William M. Murphy (92) author whose two biographies of the family of William Butler Yeats shed light on the poet's personal and creative relationships and led scholars to reassess the importance of his father and sisters. Murphy taught at Union College in Schenectady for nearly 40 years. He died in Schenectady, New York on September 26, 2008.
Joel N. Bloom (83) former director and president (1969-90) of the Franklin Institute's science museum and planetarium in Philadelphia. Bloom was the first science museum president to be president of the American Association of Museums and was chairman of the US National Committee of the International Council of Museums and founding president of the Association of Science-Technology Centers. He died in Livingston, New Jersey on September 23, 2008.
Eletra Casadei (55) fashion designer whose collections were carried in boutiques and department stores across the US and were seen on TV shows such as The Golden Girls and Dynasty. Casadei claimed Old Hollywood glamour as her inspiration and fantasy dresses at affordable prices as her niche. She died of brain cancer in Pacific Palisades, California on September 27, 2008.
Bill Leinenkugel (87) business executive who expanded the markets of the tiny Chippewa Falls brewery his family founded in 1867. Leinenkugel took over Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. as president in 1971 and expanded its market to the Twin Cities and Chicago during an era when other small breweries were closing under pressure from major brewers. He died of cancer in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin on September 22, 2008.
Edfred L. Shannon Jr. (82) longtime chief executive of the oil-drilling firm Santa Fe International who made headlines in the '80s when he brokered the sale of his company to a petroleum firm owned by the Kuwaiti government. Shannon died in Whittier, California on September 21, 2008.
Edward S. Klima (77) eminent linguist, an emeritus professor of linguistics at the University of California at San Diego and one of the first scholars to pay serious attention to sign languages. Klima died from complications of brain surgery, in the La Jolla section of San Diego, California on September 25, 2008.
William Woodruff (92) British-born historian, a longtime professor at the University of Florida, who wrote two best-selling memoirs of his humble birth to a family of cotton weavers in Blackburn, England: Billy Boy (1993) and The Road to Nab End (2003). Woodruff died 11 days after his 92nd birthday, in Gainesville, Florida on September 23, 2008.
Oliver Kaufman Crawford (91) writer who overcame the blacklist of the '50s to become one of TV's most successful writers. Crawford wrote for such shows as Star Trek, Bonanza, Perry Mason, and Kraft Television Theatre. He was just beginning to launch a successful writing career in Hollywood and had landed a two-picture deal when he was contacted in 1953 by the House Un-American Activities Committee, then looking into allegations of Communist influence in the entertainment industry. Crawford was blacklisted after refusing to reveal the names of suspected Communists. He got back into the business after a friend, actor Sam Levene, helped him to land a job as a writer for Playhouse 90. Crawford's career flourished in the '60s as he wrote for such popular shows as Rawhide, Lawman, The Rifleman, Ben Casey, The Outer Limits, I Spy, and others. He died of pneumonia in Los Angeles, California on September 24, 2008.
Irene Dailey (88) late-blooming actress perhaps best known for her roles on TV soap operas (mainly Liz Matthews on Another World) and for her portrayal of the mother in the Tony-winning Broadway drama The Subject Was Roses (1964). Dailey was the younger sister of actor and dancer Dan Dailey (d. 1978). She died of colon cancer in Santa Rosa, California on September 24, 2008.
Bernadette Greevy (68) Irish internationally acclaimed opera singer whose career included a wide variety of operatic roles that spanned 40 years, during which she gained recognition as one of the finest mezzo-sopranos of her time. Greevy later became a founder and artistic director of the Anna Livia Dublin International Opera Festival in 2000, where she used her experience as an artist to bring traditional Grand Opera back to Dublin audiences and to encourage young Irish talent. She died in Dublin, Ireland on September 26, 2008.
Connie Haines (87) petite, big-voiced singer with a rhythmic style who most famously teamed up with Frank Sinatra as lead vocalists with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, then moved on to a prolific career of her own. Haines died of myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disease, in Clearwater Beach, Florida on September 22, 2008.
George ("Wydell") Jones (71) rock musician who wrote the doo-wop hit "Rama Lama Ding Dong" and performed it as a member of The Edsels. The song peaked at No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1961. The Edsels also included Jimmy Reynolds, Harry Green, Marshall Sewell, and Larry Green. During their heyday, the group performed at the Apollo Theater in New York and appeared on American Bandstand. Jones died of cancer in Youngstown, Ohio on September 27, 2008.
