murders for her part in the Charles Manson gang that perpetrated a 1969 mass murder, has died in prison. She broke open the case when she bragged of her participation in the slayings to cellmates; she also taunted her jury that they...

By Patricia Sullivan | September 25, 2009; 08:32 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning, everyone. We have a trio of obits about medical researchers: Leon Eisenberg, a pioneer in autism studies; Eloise Giblett, whose work on blood made transfusions safer; and John J. Wild, who invented a way to find tumors using ultrasound. You have to like a guy who kept old...

By Patricia Sullivan | September 24, 2009; 09:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning. Who thinks over a seafood dinner of the fisherman who risked his life for the scallops? Martin Manley started out as a deckhand and became a cook and engineer as he worked his way up to captain. In 1954, he made headlines for bringing back a record-setting 42,000-pound...

By Patricia Sullivan | September 23, 2009; 09:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning, and welcome to autumn. A Dallas-based federal judge, Jerry Buchmeyer, who died Monday, made at least two landmark rulings that had impact beyond Texas. In 1985, he ordered relief for public housing families that ultimately changed how many other cities handle public housing. And he also ruled that...

By Patricia Sullivan | September 22, 2009; 09:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good Monday morning, weekend athletes and underachievers alike. Arthur Ferrante, of those lush, piano-driven movie tunes in the 1960s, died this weekend in Longboat Key, Fla. His musical partner, Lou Teicher, died just a year ago. Zalman Lavan saw the future in solar energy back in the 1970s and moved...

By Patricia Sullivan | September 21, 2009; 09:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning. A physician and politician, Stanley Haidasz played a major role in bringing medicare to all Canadians, passing the Canadian Pension Plan and the Clean Air Act. He was the country's first multiculturalism minister. He died last month in Toronto. Linda C. Black, who wrote those newspaper horoscopes that...

By Patricia Sullivan | September 18, 2009; 08:17 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

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,...

By Patricia Sullivan | September 17, 2009; 08:25 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning, compadres. Juan Almeida Bosque, a comrade of Fidel Castro since the start of his guerrilla struggle more than half a century ago, died of a heart attack Friday in Havana, government media announced. He was 82. Zakes Mokae, the Tony-winning South African actor who appeared in such films...

By Patricia Sullivan | September 16, 2009; 08:18 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning, after a late night. Nothing like a pair of big obits late in the day to get your motor running. I speak, of course, about Patrick Swayze and Jody Powell, an unlikely pair who died within hours of each other. The real-life Norma Rae, Crystal Lee Sutton, died...

By Patricia Sullivan | September 15, 2009; 08:20 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning, readers. After a battery of deaths over the weekend, including the truly estimable Norman Borlaug, what do we have this morning? A notable fly fisherman, whose prose, as quoted, reminds me of Norman Maclean (and if you don't know who he is, you probably shouldn't read tales of...

By Patricia Sullivan | September 14, 2009; 08:31 AM ET | Comments (2)

The Daily Goodbye

Good rainy morning, and what a sendoff for the founder of the Weather Channel. The 1960s division between hardhats and hippies was often more rhetoric than fact, as shown by the life of David Irish Sullivan (no relation), a social and political activist who became a construction worker himself. True...

By Patricia Sullivan | September 11, 2009; 08:08 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good healthy morning. You may have never heard of Ernesta Rachel Dunbar, but maybe you just aren't worldly enough. She was very big in Taiwan, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates and elsewhere in Asia. In the U.S., she performed with Philly soul singer Teddy Pendergrass, saxophonist Grover Washington...

By Patricia Sullivan | September 10, 2009; 08:25 AM ET | Comments (1)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning. It's interesting to note the impact of a movie on contemporaneous obits. Take the hit film "Julie and Julia," Nora Ephron's homage to chef Julia Child. I'm thinking that without it, we would have paid a lot less attention to the deaths of Sylvia Schur and Silver Palate...

By Patricia Sullivan | September 9, 2009; 09:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Happy Labor Day, workers of the world, and all those who toil for a medium of exchange. Robert Spinrad, director of Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center when the technology that led directly to the modern personal computer, the ethernet local area network and the laser printer was developed, has died....

