2014 Obits – September thru December

Sept. 2: Steven Sotloff, 31: American journalist (Time), was abducted in Syria in 2013 was beheaded (death reported on this date).

ZeusSept. 3: Zeus, 5: American Great Dane, world’s tallest dog. They say the larger the dog the shorter the life span. Zeus held the Guinness World Record for being the tallest dog, standing 7′ 4″ when he stood on his hind legs. He was just shy of his 6th birthday when he died. The Doorlag family, who owned Zeus, got him when he was just 8 weeks old. He was a certified therapy dog who visited people in a nearby hospital.

Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers

Sept. 4: Joan Rivers, 81: American Comedienne, actress and television host, died at 1:17pm at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, as announced by her daughter Melissa. She had suffered respiratory and cardiac arrest during surgery on her vocal chords in a doctor’s office on August 28.

Sept. 8: S. Truett Cathy, 93: American restaurateur and business, founder of Chick-fil-A.

Sept 8: Sean O’Haire, 43: American professional wrestler, suicide by strangulation. O’Haire was found dead at his home in South Carolina. Toxicology results are pending.

Sept. 11: Kendall Francois, 43: American serial killer who killed eight prostitutes in Poughkeepsie in the 1990s died in prison, as reported by the New York State corrections department. He died in the medical unit at Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, near Buffalo, New York. He apparently died of natural causes. In 2000, it was revealed in court that Francois had AIDS.

Sept. 20: Polly Bergen, 84: American signer and actress, who gained acclaim as a nightclub singer, a cosmetics entrepreneur and a quiz-show panelist, did not start out as an overnight success. She won a best-actress Emmy for her compelling “Playhouse 90” portrayal of Helen Morgan, a troubled torch singer of the 20s and 30s. Over the next six decades, Bergen appeared in memorable movies such as Cape Fear, the TV epic The Winds of War (1983) and its sequel War and Remembrance (1988). She died of natural causes at her home in Southbury, Conn.

Oct. 3: Alan Henning, 47: British humanitarian aid work and ISIS hostage, beheading.

Oct. 4: Paul Revere, 76: American musician from Paul Revere & the Raiders, cancer.

Oct. 5: Misty Upham, 32: Misty was born in Kalispell, Montana in 1982 as a member of the Blackfoot Tribe and was raised in Auburn, Washington. She was regularly featured in both film and television; her first screen role came in 2002’s Chris Eyre film, “Skins.” Her most acclaimed performance came in 2008’s “Frozen River,” for which she received award nominations and wins, including an American Indian Film Festival Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her filmography is extensive and varied. Her family believes her death was accidental and that she did not commit suicide. It is believed she ran into a wooded area behind her apartment and that she slipped and fell off a steep embankment and did not see the drop off. Her parents told police she had been taking medication for mental health issues.

Oct. 8: Thomas Eric Duncan, 42: Liberian courier, first person diagnosed with Ebola in the US; died from Ebola virus disease.

Oct. 9: Jan Hooks, 57: American comedienne and actress (Saturday Night Live, Designing Women) cancer.

Oct. 9: Trigz (Michael Christopher Pebley), 40: American graffitti and celebrity tattoo artist who inked such stars such as Chris Brown, was fatally shot outside a smoke shop in broad daylight in Hollywood after confronting a stranger for “being rude.” The 40-year old father leaves behind a fiancé and 5 children.

Elizabeth Peña

Elizabeth Peña

Oct. 14: Elizabeth Peña, 55: Peña’s love for the arts ran deep. Her father was a well-known playwright, actor, director and novelist. Born in New Jersey, raised in New York, her parents opened off-Broadway’s “Latin American Theatre Ensemble.” Elizabeth attended NY’s High School for the Performing Arts and found work in repertory theatre and television commercials. Her big break came in Down & Out in Beverly Hills where she co-starred with Bette Midler, Richard Dreyfuss and Nick Nolte. She moved to Los Angeles and got the part as Ritchie Valens’ stepsister-in-law in the move La Bamba. She received awards for the film Lone Star and an ALMA Award for Tortilla Soup. More recently, Peña played Sofia Vergara’s mother on Modern Family. According to the death certificate, she died from cardiopulmonary arrest, cardiogenic shock and other problems due to alcohol. She is survived by her husband of 20 years and two teenage daughters.

