Those we have lost in 2017 – April thru June

hate manApril 2: Hate Man (Mark Hawthorne), 80: One of the most colorful homeless people to ever hit the Bay Area died of heart failure at a hospital in Berkeley, according to friends who were helping take care of him. He once was a reporter at the New York Times, but abandoned his job and took up residence on the streets of Berkeley. He came up with his name “Hate Man” after deciding that “honest communications can only be attained after acknowledging that hate exists between everyone.”

April 2: Rhubarb Jones, 65: American country disc jockey and professional wrestling ring announcer (WCW) heart attack.

Aril 5: Alma Soller McLay, 97: The American stenographer at the Nuremberg trials and the last surviving member of the U.S. team that prosecuted Nazi war criminals, died in Torrance, Calif. She is survived by her children and grandchildren.

April 5: Paul O’Neill, 61: rock producer who founded the progressive American rock band, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra died of a chronic illness. His death was posted to the bands Facebook page.

Don RicklesApril 6: Don Rickles, 90: abrasive comic, celebrity roast guest whose career spanned six decades and honorary Rat Pack member, Rickles died at his home in Los Angeles from kidney failure. He forged his career by turning the tables on his hecklers and went on to make fun of everyone he encountered. When Frank Sinatra walked into Rickle’s club in 1957, he was greeted from the stage …”Make yourself at home, Frank. Hit somebody,” heckled Rickles. Sinatra roared – with laughter. Rickles, with Sinatra’s endorsement, began his comedic assault on people, famous and not so famous. The rest is history.

April 7: Tim Pigott-Smith, 70: English actor (The Jewel in the Crown, Clash of the Titans, V for Vendetta).

April 8: Stephen Caracappa, 75: American NYPD police detective and one of the infamous “Mafia Cops” convicted in 2006 of carrying out murders for the mob while still working for the NYPD, died in prison while serving a life sentence, according to a federal source. It’s a rumor he died of cancer. He was in a federal prison medical facility in Butner, North Carolina.

April 12: Charlie Murphy, 57: American comedian, actor and screen writer, a performer on The Chappelle Show and Eddie Murphy’s older brother, died after a battle with leukemia.

Dara QuigleyApril 12: Dara Quigley, 36: Irish journalist, who was described by her family as a bright, intelligent person with an enduring commitment to creating a fairer society, is suffering her loss after she took her own life. She had been detained by Gardaí under the Mental Health Act for walking naked in a Dublin street. A Garda CCTV video of her detention was posted on Facebook shortly before her death. Garda believes the footage had been filmed on a mobile phone and then shared on the WhatsApp online messaging service. Compounding the posting of the video was the publication of her name on several websites. The video was subsequently posted on Facebook. Upon request, Facebook removed it, but over one hundred thousand people had already seen the video and it remains visible on other internet sites, hosted outside Ireland.

April 15: Sylvia Moy, 78: American songwriter (“Uptight (Everything’s Alright)”, “I Was Made to Love Her”, “My Cherie Amour”) and record producer.

April 16: Robert Godwin, 74: American retiree, victim of the Facebook Killer, shot while walking on a sidewalk in Glenville, a neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio.

April 17: Rosey, 47: Samoan-American professional wrestler (WWE, AJPW, FMW) heart failure.

April 17: Trish Vradenburg, 70: American screenwriter (Designing Women, Kate & Allie, Family Ties) heart attack.

April 18: Dorrance Hull Hamilton, 88: American leading philanthropist, heiress of Campbell Soup Company and a “woman of vision.”


J.C. Spink

April 18: J.C. Spink, 45: American producer (A History of Violence, The Hangover, The Butterfly Effect) accidental drug overdose. He died at his home in West Hollywood, Calif. He is survived by his brothers, his parents and others.

April 18: Steve W. Stephens: The Facebook Killer, who posted cellphone videos of his killings on Facebook. He committed suicide by gunshot when cornered by police in Erie County, Penn.

April 19: Delbert Daisey, 89: American waterfowl decoy maker. He was born on Chincoteague Island, Virg. He was an award-winning and nationally recognized waterfowl wood carver whose work has appeared in the Smithsonian, the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Chincoteague Refuge Waterfowl Museum and National Geographic. He is survived by countless relatives, siblings, nieces and nephews. He will be missed.