By Patricia Sullivan | September 7, 2009; 08:08 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning, all. The retail empire Talbot's is a godsend for the professional woman over the age of 35 who faces a universe of shopping geared toward the pubescent, trendy, non-serious fashionistas. A woman was behind that empire: Nancy Talbot, a self-described "pushy Midwesterner" who with her husband turned a...

By Patricia Sullivan | September 4, 2009; 08:02 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning. A little bit of history and a little bit of bizarro news this morning. Elizabeth Mary Leen may not have been able to stop a man from attacking her daughter but she showed a mother's fierce will for the next 28 years, working tirelessly to prevent the man...

By Patricia Sullivan | September 3, 2009; 07:57 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning! Even if you've never endured the July 4 crowds on Washington's subway, the voracious mosquitoes on the National Mall and life-sapping humidity along the Potomac River to listen to the concert and see the fireworks, you probably heard Erich Kunzel's work. He was the guest conductor of the...

By Patricia Sullivan | September 2, 2009; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good Monday morning, everyone. Thanks to Hollywood, we're used to thinking of test pilots as daredevils. Lew Wallick sounds like anything but that. He was Boeing's chief test pilot and was pilot or co-pilot on the first flights of the Boeing 727, 737, 747SP, 757 and 767. Terri Schiavo's father,...

By Patricia Sullivan | August 31, 2009; 08:11 AM ET | Comments (1)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning! And what a week for obits, eh? The end of August used to the quiet time, when obit writers worked on advance pieces, polished feature stories, considered what needed to be done. I took three days off in the middle of this week and my colleagues handled the...

By Patricia Sullivan | August 28, 2009; 09:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

The Daily Goodbye

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...

By Patricia Sullivan | August 24, 2009; 07:41 AM ET | Comments (1)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning, everyone. Cuba's diva, mezzo-soprano Marta Perez, was the first Cuban to sing at Milan's La Scala opera house. You may have seen her on the Ed Sullivan show, unless you run in the La Scala circle. She died this week, at age 85. Here's another musician you may...

By Patricia Sullivan | August 21, 2009; 09:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning, all. What a week for obits -- Don Hewitt, Rose Friedman, Kim Dae-jung, Robert Novak -- and we still have two more working days to go. Presented with a set of data, Daryl S. Gilbert's job was to figure out "the touchy-feely stuff to help explain the numbers"...

By Patricia Sullivan | August 20, 2009; 08:59 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning, and let's hope all of yesterday's anger in the online comments section is behind us. What the death of a Nobel Prize-winning president of South Korea and the death of longtime conservative columnist Robert Novak, we must have run out room in newsprint for Rose Friedman, the free-market...

By Patricia Sullivan | August 19, 2009; 08:55 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning, ardent believers in the end of the recession. Remember, once you've lost your job, your house, your car, you can always sell your cemetery plot. If you're looking for breaking obit news, here it is: Former South Korean president Kim Dae-jung, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, has...

By Patricia Sullivan | August 18, 2009; 08:59 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning, all you stay-cationers, essential employees/employers and those otherwise unoccupied with the commerce of the world. Nancy A. Cahill, who died Aug. 4, made her work into others' play. As a historic guide for Philadelphia's Centipede Tours, she dressed in a colonial costume and led visitors through the streets...

By Patricia Sullivan | August 17, 2009; 08:10 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning! My desk may be a mess, but I'm looking at leafed-out flowering trees and blue skies. Life is worth living, as friends and relatives of any of the following people will tell you, as will the Spanish businessman who faked his own death to avoid heavy debts. Blossom...

By Patricia Sullivan | August 14, 2009; 08:04 AM ET | Comments (2)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning, readers. Michael Viner, a publisher who specialized in audio books and earned a reputation for quick hits with sensational stories, including O.J. Simpson trial figure Faye Resnick's book about Nicole Brown Simpson, died of cancer Saturday at his Beverly Hills home. He was 65. You have to respect...

By Patricia Sullivan | August 13, 2009; 08:08 AM ET | Comments (2)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning. Eunice Kennedy Shriver's death yesterday seems to have sucked the air right out of the obitsphere; it will be short report today. New York City skateboarding legend Andy Kessler died of an allergic reaction to a wasp sting. One of his buddies said he was responsible for getting...