Patricia Holley Kaiter (79) elder sister of pioneering rock 'n' roll singer-songwriter Buddy Holly, who perished in an airplane crash that also killed fellow rock legends JP ("The Big Bopper") Richardson and Ritchie Valens in 1959. Kaiter died in Lubbock, Texas on September 25, 2008.
Maureen Kirsch (49) visual arts patron who recently served as executive producer of the upcoming indie comedy Ready or Not (2008), currently in postproduction after filming in Mexico under a special budget contract from the Screen Actors Guild outside the US in 2006. Kirsch died in New York City on September 24, 2008.
Phyllis Welch MacDonald (95) actress whose brief but successful career took her from Broadway to Hollywood. MacDonald debuted on Broadway in A Slight Case of Murder (1935), a comedy by Damon Runyon and Howard Lindsay. In her only film, she played opposite comic actor Harold Lloyd in Professor Beware (1938) but left acting after she married in 1939. She died in San Mateo, California on September 26, 2008.
Nancy Hicks Maynard (61) pioneer in newsroom diversity, a cofounder of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education who later helped her husband, Robert Maynard (d. 1993), to run the Oakland Tribune for nearly 10 years (1983-92). In 1970, at age 23, Nancy Hicks became only the second black female reporter at the New York Times. She died of multiple organ failure in Los Angeles, California on September 21, 2008.
Thomas ("Bud") McDonald (85) former child actor who appeared in some of the Our Gang shorts as a boy and later helped to found prominent alcohol and drug treatment programs in southern California. At age 8, McDonald was cast as Buddy, the boy with the freckles and big ears in several Our Gang comedies, including "School Is Out" and "Teacher's Pet" (both 1930). He died of congestive heart failure in Seal Beach, California on September 22, 2008.
Jamene Miller (55) lead singer of the 1970s short-lived house rock band Fantasy whose Top 10 hits, Spill the Wine and Why Can't We Be Friends?, had been nominated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Miller is also credited with opening for super-acts like the Grateful Dead, The Doors, Steppenwolf, Cream, Frank Zappa, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, and Janis Joplin during the infamous South Florida's hard rock scene in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but had retired from stardom and battled drug addiction later in life. She died in Miramar, Florida on September 27, 2008.
Paul Newman (83) one of the last of the great 20th-century movie stars, an Oscar-winning superstar who personified cool as an activist, race car driver, popcorn impresario, and the antihero of such films as Hud, Cool Hand Luke, and The Color of Money. Newman got his start in theater and on TV during the '50s and later became one of the world's most enduring and popular film stars, a legend held in awe by his peers. He was nominated for Oscars 10 times, winning one regular award (for The Color of Money ) and two honorary ones, and had major roles in more than 50 films. He died of cancer at his farmhouse near Westport, Connecticut on September 26, 2008.
Sonja Savic (47) Serbian actress known for her husky voice and a series of impressive roles in some of the most memorable '80s films made in the former Yugoslavia. Savic made her movie debut at age 16 in Butterfly Cloud (1977) and won numerous prestigious awards at the Venice Film Festival. She was found dead of an apparent drug overdose in Belgrade, Serbia on September 23, 2008.
Tom Tescher (82) saddle bronc riding champion, one of the early members of the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame. Tescher won the first North Dakota Saddle Bronc Riding Championship in 1948 and, along with his late brother Jim, started the Home on the Range Champions Ride at Sentinel Butte, where he grew up, in 1957. Tom Tescher retired from professional rodeo in 1967. He died in Wibaux, Montana on September 24, 2008.
Vice Vukov (72) Croatian baritone popular for his ballads but also a symbol of Croatian patriotism in the '70s when he joined a movement that demanded more autonomy for Croatia within the Yugoslav federation. Vukov died after nearly three years in a coma caused by a fall, in Zagreb, Croatia on September 23, 2008.
Anita Williams (66) former stage actress and mother of screen actor Terrence Howard, nominated for a best-actor Oscar for Hustle & Flow (2005). Williams died of cancer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 25, 2008.
