2017 Obituaries – October thru December

Oct. 1: Stephen Paddock, 64: The gunman who executed the 2017 Las Vegas shooting. He took his own life with his own gun. He killed at least 58 innocent people and wounded 500 others. He had no known connection to terrorism.

Oct 2: Tom Petty, 66: a true rock legend, Petty reportedly died from cardiac arrest. He was a Grammy winner, Hall of Fame musician (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the Traveling Wilburys) and voice actor (King of the Hill).This is one of the best obits for Tom Petty. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/music/news/tom-petty-found-unconscious-full-cardiac-arrest-not-breathing/

Oct. 3: Michel Jouvet, 91: French oneirologist and neurobiologist, developer of Modafinil and discoverer of REM sleep.

Oct. 3: Lance Russell, 91: American professional wrestling announcer and commentator (CWA, USWA, WCW), complications from a broken hip.

Oct. 4: Rufus Hannah, 63: American advocate for homeless rights, traffic collision.

Oct. 6: Holly Block, 58: American museologist, gallery director in Art in General (1988-2004) and Director of Bronx Museum of the Arts (since 2006) breast cancer.

Oct. 6: Hervé L. Leroux, 60: French fashion designer, founder of Hervé Leger, ruptured aneurysm.

Oct. 6. Ralphie May, 45: American comedian and Last Comic Standing second-place winner, died after suffering cardiac arrest in Las Vegas. He had been battling pneumonia and had cancelled a handful of dates over the last month prior to his death, in an effort to recover.


Bunny Sigler

Oct. 6: Bunny Sigler, 76: Philly music creator, that helped Gamble and Huff create the Philly Sound died at home of a heart attack. He worked with Patti LaBelle, Lou Rawls, the Spinners and countless others and his music was sampled by Jay Z, Nelly and Outkast. Lee Remick, his longtime attorney and friend stated, “He wrote, produced, recorded and sang.” Sigler had been sick for the last 10 months and suffered from diabetes. He is survived by his wife Martha and a daughter Eva in California and a son Jabare in Philadelphia.

Oct. 10: Nick Corvino, 30: an American political staffer during Donald Trump’s presidential campaign died after he was shot 13 times as he slept in his Florida home. He apparently was killed by his roommate earlier in the week in their apartment near Kissimmee. Deputies found Corvino dead in his bed. He’d been shot in the head, back and legs.

Oct. 11: Jeremy, 2: The British left-coiled snail died days after mate has young.

Oct. 12: Robert Lynn Pruett, 38: American murderer. Executed by Texas for a prison guard’s murder.

Oct. 14: Daniel Webb, 28: Former Chicago White Sox pitcher died in an ATV accident.

Oct. 15: Melvin “Burrhead” Nelson Jones, 80: American professional wrestler (WWWF, CCW, CWA). He had been dealing with a number of health issues including blindness due to glaucoma and arthritis which left him bed-ridden at a medical facility.


Roy Dotrice

Oct. 16: Roy Dotrice, 94: The famed actor died peacefully in his London home, surrounded by his family, including his three daughters and grandchildren. He discovered his passion for acting while he was held as a German prisoner during the Second World War. In 2008, he was award an OBE for services to drama by the Queen.

Oct. 17: Mychael Knight, 39: American fashion designer and Project Runway alum died outside of Atlanta, Georgia surrounded by his loving family and friends.

Oct. 17: Michele Marsh, 63: American television journalist and longtime New York TV anchor, breast cancer.


Brent Briscoe

Oct. 18: Brent Briscoe, 56: American actor and screenwriter (Twin Peaks, A Simple Plan, Swing Blade) who worked often with Billy Bob Thornton and was a busy character actor and was most recently seen in the revived Twin Peaks died from complications from a fall.

Oct. 18: Helen DeVos, 90: American philanthropist (Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital) stroke complications.

Oct. 20: Stan Kowalski, 91: American professional wrestler (AWA, NWA Tri-State, Stampede Wrestling). Wrestler, veteran, patriot, fundraiser and a friend to many.

Oct. 24: Fats Domino, 89: He was one of the first honorees inducted into the Rock & Rock Hall of Fame and is best known for his hits “Blueberry Hill” and “Ain’t That a Shame.” He is survived by his eight children. He died of natural causes.

Oct. 24: Robert Guillaume, 89: best known for his title role on the 1990 series Benson, Guillaume’s wife confirmed her husband’s passing to CNN. He won Emmys in 1979 and 1985. He died of prostate cancer.