By Patricia Sullivan | August 12, 2009; 08:11 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning and farewell to Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who proved that you don't have to be president of the United States to make a difference in millions of lives, now and in the future. Florence Foster had the courage of her convictions and when she spotted something at her tiny...

By Patricia Sullivan | August 11, 2009; 07:58 AM ET | Comments (1)

The Daily Goodbye

Good Monday morning, everyone. So little time, so many worlds unknown. Here are a few lives from worlds that are outside my range of knowledge. A punk rock pioneer has died, say those who know punk. Willy DeVille, who founded the punk group Mink DeVille and was known for his...

By Patricia Sullivan | August 10, 2009; 08:03 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning, readers. How could you possibly be expected to handle school (work, chores) on a day like this? Have you voted yet on which of John Hughes' films (cough... Ferris Bueller... cough) was his greatest? Robert M. Takasugi was what we all seek in a federal judge: compassion for...

By Patricia Sullivan | August 7, 2009; 08:09 AM ET | Comments (1)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning, fans and newcomers. Last night, perhaps after you shut down your electronic devices, came word that screenwriter Budd Schulberg died. Who was he, you ask? Really famous in the 1950s for writing "On the Waterfront," "A Face in the Crowd" and "What Makes Sammy Run?" and for being...

By Patricia Sullivan | August 6, 2009; 08:16 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Eight kids in 11 years -- is there much more about the life of Muriel R. Halliday that you need to know? How about the death of a husband? A full-time job to boot? No car. Church every morning. "Don't think she was the little woman in the shoe. She...

By Patricia Sullivan | August 5, 2009; 08:23 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

The first black supermodel, Naomi Sims, died in Newark Saturday. Entrepreneurial skills helped her break into the business and later helped her as she started her own business, which made her rich. Not only can you teach an old dog new tricks, but that dog's brain can grow as he...

By Patricia Sullivan | August 4, 2009; 08:11 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning! Savor this August heat because the brittle January cold is closer than any of us want to admit. One of the most beautiful places on earth, Big Sur on California's Central Coast, always has that cooling Pacific breeze. Billy Post, a native of the area and a storyteller...

By Patricia Sullivan | August 3, 2009; 08:08 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Morning, all. Welcome to Friday. Have you had the yen to run away to the sea? Warren Titus made that possible, even if just for a week or 10 days. He was one of the fathers of the modern cruise concept; he helped convert staid British liners into cruise ships,...

By Patricia Sullivan | July 31, 2009; 08:18 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning, readers. It's high summer in the sultry, humid portion of the Northern Hemisphere but instead of languishing by a pool with a cool drink and uncounted millions, we (and you) soldier on. Reverend Ike, who preached the blessings of material prosperity to nationwide television and radio audiences, has...

By Patricia Sullivan | July 30, 2009; 08:12 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning (and isn't it a wonder how having a houseguest will get you up and going early? I propose a new Twitter hashtag: #NoExcusesWednesday.) You may not remember a time when people found jobs via newspaper want ads, but way back in the 1960s, children, you looked for work...

By Patricia Sullivan | July 29, 2009; 08:05 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Merce Cunningham's obit, from three sources: Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Times -- which one works best? Seriously, we'd love to hear your thoughts. A World War II escape and evasion adventure marked the life of Virgil R. Marco. After he got home, he went into insurance but...

By Patricia Sullivan | July 28, 2009; 08:13 AM ET | Comments (1)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning, all (and is it already Monday again?). A music critic who helped teach audience how to listen to symphonies, concertos and choral works, Michael Steinberg died of colon cancer Sunday at N.C. Little Hospice in Edina, Minn. Jim King, a Florida legislator who gave Floridians the right to...

By Patricia Sullivan | July 27, 2009; 08:27 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning readers and scanners. I could fill up the post this morning just with good obits from the Washington Post itself. Check 'em out: Mollie D. Somerville who got her start as a writer and researcher working for Eleanor Roosevelt in the White House. Rebecca Lipkin, a globe-trotting producer...

