2018 Obits, January thru March

Jan. 1
jon-paul-steuerJon Paul Steuer, 33: American actor and singer, best known for his work on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Grace Under Fire, died at age 33, cause unknown. His death was announced on the Facebook page of his band, P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S.

Betty Willis, 76: Betty Jane Willis was a 1960s soul singer. She was killed during an attempted rape by a homeless man in California on New Year’s Day. Rosined Xo Pec, 22, was charged with murder with special circumstances and could face the death penalty. Willis was also homeless at the time of her death.

Jan. 2
Frank Buxton, 87: American actor, screenwriter and director.

Emily Dole, 60: American professional wrestler (GLOW), known as Mountain Fiji died (cause unknown). She had been dealing with health problems and had been staying in an assisted living facility.

Jan. 3
Rob Picciolo, 64: American baseball player (Oakland Athletics, Milwaukee Brewers) and coach (San Diego Padres), heart attack.

Jan. 4
Bruce Halle, 87: American auto parts executive and philanthropist, founder of Discount Tire. He was the wealthiest person in Arizona with an estimated net worth of $5.2 billion at the time of his death.

Harry Landers, 96: American character actor (Ben Casey) (death announced on this date).

Jan. 5
Thomas Bopp, 68: Thomas Joel Bopp was an American astronomer best known as the co-discoverer of comet Hale-Bobb in 1995. At the time of the discovery he was a manager at a construction materials factory and an amateur astronomer. On the night of July 22, Bopp was in the Arizona desert with friends when he made the discovery. It was the first comet he had observed and he was using a borrowed, home-built telescope. Hale and Bopp both discovered the comet, by chance, at approximately the same time.

Carole Hart, 74: American television writer and producer who was involved in the inception of Sesame Street and other projects for broadcast television targeted at children. Hart died from cancer.

Dick Van DykeJerry Van Dyke, 86: American actor, musician and comedian and younger brother of Dick Van Dyke (My Mother the Car, Coach, The Dick Van Dyke Show) died of heart failure.

John Watts Young, 87: American astronaut, (Apollo 16, STS01) naval officer and aviator, test pilot and aeronautical engineer. He was the ninth person to walk on the Moon as Commander of the Apollo 16 mission in 1972. He died from pneumonia.

Jan 6
Dave ToschiDave Toschi, 86: American police detective, whose personal style was used when modeling Bullitt and Dirty Harry and was widely known for his efforts in the San Francisco Police Department as an inspector in the Zodiac Killer Case. He died from pneumonia.

Jan. 7
Anna Mae Hays, 97: American military officer, served as the 13th Chief of Army Nurse Corps (1967-1971). She was the first woman in the U.S. Armed Forces to be promoted to a General Officer rank and in 1970 she was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. She died from complications from a heart attack.

NicoNico, 56: Swiss Western lowland gorilla. He was one of the oldest silverbacks in the world and Longleaf in Wiltshire celebrated his 56th birthday last year. He had spent most of his life there since arriving from Switzerland in the 1980s. He died in his sleep.

Jan. 8
Denise LaSalle, 78: was an American blues and R&B/soul singer, songwriter and producer who, since the death of Koko Taylor, had been recognized as the “Queen of the Blues.”

Donnelly Rhodes, 80: Canadian actor (Soap, Battlestar Galactica, DaVinci’s Inquest) died from cancer.

Jan. 9
Terence Marsh, 86: British production designer who won two Academy Awards (1966 (Doctor Zhivago), 1969 (Oliver!) and was nominated for another two in the Best Art Direction category. He died of cancer.

Joseph Wayne Miller, 36: American actor best known for the film Heavyweights where he played Salami Sam. He apparently died in his sleep. His mother reported that he had sleep apnea.

Jan. 10
William Bigby Keene, 92: American judge for the Los Angeles County Superior Court and television personality as a judge in the reality series Divorce Court. He also appeared as Judge Herman Keene in the “Whistle Stop” episode of L.A. Law. He died at home, surrounded by his family, one month shy of his 93 birthday.