Kevetta Davis and Yasmin Jackson (both 19) Southern Illinois University students involved in a fatal trailer-tractor wreck after their sport-utility vehicle collided head-on with a VH1 reality show tour bus hauling sound equipment for Poison singer Bret Michaels. The bus, driven by Dennis D. Hernandez (38), crossed over into oncoming traffic on the northbound median lanes of Interstate 57 and struck the students' SUV and a pickup truck, seriously injuring two Florida residents inside. Police said Hernandez apparently fell asleep at the wheel but was later cited for driving with a suspended license and other offenses. Davis and Jackson both died at the scene outside Chicago, Illinois on September 26, 2008.
Kirsten Brydum (25) San Francisco community activist who was part of the so-called "education tour" where she marched in protests outside the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota and even visited an urban farm in Philadelphia and spoke with housing activists, before she had later travel to Louisiana in recent months. Brydum was found shot to death in an apparent robbery outside New Orleans, Louisiana on September 27, 2008.
Ada Dodson (94) World War II Marine Corps veteran active in the Women Marines Association. One of thousands of women who served in the Marines during WWII, Dodson was national secretary of the WMA (1972-74) and Orange County chapter president (1974-76). She died of respiratory failure in Irvine, California on September 25, 2008.
Doris ("Dodo") Meyer (83) for 20 years the San Fernando Valley's liaison to Los Angeles City Hall during the Tom Bradley administration. Meyer helped to forge the black-Jewish coalition crucial to Bradley's electoral successes. She died of emphysema in Santa Monica, California on September 27, 2008.
Dingiri Banda Wijetunga (92) former Sri Lankan president for 18 months. Wijetunga became the island's third president after his predecessor, Ranasinghe Premadasa, was assassinated by a Tamil Tiger rebel suicide bomber at a May Day rally in 1993. Wijetunga was credited with increasing political freedoms and restoring the freedom of the media and trade unions after an insurrection by Marxists during Premadasa's rule that killed thousands. He died of a chest illness in the central town of Kandy, Sri Lanka on September 21, 2008.
Alexina Calvert (110) Scottish supercentenarian, believed to be the oldest person ever documented in Scotland after she recently celebrated her 110th birthday on August 13. Calvert died in Annan, Scotland on September 26, 2008.
Jessie James Cummings Jr. (52) polygamist convicted of fatally stabbing his 11-year-old niece and dumping her body in rural Oklahoma. Cummings was convicted of killing Melissa Moody, whose skeletal remains were discovered near a Choctaw County bridge in 1991. He was executed by lethal injection in McAlester, Oklahoma on September 25, 2008.
Thomas Dörflein (44) Berlin zookeeper who gained fame for hand-rearing the beloved polar bear Knut, abandoned by his mother in late 2006. The boisterous bear now weighs more than 265 pounds and has his own feature-length film, blog, and TV show. Dörflein was found dead at his apartment in Berlin, Germany on September 22, 2008.
Richard Henyard (34) Florida man condemned to death for the 1993 shooting deaths of Jamilya Lewis (7) and her sister Jasmine (3) after he and a juvenile accomplice had raped, shot, and wounded their mother Dorothy Lewis multiple times at close range during an apparent carjacking from the parking lot of a grocery store in the central Florida town of Eustis. Henyard was executed by lethal injection in Starke, Florida on September 23, 2008.
Dr. Ronald N. Kornblum (74) Los Angeles County coroner, a nationally recognized expert on chokehold deaths, who performed autopsies on such celebrities as John Belushi, Natalie Wood, and Truman Capote. Kornblum served eight years as county coroner before resigning in 1990 amid charges of poor management. He died in La Canada Flintridge, California on September 23, 2008.
Marian McQuade (91) woman who persuaded governors, Congress, and then-President Jimmy Carter to set aside a special day to honor grandparents. A mother of 15, grandmother of 43, and great-grandmother to 15, McQuade launched her campaign to honor grandparents in 1970. In 1978, Carter signed legislation proclaiming the first Sunday after Labor Day as Grandparents Day. McQuade died of heart failure in Oak Hill, West Virginia on September 26, 2008.
Dionicio Morales (89) early leader of Los Angeles Eastside activism who came from the agricultural fields of Moorpark and in 1961 created the nation's largest Latino human services provider, the Mexican-American Opportunity Foundation, to provide social services such as job training and child care. Morales died in Montebello, California on September 24, 2008.