By Patricia Sullivan | July 24, 2009; 08:21 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning, readers. Yet another celebrity death: Gidget, the bug-eyed, big-eared Chihuahua, star of 1990s Taco Bell commercials, died of a stroke at the age of 15. John Dawson, founder and lead singer of the psychedelic country-rock group "New Riders of the Purple Sage" with the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia,...

By Patricia Sullivan | July 23, 2009; 08:10 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Simple rewards -- a hug, a word of praise -- have power beyond reckoning. That's the insight Sidney W. Bijou applied to treating troubled children. His insight and techniques helped establish modern behavioral therapy for childhood disorders like autism and attention deficit disorder. He died on June 11 at his...

By Patricia Sullivan | July 22, 2009; 08:18 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

A master potter, Otto Heino who reformulated a lost-to-the-ages Chinese glaze that made him a multimillionaire, died last week of acute renal failure. He was 94 and still threw 30 pots a day, packed and shipped all his orders. Good video attached. Like duct tape, WD-40 is one of those...

By Patricia Sullivan | July 21, 2009; 08:08 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Morning, all. I guesss you've heard by now that Frank McCourt, who wrote the deeply sad but lyrical memoir, "Angela's Ashes," about his Irish boyhood, died yesterday in New York. Through it, he said, "I learned the significance of my own insignificant life." Dr. Yury Verlinsky, who died of colon...

By Patricia Sullivan | July 20, 2009; 08:05 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Happy Friday everyone. As we close the week out, here's a look at some interesting people who passed away. The L.A. Times today has an obituary on Julius Shulman, a photographer of modern architecture. You might not recognize his name but you may have seen his photographs of the homes...

By Lauren Wiseman | July 17, 2009; 08:18 AM ET | Comments (1)

The Daily Goodbye

Another day on the obituary news desk and we have a few interesting tales to share. Michael Klefner, a former Atlantic Records music executive whose credits include transforming the Blues Brothers, Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, from a "Saturday Night Live" skit into Grammy Award-nominated recording artists, has died. Their...

By Lauren Wiseman | July 16, 2009; 08:07 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Morning folks. Let's jump right in. You may have heard his voice but will not recognize his face. Voice actor Dallas McKennon, who is best known for his extensive work as a voice for various animated movies such as "Sleeping Beauty," "Lady and the Tramp" and "101 Dalmations," among others,...

By Lauren Wiseman | July 14, 2009; 10:56 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning folks. Hope you are enjoying another cool summer morning. Below are some highlights of obituaries around the net. Sir Edward Downes, a conductor emeritus of the BBC Philharmonic and former associate music director of the Royal Opera House in London, and his wife, Lady Downes, a former ballet...

By Lauren Wiseman | July 14, 2009; 10:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning readers. Last week it was Steve McNair who was shot to death by his lover. This week, Arturo Gatti, a retired boxer and former junior welterweight champion, was found dead at a Brazilian seaside resort. His Brazilian wife, Amanda Rodrigues, 23, is accused in the killing. The 37-year-old...

By Lauren Wiseman | July 13, 2009; 08:14 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

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...

By Patricia Sullivan | July 10, 2009; 08:13 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

I've been looking for a good obit of Oscar G. Meyer all morning, but no one seemed to take advantage of the opportunity. So here's a straightforward version, at least. (Good luck getting the "I wish I were an Oscar Meyer weiner" ditty out of your head this morning.) Australia's...

By Patricia Sullivan | July 9, 2009; 08:09 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Anyone who's ever picked up a Fender Telecaster or Stratocaster has handled George Fullerton's work. Fender, the genius of electric guitar innovation, turned to Fullerton to make his instruments practical for mass production in their factory that opened in the late 1940s. Riverboat gambling has overtaken my old hometown and...

By Patricia Sullivan | July 8, 2009; 08:17 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

The lead guitarist of the wonderfully campy rock group Paul Revere and the Raiders has died. Drake Levin and the band had quite a back story -- and is likely the only rock group to have come out of Boise, Idaho. Just for his prodigious memory alone, Joseph B. Codd...