Katherine Kellgren, 48: American actress and narrator was best known for her narration of audio books. She passed away after a long battle with cancer. If you’d like to read more about her, go here: https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/narrators/katherine-kellgren/

Fast Eddie Clark, 67: died in a hospital where he was being treated for pneumonia. He was a British guitarist who was a member of Fastway and Motörhead.

Doreen Tracey, 74: English-born, American actress, appeared on the original Mickey Mouse Club show 1955-58. She died from pneumonia.

Jan 11
Edgar Ray Killen, 92: American Ku Klux Klan leader and convicted murderer, who orchestrated the slayings of three civil rights workers in Mississippi in 1964, died in prison while serving a sentence of three counts of manslaughter for the deaths of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner.

Jan. 12
Frankie FreemanFrankie Muse Freeman, 101: American civil rights attorney and the first woman to be appointed to the United States Commission on Civil Rights (1964-1979) a federal fact-finding body that investigates complaints alleging discrimination.

Jan. 13
Doug Harvey, 87: American Hall of Fame baseball umpire who worked in the National League for thirty years. Noted for his command of baseball rules, he earned his nicknamed “God” from players and was among the last major league umpires who never attended an umpiring school. Harvey umpired five World Series and seven All-Star Games. His career total of 4,673 games ranked third in major league history at the time of his retirement. He was the ninth umpire to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was under hospice care in Visalia, Calif. when he died.

Naomi Stevens, 92: American actress (Vega$, The Apartment, Valley of the Dolls). Stevens was a character actress that appeared in almost 100 roles, usually depicting someone’s Jewish or Italian mother or neighbor.

Jan. 14
Barbara Cope, 67: who went on tour with the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker and was a famous groupie, died after a fire ripped through her home in East Dallas. She gained notoriety from a LA Times article written in the early 1970s. David Cassidy had once said that he’d “rather spend an evening with her than in the living room of the Partridge family.”

Hugh Wilson, 74: American film director, writer and television show runner, best known as the creator of WKRP in Cincinnati and director of Police Academy and The First Wives Club. In died in Charlottesville, Virginia, after an illness.

Jan. 15
Mathilde Krim, 91: Italian-born American HIV/AIDS researcher and the founding chairman of amfAR, American Foundation for AIDS Research. In August 2000, President Clinton awarded Krim the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the US, in recognition of her “extraordinary compassion and commitment.” In 2003, she received the Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged, an award given out annually by the Jefferson Awards. Krim died at home in Kings Point, New York.

Dolores O’Riordan, 46: lead singer of The Cranberries, an Irish rock band formed in Limerick in 1989. They rose to international fame in the 90s with their debut album “Everybody Else is Doing It So Why Can’t We?” which became a commercial success. In 2004, O’Riordan started collaborating with other musicians before launching her solo career with an album entitled “Are You Listening?” She followed with “No Baggage” in 2009. The band reunited in 2009. Dolores was found dead in a London hotel room. She was in London for a recording session.

Jan. 16

Bradford Dillman

Bradford Dillman

Bradford Dillman, 87: American actor (Compulsion, The Way We Were, The Enforcer) complications from pneumonia.

Tyler Hilinsky, 21: Washington State quarterback suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head with a rifle. A suicide note was found beside him, according to police. Officers responded to his apartment to conduct a welfare check when he did not show up for practice.

Jo Jo White, 71: Hall of Fame basketball player (Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Kansas City Kings) Olympic Champion (1968) died of pneumonia.

Jan. 17
Denis Cuspert, 41: German rapper and jihadist, airstrike.

Simon Shelton, 52: British actor (Teletubbies, Incredible Games) hypothermia.

Jan. 18
Denise LaSalle (Ora Denise Allen), 79: an American blues, R&B and soul singer, songwriter and producer who was recognized as the Queen of the Blues. Her best songs were “Trapped by a Thing Called Love” and “Down Home Blues.” LaSalle suffered from heart problems and had her right leg amputated in October of 2017 after a fall. She died surrounded by her family.