Oct. 20: Gary Plauche, 68: in 1984, Plauche killed his son’s karate instructor at the Baton Rouge airport. The man, Jeffrey Doucet, was accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting Plauche’s son, Jody. Plauche waited for Doucet to be extradited back to Baton Rouge and was walking through the airport. Plauche waited by some payphones, pulled out a gun and when Doucet walked by he fired a shot at Doucet. Plauche was sentenced to 5 years probation and did not serve time in jail following the shooting. He maintained his actions where those of a father who believe his son had been violated.

Oscar De La Renta

Oscar De La Renta

Oct. 20: Oscar de la Renta, 82: Dominican fashion designer De La Renta was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. He left his home in the Dominican Republic at age 18 to study painting in Madrid. It was there he developed a love of fashion design and began an apprenticeship with Cristóbal Balenciaga, who became his mentor. He soon landed a job with Lanvin in Paris and moved to New York City. He won a bevy of fashion awards in his lifetime including two Council of Fashion Designers Designer of the Year Awards, a CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award and two COTY Awards. He is survived by his wife, a son, as well as stepchildren and step-grandchildren.

Oct. 21: Ben Bradlee, 93: Top Washington Post Editor during Watergate, Harvard graduate, friend of John F. Kennedy, died of natural causes at age 93.

Oct. 21: Patrice Vincent, 53: Canadian warrant office, vehicular attack by a convert to Islam in a hit and run.

Oct. 22: Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32: resident of Quebec, convert to Islam, a designated “high-risk traveler” by Canadian officials who was barred from traveling outside the country, opened fire in front of the Canadian War Memorial. He was killed by Sgt. at Arms Kevin Vickers.

Marcia Strassman

Marcia Strassman

Oct. 24: Marcia Strassman, 66: American actress and singer, who played Gabe Kaplan’s wife, Julie, on the 70s sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter,” died of breast cancer, which she had been getting treatment for over the last seven years, according to her sister, Julie Strassman, who confirmed her death. Strassman played a nurse on the first season of M*A*S*H before landing her role on “Kotter.” Her big movie role was in the his Disney movie Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989) and its sequel, Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (1992). She is survived by her sister, a daughter and a brother.

Oct. 24: Jaylen Ray Fryberg, 15: a homecoming prince and popular freshman at Marysville-Pilchuck High School killed a girl and wounded four other people before fatally shooting himself at about 10:30am (PT). All victims were under the age of 18. It has been discovered that the shooter, Jaylen Ray Fryberg used text messages to lure his victims to the cafeteria where he shot them.

Oct. 24: Zoe Galasso, 14: victim of Jaylen Ray Fryberg (above).

Oct. 26: Gavin Smith, 59: A FOX film studio executive’s body, who has been missing since 2012, was found in a shallow grave in Palmdale, Calif. by hikers. Authorities believe they know how and why Smith was killed but would not share that information yet.

Oct. 26: Oscar Taveras, 22: St. Louis Cardinals outfielder and one of the top prospects of the past several seasons was killed in an auto accident in his native country of the Dominican Republic. His girlfriend was also killed in the crash.

Oct. 26: Gia Soriano, 14: victim of Jaylen Ray Fryberg (above), died of injuries, sustained in school shooting.

Oct. 31: Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, 14: victim of Jaylen Ray Fryberg (above), died from injuries sustained in school shooting on Oct. 26.

Nov. 1: Brittany Maynard, 29: Miss Maynard moved to Oregon when she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer so she could take advantage of the state’s physician-assisted suicide law. This decision and the elegant way she described her decision to do so forced her into the spotlight of the right-to-die movement, and rightly so. She was only 29. http://time.com/3553770/brittany-maynard-dies/

Nov. 3: Tom Magliozzi, 77: American automotive expert and radio personality (Car Talk) from complications from Alzheimer’s disease.

