Monday, January 2, 2017

Notable (to me) 2016 Deaths

For the past couple years, I have found it centering to go through and list the people who died who somehow touched my life and briefly note why here.  Its been quite a year, actually.  Packed house this year. Here is 2016's List (Sorted by last name):

Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali:  Conscientious objector extraordinaire.  Social Activist.  Oh yea, and boxer, too.
David Bowie:  aka Ziggy Stardust.  He was only 69.  Cancer.
Fidel Castro:  Revolutionist.  America nose-thumber.
Muhammad Ali.  Had trouble picking between this
picture and the one with him standing with
Malcom X.
Leonard Cohen:  Hallelujah.  Singer of his own style.
Natalie Cole:  Singer.  Daughter of Nat King Cole.  She was really sick, generally stemming from drug addiction issues, but heart failure finally got her.
Pat Conroy:  Awesome author from South Carolina who wrote about his screwed up childhood.
Umberto Eco:  Author.
Keith Emerson: in "Emerson, Lake and Palmer."  Not a good year for ELP, see below.
Jose Fernandez:  Young star pitcher and Cuban refugee.  Died doing something stupid.  Very sad.
Glenn Frey:  Lead Singer of the Eagles.  I loved his 1993 Live Album.  He was only 67.  He had a messy death caused by medication to help rheumatoid arthritis.
Ron Glass:  Harris on Barney Miller.  The second Millerite to die this year.  Also famous for other things.
Dan Haggerty:  Actor.  Grizzly Adams.
Pat Harrington:  Actor.  The janitor on One Day At a Time.
Bad-ass white dude
D. A. Henderson:  Bad-ass white dude who didn't do much - oh yea, well there was that whole "eradicate small pox" thing, but aside from that, not much.
Florence Henderson:  Actor.  Mrs. Carol Brady.  Also, Wesson Oil.
Gordie Howe:  Hockey player.  Unfortunately, a Red Wing, but we'll let that slide for now.  Father of Mark Howe, an NHL Hall of Famer as well.
David Huddleston: Actor.  Most notably, the Big Lebowski.
Gwen Ifill:  News person.  Awesome news person.
Sharon Jones:  Singer with a big voice
Paul Kanter:  Founding member of Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship.
Greg Lake: in "Emerson, Lake and Palmer."  Not a good year for ELP, see above.
Garry Marshall:  Creator of just about every sit-com in the 1970's.  Laverne Fazio's fathah.
George Martin:  Produced the Beatles records.
George Michael:  One of several who tried to step in for Freddy Mercury.  One of the more successful attempts.
Bill Nunn:  was an actor who did a lot of work with Denis Leary.  I especially liked his character in the TV show "The Job".
Shimon Peres:  one of the last reasonable Prime Ministers of Isreal
Prince: Also formerly known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince.  Also awesome.  Overdose on prescription medication.
Janet Reno:  First female Attorney General, appointed by President Clinton.  Parkinson's disease.
Alan Rickman:  Actor.  Remember that German bastard in Die Hard.  Him.
Doris Roberts:   Actor.  Ray Barone's mother.
Leon Russell:  Singer and songwriter.
Morley Safer:  One of the last old-school reporters.
Maurice White - Earth, Wind and Fire
Antonin Scalia:  Supreme Court Justice.  Died to make way for the even more crazies.
Garry Shandling:  Comedian.  Actor.
Pat Summitt:  Women's Basketball Coach at UT.  Not without her baggage, I just love successful coaches of women's athletics.  Alzheimers.
Abe Vigoda:  Fish on Barney Miller.  Seriously.  Just now.  He was 94.
Elie Wiesel:  Author.  Holocaust survivor.  If you haven't read "Night", you should.
Bernie Worrell:  Member of Parliament and Funkadelic.  Give up the Funk, man.
Maurice White:  Founder of Earth, Wind and Fire.
Gene Wilder:  Actor.   If you don't know who he is, well, I probably can't help you.
Buckwheat Zydeco:  The last professional accordionist, unless you consider Weird Al to be an accordionist.  From a former professional accordionist.

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