Julius Lester, 78: American writer of books for children and adults and an academic who taught at the Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst for 32 years. He was also a photographer and a musician who record two folk albums and original songs. Since 1968 he has written 44 books: 8 nonfiction, 31 children’s books, one book of poetry and photographs and three adult novels. His first book was an instructional book on how to play the 12-string guitar, co-authored with Pete Seeger. His photographs have been included in an exhibit of images from the civil rights movement at the Smithsonian Institution. He died of COPD after a brief hospitalization.

Anthony Allen Shore, 55: serial killer and child molester, known as the “Tourniquet Killer” because of the use of a ligature, he was responsible for slaying one woman and three girls: Laurie Lee Tremblay (14), Maria del Carmen Estrada (21), Diana Rebollar (9) and Dana Sanchez (16) (we name his victims because they are far more important than he is). He was executed by lethal injection in Huntsville, Texas (a far more merciful way to die than he afforded his victims).

Stansfield Turner, 94: American admiral, Director of Central Intelligence (1977-1981) under Jimmy Carter.

Jan. 19
Olivia Cole, 75: American actress (Roots, Backstairs at the White House, Brewster Place), Emmy Award winner (1977), died of a heart attack.

Dorothy Malone, 93: American actress (Written on the Wind, Peyton Place, Basic Instinct) Oscar winner (1956). She had been one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Fredo Santana (Derrick Coleman), 27: was a rapper whose debut studio album “Trappin’ Aint’ Dead” was released on October 31, 2018 via Savage Squad. He died of a fatal seizure at his residence in Reseda, Los Angeles. He has a son. According to TMZ, he had been suffering from liver and kidney problems stemming from his heavy use of “lean” or “purple drank” (a prescription-strength cough syrup containing codeine and promethazine typically mixed with Sprite or Mountain Dew and a Jolly Rancher hard fruit candy thrown in for extra sweetness).

Allison Shearmur, 54: Allison worked at Disney as a VP between 1994-1997, before joining Universal as exec-VP, Paramount as co-president of production, and in 2008, Lionsgate as president of motion picture production. in 2011, Lionsgate fired several top executives, including Shearmur, and she went on to form her own eponymous production company, Allison Shearmur Productions. She died of lung cancer at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. She had two children with her husband, Ed Shearmur.

Jan. 20
John Coleman, 83: American meteorologist, co-founder of The Weather Channel.

Terry Evans, 80: American blue and soul singer, songwriter and guitarist.

We_Can_Do_It!Naomi Parker Fraley, 96: the Real Rosie the Riveter, was an American war worker who is now considered the most likely model for the iconic “We Can Do It” poster. During WWII, she worked on aircraft assembly at the Naval Air Station Alameda. Another woman (Geraldine Hoff Doyle) was initially credited as the subject, but research by a professor at Seton Hall University set the record straight. She is survived by her son and six step-children.

Jim Rodford, 76: English bassist (Argent, The Kinks, The Zombies) injuries from a fall.

Bob Smith, 59: American comedian (Funny Gay Males) and author. Smith was the first openly gay comedian to appear on The Tonight Show and the first gay comedian to have his own HBO half-hour comedy special. Along with fellow comedians Jaffe Cohen and Danny McWilliams, formed the comedy troupe Funny Gay Males in 1988. Smith died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) at his Manhattan, New York home.

Miyako Sumiyoshi, 30: Japanese speed skater who competed at 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi in the 500 meters (14th) and in the 1000 meters (22nd). She was found dead in her home in Nagano.

Connie Sawyer, 105: was an American stage, film, and television actress, affectionately nicknamed “The Clown Princess of Comedy.” She was best known for her appearances Pineapple Express, Dumb and Dumber and When Harry Met Sally.