By Patricia Sullivan | July 7, 2009; 08:31 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning, readers. Robert S. McNamara, 93, Secretary of Defense under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson during the Vietnam War, and later the president of the World Bank, died this morning. You read it here first. Togo W. Tanaka, a former journalist and businessman whose reports on life inside the Manzanar...

By Patricia Sullivan | July 6, 2009; 08:11 AM ET | Comments (2)

The Daily Goodbye

Herbert G. Klein, a newspaperman and longtime Nixon aide, died after a heart attack Thursday in La Jolla, Calif. at age 91. He worked for Nixon through many elections and was his White House communications director through part of the Watergate scandal, leaving in 1973. You can achieve your mark...

By Patricia Sullivan | July 3, 2009; 08:17 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

We have a double compare-and-contrast game this morning. Karl Malden's obit in the Washington Post, New York Times and Los Angeles Times. And then there's boxer-politician Alexis Arguello from your favorite news organization, or the Grey Lady or the Left Coast. Comments, critiques, collective dismissals are up to you. After...

By Patricia Sullivan | July 2, 2009; 08:10 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning, and welcome to July. The world's only one-handed, one-hooked piano player, as Michael Deutsch billed himself, died of cancer. He was a bass guitar player until he lost his left hand in a machine shop accident, then switched to piano and used his problem-solving skills to adapt the...

By Patricia Sullivan | July 1, 2009; 08:05 AM ET | Comments (2)

The Daily Goodbye

Another day and another singer from the Motown era leaves us. Fayette Pinkney, one of the original members of the 3 Degrees, an all female singing group hailing from Philadelphia, died over the weekend. She was 61. Although she only performed with the group until the mid-1970s, she sang in...

By Lauren Wiseman | June 30, 2009; 08:10 AM ET | Comments (1)

The Daily Goodbye

We saw some big name entertainers cross our obituary page last week and sadly, it seems to be a growing trend. Boisterous TV pitchman and infomercial king, Billy Mays, who became a pop cultural figure in appearances for cleaning products like Orange Glo and OxiClean, died yesterday at his home...

By Lauren Wiseman | June 29, 2009; 08:18 AM ET | Comments (2)

The Daily Goodbye

Wow, the king of pop and Gen X's favorite pinup girl both died yesterday, on the heels of Ed McMahon's death a day earlier. Regarding the unexpected death of Michael Jackson, there are about a million sidebars, retrospectives, deconstructions of both, not to mention the fan gatherings. Let's see if...

By Patricia Sullivan | June 26, 2009; 07:59 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning, all. A particularly interesting set of obits awaits us this morning, starting with news broken yesterday of the death of Dr. Jerri Nielsen FitzGerald, the doctor who while posted to the South Pole, diagnosed and treated herself for breast cancer. Once again, we have multiple versions: the Boston...

By Patricia Sullivan | June 25, 2009; 08:15 AM ET | Comments (0)

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...

By Patricia Sullivan | June 24, 2009; 08:23 AM ET | Comments (1)

The Daily Goodbye

This just in: TV's Tonight Show sidekick Ed McMahon has died of cancer. On a morning when all of Washington DC is mourning the people who died in a needless subway system crash, we turn to other deaths around the world. Neda Agha-Soltan, the Iranian woman who died on...

By Patricia Sullivan | June 23, 2009; 08:24 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning, readers, and welcome to summer. Dorothy Waggoner worked for better inspections and enforcement of nursing home regulations in Milwaukee most of her life. When she opened a bed and breakfast in the small town of Menomonee Falls, Wis., suspicious residents "thought we were going to run a brothel,"...

By Patricia Sullivan | June 22, 2009; 08:22 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Hortensia Bussi, the widow of Chilean President Salvador Allende who helped lead opposition to the military dictatorship that ousted her socialist husband in a bloody 1973 coup, died Thursday. She was 94. Helen Boosalis, the first female president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, died in Lincoln, Neb. earlier this...

By Patricia Sullivan | June 19, 2009; 08:17 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Playwriting is often a quick route to the poorhouse, but Dr. Mona Grey, a veteran nurse, actually raised funds that way. We suspect it had to do with her "enormous energy, a forceful character and great charm that made it impossible for people to refuse her. She would underline...

