I was introduced by a co-worker to a blog by a friend of hers. The website is called “josh pincus is crying” and it follows many celebrities who have died. It is for both recent and from long ago.
I found one article on it I want to share with Final Taxi readers. It is titled “a grave situation in los angeles” and tells of when Josh and his family went to the Forest Lawn Cemetery in LA.
It makes me want to head to California again just to visit the graves of many of my childhood heroes.
Here is a link to the blog:
a grave situation in los angeles
I was introduced by a co-worker to a blog by a friend of hers. The website is called “josh pincus is crying” and it follows many celebrities who have died. It is for both recent and from long ago.
I ran across this article and wanted to share it with the Final Taxi readers:
The Washing: In the Muslim custom of bathing the dead, she found a deep sense of reward — and shaved off 40 sins
By Reshma Memon Yaqub
Washington Post Magazine
March 21, 2010
I hadn’t planned to wash the corpse.
But sometimes you just get caught up in the moment.
Through a series of slight miscalculations, I am the first of the deceased woman’s relatives to arrive at the March Funeral Home in west
Baltimore on this Monday morning. The body of the woman whom everyone in the family refers to simply as Dadee, which means “grandmother” in
Urdu, is scheduled to arrive at 10 a.m., after being released from Howard County General Hospital in Columbia. I get to the funeral home
at 10 a.m. and make somber chitchat with the five women from the local mosque who have volunteered to help with funeral preparations, which
includes washing the deceased’s body.
According to Islamic practices, family members of the same gender as the deceased are expected to bathe and shroud the body for burial. But
because it’s such a detailed ritual and because so many second- generation American Muslim families have yet to bury a loved one here,
mosques have volunteers to assist grieving families. These women have come from the Islamic Society of Baltimore, where Dadee’s funeral
prayer service will be held this afternoon.
When the body arrives at 11:30 a.m., I am still the only family member here, and the body-washers naturally usher me in to join them for the
ritual cleansing. It feels too late to tell them that technically I’m not a relative. When I first met the women an hour ago and spoke to
them in my halting Urdu, it seemed unnecessary to explain that I was only about to become Dadee’s relative. That she was the visiting
grandmother of the woman engaged to marry my younger brother. That she had flown in from South Africa just 10 days earlier to attend the
upcoming wedding. That the only time I’d ever seen Dadee was last night at the hospital, a few hours after she died of sudden cardiac
arrest, and then I hadn’t even seen her face. When I had arrived at the hospital after getting the call from my brother, a white sheet was
already drawn up over Dadee’s face and tucked around her slight, eight- decade-old frame.
But the body-washers are understandably in a bit of a hurry. They’ve been kept waiting. And these genuinely kind women, five middle-age
homemakers, have their own responsibilities to get back to. I call my brother’s fiancee to tell her the women want to start the hour-long
washing, and she gives the go-ahead because she and her parents are still at the hospital. I tell the washers they can start, and they
look at me expectantly. “Let’s go,” they say in Urdu. “Uh, okay,” I reply. It’s not that I don’t want to wash the body. It’s actually
something I’ve wanted to experience for a while. Earlier in the year, I told the funeral coordinator at my mosque to keep me in mind if the
need ever arose when I’m available. A few years ago, I attended a day- long workshop on how to perform the ritual. It’s just, I didn’t think
today was going to be the day. I didn’t think this was going to be my first body. I had come here, on this fall day in 2008, only to offer
emotional support to my future sister-in-law and her mother.
I mutely follow the women through a heavy door marked “Staff Only,” then down a flight of concrete stairs into the recesses of the funeral
home. I’m starting to feel as though I’m trapped in one of those old “I Love Lucy” episodes, where Lucille Ball finds herself stomping
grapes or smuggling cheese and has no idea how to stop this runaway train. We reach a large open room, where I see some gurneys and a
simple coffin — upholstered in blue fabric with a white interior.
Another doorway leads into a smaller private room that has been set up for ritual washings such as these, one of the volunteers tells me.
From the doorway, I see Dadee’s form in her hospital-issue white body bag, zipped all the way up. She is lying on a metal gurney, which,
with its slightly raised edges, looks like a giant jellyroll pan. It has a quarter-size hole at the bottom, near Dadee’s feet, and the
silver tray is tilted slightly so the water we will use drains into a utility sink.
I am not afraid of dead bodies. I have seen one up close three times in my 36 years: in high school at the funeral of a friend’s father; as
a police reporter when I took a tour of the local morgue; and more recently when a friend’s ill baby died. But this is the first time I
will touch a corpse, and that I am a little nervous about. But I’m also grateful for the opportunity. In Islam, it is a tremendous honor
to give a body its final cleansing. The reward is immense — the erasure of 40 major sins from your lifetime’s record. Few people I
know have ever washed a body. Because my parents and their peers moved here from Pakistan as young adults, most of them missed the natural
opportunity to wash their own parents’ or grandparents’ bodies when they passed away overseas. And because few of my Muslim peers have
lost their parents, we are two generations that don’t know what to do when the time comes.
I feel blessed not to be experiencing my first washing with one of my own loved ones, when I would be numb from loss. I would have had
little time to prepare myself because Muslims are buried immediately after death — the same day when possible. There is no embalming, no
makeup, no Sunday finery for the deceased. There is no wake, no long speech, no cherry wood coffin with brass handles. There is simply the
ritual washing, the shrouding in plain white cloth, a funeral prayer that lasts five minutes, and then the burial — preferably the body
straight into the dirt, but, when required by law, placed in a basic coffin.
Body-washers put on sterile scrubs to protect us from whatever illness may have stricken the deceased. First I tie on a large paper apron.
Then come rubber gloves. I see one of the women pull on a second pair of gloves over the first, and I follow. Next are puffy paper sleeves
that attach from elbow to wrist and are tucked into the gloves. Then big paper booties. And finally a face mask with a large transparent
plastic eye shield. By the end, I look like a cross between an overzealous nail technician and a Transformer.
I watch the women unzip Dadee from her body bag. As it opens, I see her face for the first time. Muslims believe that at the moment of
death, when a soul that’s headed to heaven emerges from its body, it slips out as easily as a drop of water spilling from a jug. But a soul
that’s headed to less heavenly places emerges with great difficulty, like a thorny branch being ripped through a pile of wet wool. I’m
relieved that Dadee’s face is peaceful, the way you hope somebody’s grandmother’s face would appear.
I stand by Dadee’s feet, on her right side, and watch the women gently lift and rock Dadee to free her from the body bag. She’s still dressed
in her blue-and-white hospital gown. One of the women slowly lifts the gown, while another drapes Dadee with one of the same long aprons that
we are all wearing. Not for one moment are any private areas of the body exposed. In the ritual Islamic bathing, the body is to be given
the utmost respect. Not only is it to stay covered at all times, but the washers are to remain forever silent about anything negative or
unusual they may witness — for example, if there is an unexpected scar, or deformity, or tattoo. In this, a human’s most vulnerable of
moments, she is guaranteed protection by her family and community.