Jan. 23

Joel Taylor

Joel Taylor

Joel Taylor, 38: Storm Chaser Joel Taylor had a fatal mix of drugs in his system when he was found dead on a cruise ship in San Juan, Puerto Rico, according to the toxicology report by the Institute of Forensic Sciences of Puerto Rico. MDMA (ecstasy) along with Zolpidem, MDA (a psychedelic amphetamine) were all found in his system at the time of death.

Jan. 26
Raphael Cruz, 31: American acrobat, clown and actor, was known for having played the lead role of Buster, a Buster Keaton inspired character in the cinema themes Cirque du Soleil production Iris. Cruz died in Paris from heart and lung failure. He was found dead in a Paris hotel room.

Raphael Cruz

Raphael Cruz

Cyrus Yavneh, 76: American producer (24, Supernatural) lung cancer.

Jan. 27
Jerry Butler, 58: American pornographic actor, with a career that lasted from 1981 to 1993 and included more than 500 films. After being diagnosed with a tumor some months previously (which had been removed) a follow-up revealed the cancer had spread throughout his body and was inoperable. He died in Brooklyn, New York.

Ingvar Kamprad, 91: Swedish retail furniture-home design exec and philanthropist, founder of IDEA, died of pneumonia.

Robert Parry, 68: American investigative journalist, complications of a stroke.

Dennis Peron, 72: American cannabis and LGBT activist, lung cancer. He became a leader in the movement for the legalization of cannabis throughout the 1990s and influenced many in California, changing the political debate on marijuana in the U.S.

Mort Walker, 94: American comics artist (Beetle Bailey, Hi and Lois, Boner’s Art), died of pneumonia.

Jan. 28
Jacquie Jones, 52: American public television film director, producer, writer and media executive. She was an editor of the Black Film Review from 1989-1993. Jones was the exec director of the Black Public Media from 2005-2014. She died of cancer.

Jan. 30
Mark Salling, 35: American actor and musician who was known as Noah “Puck” Puckerman on the television series Glee. In January of 2013 he was accused of sexual battery but settled with the accuser out of court. In December of 2015 he was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography. He faced between four and seven years of imprisonment after pleading guilty, but died due to asphyxia by hanging prior to his sentencing.

Jan. 31
Rasual Butler, 38: American basketball player (Miami Heat, New Orleans Hornets, Los Angeles Clippers), traffic collision.

Ann Gillis, 90: American actress (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Bambi, 2001: A Space Odyssey).

Alf Humphreys, 64: Canadian actor (My Bloody Valentine, First Blood, Diary of a Wimpy Kid) brain cancer.

Leah LaBelle, 31: Canadian-born American singer (American Idol) traffic collision.

Feb. 1
John Battaglia, 62: executed by lethal injection in Huntsville, Tex. after the Supreme Court denied his appeals without providing a reason. Battaglia, a former accountant, killed his two young daughters (Mary Faith, 9 and Liberty, 6) in his Dallas apartment while the girls’ mother listened on the phone and heard the fatal gunshots and her children’s screams.

Feb. 3
Dennis Edwards, 74: American Hall of Fame soul and R&B singer (The Countours, The Temptations (lead singer) complications from meningitis following a stroke.

Feb. 4
Edwin Jackson, 26: American football Player (Indianapolis Colts, Arizona Cardinals) traffic collision by suspected drunk driver on I-70. He was one of two people killed when they were struck by a undocumented immigrant who used a fake name and had been deported twice in the past.

John Mahoney, 77: English-American actor (Frasier, In the Line of Fire, Say Anything …. ) complications from throat cancer.

Esmond Bradley Martin, 76: American conservationist, who was a top ivory investigator. He was found stabbed to death in his Nairobi home.

Feb 6
Muhiyidin Elamin Moye, 32: A Black Lives Matter leader, known for diving over a barrier to snatch a Confederate flag from a protestor on live TV last year was shot dead in New Orleans, police said. He was found dead Tuesday morning after being shot in the thigh while riding his bicycle. New Orleans spokesman Beau Tidwell said there was no information about a motive or a suspect.

Michael White, 58: British author and musician (Thompson Twins).