By Patricia Sullivan | June 18, 2009; 09:03 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Compare and contrast: the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post versions of an obit for Ventures co-founder Bob Bogle. (We'll refrain from noting that we told you about this yesterday -- oops...) Which one do you prefer? There was a time when Motorola was a leader...

By Patricia Sullivan | June 17, 2009; 08:11 AM ET | Comments (2)

The Daily Goodbye

An advocate for the deaf, Marcella M. Meyer has died at age 84. She played a key role in establishing a California telephone service that relayed messages between the hearing and the hearing-impaired and led to the development of a nationwide system. If you've ever stayed at the great old...

By Patricia Sullivan | June 16, 2009; 09:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Ron Richards discovered the Hollies, recorded the Beatles "Love Me Do" and recommended the replacement of Pete Best as their drummer. So why haven't we heard until now that he died April 30? A Tuskegee Airman who fought for equal treatment in the military, and whose reward was a fine...

By Patricia Sullivan | June 15, 2009; 08:33 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning, obit fans. Don't forget to vote in our Best Obit of the Week user poll , and as always, we welcome comments and discussion. The last surviving member of the legendary Ink Spots, Huey Long, has died. He set up a museum which has a lot more information...

By Patricia Sullivan | June 12, 2009; 08:28 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

After a long layoff, we're reviving the Daily Goodbye, a compendium of the best recent obits on the web. You can tell us what we missed in the comments section below, and you'll be able to vote on your favorites tomorrow. We're going to try to make this a much...

By Patricia Sullivan | June 11, 2009; 08:14 AM ET | Comments (0)

Washington Post Obituaries

It's come to our attention that some of our valued readers don't see the actual stories we write everyday, perhaps because they only follow this blog. Just so you know, you can bookmark the Washington Post obituaries web page to see these daily. So this one's for you: Headlines and...

By Patricia Sullivan | April 10, 2009; 12:15 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Here are a few obits from elsewhere that are worth a look. The L.A. Times writes about Dorothea Holt Redmond, who helped create the look and mood of many of Alfred Hitchcock's films. England's Guardian newspaper has a nice piece about Margaret Mellis, a British artist who made sculptures from...

By Matt Schudel | March 21, 2009; 02:55 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

A handful of pretty interesting obits came to my attention this morning: Martin P. "Marty" Knowlton, a world traveler who fought ageism by co-founding Elderhostel. When he was about 50, Knowlton became highly annoyed by two things: the prevailing wisdom that "as you got older, your mind automatically began to...

By Patricia Sullivan | March 20, 2009; 10:46 AM ET | Comments (1)

March 12 deaths

2008 -- Howard Metzenbaum, Ohio senator 2003 -- Lynne Thigpen, actress 2001 -- Henry Lee Lucas, murderer 1999 -- Yehudi Menuhin, violinist 1955 -- Charlie "Bird" Parker, jazz musician 1945 -- Anne Frank, diarist...

By Patricia Sullivan | March 12, 2009; 03:36 PM ET | Comments (0)

March 9 Deaths

1706 - Johann Pachelbel, organist/composer 1955 - Matthew Henson, polar explorer 1962 - Howard Engstrom, designer of Univac computer 1969 - Richard Crane, actor 1989 - Robert Mapplethorpe, photographer 1992 - Menachem W Begin, PM Israel 1994 - Charles Bukowski, author 1994 - Lawrence E Spivak, journalist 1996 - George...

By Patricia Sullivan | March 9, 2009; 11:26 AM ET | Comments (0)

TV, Quips and the Day the Music Died

The director and co-executive producer of more than 50 episodes of the X Files has died. Only someone who never attended rock concerts in the 70s would lead with "Sweet Home Alabama" for a Lynyrd Skynyrd musician's obit. Consumer demand was always exemplified by the guy back in the crowd...

By Patricia Sullivan | January 29, 2009; 12:34 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Daily Goodbye

Good morning! We lost of a couple of environmental leaders: Peter Berle who proved the National Audubon Society was "no longer just for the birds," and John Firor, whose book about global climate change and ozone depletion was called was "about as agreeable as a dose of ipecac," for generating...

By Patricia Sullivan | November 12, 2007; 10:44 AM ET | Comments (0)

 

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