It is time to begin the washing. A thin rubber hose is attached to the faucet in the utility sink, and one of the women turns on the water,
adjusting it until it is comfortably warm, as prescribed by Islamic tradition. Because I’m the only “relative” in the room, I’m expected
to perform the lion’s share of the washing, but the women see that I have no idea what I’m doing, so they resume control, leaving me in
charge of the feet. The first time I touch Dadee’s feet, I am surprised. I expect the corpse to be cold, but it feels warm. Then
again, she left this shell less than a day earlier. Perhaps these things take time.
A Muslim’s body is generally washed three times from head to toe with soap and clean water. The right side is washed first, then the left.
During the final washing, a softly fragranced oil is rubbed onto the body. The body has to be repeatedly tilted from one side to the other,
and it is harder than I expected to maneuver the dead weight of a human form. Dadee’s feet keep getting in the way of the hole at the
bottom of the table, and every few minutes, the water pools up there and I have to lift her leg.
Fifteen minutes into the washing, my brother’s fiancee and her mother knock at the door. The granddaughter is too distraught to join in and
watches tearfully from the doorway. But Dadee’s daughter-in-law dons the gear and steps into her family role. She is understandably
traumatized, having been the one to find Dadee collapsed at their home in Columbia last night and having performed CPR to try to revive her.
This is her first time washing a body, too. I can’t tell if she wants me to stay and keep washing, or leave, because we’ve met just a
handful of times in the three months since my brother proposed to her daughter. But she doesn’t say anything, so I stay.
Washing a body in this way, it’s impossible not to flash forward to your own ending. I have lain on a table like this before, draped
strategically with white cloth, comforting hands laid on me. But that was just for a massage at the Red Door Spa. When I imagine my own
washing, I see myself being handled by loved ones: my two oldest friends, Farin and Sajeela; my brothers’ wives; my mother and mother-
in-law. I’ve also asked two women at my mosque whom I adore to participate. Maybe I’ll live long enough to have a daughter-in-law in
the room with me. Should I be so lucky, even a granddaughter. The more I see, the more I appreciate the way a Muslim’s body is handled after
death. There is so much gentleness, so much privacy. The body isn’t left unattended in the short span between death and burial. It
unnerves me when, walking through the funeral home’s hallway, I look into a room and see a dead man lying on a gurney, unattended. I wonder
how long he has been there, how he has been handled, who has had access to him. Whether the water that ran over his body was warmed.
The body-washers pass the rubber hose back and forth to each other and to me and my soon-to-be relative, who strokes her mother-in-law’s hair
and washes it. At the end, we dry Dadee with clean white towels and slide several towels underneath her, with their edges hanging over the
sides of the gurney. We then roll her gurney into the adjacent room where the coffin awaits for her transport to the mosque. We station
her gurney next to a second one, where one of the women has already laid out Dadee’s funeral shroud, called a kafan, made of five white
cloths of different sizes. We use the towels underneath Dadee as handles to lift her to the second gurney. Pieces of the white fabric
are folded around Dadee’s body and secured with ropelike strands of the same cloth. One of the volunteers, Rabia Marfani, assembles these
fabric kits at home, using cotton/polyester bed sheets that she buys at Wal-Mart.
When the cloth that wraps the hair back is tied on Dadee, she seems strangely transported. She looks so small and fragile, like a little
girl with a bonnet tied around her hair. Finally, a large cloth is folded around the entire body, completely enclosing her. It’s tied
shut with the ropelike strands, and the body looks almost like a wrapped gift. Together we lift Dadee into the coffin. One of the women
shows me and Dadee’s daughter-in-law how to open the fabric around Dadee’s face, should any of her family members ask to see her one last
time at the Janazah prayer service at the mosque.
Afterward, I hug each of the body-washers and thank them deeply for their help. Although Dadee is not exactly my relative, I feel as
though these women have done me a huge personal favor, expecting nothing in return. When I ask Marfani why she has participated in this
custom more than 30 times in her 50 years, she replies: “It’s our obligation. And there is so much reward from God. … One day I will
also be lying there, and somebody will do this for me.” She started as a teenager in Pakistan, assisting when her grandmother and aunt passed
away. She encourages younger women to volunteer or just watch, because this knowledge needs to be passed on.
We all then raise our hands and pray, asking God to forgive Dadee’s sins, to give her the best in the next life. I inwardly alternate
between speaking to God and speaking to Dadee. I ask God to welcome her; I wish Dadee good luck on this ultimate pilgrimage. Islam teaches
us that after the soul is removed from the body, it briefly faces God to learn its fate, then is returned to the body while on its way to
the grave. There it awaits its full reckoning on the Day of Judgment.
Though Dadee is no longer of this world, she can continue to earn blessings based on what she has left behind — through righteous
offspring who pray for her forgiveness, through knowledge that she has spread to others, or through charitable work whose effects outlast
I pray for Dadee, and I also apologize to her for a mistake she doesn’t know I nearly made. In today’s mail, after the funeral,
Dadee’s family will receive my hand-addressed invitation to her for a wedding reception hosted by my parents. Earlier this week, I had
argued with my brother over the unnecessary expense of mailing separate invitations to multiple family members at the same address. I
had considered just sending a joint one. In the end, how grateful I amthat I did it his way. Of course you deserve your own invitation,
Dadee, after flying across the world to witness your granddaughter’s wedding.
I ask God one last time to have mercy on her soul. As I pick up my purse and turn to leave the room, I address my final words to both of
them: “Innaa lillaahi wa-innaa ilaihi raje’oon.” To God we belong, and to God we return.
Every year in my household my family gathers together and watches the Academy Awards. This year was no different. We watched the walk down the red carpet on various channels and comment on the clothes or how different an actor looks this year. We await to see who the best actor or actress is and see what film is best picture this year. ( I was surprised by “The Hurt Locker” as we were counting on “Up In The Air.”)
My favorite part is when the Academy salutes those that we lost this past year. We call it those who have walked down the ‘black carpet.” This year it was split in two with a special memorial to director and writer John Hughes. It was a chance to see many of the films he brought to us and the young actors who he made famous.
The second part was the normal obituary reel. This was presented by Demi Moore as James Taylor sang the Beatles song ‘ In My Life.’
The 2010 list was:
Monte Hale (actor)
Tullio Pinelli (writer)
Eric Rohmer (director)
Ken Annakin (director)
Gareth Wigan (executive)
Daniel Melnick (producer)
Howard Zief (director)
Simon Channing-Williams (producer)
Jack Cardiff (cinematographer)
Arthur Canton (public relations)
Nat Boxer (sound)
Millard Kaufman (writer)
Roy E. Disney (executive)
Robert Woodruff Anderson (writer)
David Brown (producer)
Every year I watch there is a few that I cannot believe the Academy left off. This year is no different. First missing is Henry Gibson. Sure he may have been in films like “The Blues Brothers’ or “The Burbs,” but the Academy should remember him for his role in Robert Altman’s “Nashville.”
Also missing was Gene Barry who may have made a name for himself in TV with ‘Bat Masterson’ or ‘Burke’s Law’ but he did appear in films. Most notable in both version of “War Of The Worlds.”