April 19: Aaron Hernandez, 27: who was once an American football player for the New England Patriots and became a convicted murderer (Odin Lloyd). While on trial for Lloyd’s murder, he was also indicted for the 2012 double homicide of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, but was acquitted in 2017. Days after being acquitted, he hung himself in prison and it was ruled a suicide. His conviction for Lloyd’s murder was vacated because he died during the appeal process.


Cuba Gooding, Sr.

April 20: Cuba Gooding, Sr, 72: Gooding, Sr. was known for his 1972 hit “Everybody Plays the Fool” and as the lead singer of the band The Main Ingredient. He was found dead in his car in Los Angeles. He was the father of his namesake, Oscar winner Cuba Gooding, Jr. He also has three other children.

April 20: Ledell Lee, 51: American convicted murderer, Arkansas’s first inmate put to death by lethal injection since 2005. He is the first of four inmates scheduled to die before the end of the month, when a crucial lethal injection drug is set to expire. Lee murdered 26-year-old Debra Reese in October of 1995.

April 21: Sandy Gallin, 76: American talent agent, who during his time represented Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Cher and others and also worked as a producer (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Father of the Bride) died at the UCLA Medical Center after suffering a relapse of multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer.

April 21: Enrico Medioli, 92: Italian screenwriter (Once Upon a Time in America).

Happy Days - 1974-1984April 22: Erin Moran, 56: the actress who played Joanie Cunningham on the 1970s sitcom Happy Days and the spinoff, Joanie Loves Chachi was found unresponsive by authorities in Indiana. She had fallen on hard times in recent years and had been kicked out of her trailer park home in Indiana because of her lifestyle. The official cause of death was tonsil cancer.

April 24: Michael Mantenuto, 35: actor, hockey player, star in Disney’s 2004 film Miracle, died of an apparent self-inflicted gun shot wound. Authorities found him in his car in Des Moines, Wash.

April 25: Calep Emphrey, Jr., 67: American drummer (B.B. King).

April 26: Jonathan Demme, 73: American film director, Oscar winner, whose thriller The Silence of the Lambs swept the Oscars and introduced one of the most indelible villains in movie history. He died in New York from complications from esophageal cancer and heart disease. Some of Demme’s films included Stop Making Sense, Married to the Mob, and Philadelphia, the 1993 drama starring Tom Hanks as a lawyer battling AIDS.

April 29: Jordan Edwards, 15: American victim of police shooting, shot and killed by a Balch Springs police man when he was leaving a house party. Thirty-seven year-old Roy Oliver was fired and indicted on a murder charge by a Dallas County Grand Jury. He was also indicted on four counts of aggravated assault for firing his rifle into a car full of teenagers leaving a party April 29. Jordan Edwards, who sat in the front passenger seat, was struck in the head.


Jean Stein

April 30: Jean Stein, 83: Author of Edie: An American Girl and West of Eden, an expert in the art of oral history, jumped to her death from the 15th floor of a New York City apartment building.

May 7: Robert Wilson, 75: TV producer and father of actors Owen and Luke Wilson. Luke confirmed the news to the Dallas Morning News and told the Texas paper that his dad had spent the last few years battling Alzheimer’s, suggesting a cause of death.

May 6: Steven Holcomb, 37: American bobsledder, Olympic champion (2010), plumonary edema.

May 8: Clarence Williams, 70: American football player (Green Bay Packers). He is survived by his wife Icy, of 48 years and his three children.

May 9: Christopher “Big Black” Boykin, 45: entertainer and musician (Rob & Big), died of heart failure, according to TMZ. He was hospitalized in Plano, Tex. for several days while doctors monitored him. Boykin previously had a defibrillator implanted in his chest.

May 12: Michael Jackson, 48: American football player (Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens) and mayor of Tangipahoa, Louisiana (2009-2012) died in a motorcycle accident in his hometown of Tangipahoa. His motorcycle was traveling at a high rate of speed around 1am when it crashed into a car that was backing out of a parking space and into both lanes of the highway. Jackson struck the driver’s side door. Jackson and the driver were killed.

