2016 Obits – May through August

71824088AB025_tupacMay 2: Afeni Shakur Davis, 69: Tupac Shakur’s mother, died in Marin County, Calif. of possible cardia arrest, though a confirmed cause of death has not been reported. (Annette Brown/Getty Images)

May 4: Blas Avena, 32: Las Vegas Police are investigating the death of this mixed martial art fighter as a suicide. He was found in his apartment and was pronounced deceased at the scene by arriving police and medical personnel. He had an 8-7 record  that began in 2005. He last appeared at Bellator 96 on June 19, 2013.

May 5: Matt Irwin, 36: celebrity and fashion photographer who captured Taylor Swift, Rihanna, One Direction, Kesha and Nicki Minaj, among others, died unexpectedly. Irwin (courtesy of Camilla Lowther Management)

May 8: William Schallert, 93: Schallert’s career spanned generations and genres. He played the long-suffering father and uncle to the “identical cousins” played by Patty Duke on The Patty Duke Show and earned a permanent place in the hearts of Star Trek fans in 1967 when he played the under secretary in charge of agricultural affairs for the United Federation of Planets in “The Trouble With Tribbles.” That episode is often cited by fans and critics as one of the best episodes of the original Star Trek series. Though never a leading man, Schallert was the embodiment of the supporting, working actor. Schallert’s son Edwin confirmed his death.

May 10: Sally Brampton, 60: fashion editor, author, columnist – the woman who made ‘Elle girls’ the new normal, who had written eloquently about her dark period of depression, took her own life close to her home in St Leonards-on-Sea. She once wrote, “We don’t kill ourselves. We are simply defeated by the long, hard struggle to stay alive.”

May 13: Bill Backer, 89: advertising executive who penned the song “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (Coca-Cola) and was recently featured in the finale of Mad Men died in Warrenton, Va. His wife and only survivor confirmed his death.

May 17: Guy Clark, 74: Texas native and grammy-winning songwriter died after a long illness according to a statement from his publicist.

Obit Morley SaferMay 19: Morley Safter, 84: CBS News legend, who work on 60 Minutes embodied the show’s 50 years on air, died of pneumonia, according to CBS. Safer exposed a military atrocity in Vietnam that played an early role in changing American’s view of the war. He once claimed  “there is no such thing as the common man; if there were, there would be no need for journalists.”

May 19: Alan Young, 96: known for his role as Wilbur Post in the TV show Mr. Ed.

May 21: Nick Menza, 51: died after he collapsed on stage during a show with his current band, Ohm. Menza played on many of Megadeth’s most successful albums. He allegedly died of heart failure.

May 27: Marshall “Rock” Jones, 75: bass player (Ohio Players).

May 27: Hanako, 69: an aged Japanese elephant, whose living conditions sparked protests earlier this year died, said zoo officials. She was the country’s oldest elephant. She was found lying on the floor of her enclosure, unable to stand.

May 28: Harambe, 17: American-bred Western lowland gorilla, shot at the Cincinnati zoo to save a child who slipped into his enclosure.  It carried the boy around its habitat for about 10 minutes in what the zoo’s dangerous animal response team considered a life-threatening situation, said the Zoo Director, at a press briefing.

May 28: Floyd Robinson, 83: American country singer.

June 1: Roger Enrico, 71: American businessman (PepsiCo, Dreamworks).

aliJune 3: Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay), 74: called himself “The Greatest”, three-time WBC world heavyweight boxing champion who could float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. Fans on every continent adored him and at one point, he was probably the most recognizable man on the planet. Ali died of septic shock after spending five days at an Arizona hospital for what seemed to be respiratory problems but eventually worsened. His wife and children were called to his bedside to say goodbye. More details came as Ali’s family revealed plans for his funeral in his hometown of Louisville, KY. Ali suffered for more than three decades from Parkinson’s disease and had survived several death scares in recent years.

June 6: Kimbo Slice (The Truth), 42: Bahamian-born, American mixed martial artist, (Bellator, UFC) boxer and actor. He was rushed to the hospital on June 3 after suffering congestive heart failure and a liver mass. He was diagnosed with heart failure and placed on a ventilator. He died at 7:30pm while being prepared for transfer to a facility in Cleveland.