Feb. 7
Mickey Jones, 76: American drummer (Kenny Rogers and The First Edition) and actor (Home Improvement, National Lampoon’s Vacation).

Jill Messick, 50: Film producer (Mean Girls, Frida) and former talent manager (Rose McGowan). She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had been battling depression for years. She took her own life one day after the third anniversary after her mother’s death.

Feb. 9
Reg E. Cathey, 59: American actor (The Wire, House of Cards, Fantastic Four) Emmy winner (2015) lung cancer.


John Gavin

John Gavin, 86: was an American actor who was best known for his performance in Imitation of life, Spartacus and Psycho. He was the US Ambassador to Mexico from 1981-1986 and the President of the Screen Actor Guild from 1971-1973. He was born Juan Vincent Apablasa, Jr. He died from pneumonia.

Feb. 11
Vic Damone (Vito Farinola), 89: American pop singer (On the Street Where You Live, You’re Breaking My Heart), actor and TV presenter, complications from respiratory illness.

Jan Maxwell

Jan Maxwell

Jan Maxwell, 61: passionate, talented, celebrated stage actress, but I remember her from Law & Order, Gossip Girl and many other television shows. She appeared in 13 Broadway and numerous off-Broadway productions and earned five Tony Award nominations for her work in musicals and plays, comedies and dramas. Maxwell died from meningitis complicated from breast cancer.

Feb. 12
Marty Allen, 95: American actor and comedian (Allen & Ross), complications from pneumonia.

Louise Latham, 96: American actress, who made her big-screen debut by playing Tippi Hedren’s mother in Hitchcock’s Marnie, died in a retirement home in Montecito, Calif.

Daryle Singletary, 46: American country music singer (“I Let Her Lie”, The Note”, “Amen Kind of Love”) passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at his home in Lebanon.


Edward M. Abroms

Feb. 13
Edward M. Abroms, 82: he was the first film editor to work with a young Steven Spielberg on Night Gallery and The Sugarland Express and received an Oscar nomination for cutting John Badham’s Blue Thunder. Abroms died of heart failure in Los Angeles, stated his daughter, Lynn, to The Hollywood Reporter.

Feb. 19
Max Desfor, 104: American photographer (Associated Press), Pulitzer Prize winner (1951), whose photo of hundreds of Korean War refugees crawling across a damaged bridge in 1950 helped win him a Pulitzer Prize, died in his apartment in Silver Spring, Maryland, where he’d been living in his retirement.

Feb. 21
billy-grahamBilly Graham, 99: evangelist, America’s pastor, counselor to presidents. A charismatic North Carolina pastor who took his preaching crusades around the country and the globe, wrote more than two dozen books (including a 1997 best seller “Just as I Am”) and is estimated he reached 215 million people in 185 countries during his life. Graham died at his home in Montreat, NC at 7:46am, and his longtime physician arrived approximately 20 minutes later and said, quote, “he just wore out.” He died in his sleep. In addition to his body laying in at the Billy Graham Training Center in Asheville, it will laid in repose at the Graham Family Someplace and will also be brought to the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in Washington, DC. He is survived by his sister, five children, 19 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren. His son said his tombstone will simply read ‘preacher.’

Feb. 22
Nanette Fabray, 97: died at her home in Palos Verdes, Calif., her son, Jamie MacDougall told The New York Times. Fabray was an actress, singer, Emmy Award-winner, dancer, comedienne, who played opposite Sid Caesar on Caesar’s Hour, only to leave the show because of a misunderstanding (that she didn’t discover until years later at an industry testimonial for Caesar). Later she portrayed the mother of Bonnie Franklin’s character on the CBS sitcom One Day At a Time.

Feb. 23
James Colby, 56: American actor (Patriots Day, Tower Heist, Empire). In addition to his movie credits, Colby had extensive theatre credits including SWEAT. He is survived by his wife Alyssa Bresnahan and their seven-year-old daughter.