I understand not using Farrah Fawcett or Beatrice Arthur since they are more known for their TV roles but missing Zelda Rubenstein, who gave such a memorable character as the psychic in ‘Poltergeist,’ is such a shame.
One name that should have been on that list is Dan O’Bannon. O’Bannon was a director and actor but he will be more known for his screen writing skills. For without him we would not have had “Blue Thunder,” “Dark Star,” “Total Recall,” or any of the “Alien” movies. “Avatar” is this year’s biggest grossing movie and it would be missing its actress, Sigourney Weaver, if Dan O’Bannon had not written his screenplay that launched her career.
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A decade comes to an end and in 2009 that end came to several celebrities. We lost several entertainers during 2009’s infamous ‘summer of death’ as names like Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Billy Mays, David Carradine, Ed McMahon all died within days of each other. Of that lot one name shocked the public the most: Michael Jackson. In his short life of 50 years Jackson helped shape popular music and culture. From his early years with the Jackson 5 to his solo career he maintained the title ‘King of Pop.’ Other deaths without warnings for the year included actress Natasha Richardson, David Carradine, and of course Brittany Murphy.
Through 2009 we all watched as Patrick Swayze continued to act ( in the TV series ‘The Beast’) knowing he didn’t have long to live. It didn’t make is easier as the actor in films like ‘Ghost’ & ‘Dirty Dancing’ died due to pancreatic cancer in September.
It’s always a shock every year as I make this list of who has checked out and taken their Final Taxi to their last resting place. Here is a list of some of those who have become Final Taxi riders in 2009:
Johannes Mario Simmel, 84. Austrian-born author; topped German-language best-seller lists. Jan. 1.
Jett Travolta, 16. John Travolta’s son. Jan. 2.
Betty Freeman, 87. Modern-art collector, music patron. Jan. 3.
Olga San Juan, 81. Actress, dancer known as “Puerto Rican Pepperpot.” Jan. 3.
Pat Hingle, 84. Tony-nominated stage actor. (I will always remember him as Commissioner Gordon in the “Batman” movies.) Jan. 3.
Ned Tanen, 77. As Paramount and Universal chairman. ( The man who help bring “Top Gun,” “E.T.” into our lives). Jan. 5.
Ron Asheton, 60. Punk rock guitarist for the Stooges. ( Worked great alongside Iggy Pop) Jan. 6.
Cheryl Holdridge, 64. Mouseketeer on “The Mickey Mouse Club”; also known for playing Wally Cleaver’s girlfriend Julie Foster in the TV series “Leave it to Beaver.” Jan. 6.
John Scott Martin,82, Actor best known for playing the chief Dalek in the “Dr. Who” Also in “Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life,” “Pink Floyd The Wall” “Ali G Indahouse,” “Erik the Viking,” Jan 6
Don Galloway, Actor playing officer Ed Brown in TV’s “Ironside” and was also JoBeth Williams’ husband in “The Big Chill.” Jan 7
Cornelia Wallace, 69, Former Alabama First Lady (Loved that she was played by sexy Angelina Jolie in mini-series with Gary Sinese) Jan 8
Jon Hager, 67. One of the Hager Twins on TV’s “Hee-Haw.” ( The other twin died last year.) Jan. 9
Henry Endo, 87, Actor who played Che Fong on the hit TV series “Hawaii 5-0.” Jan 9
Daniel Allar, 46, Played Avacado in season one of “Prison Break.” Jan 10
Tom O’Horgan, 84. Directed “Hair,” “Jesus Christ Superstar” on Broadway. Jan. 11.
Claude Berri, 74. French actor, director. Jan. 12.
W.D. Snodgrass, 83. Pulitzer-winning poet (“Heart’s Needle”). Jan. 13.
Pedro “Cuban Pete” Aguilar, 81. Star mambo dancer in 1950s. Jan. 13.
Patrick McGoohan, 80. Emmy-winning actor. Will be remembered as ‘6’ in the cult TV classic “The Prisoner” but I loved him in Braveheart as Edward Longshanks. Jan. 13.
Hortense Calisher, 97. Fiction writer known for dense prose (“False Entry”). Jan. 13.
Ricardo Montalban, 88. Actor – What a loss! Known for MGM musicals, Mr. Roarke on “Fantasy Island,” or my favorite as Star Trek villain Kahn. Jan. 14.
John Mortimer, 85. British writer; created curmudgeonly lawyer Rumpole of the Bailey. Jan. 16.
Susanna Foster,84, Actress remembered for starring with Claude Raines in the 1943 remake of “Phantom of the Opera.” Jan 17
David “Fathead” Newman, 75. Jazz saxophonist; played with range of luminaries, including Ray Charles. Jan. 20.
Darrell Sandeen,78, Actor; rogue cop Buzz Meeks in “L.A. Confidential.” Also in “Father Murphy,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Bonanza” Jan 22
Kim Manners,58, Director; Nominated four time for Emmy awards for “The X Files.” He produced over 100 episodes and directed over 50 episodesof the series. Jan 25
James Brady, 80, Author, Parade magazine celebrity columnist. Jan. 26.
John Updike, 76, Pulitzer-winning novelist, essayist. Jan. 27.
Billy Powell, 56, Lynyrd Skynyrd keyboard player (“Sweet Home Alabama,” “Free Bird”). Saw him in the original lineup in the 70’s Jan. 28.
John Martyn, 60. British singer-songwriter, guitarist (“May You Never”). Jan. 29.
Hans Beck, 79. Created colorful Playmobil toy figures. Jan. 30.
Milton Parker, 90. Owned New York City’s Carnegie Deli, known for gargantuan sandwiches. Jan. 30.
Lukas Foss, 86. Avant-garde composer. Feb. 1.
Dewey Martin, 68. Drummer with influential band Buffalo Springfield (“For What It’s Worth”). Feb. 1.
Lux Interior, 62. Lead singer of horror-punk band the Cramps. (What a shock this was for me! A lost talent.) Feb. 4.
James Whitmore, 87. Actor ; did one-man shows on Harry Truman & Will Rogers but most younger audiences will remember him as Brooks Hatlen in The Shawshank Redemption. Feb. 6.
Philip Carey, 83. Played tycoon Asa Buchanan in “One Life to Live.” Feb. 6.
Molly Bee, 69. Country singer; teamed with Tennessee Ernie Ford (“Don’t Go Courtin’ in a Hot Rod Ford”). Feb. 7.
Blossom Dearie, 84. Jazz singer with girlish voice. Feb. 7.
Robert Anderson, 91. Broadway playwright (“Tea and Sympathy”). Feb. 9.
Orlando “Cachaito” Lopez, 76. Bassist for Cuba’s Buena Vista Social Club. Feb. 9.
Estelle Bennett, 67. One of the Ronettes, ’60s girl group (“Be My Baby”). Feb. 11.
Hugh Leonard, 82. Irish playwright; won Tony for father-son drama “Da.” Feb. 12.