GTV ARCHIVEJune 6: Theresa Saldana, 61: she played the wife of Joey La Motta (Joe Pesci) in Raging Bull and she played the wife of The Commish. But her most lasting legacy will be her victims’ advocacy work she undertook when she survived an almost fatal stalking incident in 1982. A Brooklyn native, Saldana had appeared in a number of films in the late 70s and early 80s. In March, 1982 she was stabbed several times outside her West Hollywood home by a mentally disturbed stalker. She barely survived. This was two years after the assassination of John Lennon and seven years before the murder of Rebecca Schaeffer. But she resumed her acting career and provided a face and a voice to the new issue of celebrity stalking.

June 10: Gordie Howe, 88: (left in pic) scored 801 goals in his NHL career and won 4 Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings. He was known at Mr. Hockey.

June 10: Christina Grimmie, 22: was murdered by a fan while signing autographs after a concert in Orlando. Grimmie finished third on Season 6 of The Voice on NBC. The suspect, Kevin James Loibl, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the scene. A friend of Loibl said his friend had developed a fixation on her within the last year.

June 11: Stacey Castor, 48: convicted murderer who poisoned her husband with antifreeze and attempted to kill her daughter in a similar way, is dead in prison, according to County DA William Fitzpatrick. Castor was serving a 50+ years-to-life in the state women’s prison, Bedford Hills, in Westchester County. She would have been eligible for in 2055.

June 12: Michu Meszaros, 77: The actor who played Alf in the popular ’80s sitcom died according his longtime friend and manager, Dennis Varga.

June 17: Ron Lester, 45: he portrayed Billy Bob in the 1999 football movie Varsity Blues and openly talked about his struggle with his illness on Twitter. Lester died of organ failure (liver and kidneys).

June 17: Attrell Cordes, 46: known as Prince Be of the music duo P.M. Dawn, died after suffering from diabetes and renal kidney disease, according to a statement from the group.

Terminator SalvationJune 19: Anton Yelchin, 27: he played Pavel Chekov in the reboot of the Star Trek movies and was one of most gifted and talented young actors of today. He was killed in a freak car accident outside his home, police said, by a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee that was part of a voluntary safety recall for its roll-away risk after drivers were injured when they mistakenly thought they had shifted their car into park. In this instance, the Jeep rolled backward and pinned him against a brick mailbox pillar and security fence.

June 23: Ralph Stanley, 89: he was a bluegrass music pioneer and was already famous when the 2000 hit movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? thrust him into the mainstream. He provided a haunting a cappella version of the dirge “O Death” and ended up winning a Grammy.

June 24: James Lee, 36: football player and former 2004 Green Bay Packer, complications from diabetes.

June 24: Bernie Worrell, 72: Parliament-Funkadelic Keyboardist and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee died following a battle with cancer.

June 25: Bill Cunningham, 87: he was a street-life photographer; a cultural anthropologist; a fixture at fashion shows; a celebrity in spite of keeping his camera focused on others and one of the most recognizable figures at The New York Times and in all of New York.

June 25: Elliot Wolff, 61: songwriter and music producer, Wolff was missing more than 2 weeks when police in New Mexico found his body in the Santa Fe National Forest. He was positively identified by items found on his clothes. He was reported missing on June 7. He began his career working as a musical director for Peaches and Herb in the early 80s, and played keyboards for Chaka Khan before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a songwriter, which included writing and producing Paula Abdul’s 1988 No. 1 song “Straight Up.”

June 28: Scotty Moore, 84: legendary guitarist credited with launching Elvis Presley’s career and a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He was ranked #29 in Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 greatest guitarists.

June 28: Fabiane Niclotti, 31: Brazilian model, Miss Universe Brasil, 2004, was found dead inside her apartment in the southern city of Gramado.

June 28: Pat Summitt, 64: she built the University of Tennessee’s Lady Volunteers into a power on the way to becoming the winningest coach in the history of major college basketball. She died five years after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

June 28: Zurlon Tipton, 26: a former Indianapolis Colts running back died from a shooting at a Michigan car dealership after a gun in his car was accidentally discharged.

July 2: Jack Taylor, 94; started a leasing company with seven cars and built it into Enterprise Rent-A, died in St. Louis after a brief illness.

July 2: Elie Wiesel, 87: Romanian-born Holocaust survivor whose classic “Night” became a landmark testament to the Nazis’ crimes and launched his career as one of the world’s foremost witnesses and humanitarian.