Lewis Gilbert, 97: British film director, producer and screenwriter best known for Alfie (1966) as well as three James Bond movies: You Only Live Twice (1967), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979). He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture and a Golden Globe for Best Director for his work on Alfie. He was made a Fellow of the British Film Institute in 2001. He was married to Hylda Tafler for 53 years (she died in June of 2005). He died of natural causes.

Feb. 24
Bud Luckey, 83: American animator and voice actor who designed Woody for Toy Story died at a hospice facility in Newtown, Conn. after an extended illness.

Feb. 25
Dan Fegan, 56: American basketball agent (DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall, Ricky Rubio), was killed in an automobile accident in Colorado. He was driving an SUV when he was hit by a bus on a highway near Aspen. Two otherS in the SUV, a 29-year-old woman from California and Fegan’s 5-year-old son, were airlifted to a Denver hospital with serious injuries.

Feb. 26
Sean Lavery, 61: American ballet dancer (New York City Ballet) died in Palm Springs, Calif. A spinal tumor sidelined him in 1986. His sister confirmed his death, but a cause was not given.

Feb. 27
Lance Clark, 81: British shoemaker, the sixth generation of the Clarks family and the single largest shareholder of the business and managing director until he retired in 1994.

Feb. 28
Barry Crimmins, 64: American pioneering comedian and social activist who fought internet paedophiles, died of cancer. His wife, Helen, who is also battling cancer, posted the news on Twitter. Bobcat Goldthwaite, actor turned film director, made a 2015 award-winning documentary movie called Call Me Lucky, about Crimmins’ life (available on Netflix).

Keith English, 50: American politician, member of the Missouri House of Representatives (2013-2017) and former Florissant lawmaker, took his own life. He was found dead in a parking lot near the intersection of Sue Drive and Route 179 of a self-inflicted gun shot wound.

March 2
Billy Herrington, 48: American gay pornographic actor, died from his injuries after he was trapped for a time inside his vehicle from a crash in Rancho Mirage. The crash occurred around 8:30pm according to the sheriff. The other driver had minor injuries.

Joseph Israel, 40: American local reggae musician and New Door Records recording artist passed away after a battle with cancer.

Brandon Jenkins, 48: American red dirt singer-songwriter, was admitted to a Nashville hospital on Feb. 21 for a heart procedure, but there were complications, and he remained hospitalized.

March 3
Frank Doubleday, 73: American actor (Escape from New York, Assault on Precinct 13, Broadcast News) complications from esophageal cancer.

David Ogden Stiers, 75: American actor (M*A*S*H, Beauty and the Beast, The Dead Zone), best known for playing Major Charles Emerson Winchester III in M*A*S*H died peacefully as his home in Newport. He had been battling bladder cancer, according to his agent.

March 4
J. Paul Raines, 58: American retail executive, CEO of GameStop (2010-2017), brain cancer.

March 6
Peter Nicholls, 78: Australian literary scholar and critic. He was the creator and co-editor of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction with John Clute.

Donna Butterworth, 62: a child actress and singer who co-starred with Elvis Presley in the 1966 movies Paradise, Hawaiian Style passed away at the Hilo Medical Center following a long illness.

March 7
Gary Burden, 84: American artist and a pioneer in concept album cover art (Neil Young, Nash, The Doors).

March 8
Ron Franklin, 58: American jockey, Kentucky Derby winner (1979) lung cancer.

March 9
Joaquin Avila, 69: American civil rights activist and voter law attorney, who fought discrimination in classrooms, workplaces and voting booths as a leader of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, died of cancer at his Seattle home.

March 10
Hubert de Givenchy, 91: French fashion designer, famous for the “little black dress” and styling Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy, died in his sleep, according to his longtime partner. His 40-year friendship with his muse, Audrey Hepburn, whom he met while she was making Billy Wilder’s Oscar-winning comedy Sabrina in 1953, helped make him a fashion legend. It was the black sheath dress Givenchy created for the opening scenes of Breakfast at Tiffany’s was perhaps the most famous “little black dress” of all time, even if Coco Chanel is credited with inventing it. “His are the only clothes in which I am myself.” Hepburn once said of him. “He is far more than a couturier, he is a creator of personality.”