May 13: Jimmy Copley, 63: English drummer (Jeff Beck, Graham Parker, Tears for Fears) Leukemia.

powers-boothe-sin-cityMay 14: Powers Boothe, 68: a prolific character actor on the small and big screen, Boothe died in his sleep of natural causes. He was in Sin City and the sequel. He also played Curly Bill Brocious in Tombstone and saloon owner Cy Tolliver in HBO’s Deadwood. He was recently seen in Nashville and in the Hatfields & McCoys and played VP Daniels on 24. He took home an Emmy for the lead actor in a limited series or special for playing the infamous cult leader Jim Jones in Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones.

May 14: Brad Grey, 59: American producer (The Departed, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Sopranos), chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures (2005-2017) cancer.

May 16: Doug Somers, 65: American professional wrestler (AWA), known as “Pretty Boy” was not only known as a genuinely nice guy, but one of the best workers in the ring. He worked in the Verne Gagne’s AWA as part of a tag team with “Playboy” Buddy Rose, managed by WWE Hall of Fame Sherri Martel.

May 18: Roger Ailes, 77: powerful executive, who along with mogul Rupert Murdoch started Fox News in 1996 as an alternative to mainstream media and under its “fair and balanced” motto shot to the top of the ratings in cable, passed away, according to a statement from his wife. Ailes lost his power after a Fox anchor, Gretchen Carlson sued for sexual harassment. Bill O’Reilly was also ousted from the network because of sexual harassment complaints.


Chris Cornell

May 18: Chris Cornell, 52: famed frontman of Soundgarden and Audioslave apparently committed suicide by hanging after an appearance in Detroit. Cornell’s rep called the death “sudden and unexpected” but gave no further details.

May 18: Frankie Paul, 51: Jamaican singer, kidney failure.

May 19: Rich Buckler, 68: American comic book artist (Deathlok, All-Star Squadron, Fantastic Four) cancer.

May 20: Lisa Spoonauer, 44: American actress (Clerks, Bartender). She left acting after failing to get a part in a Nic Cage movie. She is survived by her husband Tom and daughter. She died from an accidental overdose.

May 21: Kenny Cordray, 62: guitarist was part of a murder/suicide inside a home in Nassau Bay, Texas. Kenny’s wife told authorities she witnessed the crime. Family members said that Kelly, Kenny’s 33-year-old son, shot and killed Kenny, and then killed himself. Kenny was a member of the Grammy Awards and had collaborated with some of music’s biggest names, including co-writing The ZZ Top hit, “Francine.”

May 21: Jimmy LaFave, 61: American folk singer, songwriter and guitarist, cancer.

Dina MerrillMay 22: Dina Merrill, 93: American actress (Operation Petticoat, BUtterfield 8) heiress to two fortunes, philanthropist and socialite, died at home in East Hampton, NY. She was the daughter of EF Hutton and cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post. She grew up in luxury, spending six months on the family yacht and during winter, home was the 115-room Mar-a-Lago estate (which is now owned by Donald Trump). Her father wanted her to become a lawyer and then run for Congress. Instead, Ms. Merrill made her Broadway debut speaking three lines in “The Mermaids Singing” in 1945. She is survived by her second husband and daughter from her first marriage, a stepson, six grandchildren, four step grandchildren and two stepgreat-grandchildren. Her second husband died in 2011.

Roger MooreMay 23: Sir Roger Moore, 89: English actor, best known for playing James Bond in seven films including Live and Let Die and A View to a Kill died after a short but brave battle with cancer. A statement from his children read: “Thank you Pops for being you, and being so very special to so many people.” He was also known for the TV series The Persuaders and The Saint and for his humanitarian work. Audrey Hepburn introduced him to Unicef and he was appointed as a goodwill ambassador in 1991. Moore was known for taking Bond in a more humorous direction that his predecessor, Sean Connery and he felt that Daniel Craig was the best actor to have played James Bond.