Gerry Niewood, 64, and Coleman Mellett, 34. Members of Chuck Mangione’s band. Feb. 12. Buffalo, New York ( plane crash. )
Louie Bellson, 84. Jazz drummer; performed with Duke Ellington, wife Pearl Bailey. Feb. 14.
Snooks Eaglin, 72. New Orleans R&B singer, guitarist. Feb. 18.
Kelly Groucutt, 63. Bass player with Electric Light Orchestra. ( Saw my first concert with him playing with ELO) Feb. 19.
Howard Zieff, 81. Directed films (“Private Benjamin”), TV ads (Alka-Seltzer’s “Spicy Meatballs.” ) Feb. 22.
Philip Jose Farmer, 91. Science-fiction writer. (World of Tiers & Riverworld series) Feb. 25.
Wendy Richard, 65. Actress: Known as Miss Brahms in “Are You Being Served?” & Pauline Fowler in “EastEnders.” Feb. 26.
Paul Harvey, 90. Radio news and talk pioneer; one of the nation’s most familiar voices. Feb. 28.
Natasha Richardson , 45, Actress: Films include Nell, The Parent Trap & Maid in Manhattan. Married to actor Liam Neeson. Died in skiing accident.
Joan Turner, 86, Comedian & actress; “All About the Benjamins,” “Scandal,” “No Surrender,” & as Marilyn Chamber’s aunt in the porn classic “Insatiable” March 1
Ernie Ashworth, 80. Grand Ole Opry singer (“Talk Back Trembling Lips”). March 2.
Sydney Chaplin, 82. Tony-winning actor; son of Charlie Chaplin (“Bells Are Ringing”). March 3.
Horton Foote 92. Playwright (“The Trip to Bountiful”) and screenwriter (“To Kill a Mockingbird”). March 4.
Kyle Tucy Sweet, 52, Make-up artist in such films as “The Terminator,” “Teen Wolf,” “Ghost,” & “Repo Man” ( Side note; she was wife of Michael Sweet, the lead singer of the Christian rock band “Stryper.) March 5
Jimmy Boyd, 70. Child actor, singer known for “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”. March 7.
Tullio Pinelli, Writer & Director; Wrote 13 films for Federico Fellini. including “8½,” “La Dolce Vita,” “I Vitelloni” and “La Strada.” March 7
Hank Locklin, 91. Smooth-voiced country singer “Send Me the Pillow You Dream On”. March 8.
Anne Wiggins Brown, 96. Soprano; the original Bess in Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess.” March 13.
Betsy Blair, 85. Actress, Oscar-nominated for role as shy woman courted by homely Ernest Borgnine in “Marty.” March 13.
Alan Livingston,91, Music exec; Created Bozo The Clown and while at Capitol Records brought the Beatles to the US. March 13
Millard Kaufman, 92. Writer; Oscar nominations for writing “Bad Day at Black Rock” and “Take the High Ground!” Co-creator of “Mr. Magoo.” March 14.
Ron Silver, 62. Actor, Director, Producer: Films include: “Reversal of Fortune,” “Enemies, a Love Story,” “Silkwood” “Ali,” “Best Friends,” “Garbo Talks.” TV: “Rhoda,” “Veronica’s Closet,” “The West Wing” March 15.
Jack Lawrence, 96. Lyricist for Frank Sinatra’s first hit, “All or Nothing at All.” March 15.
Eddie Bo, 79. New Orleans blues singer-pianist; worked with greats such as Irma Thomas. March 18.
Uriel Jones, 74. Drummer for Motown in songs like “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” “I Second That Emotion” “For Once In My Life. March 24.
Dan Seals, 61. Half of duo England Dan and John Ford Coley. March 25.
Steven Bach, 70. Movie executive and writer. Ran United Artists studio and killed it with the movie “Heaven’s Gate. ( Also produced “Raging Bull,” “The French Lieutenant’s Woman,” “Annie Hall,” “Eye of the Needle” ) March 25.
Irving R. Levine, 86. NBC newsman. War March 27.
Maurice Jarre, 84. Oscar-winning film composer (“Lawrence of Arabia,” &”Doctor Zhivago”). March 28.
Andy Hallett, 33. Actor who played the demon Lorne in TV series “Angel.” March 29.
Hal Durham,77, Announcer for the Grand Ole Opry from 1964 through 1996 March 30
Bud Shank, 82. Jazz saxophonist, flutist ( He played with Mamas & the Papas on “California Dreamin’”). April 2.
Tom Braden, 92. Helped launch CNN’s “Crossfire”; wrote memoir “Eight Is Enough,” which inspired a TV show. April 3.
Victor Millan, 89, Actor who played Sal Mineo’s father in the classic “Giant.” Other credits “Boulevard Nights,” “Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze,” & Brian DePalma’s “Scarface.”
Maxine Cooper,84, Actress and social activist; Active in civil rights during the 1960s while making films like “Fear on Trial,” & “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” ( I loved her as a sick passenger in the “Airplane!”) April 4
Dave Arneson, 61. Co-creator of groundbreaking Dungeons & Dragons fantasy game. April 7.
David “Pop” Winans Sr., 76. Grammy-nominated patriarch of gospel music family. April 8.
Randy Cain, 63. Member of “Philadelphia sound” soul group the Delfonics. April 9.
Jane Bryan,90, Actress that appeared in nearly 20 films during the late 1930s.( “Marked Woman ” “Kid Galahad.” “Brother Rat”) April 8
Marilyn Chambers, 56. Actress in the groundbreaking porn film “Behind the Green Door.” April 12.
Jack D. Hunter, 87. Wrote novel “The Blue Max,” made into 1966 film. April 13.
Peter Rogers, 95. Producer of the British “Carry On” films. April 14.
J.G. Ballard, 78. Author of “Empire of the Sun” and “Crash” April 19.
Tharon Musser, 84. Tony-winning lighting designer (“A Chorus Line,” “Follies”). April 19.
Jack Cardiff, 94. Oscar-winning cinematographer on the classic “Black Narcissus.” His other cinematography Oscar nods were for “War and Peace” and “Fanny.”. April 22.
Ken Annakin, 94. Director: “Battle of the Bulge,” “Swiss Family Robinson,” “The Longest Day.” April 22.
The Rev. Timothy Wright, 61. Grammy-nominated gospel singer, and composer (“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus”). April 23.
Bea Arthur, 86, Actress known to TV audiences as “Maude” in the 1970s & on “Golden Girls” as Dorothy. Received eleven Emmy nominations during her career April 24
Salamo Arouch, 86. Jewish boxer whose Auschwitz experiences inspired movie “Triumph of the Spirit.” April 26.
J.J. Linsalata, 65, Assistant director; worked on children’s TV show “The Big Blue Marble,” “X-Men 2,” “Kindergarten Cop.” April 27
Vern Gosdin, 74. Country singer: “I Can Tell By The Way You Dance (You’re Gonna Love Me Tonight)”, “Set ‘em Up Joe” and “I’m Still Crazy”. April 28.
Danny Gans, 52. Singer-Actor-Comdeian; Films: “Bull Durham,” “Sinatra,” “Race To Witch Mountain”. May 1.
