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March 24, 2014
obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day: Character Actor James Rebhorn
Mr. Rebhorn, who died at the age of 65 of melanoma, has 125 acting credits according to IMDB.com. It is almost guaranteed that you have seen him in myriad appearances in television or film (most recently on the Showtime series Homeland). What is most interesting is that he wrote his own obituary. Here it is in full:

James Robert Rebhorn was born on Sept. 1, 1948, in Philadelphia, PA. His mother, Ardell Frances Rebhorn, nee Hoch, loved him very much and supported all his dreams. She taught him the value of good manners and courtesy, and that hospitality is no small thing. His father, James Harry Rebhorn, was no less devoted to him. From him, Jim learned that there is no excuse for poor craftsmanship. A job well done rarely takes more or less time than a job poorly done. They gave him his faith and wisely encouraged him to stay in touch with God.
He is survived by his sister, Janice Barbara Galbraith, of Myrtle Beach, SC. She was his friend, his confidant, and, more often than either of them would like to admit, his bridge over troubled waters. He is also survived by his wife, Rebecca Fulton Linn, and his two daughters, Emma Rebecca Rebhorn and Hannah Linn Rebhorn. They anchored his life and gave him the freedom to live it. Without them, always at the center of his being, his life would have been little more than a vapor. Rebecca loved him with all his flaws, and in her the concept of ceaseless love could find no better example.
His children made him immensely proud. Their dedication to improving our species and making the world a better place gave him hope for the future. They deal with grief differently, and they should each manage it as they see fit. He hopes, however, that they will grieve his passing only as long as necessary. They have much good work to do, and they should get busy doing it. Time is flying by. His son-in-law, Ben, also survives him. Jim loved Ben, who was as a son to Jim, especially through these last months. His aunts Jean, Dorothy and Florence, numerous cousins and their families, and many devoted friends also survive Jim. He loved them all, and he knows they loved him.
Jim received his BA at Wittenberg University and his MFA at Columbia. He was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Nu Zeta 624, a life-long Lutheran, and a longtime member of both the AMC and ACLU.
Jim was fortunate enough to earn his living doing what he loved. He was a professional actor. His unions were always there for him, and he will remain forever grateful for the benefits he gained as a result of the union struggle. Without his exceptional teachers and the representation of the best agents in the business, he wouldn’t have had much of a career. He was a lucky man in every way.
–Jim Rebhorn, March 2014

Wonderful.
Source: Deadline.com
(Image is copyright Peter Kramer/Getty Images and courtesy of the NY Daily News)

This is how I want to go out.

obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day: Character Actor James Rebhorn

Mr. Rebhorn, who died at the age of 65 of melanoma, has 125 acting credits according to IMDB.com. It is almost guaranteed that you have seen him in myriad appearances in television or film (most recently on the Showtime series Homeland). What is most interesting is that he wrote his own obituary. Here it is in full:

James Robert Rebhorn was born on Sept. 1, 1948, in Philadelphia, PA. His mother, Ardell Frances Rebhorn, nee Hoch, loved him very much and supported all his dreams. She taught him the value of good manners and courtesy, and that hospitality is no small thing. His father, James Harry Rebhorn, was no less devoted to him. From him, Jim learned that there is no excuse for poor craftsmanship. A job well done rarely takes more or less time than a job poorly done. They gave him his faith and wisely encouraged him to stay in touch with God.

He is survived by his sister, Janice Barbara Galbraith, of Myrtle Beach, SC. She was his friend, his confidant, and, more often than either of them would like to admit, his bridge over troubled waters. He is also survived by his wife, Rebecca Fulton Linn, and his two daughters, Emma Rebecca Rebhorn and Hannah Linn Rebhorn. They anchored his life and gave him the freedom to live it. Without them, always at the center of his being, his life would have been little more than a vapor. Rebecca loved him with all his flaws, and in her the concept of ceaseless love could find no better example.

His children made him immensely proud. Their dedication to improving our species and making the world a better place gave him hope for the future. They deal with grief differently, and they should each manage it as they see fit. He hopes, however, that they will grieve his passing only as long as necessary. They have much good work to do, and they should get busy doing it. Time is flying by. His son-in-law, Ben, also survives him. Jim loved Ben, who was as a son to Jim, especially through these last months. His aunts Jean, Dorothy and Florence, numerous cousins and their families, and many devoted friends also survive Jim. He loved them all, and he knows they loved him.