July 2: Michael Cimino, 77: Oscar-winning director whose film The Deer Hunter became one of the great triumphs of Hollywood’s 1970s heyday and whose disastrous Heaven’s Gate helped bring that era to a close.

arturroJuly 3: Arturo, 31: American-born Argentine polar bear was said to suffer from depression after his partner, Pelusa, died of cancer in 2012. He came to the world’s attention two years ago when thousands of people signed a petition asking for him to be transferred to a colder climate in Canada. A blood circulation imbalance caused a general decline in his health.

July 3: Noel Neill, 95: played Lois Lane in the 1950’s TV version of Superman.

July 8: Goldie Michelson, 113: Russian-born American supercentenarian, nation’s oldest living person died just short of celebrating her 114 birthday (August). Born in Russia, she moved to the US as a child and attended Brown University for her undergraduate degree and earned a master’s degree at Clark University. She lived an active life, walking 4-5 miles every morning, which she called her “secret to longevity.” She didn’t smoke or drink, but she did have a weakness for chocolate.

July 9: Gladys Hooper, 113: English supercentenarian, nation’s oldest living person, passed away at the nursing home where she was a resident, at lunchtime. She was a former concert pianist, the same year the Wright brothers made the first powered aircraft flight (1903).

July 9: Sydney H. Schanberg, 82: Former New York Times correspondent awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the genocide in Cambodia in 1975 and whose story of the survival of his assistant inspired the film The Killing Fields.

July 14: Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, 31: Tunisian jihadist, perpetrator of the 2016 Nice attack was a Tunisian delivery man, not a known jihadist. Apparently he had been radicalized very quickly. The so-called Islamic State (IS) says he acted in response to its calls to target its calls to target civilians in countries that are part of the coalition ranged against the group. He surveyed the area in the truck two days before the July 14 Bastille Day attack, then smashed into the crowd killing 86 people on Nice’s beachfront, the Promenade des Anglais.

July 16: Bonnie Brown, 77: A 2015 Country Music Hall of Famer died of complications from lung cancer.

July 18: Jeffrey Montgomery, 63: American LGBT rights activist and longtime Executive Director for Triangle Foundation died in Detroit, Mich.

Warner Bros. Pictures World Premiere Of 'Valentine's Day'  Hollywood Los Angeles, America.July 19: Garry Marshall, 81: director, producer, writer and actor; the man who created some the 70s most iconic sitcoms including Happy Days, The Odd Couple, Laverne and Shirley died in Burbank, Calif. of complications from pneumonia following a stroke. He went from being a TV writer to creating sitcoms that touched the funny bones of the 70s generation and directing films that were watched again and again. He is survived by his wife Barbara, whom he married in 1963; his son Scott, a film director; and daughters Lori, an actress and casting director, and Kathleen, and actress; six grandchildren; and his sisters Penny Marshall, an actress and film director and Ronny Hallin, a TV producer.

July 24: Marni Nixon, 86: Hollywood voice double whose singing was heard in place of the leading actresses’ in such movie musicals as West Side Story, The King and I and My Fair Lady.

July 26: Forrest Mars, Jr., 84: a Mars, Inc. co-owner who oversaw the global expansion for M&Ms and Milky Way candies and helped his two siblings run the closely held company for 30 years died in Seattle. The cause was a heart attack. He was the grandson of Forrest E. Mars, who made the first Mars products in 1911, helped his younger brother and sister run the company and drive it into new markets such as Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic in 1991 and opened its first manufacturing plant in China two years later, according to the company’s website.

July 26: Miss Cleo (Youree Dell Harris), 53: Iconic TV Psychic, who rose to fame in the late 1990s through psychic hotline commercials in which she claimed to know the futures of her callers, died of cancer in Palm Beach, Florida.

July 29: Antonio Armstrong, 42: former Texas A&M star and NFL player died after being shot by his 16-year old son at their home in the Houston-area city of Bellaire. He was found injured in the bedroom and taken to the Memorial Hermann Hospital where he later died. Armstrong’s wife, Dawn, was also involved in the shooting and died at the home. No motive has yet been found.

gloria-dehavenJuly 30: Gloria DeHaven, 91: singer and actress, a studio player at MGM, appeared in a number of top films with leading stars: Thousands Cheer (Gene Kelly); Two Girls & a Sailor (June Allyson & Van Johnson); Step Lively (Frank Sinatra); Summer Holiday (Mickey Rooney) and many more. She was a stalwart of show business for more than six decades. She suffered a stroke about 3 months ago, her daughter, Faith Fincher-Finkelstein told The Hollywood Reporter. She died while in hospice care in Las Vegas, Nevada.