Oct. 25: Ross Powell, 49: American baseball player (Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros, Pittsburgh Pirates) and his father, 72-year old Lyle Powell, were discovered in a lawn care van, dead from carbon monoxide poisoning. Ross Powell had just opened his lawn care franchise a month prior. The fumes were so strong, it sent five first responders to the hospital.

Dennis Banks

Dennis Banks

Oct. 29: Dennis Banks (Nowa Cumin), 80: One of the country’s most influential American Indian activists and one who was a key figure in the 1970s standoff with federal agents at Wounded Knee died at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester from complications following open-heart surgery.


Brad Bufanda

Nov. 1: Brad Bufanda, 34: Best known for his role as Felix in Veronica Mars, died of an apparent suicide in Los Angeles. According to police, Bufanda jumped from a building, committing suicide. His manager said that he was in the process of reviving his career, recently completing two movies.

Nov. 5: Robert Knight, 72: American R&B singer who recorded the first version of “Everlasting Love,” one of the biggest songs to come out of Nashville, died after a short illness. He was a member of the Fairlanes and sang lead for the Paramounts before becoming a solo artist.

Nov. 7: Debra Chasnoff, 60: A 1992 Oscar-winning artist and activist, who saw films as tools for social changes, and made 12 documentaries, died at her home of metastatic breast cancer. She was only 60. She won her Oscar in 1992 for Deadly Deception: General Electric, Nuclear Weapons and Our Environment, an expose of the energy giant’s production of nuclear weapons, and made Academy Award history when she came out as a lesbian by thanking her female partner at the time.

Nov. 7: Roy Halladay, 40: Former MLB pitcher (Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies), Cy Young Award winner (2003, 2010) was killed in a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida. The plane was a two-person aircraft that was owned by Hallady, but he was the only one on board. He was the father of two with his wife Brandy.


John Hillerman

Nov. 9: John Hillerman, 84: American actor, who was best known for playing Higgins on the television show Magnum, P.I. and won an Emmy in 1987, also appeared in Chinatown and Blazing Saddles. He died at his home in Houston, stated a family spokeswoman. She also stated the cause of death had not been determined.

Nov. 12: Liz Smith, 94: American gossip columnist, who wrote for Newsday, New York Daily News and was known as the Longtime Queen of Tabloid Gossip Columns for more than three decades died at her home in Manhattan, her friend and literary agent confirmed. Credit Hilary Swift for The New York Times

Nov. 16: Fergie Pacheco, 89: American physician and boxing cornerman, known as the “Fight Doctor” and Muhammad Ali’s physician, died at his home in Miami, in his sleep.

Nov. 17: Aijalon Gomes, 38: American teacher, imprisoned by the Government of North Korean in 2010 was found burned to death over the weekend in a dirt lot in Mission Bay Park in San Diego. The police believe that Gomes likely dies as a result of an accident or suicide.


Earle Hyman

Nov. 17: Earle Hyman, 91: best known for playing Grandpa Huxtable on The Cosby Show, Hyman was a veteran of stages around the world. In addition to The Cosby Show, he was a voice on Thundercats. Hyman died at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, New Jersey.

Nov. 18: Flawless Sabrina (Jack Doroshow), 78: American drag queen and trans rights activist, was a drag legend. She was a central figure of the New York queer community and was a guide and mentor to countless queer youths for decades.

Nov. 18: Malcolm Young, 64: The AC/DC guitarist and cofounder, died after a three-year battle with dementia.

Nov. 19: Peter Baldwin, 86: American actor and director, who turned prolific Emmy-winning TV director with credits including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Sanford and Son, Murphy Brown and The Wonder Years. He died at his home in Pebble Beach, his son announced. He is also survived by his wife, two daughters, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Nov. 19: Charles Manson, 83: American criminal and cult leader, died in prison from cardiac arrest from colon cancer. I won’t write a single word about his life, but I will list the lives that he and his “family” members ended, way too soon: Sharon Tate, Wojciech Frykowski, Abigail Folger, Jay Sebring, Steven Parent, Leno LaBianca and Rosemary LaBianca. These are just the lives that he was “convicted of” taking.