May 26: Robert Curtis, 27: a talented basketball player who was once the number one pick in the National Basketball League of Canada, was shot and killed outside a Home Depot in Victorville, Calif. The suspects fled the scene and are still at large. His short life was marred with violence. His father was shot and killed when he was five when Victorville was ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in California. At 6’10”, Curtis was a power forward who had won a state title with Saddlebrook Junior College in 2010. He transferred to Wayland Baptist University (Division II) and lead the team in scoring during his only year there.


Gregg Allman

May 27: Gregg Allman, 69: Hall of Fame singer-songwriter (“Whipping Post”, “Midnight Rider”) and musician (The Allman Brothers Band) from complications of liver cancer. He was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 1999 and underwent a liver transplant in 2010. He passed away peacefully at his home in Savannah, Ga.

May 29: Michael Nance, 31: Nance was a Bachelorette contestant in season eight and vied for Emily Maynard’s love. At 2:10am on May 29, Austin Police were dispatched to a home in reference to an unresponsive male. When they arrived, they found Michael Nance, deceased. His death remains unsuspicious.

June 2: Peter Sallis, 96: best known as the voice of Wallace in Wallace and Gromit died peacefully with his family by his side.

Danny Dias

June 4: Danny Dias, 34: reality television personality (MTV Road Rules, The Challenge) was found unconscious and unresponsive at his apartment in Brooklyn. Paramedics pronounced him dead on scene. A source told PEOPLE, Dias was found with lacerations on his wrists, surrounded by hallucinogenic drugs. It was ruled he died from complications from chronic substance abuse.

June 4: Roger Smith, 84: American actor (77 Sunset Strip, Mister Roberts, Auntie Mame) complications from Parkinson’s disease.

June 5: James Vance, 64: American comic book writer (Kings in Disguise, Omaha the Cat Dancer, The Crow), cancer.

June 7: James Hardy, 31: American football player (Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens). Hardy had been reported missing by family members a week prior. On June 7, emergency personnel found Hardy’s body in a log jam in one of Fort Wayne’s rivers. The coroner determined the cause of death as suicide by drowning.

June 8: Glenne Headly, 62: American actress (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Mr. Holland’s Opus, Dick Tracy), a versatile and scene stealing actress died due to complications of a pulmonary embolism, said her husband, Byron McCulloch.

June 8: Robert Melson, 46: American murderer, executed by lethal injection in Alabama for a triple murder during a robbery.

Batman - 1966-1968June 9: Adam West, 88: American actor (Batman, Family Guy, Robinson Crusoe on Mars). Adam West was defined and constrained by his role as the 1960’s TV Batman. “Our dad always saw himself as The Bright Knight, and aspired to make a positive impact on his fans’ lives. He was and always will be our hero,” his family said in a statement. A rep said that he died after a short battle with leukemia. He became known to a new generation of TV fans through his recurring voice role on Fox’s Family Guy as Mayor Adam West, the horribly corrupt, inept and vain leader of Quahog, RI. He also did voice-over work on such shows as Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken and Disney Channel’s Jake and the Neverland Pirates. But it was his role as the Caped Crusader ABC series that definitely defined his career. You were MY Batman Mr. West.

June 12: Charles P. Thacker, 74: American computer designer, co-inventor of Ethernet, complications from esophageal cancer.

June 13: Jeffrey Arenburg, 60: the man who fatally shot CJOH sportscaster Brian Smith in the station’s Merivale Road parking lot over 20 years ago, died from a heart attacked. Orenburg had undiagnosed and untreated paranoid schizophrenia and had been hearing voices when he waited in the parking lot and fatally shot Brian Smith, 54 on August 1, 1995. He shot Smith simply because he had recognized his face from television. Smith died at the hospital the following day. Orenburg surrendered to the the police and was eventually found not criminally responsible for the killing. He was granted an unconditional discharge from a psychiatric facility in 2006.

Khadija Saye

Khadija Saye

June 14: Khadija Saye, 24: incredibly talented, fast-rising British photographer, just beginning to show her abilities to the world, killed tragically young from injuries sustained in the Grenfell Tower fire in West London.

June 14: Henry “Hank” Deutschendorf, 29: played Baby Oscar in Ghostbusters II was found dead in his California home. He was “found suspended by a ligature around his neck” in a closet, according to the San Diego Medical Examiner’s Office. His twin brother, William, cut him down and called 911.