Nov. 5: Richard Schaal, 86: character actor, a Second City pioneer, and a familiar face from roles on movies and television (Mary Tyle Moore, Rhoda) died at the Motion Picture & Television Fund retirement home, reported his daughter, Wendy Schaal.

Nov. 6: Big Paybacc. 38: American rapper, born Habeeb Ameer Zekajj, was reportedly shot and killed while eating in a local McDonald’s according to the LA County Sheriff’s Department. The suspect just walked into the restaurant and shot Big Paybacc, killing him with just one shot. He leaves behind three children.

Nov. 7: Andrew Fryberg, 15: the fifth teen shot at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, died as a result of his wounds he received when a student open fired in the cafeteria on October 24. Andrew was a cousin of the shooter.

Nov. 10: Ken Takakura, 83: one of Japan’s premier actors, and known in America for The Yakuza (Sydney Pollack 1974) and Black Rain (Ridley Scott 1989) died of malignant lymphoma.

Rap pioneers The Sugar Hill Gang, from left, Guy 'Master Gee' O'Brian, Henry 'Big Bank' Jackson, and Michael 'Wonder Mike' Wright, pose for a portrait in New York City, circa 1980. Anthony Barboza/Getty Images

Rap pioneers The Sugar Hill Gang, from left, Guy ‘Master Gee’ O’Brian, Henry ‘Big Bank’ Jackson, and Michael ‘Wonder Mike’ Wright, pose for a portrait in New York City, circa 1980. Anthony Barboza/Getty Images

Nov. 11: Henry Lee Jackson, 58: Known as “Big Bank Hank,” an American rapper in The Sugar Hill Gang, died from kidney complications from cancer. The Sugar Hill Gang were made up of Wonder Mike, Master Gee and Big Bank Hang and were considered founding members in the world of rap. Wonder Mike and Master Gee confirmed the news on their Facebook page with a throwback picture of the three together with the caption “RIP Henry Jackson aka Big Bank Hank.”

Nov. 13: María José Alvarado, 19: Honduran beauty pageant winner, Señorita Honduras (2014) had been due to compete in the Miss World contest in London. She had been missing for nearly a week and was found dead, along with her sister, Sofia Trinidad, 23. Two men have been arrested; one of them confessed to killing and burying the women.

Diem Brown

Diem Brown

Nov. 14: Diem Brown, 32: reality star from MTV’s Real World/Road Rules Challenge lost her battle with cancer and died in New York City. She chronicled her fight in a blog for PEOPLE.com and became an advocate and inspiration for other facing similar battles. She founded MedGift, a registry for others suffering from any illness. She was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 23 in 2012. The cancer was then found in her stomach and colon in August, and it was discovered had spread to her liver and lymph nodes, bringing her friends and family to her bedside at a New York City hospital as her condition got worse.

Nov. 14: Glen A. Larson, 77: writer and producer of Quincy, ME, Magnum, PI, Battlestar Galactica, Knight Rider, Fall Guy, Six Million Dollar Man … in the 1950s he was a clean-cut singer in a pop group called The Four Preps who went on to compose many of the theme songs for his TV shows. His son James revealed he died of esophageal cancer at the UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica. Larson also wrote and produced It Takes a Thief for his high school pal Robert Wagner, and McCloud with Dennis Weaver. Need more: Alias Smith & Jones, Switch, B.J. & the Bear. Despite his remarkable career, Larson earned but three Emmy nominations, two for producing McCloud and one (for outstanding Drama) for Quincy. He never won. That’s really a shame, I loved Quincy (my personal favorite; when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up my answer was “a coroner”).