Della Reese

Nov. 19: Della Reese, 86: Della Reese segued from pop to jazz to acting. She had a long career as a popular TV actress on Touched by an Angel. She was a wife, mother, grandmother, friend and pastor. One of her four marriages included a brief, annulled union with Mercer Ellington, son of jazz great Duke Ellington. She is survived by her husband Franklin Lett, a film producer and concert promoter. She died at her home in California.


David Cassidy

Nov. 21: David Cassidy, 67: Pop culture idol of the 1970s, died in a Florida hospital where he had been after suffering from organ failure. He had announced his diagnosis with dementia in early 2017. When he performed at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York in March, he talked about his dementia and said his arthritis made playing guitar an ordeal. He died surrounded by those he loved, free from the pain that had gripped him.

Nov. 25: Bertha Calloway, 92: American historian and museologist, founder of the Great Plains Black History Museum.

Nov. 27: Robert Powell, 66: American bass guitarist who played with The Young Rascals, The Crusaders.

Nov. 27: Bob Seidemann, 75: American rock album cover designer (Blind Faith, Go to Heaven, On the Beach) and a photographer who shot the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin, died from Parkinson’s disease.


Gomer Pyle

Nov. 30: Jim Nabors, 87: American actor (Gomer Pyle, USMC, The Andy Griffith Show, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas) whose name was synonymous with the term “bumpkin,” and brought the words “golly” and “shazam” into the vernacular of the American television audience. His series, Gomer Pyle, USMC was a spinoff of The Andy Griffith show and ran for four seasons. Nabors’ 20% cut of the syndication revenue made him financially secure thereafter and allowed him to pursue broader interests as a singer and a comic. He married his partner of 38 years in Washington in 2013, a month after gay marriage became legal in that state. In addition to his partner, Stan Cadwallader, he is survived by two sisters, Freddie and Ruth.

Nov. 30: Ben Sylliboy, 76: Canadian Waycobah grand council chief, spiritual leader of Mi’kmaq.

Dec. 2: Lowell Hawthorne, 57: Jamaican-born American entrepreneur who was the founder and CEO of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill shot himself inside the Park Ave. building inside his Bronx factory. He once appeared on Undercover Boss. Apparently the business was plagued by tax debt and a worker’s law suit.

Dec. 4: Christine Keeler, 75: English model and showgirl, at the heart of the Profumo affair, and whose affairs with Russian diplomat and British MP John Profumo caused one of UK’s biggest scandal of the 20th century died from COPD. She had been ill for several months. A major BBC series revisiting the scandal is due to start filming next year.

Dec. 5: August Ames, 23: Canadian pornographic actress, August Ames was one of the most popular porn stars on the Internet. Just days after receiving criticism on social media for refusing to work with certain performers, she was found dead of an apparent suicide by hanging.


Jose Padron

Dec. 5: José Padrón, 91: Cuban-American tobacconist, founder of Piloto Cigars, Inc., some of the world’s best Cuban cigars, died at a hospital in Coconut Grove, Florida.

Dec. 8: Steve Revvis, 55: American actor (Fargo, Geronimo: An American Legend, The Longest Yard).

Dec. 9: Kevin Robinson, 45: veteran BMX professional and Guiness Book of World Records holder and X Games veteran, died of a stroke. By the time he retired in 2013, he had spent nearly 25 years using BMX progression. He is survived by a wife and three children.

Dec. 9: Tom Zenk, 59: American bodybuilder and professional wrestler (WCW, AJPW, WWF).

Dec. 10: Angry Grandpa (better known as Charlie Green Jr.), 67: American Internet personality (YouTube) died after a short battle with skin cancer.

Dec. 10: Jack Boyle, 83: legendary rock concert promoter and venue owner (The Cellar Door) turned Georgetown’s Cellar Door nightclub into the flagship venue of a national concert promotion empire. Known as the Door, it was one of the country’s premier music venues until it closed in 1982. Jack Boyle (the son) stated his father died from complications from dementia. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Dec. 11: Charles Robert Jenkins, 77: American soldier, deserted to North Korea and husband of former Japanese abductee Hitomi Soga.

Dec. 11: Paul T. Fader 58: former Mayor of Englewood, New Jersey (1998-2003).

Dec. 12: Zarley Zalapski, 49: Canadian ice hockey player, played in the NHL between 1987-1998 and a 12-game stint during the 1990-00 season. Originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins fourth overall in 1986, Zalapski made stops playing for the Hartford Whalers, Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers. During his 637 games of NHL experience, Zalapski scored 99 goals, 285 assists while racking up 684 penalty minutes. He died due to complications of a viral infection.