Ric Estrada, 81, Animator on “Jonny Quest,” “Pound Puppies,” “Smurfs,” “Challenge of the GoBots,” “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe,” “Tiny Toon Adventures” May 1
Marilyn French, 79. Feminist writer; “The Women’s Room” May 2.
Dom DeLuise, 75. Actor. I think this is one actor I will miss most in the 2009 Final Taxi riders. Wither working with Burt Reynolds (The Cannonball Run, The End, All Dogs Go to Heaven, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas) or with Mel Brooks (Blazing Saddles, Silent Movie, History of the World, Part I, Spaceballs) DeLuise will be remembered as one of the great comedians of the 70’sand 80’s May 4.
Randall ‘Poodie’ Locke,60, Willie Nelson’s stage manager for over 30 years May 6
Vincent Davis, 65 , Animation director for “Cow and Chicken.” “The Batman,” “Captain Planet and the Planeteers,” “Duck Tales,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “The Wuzzles,” “My Little Pony,” “The Mouse and His Child,” “Garfield and Friends” and “Mother Goose and Grimm.” May 6
Linda Dangcil, 67, Actress best known for her role as Sister Ana in the Sally Fields TV series “The Flying Nun.” May 7
Mickey Carroll, 89. One of last surviving Munchkins from “The Wizard of Oz.” May 7.
John Furia Jr., 79. Film & television writer ( “ Twilight Zone,” “Bonanza,” “The Waltons”). May 8.
Stephen Bruton, 60. Guitarist, songwriter; worked with T Bone Burnett, Bonnie Raitt, Rita Coolidge, Christine McVie, Elvis Costello, Delbert McClinton & Kris Kristofferson. May 9.
Wayman Tisdale, 44. Jazz musican May 15.
Alice Eisner,87, Actress in “The Cemetery Club,” “Zac and Miri Make a Porno,” “Passed Away” May 15
Lee Solters, 89. Hollywood publicist; clients included Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand. May 18.
Jay Bennett, 45. Ex-member of rock band Wilco. May 24.
Koko Taylor, 80. Known as “Queen of the Blues” for her rough, powerful vocals and traditional blues stylings. June 3.
Sam Butera, 81. Las Vegas saxophonist; teamed with Louis Prima, Keely Smith. June 3.
Shih Kien, 96. Veteran Hong Kong actor; Bruce Lee’s archrival in 1973′s “Enter the Dragon.” June 3.
David Carradine, 72. Actor who appeared in more than 100 feature films. (“Death Race 2000,” “Bound for Glory,” “Kill Bill”) He will be remembered as the half-breed Shaolin monk, Kwai Chang Caine on the hit TV series Kung Fu June 4.
Fleur Cowles, 101. Author; founded magazine “Flair.” June 5.
Kenny Rankin, 69. Pop vocalist, musician, songwriter. June 7.
Norman Brinker, 78. The man who give us Chili’s restaurant. June 9.
Bob Bogle, 75. Guitarist, co-founded of the rock band the Ventures. June 14.
Ed McMahon, 86. Tonight Show sidekick of Johnny Carson and host of Star Search. June 23.
Farrah Fawcett, 62, Sex symbol of the 70’s. I had her poster on my bedroom wall. Starred in “Charlie’s Angels.” June 25
Michael Jackson, 50, The King of Pop. Starting with the Jackson 5 and moving to a solo career his 1982 album Thriller remains the best-selling album of all time, with Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), and HIStory (1995) also among the world’s best selling albums. 15 Grammy Awards & 26 American Music Awards. June 25
Gale Storm, 87. Actress in the early TV show “My Little Margie”. June 27.
Billy Mays, 50. Bearded TV salesman for such items as OxiClean, Orange Glo & Kaboom. June 28.
Fred Travalena, 66. Las Vegas impressionist. June 28.
Harve Presnel,75, Actor best remembered as William H. Macy’s father-in-law in 1996 film “Fargo” & was a regular in the TV series “The Pretender” June 29
Karl Malden, 97. Oscar-winning actor whose career spanned more than seven decades. Films include A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront, How the West Was Won and Patton. TV he played Lt. Mike Stone on the 1970s crime drama, The Streets of San Francisco. July 1.
Mollie Sugden, 87, Actress who remembered as Mrs Slocombe in long-running BBC sitcom “Are You Being Served?” Every episode Sugden sported a different hair color and continually harped on about her “pussy”. July 1
Allen Klein, 77. Music manager who worked with the Beatles & Rolling Stones. July 4.
Vasily Aksyonov, 76. Russian writer (“Generations of Winter) July 6.
Sir Edward Downes, 85. Longtime head of the BBC Philharmonic. July 10.
Beverly Roberts, 96, Actress in “The Singing Kid”, “Two Against The World with Humphrey Bogart, “China Clipper” &“God’s Country and the Woman” July 13
Walter Cronkite, 92. THE TV News anchorman for a generation. On CBS Evening News for 19 years (1962–81). Reported many events from 1937 to 1981, including bombing in World War II, the Nuremberg trials, Vietnam War,the death of President John F. Kennedy, Watergate, the Moon landings, to the Space Shuttle. The first American broadcast of The Beatles was with Walter Cronkite. July 17.
Gordon Waller, 64. Half of the pop duo Peter and Gordon. July 17.
Frank McCourt, 78. Irish-born schoolteacher who enjoyed a Pulitzer, for memoir “Angela’s Ashes.” July 19.
Heinz Edelmann, 75. Graphic designer; art director of the 1968 Beatles film “Yellow Submarine.” July 21.
John “Marmaduke” Dawson, 64. Co-founded psychedelic country band New Riders of the Purple Sage. July 21.
Les Lye, 84, Know as one of the only two multitalented adults on the children’s show You Can’t Do That On Television July 21
Merce Cunningham, 90. Avant-garde dancer and choreographer who revolutionized modern dance. July 26.
George Russell, 86. Jazz composer; theories influenced greats like Miles Davis. July 27.
Gidget, 15 known as the Taco Bell talking Chihuahua July 27
Naomi Sims, 61. Black model of the ’60s. Aug. 1.
Billy Lee Riley, 75. Rockabilly performer recording “Flyin’ Saucers Rock & Roll” and “Red Hot”. Aug. 2.
Budd Schulberg, 95. Novelist (“What Makes Sammy Run?”) and Oscar-winning screenwriter (“On the Waterfront”). Aug. 5.
John Hughes, 59. Writer-director of the 80’s so-called ‘Brat pack’ films. (“Breakfast Club,” “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Sixteen Candles,” “ Pretty in Pink,” “Home Alone”). Aug. 6.
Willy DeVille, 58. Singer, songwriter; Founder of punk group Mink DeVille who were a regular at New York’s CBGBs Aug. 6.
Mike Seeger, 75. Co-founded traditional folk group the New Lost City Ramblers. Aug. 7.
John Quade, 71. Character actor; Played the villain in several Clint Eastwood movies including High Plains Drifter, Outlaw Josey Wales, and Every Which Way But Loose. Aug. 9.