Peter Kassig

Peter Kassig

Nov. 16: Peter Kassig, 26: a believer in hopeless causes, a former army ranger who served in Iraq and then returned to the Middle East and founded a humanitarian group, became the fifth totally innocent hostage to be brutally murdered by ISIS (James Foley, Steven Sotloff, David Haines, Alan Henning). In a letter from October that was released by his family, Peter wrote “If I do die, I figure that at least you and I can seek refuge and comfort in knowing that I went out as a result of trying to alleviate suffering and helping those in need.”

Mike Nichols

Mike Nichols

Nov. 19: Mike Nichols, 83: Oscar winning director (The Graduate 1967) and Oscar nominated for his work on Working Girl, The Remains of the Day, Silkwood and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf died of cardiac arrest. His last film was Charlie Wilson’s War in 2007. He was married to Diane Sawyer, ABC News presenter.

Nov. 27: P.D. James, 94: writer of The Children of Men and Death Comes to Pemberley and more than 20 books, PD James agent confirmed that she died “peacefully at her home in Oxford.” James’ books featured sleuth Adam Dalgliesh, sold millions around the world and were adapted for TV and film.

Nov. 27: Ryan Knight, 28: American reality show personality (The Real World: New Orleans, The Challenge).

Dec. 7: Ken Weatherwax, 59: American actor (The Addams Family) who play Pugsley on the television show died at his home Sunday in California after having a heart attack.

Dec. 8: Earl Hayes, 34: American rapper (“Nolia Clap”) suicide by gunshot. Law enforcement confirmed that Hayes shot and killed Stephanie Moseley first and then killed himself. Sources connected with Hayes and Moseley revealed that the rapper had “accused her of infidelity with a famous singer.”

Dec. 8: Stephanie Moseley, 30: Canadian TV personality (Hit the Floor) and dancer, from Vancouver. Moseley was found shot to death in an apparent murder-suicide by her rapper husband Earl Hayes, 34, in the Park La Brea apartments.

Mary Ann Mobley

Mary Ann Mobley

Dec. 9: Mary Ann Mobley, 77: American actress, television personality, Mississippi’s first Miss America (1959) breast cancer.

Dec. 11: Dominic Di-Natale, 43: British Journalist (Fox News Channel). The coroner in Jefferson County, Colo. said the journalist did indeed take his own life. Officials discovered Di-Natale’s body after being alerted by a friend who knew of his state of mind regarding serious health issues.

Dec. 11: Dawn Sears, 53: American country musician who sang with the four-time Grammy-nominated band the Time Jumpers has died after a two-year battle with lung cancer. Sears was a longtime member of Vince Gill’s touring band and an in-demand harmony vocalist.

Dec. 12: Billy Milligan, 59: the first defendant in America to successfully use a multiple personality disorder as a defense for a violent crime, died of cancer. He was arrested for kidnapping, robbing and raping three women in the Ohio State University area in October of 1977 but was found not guilty by reason of insanity because of the multiple-personality disorder. Milligan was diagnosed with 24 personalities.



Dec. 14: Angalifu, 44: one of only six remaining white rhinos, has died of old age at the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park. With his death, the subspecies draws closer to extinction. Hopes for offspring rest on a single male living on a reserve in Kenya with two females. The northern white rhino has been brought to extinction by poachers, who kill them for their horns, which is believed to have medicinal value.

Dec. 14: Fred Thurston, 80: Known as “Fuzzy,” Thurston was a key player on Vince Lombardi’s Packers championship teams of the 1960s. When he died after a long illness, he was just 15 days shy of his 81st birthday. He died of cancer and complications of Alzheimer’s disease, according to an obituary prepared by his family.

Dec. 19: Deral Teteak, 85: known as “The Little Bull,” #66 died in Naples, Florida. He had just turned 85. Teteak was a native of Oconto, Wis., had played high school football at Oshkosh and college football at the University of Wisconsin. He was picked by the Packers in the ninth-round in 1952 and played for four seasons. He was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 1987.



Dec. 22: Joe Cocker, 70: British rocker with an unforgettable raspy voice who sang Beatles’ cover songs such as “With a Little Help from My Friends” and Billy Preston’s “You Are So Beautiful,” died after battling lunch cancer.

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