June 15: Sheila Raye Charles, 53: the daughter of Ray Charles and Sandra Jean Betts died after a gallant battle with breast cancer. She rose above her own tragic life choices with a message of hope for the world’s children based on her own experience of what faith and belief in “God” can do. “I know some of you out there are thinking, ‘Oh, she’s Ray Charles’s daughter; what could she have possibly been through?’ It is only by the grace of God that I’m not sitting in that chair right now.” – Sheila Raye Charles

June 16: Stephen Furst, 63: American actor (Babylon 5, Animal House, St. Elsewhere) died due to complications from diabetes.

Venus Ramey

Venus Ramey

June 17: Venus Ramey, 92: American beauty pageant contestant (Miss America 1994) and gun rights activist. In 2007, at age 82, Ramey shot out the truck tire of trespassers on her Waynesburg, Ky., farm, earning her a guest appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. During Venus’ reign, Miss America was seen as a political activist for the first time, as Venus worked with Senators from Kansas and Congressman from Missouri in publishing bills to gain suffrage for the District of Columbia, as well as other members of Congress to enact women’s rights legislation. The Miss American Organization sent out an email honoring the 1944 Miss America winner, saying … “Venus leaves behind a lasting legacy. Her memory will live on in the hearts of everyone in the Miss America family and all who had the pleasure of knowing her.”

June 18: Tim Hague, 34: Canadian MMA fighter (UFC, WSOF, KOTC) brain hemorrhage.

June 18: Tony Liscio, 76: American football player for the Dallas Cowboys, who protected Roger Gtaubach’s blind side. Dead at 76 after battling ALS. He believed playing football contributed to his ALS. His brain will be tested for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.

June 18: Simon Nelson, 85: the man convicted of killing his six children and a family dog in 1978 died at an outside hospital. He was an inmate at Graham Correctional Center in Hillsboro, Ill.

June 19: Otto Warmbier, 22: American college student, who was convicted of theft, detained and imprisoned by North Korea for seventeen months died shortly after he returned home to Ohio. Doctors from the Univ. of Cincinnati Medical Center said that Warmer was suffering from injuries relating to cardiopulmonary arrest and was in a state of unresponsive wakefulness. Scans showed extensive loss in all regions of his brain, doctors said. Warmer was a University of Virginia students who was medically evacuated from North Korea and flown to Cincinnati, then transported to the Medical Center.

June 20: Prodigy (aka Mobb Deep), 42: American rapper, died from choking on an egg, coroner confirmed.

June 22: Keith Loneker, Sr., 46: American football player who played with the LA Rams and who turned to acting (Out of Sight, Superbad, Lakeview Terrace) and was working as a substitute teacher in the Lawrence School District, died from cancer.

June 22: Sheila Michaels, 78: American writer and activist and the women who brought ‘Ms.” to prominence, died from leukemia.

June 26: Rex Makin, 91: British solicitor, who created the term “Beatlemania” as the family solicitor to Brian Epstein, who in 1963 sought his advice on setting up a perpetually binding contract between himself and the Beatles.

Paddington bear author

Michael Bond

June 27: Michael Bond, 91: British children’s author whose most famous creation was Paddington Bear, died after a short illness.

June 27: Michael Nyqvist, 56: He starred opposite Noomi Rapace in the original The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (and its sequels) and was most recently seen in John Wick. “He lost his battle with lung cancer at the age of 56,” his family said. “Michael’s joy and passion were infectious to those who knew and loved him.”

June 28: C.O. Erickson, 93: American producer and production manager (Rear Window, Chinatown, Blade Runner) heart complications.

2 comments on “Those we have lost in 2017 – April thru June

  1. Thanks for posting these epic folks and their accomplishments! I found out about celebrities I never had learned about before. The bright lights of those we lost will shine on after their loss. People such as Sylvia Moy, Duane Allman and many others will be greatly missed.

  2. Thanks Annabelle! Many of these people I had not heard of before and their stories are epic. It is good to know more about those whom I did recognize as well!

    Happy New Year to you and thanks for sharing your writing! Ellen Karnowski ________________________________

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