August 3: Ricci James Martin, 62: the youngest son of music legend Dean Martin and a musician and entertainer in his own right died in his home in Utah, his family made the news public, listing no cause of death. Ricci had been performing in a touring tribute to his father.

August 3: Shakira Martin, 30: American-born Jamaican model and Miss Jamaica Universe, died in a Florida hospital from complications from sickle cell disease.

August 5: Joellyn Duesberry, 72: American landscape artist, pancreatic cancer.

joani-blankAugust 6: Joani Blank, 79: American entrepreneur (Good Vibrations), Butterfly vibrator inventor, author and feminist sex educator. Joani Blank made the world safe for pleasure-seeking women. She founded San Francisco’s hometown non-sleezy sex-toy store and designed vibrators for women.

August 7: Ruby Winters Jenkins, 74: American soul singer (Make Love to Me, I Will).

August 8: Doris Bohrer, 93: American intelligence operative, was a spy during WW II and the Cold War. She was barely 20 and just 2 years out of Silver Spring’s Montgomery Blair High School when she became an employee of the Office of Strategic Services (the WWII predecessor of the CIA). She started her career as a typist, but by the end of the war she had spied on the Nazis from vantage points in Italy and North Africa and played a role in plotting the Allied Invasions of Sicily and the rest of Italy. When WWII ended and the OSS became the CIA, she went on to Germany for Cold War espionage on the Soviet Union and interviewed German scientists who had been captured, held and interrogated by the Russians. In 1979, she retired as deputy chief of counterintelligence and trained U.S. officers on the methods and tactics of foreign espionage operatives. Her son, Jason P. Bohrer said, “she spied on the spies.”

August 9: Jimmy Levine, 61/62: R&B musician, record producer, who played with Marvin Gaye’s road band and worked as a writer for the Jacksons, Rick James, Teena Marie and eventually formed his own production company (Out Post). Levine had been battling cancer for some time.

August 11: Thomas Steinbeck, 72: novelist and eldest son of John Steinbeck, and later in life, a fiction writer who fought bitterly in a family dispute over his father’s estate died at his home in Santa Barbara, Calif of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to his wife, Gail Knight Steinbeck.

August 11: Glenn Yarbrough, 86: American folk singer and founding member of vocal group The Limeliters and a prolific solo artist died at his home in Nashville, Tenn. after years of declining health.

marion-christopher-barryAugust 14: Marion Christopher Barry, 36: the former DC Mayor’s only son and construction company owner died from what may have been from a drug overdose.

August 14: James Woolley, 49: former Nine Inch Nails Keyboardist, 1993 Grammy winner (Wish). Woolley’s ex-wife Kate Van Buren posted his death to Facebook, the cause of death was not shared.

August 16: John McLaughlin, 89: Conservative commentator and host of a long-running television show that pioneered hollering-heads discussions of Washington politics.

machali-4August 18: Mathali, 20: Queen of Ranthambore and perhaps the most photographed tigress on earth. On June 27, 2003 she challenged and killed a crocodile in her territory. The fierce battle between the two lasted for hours.  It cost her two of her canines. It took place in from of dozens of wildlife enthusiasts. Some of them captured it in their cameras, propelling Machhli to worldwide fame. As she aged, even when she would make a kill, she often lost it to a healthier and younger tiger, and a cataract in her left eye developed, robbing her of her site.

August 19: Lou Perlman, 62: disgraced Backstreet Boys and ’NSYNC svengali who was serving out a 25-year prison term after being convicted of running a half-billion-dollar Ponzi scheme in 2008 died at a federal prison in Miami, Florida.

August 20: Steven Hill, 94: he was best known for playing District Attorney Schiff on Law & Order for many years, but played other versatile characters in theater, films and television. He died at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, according to his wife, Rachel, the cause unknown at the time. He wife said he did suffer from several ailments.

August 29: Gene Wilder, 83: actor, screenwriter, author, Wilder died at his home in Stamford, Conn. from complications from Alzheimer’s Disease, which he suffered with for the past three years.

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