Archive for the 'obituaries' Category

Susan Atkins Dies

Susan Atkins, the ex- Manson family member serving a life sentence in California for the infamous Tate Labianca murders died late last night after a battle with brain cancer at 61 years of age.

There was speculation that and pleas from her family for a release so Atkins could spend the final waning days of her life outside of prison, but that request was denied. Initially she and the other Manson Family members involved in those heinous 1969 murders were sentenced to death, but when the U.S Supreme Court ruled in 1972 that the death penalty was unconstitutional; her and the sentences of her fellow ‘family members’ was reduced to life in prison. And though I know this sounds cold-hearted that’s exactly where she should have been. After all a sentence of life in prison doesn’t mean ‘life in prison unless you have terminal cancer’ it means the only way you will be leaving here is in a body bag.




RIP Mary Travers

Mary Travers of the 1960s Folk group “Peter, Paul, and Mary” died at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut after complications from chemotherapy relating to a long battle with leukemia. She was 72 years of age.


Screen Actor Patrick Swayze Dies of Cancer

Actor Patrick Swayze, who reached the peaks of popularity throughout the 1980s and early 90s in such movies as “The Outsiders”(1983),“Red Dawn” (1984), ” Dirty Dancing” (1987), and Ghost (1990); just to name a few, died Monday night following a lengthy battle with Pancreatic Cancer. Swayze was 57 years of age.

Here is a clip from the 1989 Swayze movie ‘Road House’:


Senator Edward Kennedy Dies at Age 77

Above is the famous 1980 Presidential speech by Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA), marking the end of his campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

Massachusetts Senior Senator, “Liberal Lion”, and the last surviving son of the Kennedy dynasty that illuminated Massachusetts, the United States, and the globe passed on last night at the age of 77, following a lengthy bout with brain cancer.

Kennedy was the youngest of nine children, including President John F Kennedy and Senator Robert F Kennedy. Kennedy became a U.S Senator from Massachusetts in 1962, filling the Senate seat once held by his elder brother John. Following the deaths of his brothers, who fell victim to political assassins in 1963 and 68 respectively he took the helm of leadership as patriarch of the iconic Kennedy family, steering them and a nation through the shimmering waters of prosperity and greatness and the dark waters of tumult and uncertainty.

Throughout his nearly half a century in the Senate he sponsored legislation and heralded such causes as: Civil Rights, Voting Rights, Fair housing, Medicare, health care, Title 9 which called fore fairness for women’s school athletics, lowering the voting age to 18, ending Apartheid, and Peace in Northern Ireland to just name a few segments of that profound body of legislation that aided in broadening that great New Frontier, that idealism his elder brother John F Kennedy articulated in his 1960 Presidential campaign.

Kennedy of course was not without his sins, blemishes, and short comings. But his death and in life, despite often being the target and object of ire of conservatives, he marshaled bi-partisan respect and admiration.

Associated Press:

HYANNIS PORT, Mass. (AP) — Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, the last surviving brother in an enduring political dynasty and one of the most influential senators in history, died Tuesday night at his home on Cape Cod after a yearlong struggle with brain cancer. He was 77.

In nearly 50 years in the Senate, Kennedy, a liberal Democrat, served alongside 10 presidents – his brother John Fitzgerald Kennedy among them – compiling an impressive list of legislative achievements on health care, civil rights, education, immigration and more.

In a brief statement to reporters at his rented vacation home on Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., President Barack Obama eulogized Kennedy as one of the “most accomplished Americans” in history – and a man whose work in Congress helped give millions new opportunities.

“Including myself,” added the nation’s first black president.

Senator Kennedy is survived by his last surviving sibling, his elder sister Jean Kennedy Smith, countless nieces and nephews, grandchildren, his three children Kara, Teddy Jr, and Patrick, two step children, his first wife Joan, and his wife Vicki.

Here is the official statement released by the Kennedy family:

“Edward M. Kennedy – the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply – died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port. We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever. We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice, fairness and opportunity for all. He loved this country and devoted his life to serving it. He always believed that our best days were still ahead, but it’s hard to imagine any of them without him.”


Don Hewitt (1922-2009)

Yesterday it was political columnist, conservative, and tv host Robert Novak who died at the age of 78 from the effects of brain cancer.

Today its being reported that a more respected and dare I say pioneering figure Don Hewitt,a producer-director of the CBS Evening newscast in televisions infantacy and who later went on to become the mind and Executive producer behind the tv news weekly magazine 60 Minutes in 1968, until 2004 has died at the age of 86. The generation of sterling pioneering giants in the field of television journalism still alive seems to be sadly growing smaller and smaller.


Eunice Kennedy Shriver ( 1921- 2009)

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the sister of President John F Kennedy as well as the late Senator Robert F Kennedy (D-NY) and Edward M Kennedy (D-MA), the mother-in-law of actor turned Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA), died early this morning at a hospital on Cape Cod at the age of 88.

But Shriver made a name for herself in her own right as an advocate for juvenile delinquents, special needs children, and by founding the Special Olympics in the 1960s, which decades later has blossomed into an annual event where those with mental disabilities and special needs can compete in athletic events.

On a personal note, as those who know me are aware I too have a mental disability Aspergers syndrome, a mild form of autism that impairs me socially and well it may not have been as severe as those who compete in the Special Olympics or have other differences, I think all those with learning and mental disabilities should acknowledge the contribution she made to beginning the dialogue on disabilities when American society and many other societies had long relegated such disabilities and those who had them to the margins of society with a sense of shame and fright. Because of the pioneering work of Kennedy Shriver, disabilities are now better known about and those with them are more accepted by the public at large.

Photo from: ET online


RIPJohn Hughes

The publicity shy mind who directed, penned, and produced a myriad of Hollywood hits in the 1980s and early 1990s died yesterday of heart attack while walking in his neighborhood. He was just 59 years old.

Hughes is best known for such classic comedy hits as “Sixteen Candles” (1984), “The Breakfast Club” (1985), and “Ferris Buller’s Day Off” (1986) just to name three.