March 12
Nokie Edwards, 82: American Hall of Fame instrumental and surf rock musician (The Ventures), complications from hip surgery.

Ken Flach, 54: American tennis player, Olympic (1988) and Wimbledon champion (1986-1988), complications from pneumonia.

Craig Mack, 47: American rapper and producer from Brentwood, NY (“Flava in Ya Ear”), heart failure.

Charlie Quintana, 56: American rock drummer (Social Distortion, The Plugz, Cracker), heart attack.

Jeremiah Wolfe, 93: American Cherokee elder. He was a respected member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and was awarded the title of “Beloved Man” by his tribe in 2013, an honor that hadn’t been given out for more than 200 years. He was one of the last Cherokee stonecutters, a stickball cutter, a storyteller and a WWII veteran. He had been awarded an honorary doctorate by Western Carolina University. He spoke the Cherokee language fluently and was interviewed for the documentary First Language – The Race to Save Cherokee.

March 14
hawking-full-bleed-superJumboStephen Hawking, 76: English theoretical physicist, professor (University of Cambridge), writer (A Brief History of Time), a man who did not allow his physical limitations to hinder his quest to answer “the big question: Where did the universe come from?” His story was the basis of an award-winning feature film, The Theory of Everything. Dr. Hawking was played by Eddie Redmayne (who won an Academy Award). Scientifically, he will be remembered for a strange discovery: When is a black hole not black? The answer: When it explodes. In 1963, as a graduate student he learned he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neuromuscular wasting disease, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was given only a few years to live. It reduced his bodily control to the flexing of a finger and voluntary eye movements, but left his mental faculties untouched. Hawking went on to become a leader in exploring gravity and the properties of black holes. That led to a turning point in modern physics and applied quantum theory. Dennis W. Sciama, a cosmologist and Hawking’s thesis adviser at Cambridge, called his thesis in Nature “the most beautiful paper in the history of physics.”

Adrian Lamo, 37: American computer hacker (WikiLeaks) and threat analyst who first gained media attention because he hacked into several high-profile computer networks including The New York Times, Yahoo! and Microsoft which culminated in his 2003 arrest. He was best known for reporting US soldier Chelsea Manning to Army criminal investigators in 2010 for leaking hundreds of thousands of sensitive US government documents to WikiLeaks. Despite a complete autopsy and additional testing, no definitive cause of death was identified.

March 15
Carlton Gary, 67: American serial killer and rapist, who was convicted of killing three elderly white women in Columbus, Georgia in 1977 and 1978, though he was suspected of at least four more, was executed by lethal injection.

March 16
Arnaldo Pagliarini “Arnie” Lerma, 67: was the first person to post the court document known as the Fishman Affidavit, including the Xenu story to the internet via the Usenet newsgroup alt.religion.scientology. He was a writer, activist, a former Scientologist and a critic of Scientology who appeared in television, media and radio interviews. Lerma committed suicide by gunshot after shooting his wife, Ginger Sugerman, in the face. He was at his home in Sylvania, Georgia.

March 17
Sammy WilliamsSammy Williams, 69: American actor (A Chorus Line), Tony winner (1976) and star of the original 1975 A Chorus Line died at the age of 69. The news was shared by fellow original cast members. Williams created the role of Paul and won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance.

March 18
Prof. David Cooper, 68: Australian immunologist and medical research (HIV), President of the International AIDS Society (1994-1998). He had diagnosed Australia’s first AIDS case and is being remembered as a brilliant scientist who led breakthrough research efforts into the global HIV pandemic.

KilljoyFrank “Killjoy” Pucci, 48: an American singer and frontman for Necrophagia, died suddenly at the age of 48. It was announced on the band’s Facebook page, no cause of death was given. Necrophagia, which was formed in 1983, was one of the earliest death metal bands on the US scene. Pucci was an important part of the international underground tape trading movement in the development days of death metal.