Rashied Ali, 76. Jazz drummer who worked with John Coltrane. Aug. 12.
Les Paul, 94 guitarist and inventor. Pioneer in the development of the solid-body electric guitar which “made the sound of rock and roll” and also helped in multi-track recording. Aug. 13
Virginia Davis, 90. As child actress, appeared in Walt Disney’s early “Alice” films in the ’20s. Aug. 15.
Robert Novak, 78. Syndicated columnist, journalist, television personality, author, and conservative political commentator Aug. 18.
Hildegard Behrens, 72. German-born soprano hailed as one of the finest Wagnerian performers of her generation. Aug. 18.
Don Hewitt, 86. TV news pioneer who created “60 Minutes” and produced it for 36 years. Aug. 19.
Larry Knechtel, 69. Grammy-winning keyboardist and member of the 70’s soft-rock band Bread. Best known for his work as a session musician with such artists as Simon & Garfunkel, Duane Eddy, The Beach Boys, The Mamas & the Papas, The Doors, and Elvis Presley. Aug. 20.
Elmer Kelton, 83. Acclaimed Western novelist (Buffalo Wagons, The Day the Cowboys Quit, The Day It Never Rained, Eyes of the Hawk, The Good Old Boys). Aug. 22.
Ted Kennedy, 77, United States Senator from Massachusetts Aug 25
Ellie Greenwich, 68. Singer/Songwriter for “Be My Baby”, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”, “Da Doo Ron Ron”, “Leader of the Pack”, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy”, and “River Deep, Mountain High”, among many others. She discovered Neil Diamond and sang backing vocals on several of Diamond’s hit songs. Aug. 26.
Dominick Dunne, 83. Best-selling author and host of “Dominick Dunne’s Power, Privilege, and Justice” on CourtTV. Aug. 26.
Sadie Corré, 91, Actress known for one of the Ewoks in Star Wars and became a cult figure as the short Transylvanian in The Rocky Horror Picture Show Aug 26
Sergei Mikhalkov, 96. Soviet author. Aug. 27.
Adam “DJ AM” Goldstein, 36. Celebrity disc jockey and reality-TV actor. Aug. 28.
Chris Connor, 81. Female jazz vocalist who recorded songs like “Jeepers Creepers”, “If I Should Lose You”, “I Get A Kick Out Of You”& “Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen” Aug. 29.
Marie Knight, 84. Gospel music singer with songs like “Cry Me A River,” “Beams of Heaven”, “Didn’t it Rain”, and “Up Above My Head. Aug. 30.
Erich Kunzel, 74, leader of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. Sept. 1
Wycliffe Johnson, 47. Keyboardist and producer: made Reggae music popular as part of Steely & Clevie. Preformed alongside the Specials, Bounty Killer, Elephant Man, and No Doubt. Sept. 1.
Bill Hefner, 79. 12-term North Carolina congressman and gospel singer. Sept. 2.
Keith Waterhouse, 80. British playwright, novelist and columnist. Wrote several TV series for BBC. Sept. 4.
Frank Coghlan, Jr, 93, Actor who played the caped super-hero Captain Marvel in 1941 movie series. (Shazam!) Sept 7
Army Archerd, 87. Write for Hollywood’s Daily Variety. Sept. 8.
Frank Batten Sr., 82. Founder of the first nationwide, 24-hour cable weather channel, The Weather Channel through his media giant Landmark Communications. Sept. 10.
Jim Carroll, 60. Poet, punk rocker. Wrote “The Basketball Diaries” a story of his life. I’ll remember Carroll for one song I hear in my head every time I write this blog, “People Who Died.” Sept. 11
Larry Gelbart, 81. Screen writer. Wrote skits form early TV before writing screenplay for “M*A*S*H,” “Tootsie,” “Oh, God!’ to name a few.. Sept. 11.
Pierre Cossette, 85. Record label founder who brought the Grammy Awards to television.. Sept. 11.
Crystal Lee Sutton, 68. Her fight to unionize Southern textile plants became the film “Norma Rae.” Sept. 11.
Yoshihito Usui, 51, creator of feisty kindergartner “Shin Chan,” (seen on Cartoon Network) took Final Taxi after falling off cliff Sept 11
Paul Burke, 83. Two-time Emmy nominee for his role as Detective Adam Flint in the gritty crime drama “Naked City.” Sept. 13.
Patrick Swayze, 57. Movie heartthrob who starred in films including “Dirty Dancing,” “Red Dawn,” “Ghost.” “Point Break,” “Road House ,” Sept. 14.
Henry Gibson, 73. Comic character actor; loved him as the Nazi leader in The Blues Brothers or evil neighbor in The ‘Burbs . Sept. 14.
Trevor Rhone, 69. Jamaican playwright; co-wrote the reggae film “The Harder They Come.” Sept. 15.
Mary Travers, 72. One-third of the ’60s folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary. I remember her more for her radio talk show Mary Travers Presents where she talked to several of my rock heroes. If listened to in stereo Mary was in one speaker while the guest would be in the other. Sept. 16.
Linda C. Black, 65. Syndicated columnist. Sept. 17.
Dick Duroc,72, Actor and Stuntman; Best known for role of “Swamp Thing” in the movies and TV series. Sept 17
Art Ferrante, 88. Half of the piano duo Ferrante and Teicher. Sept. 19.
Robert Ginty,60, Actor, director and producer; One of the mose overlooked deaths of 2009- Started as a rock drummer playing with Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Carlos Santana and John Lee Hooker before moving to acting. Had a regular role on TV’s “Baa Baa Black Sheep,” In 1978 played Bruce Dern’s friend in “Coming Home” It was 1980’s “The Exterminator” that launched him into that of an unforgettable action star. Sept 21
Alicia de Larrocha, 86. Reuters referred to her as “the greatest Spanish pianist in history” Sept. 25.
William Safire, 79. Pulitzer-winning New York Times columnist Sept. 27.
John “Bootsie” Wilson,69.lead singer of the Silhouettes. Their # 1 song ‘Get a Job’ became a national anthem of doo-wop. Sept 29
Mercedes Sosa, 74. Argentine folk singer. Oct. 4.
Stephen Gately, 33. Singer with Irish boy band Boyzone. Oct. 10.
Al Martino, 82. Singer,played the Frank Sinatra-type role in “The Godfather.” Oct. 13.
Daniel Melnick, 77. Producer of acclaimed films “Straw Dogs,” “Network.” Oct. 13.
Lou Albano, 76. Pro wrestler; appeared Cyndi Lauper’s dad in the music video “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and other video by her. Oct. 14.
Collin Wilcox-Paxton, 74. Portrayed the false accuser in “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Oct. 14.
Vic Mizzy, 93. Songwriter; best-known works are the themes to the 1960s television sitcoms Green Acres and The Addams Family. He also penned top-20 songs from the 1930s to 1940s.. Oct. 17.
Joseph Wiseman, 91. Actor; played the villain Dr. No in James Bond film of that name. Oct. 19.
Soupy Sales, 83. Comedian who perfected the pies to the face gag. Was also seen in several game shows. Oct. 22.
