People I’ve heard of who died this year

The only names on this list are those that ring a bell with me. Thousands of people who were notable in their fields of endeavor, but unknown to me, have been excluded.

I’ve also excluded personal acquaintances of mine and local luminaries so as to avoid the embarrassment of missing a few.

In roughly chronological order of their passing, these are the people I at least vaguely remember from the world at large:

John Rice, baseball umpire.

Pete Postlethwaite, actor.

Anne Francis, actress.

Gerry Rafferty, singer-songwriter.

Grady Chapman, doo-wop singer.

Ryne Duren, baseball player.

Cookie Gilchrist, football player.

David Nelson, actor (“Ozzie and Harriet”).

Don Kirshner, music producer.

Sargent Shriver, diplomat and politician.

Wilfrid Sheed, novelist.

Bruce Gordon, actor.

Gus Zernial, baseball player.

Jack LaLanne, fitness guru.

David Frye, comedian and Richard Nixon-impressionist.

Charlie Louvin, country music singer.

Gladys Horton, singer.

Don Rondo, singer.

Charlie Callas, comedian and actor.

John Barry, composer.

Chuck Tanner, baseball player and manager.

Betty Garrett, actress.

George Shearing, pianist.

Bill Monroe, TV journalist.

Dave Duerson, football player.

Ricky Bell, football player.

Duke Snider, baseball player.

Jane Russell, actress.

Johnny Preston, singer.

David Broder, journalist.

Leonard Weinglass, antiwar activist.

Elizabeth Taylor, actress.

Marty Marion, baseball player.

Ferlin Husky, singer.

Bob Rush, baseball player.

Geraldine Ferraro, politician.

Farley Granger, actor.

Warren Christopher, diplomat and statesman.

Ollie Matson, football player.

Len Lesser, actor (Uncle Leo on “Seinfeld”).

Billy Grammer, singer.

Jeff Conaway, actor.

Randy Savage, wrestler.

Harmon Killebrew, baseball player.

John Walker, singer.

Mark Hatfield, politician.

Peter Falk, actor.

Jim Seymour, football player.

Pinetop Perkins, blues singer.

Gil Robbins, folk singer and actor.

Andy Robustelli, football player.

Sidney Lumet, film director.

Randy Wood, music producer and recording executive.

William Rusher, conservative pundit.

Michael Sarrazin, actor.

Joe Perry, football player.

Phoebe Snow, singer-songwriter.

Henry Cooper, boxer.

Lawrence Eagleburger, diplomat.

Carl Gardner, singer. 

Jackie Cooper, actor.

Mary Murphy, actress.

Jerry Leiber, songwriter.

Dana Wynter, actress.

Arthur Laurents, screenwriter.

Seve Ballesteros, golfer.

Norma Zimmer, entertainer.

Osama bin Laden, terrorist.

Tom Roeser, political commentator.

Jack Kevorkian, physician and activist.

Arthur Nielsen, TV-ratings and market-research executive.

James Arness, actor.

Leonard Stern, TV producer, director and writer.

Jose Pagan, baseball player.

Jim Northrup, baseball player.

Clarence Clemons, saxophonist.

Nick Charles, TV sportscaster.

Elaine Stewart, actress and model.

Al Davis, football mogul.

Jimmy Roselli, singer.

Bud Grant, TV executive.

Wes Covington, baseball player.

Dick Williams, baseball player and manager.

Amy Winehouse, singer-songwriter.

Betty Ford, former First Lady.

Bubba Smith, football player.

Bob Will, baseball player.

Moammar Gadhafi, dictator.

Don Chandler, football player.

Mike Flanagan, baseball player.

Anwar al-Awlaki, terrorist.

Cliff Robertson, actor.

Dan Wheldon, racecar driver.

Carl Oglesby, antiwar activist.

Malcolm Wallop, politician.

Robert Pierpoint, journalist.

Charles Percy, politician.

Dolores Hope, philanthropist (widow of Bob Hope).

Johnny Schmitz, baseball player.

Steve Jobs, entrepeneur and inventor.

Roger Williams, pianist.

Roy Smalley, baseball player.

Bill Keane, cartoonist.

Matty Alou, baseball player.

Andy Rooney, journalist.

Joe Frazier, boxer.

Hal Bruno, TV journalist.

Tom Wicker, journalist.

Alan Sues, comedian.

Dobie Gray, singer.

Harry Morgan, actor.

Christopher Hitchens, writer and polemecist.

Vaclav Havel, anti-communist leader.

Kim Jong Il, dictator.

 Kaye Stevens, singer and actress.








  1. dogrescuer

    May they rest in peace and rise in glory.

  2. dogrescuer: I’m sure there are a few people on the list that you want to exclude from your eulogy.

    Bin Laden, for example.

  3. dogrescuer

    You may be right, Pat. I’m not a Christian, though, so I’m not qualified to judge anyone. Only Christians apparently know exactly who should be “saved” and who shouldn’t!

  4. You should consider becoming a Christian dogrescuer, it might disabuse you of some of your incorrect assumptions about the religion.

    I would suggest a good strong Catholic parish. If you live in Rockford, try Holy Family.

  5. doc: I would suggest that it’s you who need to be disabused of incorrect assumptions about Christianity.

    There is no single Christian religion. There are hundreds of different Christian denominations, many of which do not agree among one another even on basic matters of faith and morals.

    For example, the Catholic church you’ve recommended to dogrescuer is at odds with various other Christian churches on certain basic issues.

    That’s why I’ve always laughed at people who claim to take “the Christian view” on controversial matters (such as abortion, same-sex marriage, divorce, birth control, creationism, the virgin birth of Jesus, divine grace, purgatory, the literalness of scripture, the role of women in the church, sacraments, etc., etc.). There is no single “Christian view” on hardly anything, with the possible exception of the divinity of Jesus.

    Hence, I would guess that your take on “the religion” (as you call Christianity) is no more accurate and dependable than dogrescuer’s. He’s not a Christian, while apparently you are. But your brand of Christianity is just one of many, and there probably are lots of Christians who think you’re pretty much wrong on certain matters of faith.

    But, hey, no matter what you believe, have a happy new year.

  6. That was a whole lot of writing to make an entirely obvious point.

    Happy New Year (and Merry Christmas) to you too.

  7. > There is no single “Christian view” on hardly anything, with the possible exception of the divinity of Jesus.

    Oh no, this is highly inaccurate, even by Applesauce standards. Right off the top of my head I can give you a list of things that are essentially the same across almost all of Christendom: the commandment to forgive, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, the work of the Holy Spirit, the sovereignty of God, the special status of the Bible, the rule to love one’s neighbor as oneself, the existence of sin, and the power that flows from dozens of Jesus’ parables such as the Good Samaritan, the Prodigal Son, and the Woman Caught in Adultery. It is a very, very grievous error to claim that there is no single Christian view on “hardly anything,” although the surface details of these things might vary from denomination to denomination. For example, various churches in my experience have characterized sin as (a) evil, (b) disobedience to God, (c) wandering, or (d) self-distancing from the Divine (whatever that is). But they all agreed that sin was real and harmful.

    As for your “possible exception” about the divinity of Jesus… well, my friend, I’m afraid you are mistaken again. The outskirts of Christendom have been denying the divinity of Jesus ever since the Arian heresy of the 3rd century. They continue right up to the present day, with some cults and ultra-liberal Christian denominations that either deny or water down Jesus’ divinity.

    Listen to expdoc, I visited Holy Family in the 1970s and it was a lovely, lovely church.

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