March 19
David Bischoff, 66: American novelist and television writer (Star Trek: The Next Generation), who wrote the TNG novel and shared writing credits on two TNG episodes passed away in Oregon. In addition to TNG in wrote The Seeker, Mandala, Hackers and The Diplomatic Touch, while his fiction series efforts included Aliens, Dragonstar, Gremlins and The Crow as well as Tin Woodman which served as the basis for his TNG episode “Tin Man.” He also taught creative writing at Seton Hill University.

Arnold R. Hirsch, 69: American historian who taught at the University of New Orleans where he served as Ethel and Herman L. Midlo Endowed Chair for New Orleans Studies. His book, “Making the Second Ghetto: Race and Housing in Chicago 1940-1960” analyzed Chicago segregation. Hugely influential among urban historians and sociologists, his book didn’t spare anyone. Hirsch was a native of Chicago and influenced many in the field of urban studies. He died at his Oak Park, Ill. home.

SudanSudan, 45: Kenyan northern white rhinoceros, last known male of his subspecies. He was elderly in rhino years and suffered from problems associated with age. During his final years he had problems breeding and suffered from a low sperm count, which made his ability to procreate difficult. He had a daughter, Najin (28) and granddaughter (Fatu). He was euthanized after his condition deteriorated further. He lived in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, surrounded by armed guards in the days leading up to his death, to protect him from poachers.

March 20
Bobby Mitchell, 75: American golfer who played on the PGA and always gave back to the Danville community, died at the Lynchburg General Hospital.

March 22
Wayne Huizenga, 80: American businessman, CEO of Waste Management and Blockbuster and sports team owner (Miami Dolphins, Florida Panthers, Florida Marlins) died of cancer.

Johan van Hulst, 107: Dutch teacher who helped save 600 children from the Nazis.

Morgana King, 87: who played Carmela Corleone in all three Godfather movies and had a fantastic singing voice and released dozens of albums, died of non-Hodgkins lymphoma in Palm Springs. A representative from the Riverside County Coroner’s office told The Washington Post. Her death went unreported until August 14 until a friend, John Hoglund, wrote about her the week of August 13 on Facebook.

March 23
DuShon Monique Brown, 49: American actress (Chicago Fire, Prison Break, Unexpected) who played the no-nonsense Connie on Chicago Fire died at Franciscan St. James Health Olympia Fields from sepsis. She was a longtime Chicago stage actor, performing at the Goodman, Victory Gardens, Lookingglass, Drury Lane, MPAACT and Pegasus Players. Some of her previous TV work includes Prison Break as well as one-time guest spots on Empire and Shameless.

March 24
Arnaud BeltrameArnaud Beltrame, 44: the police officer saved lives when he traded places with a hostage and was killed by a terrorist during a standoff with a rampaging gunman. He died of injuries suffered in the incident. His bravery earned him recognition as a hero in a country that has been shaken by a number of terrorist attacks in recent years. At 44, he was a lieutenant colonel in the gendarmerie, a part of the French military that focuses on domestic policing. He has been previously decorated for his bravery during operations in Iraq and spent four years in the early 2000s in France’s Republican Guard, protecting the Elysee Palace in Paris.

March 27
Rosendo Rodriquez, 38: American convicted rapist and murderer, who was known as the “suitcase killer.” He was executed with a fatal drug cocktail in Texas. Rodriquez remained defiant until the end, speaking for seven minutes but never apologized to the relatives of his victims, as they watched through a window. He urged people to boycott Texas businesses, to pressure the state into ending the death penalty and reiterated issues raised in the late appeals that were rejected by the courts. He was convicted of killing a 29-year old woman in Lubbock and stuffing her battered, naked body into a new piece of luggage and tossing it into the garbage. Workers in a city landfill in September of 2005 spotted and then opened the suitcase, discovering her corpse. She was 10-weeks pregnant.

March 30
Alias, 41: American rapper, producer and record label founder (Anticon), heart attack.

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