Lou Jacobi, 95. Actor with notable film roles including Uncle Morty in “My Favorite Year” Moustache in “Irma La Douce,” a transvestite husband in Woody Allen’s “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask),” Barry Levinson’s “Avalon;” and my favorite as the remote controled husband who get caught in his underwear between channels in “Amazon Women on the Moon”. Oct. 23.
Troy N. Smith, Sr, 87, American entrepreneur who founded Sonic Drive-In Oct 26
Claude Levi-Strauss, 100. French intellectual considered father of modern anthropology. Oct. 30.
Lou Filippo, 83. World Boxing Hall of Famer; had small roles in “Rocky” movies. Nov. 2.
Sheldon Dorf, 76. Founded Comic-Con International comic-book convention. Nov. 3.
Carl Ballantine, 92. Actor-comedian. Best remembered as Lester Gruber, one of the PT boat sailors in the sitcom “McHale’s Navy ” Nov. 3.
Ron Sproat,77, Screenwriter who wrote 100s of episodes of the dark gothic soap opera “Dark Shadows” Nov 6
David Lloyd, 75, Emmy Award-winning screenwriter of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Taxi, Cheers, Frasier and Wings Nov 10
Paul Wendkos, 84. TV, film director of the Gidget movies and The Mephisto Waltz, and Guns of the Magnificent Seven to name a few Nov. 12.
Ken Ober, 52. Hosted ’80s MTV game show “Remote Control.” Nov. 15.
Dennis Cole, 69, Character actor who played on TV in shows Medical Center, Charlie’s Angels, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Three’s Company, and Murder, She Wrote.
Edward Woodward, 79. British actor most known for playing ex-secret agent and vigilante Robert McCall in the series The Equalizer. Among his film credits, Woodward starred in the 1973 horror film The Wicker Man, and in the title role in Breaker Morant. Nov. 16.
Al Alberts, 87. Member of singing Four Aces who recorded “”Three Coins in the Fountain” & “Love Is a Many Splendored Thing”. Nov. 27.
Aaron Schroeder, 84. Songwriter of Elvis Presley song’s “ A Big Hunk o’ Love,” “ Good Luck Charm,” ” It’s Now or Never,” & more. Also songs for Roy Orbison, Duane Eddy, Sammy Davis Jr., Nat King Cole, Perry Como and Pat Boone. Dec. 1.
Richard Todd, 90. British actor who was the first choice of author Ian Fleming to play James Bond in Dr. No, but a scheduling conflict gave the role to Sean Connery. Dec. 3.
Vyacheslav Tikhonov, 81. Russian actor; starred in Oscar-winning Soviet production of “War and Peace.” Dec. 4.
Liam Clancy, 74. Last of Clancy Brothers Irish folk-song troupe. Dec. 4.
Bryan O’Byrne , 78, Actor; priest in the elevator in “Love at First Bite,” Reverend Simmons in “Murder She Wrote.” Hodgkins in 5 episodes of “Get Smart Dec 4
Mark Ritts, 63, Puppeteer; Played Lester the Lab Rat on “Beakman’s World Dec 7
Gene Barry, 90, Actor, known for roles in TV’s “Bat Masterson” & Amos Burke on “Burke’s Law” Also in both versions of “War of the Worlds” Dec 9
Roy Disney, 79. Nephew of Walt Disney, 56-year company veteran who helped make such blockbusters as “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Lion King.” Dec. 16.
Conrad Fowkes, 76, Actor in soap operas:Search For Tomorrow, The Edge of Night, The Secret Storm, As The World Turns and cult favorite ‘Dark Shadows’ Dec 15
Jennifer Jones, 90. Actress, won Academy Award for “Song of Bernadette” Nominated for“Duel in the Sun” and “Love Letters.” Dec. 17.
Dan O’Bannon, 63, Screenwriter, director, actor. O’Bannon will be most known for writing of all the Alien movies. He worked on“Heavy Metal,” “Blue Thunder,” “The Return of the Living Dead,” “Invaders From Mars “and “Total Recall.” He did special effects work on “Star Wars.” My favorite movie was his student film he did with John Carpenter called “Dark Star.” This film help movie bookers listen to me to make a mid-might film series in Birmingham. Dec 17
Alaina Reed-Amini, 63, Actress from 1976 to 1988, she played the role of ‘Olivia’ on the popular children’s show “Sesame Street” and then moved to NBC’s “227” Dec 17
Connie Hines, 78, Actress most famous for playing Wilbur’s wife in “Mister Ed Dec 18
Brittany Murphy, 32. Movie actress; What a shocker for the year! her breakout film was 1995′s “Clueless.” Many people loved her in “Just Married” “Girl, Interrupted” and “8 Mile” Dec. 20.
Arnold Stang, 91, Nerdy looking actor was the spokesman for Chunky, the candy bar and the voice of T.C., the leader of cats in cartoon, “Top Cat.” In 1963 “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,” Stang was one of the two attendants who witnessed their gas station being destroyed by a toppling water tower. Dec 20
Marianne Stone, 87, Played Nurse Alice Able in the Carry On movies and Vivian Darkbloom in Stanley Kubrick’s “Lolita.” Dec 21
Michael Currie, 81, started as Sheriff Jonas Carter in the cult series “Dark Shadows” and moved to the Dirty Harry movies as Captain Donnelly. Worked with Clint Eastwood as well in “Firefox” and “Any Which Way You Can”. Dec 22
Tim Hart , 61, Founder of the British folk rock band Steeleye Span Dec 27.
James ‘The Rev’ Sullivan, 28, drummer for heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold Dec 28
Erik Gates, 47, member of Discovery Channel hit series ‘Mythbusters’ Dec 29
How many of these people touched your life in one form or another during their lifetime?
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I have been thinking about this for sometime now and it looks like someone beat me to it.:
Original Article: http://tinyurl.com/8pcv84
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Schoedinger Funeral and Cremation Service has taken the business of grief high-tech: It’s one of a growing number of funeral service providers to embrace the Web.
Schoedinger in central Ohio is offering live Web streaming and archived online video for use by military personnel overseas and others who can’t be present for a loved one’s funeral.
It’s a way for mourners to take part in the experience without the time and expense of a long-distance trip, especially one arranged on short notice.
“This just allows people to share in the grief and share in the grief experience with everyone,” said company President Michael Schoedinger.
The family organizing the funeral controls who has access to the private Web site used for broadcasting. The company offers the service for free but eventually may charge a fee to cover its costs, Schoedinger said.
Funeral directors say better technology and cheaper equipment have prompted more funeral homes to offer webcasting and videotaping services nationwide.
It’s also been more appealing as the Internet has become part of everyday life for many Americans domestically and abroad, said Ellery Bowker, the president of North Carolina-based Director’s Advantage, which specializes in technological products for the funeral industry and debuted its webcasting service last year.
The service allowed one soldier in Iraq to watch his grandmother’s funeral in North Carolina, Bowker said. In another case, comrades of a soldier who died overseas were able to view his memorial in the U.S.