Dec. 12: Ed Lee, 65: Mayor of San Francisco (since 2011). The city’s first Asian American mayor and the man who presided over the transformation during the recent tech boom died after suffering a heart attack at the age of 65. He collapsed while shopping at a grocery store near his home and was quickly taken by ambulance to San Francisco General Hospital. He died at 1:11am, surrounded by friends and family.


Warrel Dane

Dec. 13: Warrel Dane, 56: American heavy metal singer, who achieved fame with the bands Sanctuary and Nevermore died from a heart attack while in São Paulo, Brazil. It apparently happened during the night and he could not be revived.

Dec. 14: Tamio Oki, 89: Japanese voice actor (Ghost in the Shell, Astro Boy, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure). He had been undergoing medical treatment for an unspecified illness.

Dec. 14: Bob Givens, 99: American animator (Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry, Garfield and Friends). He died just three months shy of his 100th birthday.

Dec. 14: Yurizan Beltran, 31: American pornographic actress. The owner of the house where she was living found Beltran dead of an apparent drug overdose. Friends confirmed her death. She was a native of Long Beach, Calif. who worked at Hooters before she went into porn.

Dec. 15: Robert Follis, 48: American mixed martial arts coach (Xtreme Couture). Las Vegas authorities confirmed to ESPN that Follis’ death was a suicide from a gunshot to the head. Follis was a head coach at Xtreme Couture for four years and was a key piece of former UFC bantamweight champion Miesha Tate’s camp. But last month, Follis parted way with Xtreme Couture, ending a run that began in 2014.

Dec. 18: Kim Jong-hyun, 27: lead singer of the K-pop group SHINee, was found unconscious at his rented apartment in southern Seoul. Kim’s sister made the initial call to emergency services reporting that she believed her brother was committing suicide. Investigators believe he committed suicide by inhaling toxic fumes, as they discovered coal briquettes burnt on a frying pan upon arriving at the apartment.

Dec. 22: Gerald B. Greenberg, 81: American film editor and 1972 Oscar winner (The French Connection, Apocalypse Now, Scarface). His film editing produced one of the most famous car chases in cinema history. He died after a long illness.

Dec. 22: Victor Llamas, 41: American comic book artist (Batman). Llamas was a veteran inker. He died from medical complications after a long hospital stay.

Dec. 22: Frank “Bobo” Marrapese, 74: American mobster (Patriarca crime family) and murderer, who was known as one of the most vicious enforcers, died at a Rhode Island hospital. He was serving time at the Adult Correctional Institutions for murder.


Jordan Feldstein

Dec. 23: Jordan Feldstein, 40: American music manager for Maroon 5, and brother of Jonah Hill, died of a heart attack, according to the Feldstein family. He and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine were friends from childhood and Feldstein managed the group from their inception, guiding the band as they became one of music’s most successful international touring acts with three Grammy Awards and 20 million albums sold worldwide.

Dec. 24: Heather Menzies-Urich, 68: Canadian-born, American actress, who played the third oldest daughter, Louisa von Trapp in the 1965 film The Sound of Music, died of brain cancer. She was the widow of actor Robert Urich, who died in 2002. She was surrounded by her children and family members.


Sue Grafton

Dec. 28: Sue Grafton, 77: A Louisville, Kent. native, who was a popular mystery writer with a best-selling series of alphabetically titled mystery novels died in California, according to Steve Bass, a family friend. Her heroine was Kinsey Millhone and it started in 1982 with “A is for Alibi.” Grafton published “Y is for Yesterday” earlier this year. Her daughter, Jamie posted to Facebook on Friday that her mother died surrounded by family after a two-year battle with cancer. There won’t be a Millhone book that starts with “Z.” AB: Grafton was one of my mother’s favorite authors.

Dec. 28: Rose Marie, 94: American actress, who was a regular on The Dick Van Dyke Show died at her home in Van Nuys, Calif. She started her career at age 3 in some of the earliest talking films and co-headlined on the opening night of Bugsy Siegel’s Flaminto Hotel in Las Vegas in 1946. She was always identified by the bow in her hair and her raspy voice. Throughout her life, is was active in many causes, most notably animal welfare.

Dec. 30: Erica Garner, 27: American civil rights activist and daughter of police chokehold victim, Eric Garner, passed away at the age of just 27, after suffering a massive heart attack one week earlier.

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