Rabbi Yossie Raichik (55) Los Angeles-born rabbi who helped thousands of children affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Raichik was director of the "Children of Chernobyl" project, sponsored by Habad, a Jewish outreach organization, which airlifted 81 groups of children to Israel for treatment after the 1986 explosion of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor sent a toxic radioactive cloud through a large area. Raichik died of a lung infection in Jerusalem, Israel on September 21, 2008.
Matti Juhani Saari (22) culinary arts student who shot and killed 10 fellow students and injured one at western Finland's Kauhajoki vocational college (in an apparent "copycat" imitation of Pekka-Eric Auvinen, the 18-year-old student who opened fire and kiled eight people at his high school in southern Finland in November 2007) in the country's second school shooting incident in less than a year. Saari was interviewed by authorities just one day before the killings, after he posted four clips on the video-sharing website YouTube, and police began investigations soon after the posting. He died shortly after shooting himself in the head in Tampere, Finland on September 23, 2008.
Harold Barefoot Sanders Jr. (83) US district judge who presided over more than 20 years (1981-2003) of litigation to desegregate Dallas schools. Instead of ordering the busing of black students to white schools, Sanders approved magnet schools that would offer good academic programs in minority neighborhoods and would be attractive to both races. He died in Dallas, Texas on September 21, 2008.
Julius M. Title (93) retired Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge, the oldest retired judge assigned by the state to hear cases. Title was a member of the Assigned Judges Program, which consists mainly of retired judges appointed by the chief justice to cover vacancies and illnesses and relieve congestion in the busiest courts. He died of heart failure in Cheviot Hills, California on September 21, 2008.
Sarah Tredop (19) wife of recently discharged US Army soldier Robert K. Hui (22), suspected of shooting and critically wounding Arlington County (Va.) police officer Kyle Russell (26) before he committed suicide by shooting himself in his car during a routine traffic stop on September 22. Investigators said two officers stopped Hui for driving erratically at the scene of the initial shootings, where he appeared disoriented. Tredop was later found dead of an apparent gunshot wound at their home in Arlington, Virginia on September 22, 2008.
Larry Birleffi (90) TV and radio broadcaster known for more than 50 years as the "Voice of the Wyoming Cowboys." Birleffi was the announcer for Wyoming football, basketball, and other sports for 37 years and wrote a sports column for the Wyoming Tribune Eagle of Cheyenne. He was manager and part owner of KFBC Radio in Cheyenne and did assignments for ABC Wide World of Sports. He died in Cheyenne, Wyoming on September 27, 2008.
Matthew Tryson Bryant (3 months) youngest son of Tampa Bay Buccaneers star place-kicker Matt Bryant, was named the Bucs' nominee for the annual NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2007. Matthew Tryson Bryant died unexpectedly in Tampa, Florida on September 24, 2008.
Mary Garber (92) one of America's first female sportswriters. Garber was a sportswriter for the Winston-Salem Journal and the Twin City Sentinel (1946-97). She began as a society writer during World War II, and when the war depleted the all-male sports department, she moved to sports. She died in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on September 21, 2008.
Wally Hilgenberg (66) former linebacker who helped to propel the Minnesota Vikings to four Super Bowl appearances in the '70s. Hilgenberg died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease, in Lakeville, Minnesota on September 23, 2008.
Dick Lynch (72) football player who starred at cornerback for the New York Giants during their glory years in the late '50s and early '60s and was a longtime radio analyst for the team. Lynch died of leukemia in New York City on September 24, 2008.
William L. Smith (19) Becker College student and nephew of noted NCAA men's basketball head coach Orlando ("Tubby") Smith. William Smith was stabbed to death after a fight at an off-campus apartment in Worcester, Massachusetts on September 21, 2008.
Mickey Vernon (90) two-time American League batting champion with the Washington Senators and seven-time All-Star first baseman during a 20-year career in the major leagues. Vernon played (1939-43, '46-60) with Washington, Cleveland, the Boston Red Sox, the Milwaukee Braves, and Pittsburgh, winning batting titles in 1946 and '53. He suffered a stroke last week and died in Media, Pennsylvania on September 24, 2008.