The use of funeral webcasting is an emerging trend but hasn’t been tracked statistically, though some companies have offered those services for years, said Jessica Koth, a spokeswoman for the National Funeral Director’s Association.
Webcasting companies are also jumping in, offering packages to funeral homes that include tripods, cameras with microphones, and cables and cords, either for lease or purchase outright. Some ceremonies can even be webcast to iPods.
The Jenkins-Soffe Funeral Chapels and Cremation Center in suburban Salt Lake City began offering funeral webcasts about a decade ago as a way to include overseas missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in their relatives’ funerals, owner Kurt Soffe said.
The center’s funeral packages, which include webcasting, video and audio recording, typically cost about $300 more than other packages. About one in every 50 funerals at the center opts for the multimedia, he said.
“I think that it will become much more popular in the years ahead – much more popular in the sense that more funeral homes will offer it,” Soffe said. “Whether more families will select it and choose it, I don’t know, because there is really no substitute for coming together as a family.”
This Final Taxi story tells about a loving wife who pays tribute to her husband in an unusual way.
Listen to the tale of Sandy Berken-Ottery of Muskego who asked her bodyshop man if he could incorporate her late husband’s cremated ashes into the new paint job of their 1990 Harley-Davidson Softail.
I remember my mother buying “Pringle’s Newfangled Potato Chips” sometime in the 1976. It was not long before when everyone at my school was bringing in these tube cans of chips that all looked exactly alike. I didn’t like them because of that. Every Pringles looked just like the other and tasted that way too. Where was the diversity?
Pringles are a brand of potato snacks produced by Procter & Gamble. Pringles were first sold in the United States in October of 1968; they were not rolled out across America until the mid-1970s. The name was chosen from a Pringle Avenue in Finneytown, Ohio because it had pleasing sound.
According to the patent , Pringles were invented by Alexander Liepa of Montgomery, Ohio. Science Fiction and Fantasy author Gene Wolfe developed the machine that cooks them. It’s famous logo is a stylized representation of a man with a large moustache and parted bangs.
Pringles are especially known for their packaging invented by Fred Baur, which consists of a tubular can with a foil-coated interior, and a resealable plastic lid. It is Fred Baur who has taken his Final Taxi, but that taxi takes the shape of one of his famous designed cans. For Baur has asked for his ashes to buried in one of the iconic cans.
The man who designed the Pringles can had part of his cremated remains buried in one, his family says.
Fredric J. Baur, of Cincinnati, was an organic chemist and food storage technician who specialized in research and development and quality control for Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble Co.
Baur filed for a patent for the tubular Pringles container and for the method of packaging the curved, stacked chips in the container in 1966, and it was granted in 1970, P&G archivist Ed Rider said.
The 89 year old inventor’s children said they honored their father’s request to bury him in one of the cans by placing part of his cremated remains in a Pringles container in his grave in suburban Springfield Township.
The rest of his remains were placed in an urn buried along with the can, with some placed in another urn and given to a grandson.
My question is: was Baur buried in a 170g, 163g, 50g, or 23g size can?
A burglar who broke into a funeral parlor in Spain tried to fool police by playing dead.
But he was caught out when police spotted his scruffy clothes – and then noticed he was breathing.
Police and the Crespo Funeral Home said they had no idea what the 23-year-old man was trying to steal.
Neighbors of the business, in Burjassot, near Valencia, alerted police when they heard the door being forced in the middle of the night.
Police officers arrived with the owner, and eventually found the suspect lying on a table in a chamber used for viewing dead people during wakes.
“The custom here is for dead people to be dressed in suits, in nice clothes that look presentable. This guy was in everyday clothes that were wrinkled and dirty,” a police spokeswoman.
“He was trying to fake being dead, but he was breathing.”
The funeral home said it was mystified as to what the man wanted, as there were no valuables or cash in the funeral parlour.
Imagine wanting closure from the death of a loved one and getting a bill for it. That is what happened when a French teenager who wrote a letter to her late mother in heaven had it returned with a demand for postal costs.
The 13-year-old girl, named, addressed the letter to Paradise Street, Heaven.
Two days later it was returned to her home in Chatillonais, France with an “unknown at this address” notice and a demand for 1.35 euros as she hadn’t put a stamp on the envelope.
Two years after her mother’s death, Anais was still inconsolable. She decided to send her a letter to let her mum know how much she loved her.
Asked to explain the mishap, the French post office said there really was a town in the area called Heaven — “Ciel” in French — but that the street named Paradise Street was unknown.
Being a fan of the Brady Bunch TV show, I remember watching as their maid, Alice, would go out on her off nights with Sam the butcher. Sam became a regular on the series. When the TV show stopped we did see a few Brady Bunch movies where the girls all get married. In it we learn that Alice did land that man of her dreams. I often wondered what the marriage for that looked like. Would it have been in a bowling alley?
The actor who played Sam the butcher on the Brady Bunch was a jowly, happy actor named Allan Melvin. Melvin played in over 130 different TV and movie production in his cast career. He has taken that Final Taxi at the age of 84.
Allan Melvin was born in Kansas City, Missouri and raised in New York City Melvin attended Columbia University. After graduation he served with the United States Navy and married his wife, Amalia, in 1943. ( They were still married after 64 years.)
While working at a job in the sound effects department of NBC Radio, he did a nightclub act and appeared and won on the Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts radio show. While appearing on Broadway in Stalag 17, he got his break into television by getting the role of Cpl. Henshaw on the popular “The Phil Silvers Show” program. TV fans of this era usually best remember his role as Henshaw, Sergeant Bilko’s right hand man on that show. “
Blessed with the face of a bloodhound, Melvin was also known for decades for his second banana and sidekick roles on live-action sitcoms.
In the 1960s, Melvin played Staff Sergeant Charley Hacker for four seasons on “Gomer Pyle, USMC.” He also made appearances as Rob Petrie’s old Army buddy, Sol Pomerantz, on the “Dick Van Dyke Show.” Fans of “ The Andy Griffith Show” will remember Melvin in eight guest appearances in eight different roles.
He was also Archie Bunker’s friend and neighbor Barney Hefner on All in the Family and Archie Bunker’s Place and for 15 years he played Al the Plumber in the Liquid-Plumr commercials. Other credits action credits include “Route 66,” “Perry Mason,” “Lost in Space,” and “With Six You Get Eggroll.”
He also provided the voices of cartoon character “Magilla Gorilla”, the lion Drooper on “The Banana Splits Adventure Hour,” Bluto and Wimpy on “The All-New Popeye Hou” and Sgt. Snorkel in several “Beetle Baily” cartoons. Other voice credits include “The Smurfs,” “Scooby Doo,” “The Flintstones” and “Hong Kong Phooey.”
Allan Melvin probably was best known in live action for his role as Sam Franklin on The Brady Bunch from 1970 to 1973. Franklin, a butcher and bowler, was the boyfriend of Brady family maid Alice Nelson, who was played by Ann B. Davis.
“I’ve enjoyed the stuff I’ve done,” he told People magazine in 1996, “but the one you’re getting paid for, that’s what you enjoy most.”