Jim received his BA at Wittenberg University and his MFA at Columbia. He was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Nu Zeta 624, a life-long Lutheran, and a longtime member of both the AMC and ACLU.

Jim was fortunate enough to earn his living doing what he loved. He was a professional actor. His unions were always there for him, and he will remain forever grateful for the benefits he gained as a result of the union struggle. Without his exceptional teachers and the representation of the best agents in the business, he wouldn’t have had much of a career. He was a lucky man in every way.

–Jim Rebhorn, March 2014

Wonderful.

Source: Deadline.com

(Image is copyright Peter Kramer/Getty Images and courtesy of the NY Daily News)

This is how I want to go out.

18:51 // 6 months ago
January 23, 2013
obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day: “Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany”
Hans Massaquoi was very disappointed when his teacher told him that he could not join the Hitler Youth. Massaquoi’s friends had all joined and he was enthralled with the uniforms, the parades, the camp-outs. But Hans’ desire to join was trumped by the color of his skin.
Born in 1926, Mr. Massaquoi’s parents were a German nurse and the son of a Liberian diplomat. He would grow up in Hamburg as the Weimar Republic was collapsing and the the Third Reich was building up.
When he was in second grade, Mr. Massaquoi was so taken with the Nazi imagery that, at his request, his nanny sewed a swastika to his sweater. Although his mother removed it when he returned home from school, a picture had already been taken. (See above.)
Mr. Massaquoi’s family lived in Germany for the duration of the war. According to Mr. Massaquoi’s memoir, Destined to Witness, he theorized that there were so few blacks living in Germany that they were a low priority for extermination. Eventually he would move: first to his father’s home country of Liberia and later to Chicago.
In the United States, although trained in aviation mechanics, Mr. Massaquoi would become a writer for Jet magazine and eventual move to its sister publication, Ebony, where he became managing editor.
Mr. Massaquoi, who passed away on January 19, 2013 on his 87th birthday, was encouraged to write down the story of his unusual childhood by his friend and author of Roots, Alex Haley.
Sources: L.A. Times and Chicago Sun-Times
(Image is from Mr. Massaqoui’s collection and copyright of William Morrow Paperbacks via spiritosanto.wordpress.com)

Fascinating story. Fascinating life. And a photo that sticks with you.

obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day: “Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany”

Hans Massaquoi was very disappointed when his teacher told him that he could not join the Hitler Youth. Massaquoi’s friends had all joined and he was enthralled with the uniforms, the parades, the camp-outs. But Hans’ desire to join was trumped by the color of his skin.

Born in 1926, Mr. Massaquoi’s parents were a German nurse and the son of a Liberian diplomat. He would grow up in Hamburg as the Weimar Republic was collapsing and the the Third Reich was building up.

When he was in second grade, Mr. Massaquoi was so taken with the Nazi imagery that, at his request, his nanny sewed a swastika to his sweater. Although his mother removed it when he returned home from school, a picture had already been taken. (See above.)

Mr. Massaquoi’s family lived in Germany for the duration of the war. According to Mr. Massaquoi’s memoir, Destined to Witness, he theorized that there were so few blacks living in Germany that they were a low priority for extermination. Eventually he would move: first to his father’s home country of Liberia and later to Chicago.

In the United States, although trained in aviation mechanics, Mr. Massaquoi would become a writer for Jet magazine and eventual move to its sister publication, Ebony, where he became managing editor.

Mr. Massaquoi, who passed away on January 19, 2013 on his 87th birthday, was encouraged to write down the story of his unusual childhood by his friend and author of Roots, Alex Haley.

Sources: L.A. Times and Chicago Sun-Times

(Image is from Mr. Massaqoui’s collection and copyright of William Morrow Paperbacks via spiritosanto.wordpress.com)

Fascinating story. Fascinating life. And a photo that sticks with you.

8:45 // 1 year ago
December 28, 2012

obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day: Playlist of the Dead 2012

It is time for Obit of the Day’s annual Playlist of the Dead. So listen to the music, read the posts, and remember some incredible talent we’ve lost over the past twelve months. (The glaring exception is the Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch, for whom I was unable to write a post, but I did put “An Open Letter to NYC” on the playlist.)

January

Fred Milano – original member of Dion and the Belmonts

Johnny Otis – “The Godfather of Rhythm and Blues”

Etta James – Grammy winning R&B legend

February

Whitney Houston - Grammy Award-winning singer

Kathryn McDonald – member of Duke Ellington’s orchestra

Billy Strange – guitarist and songwriter, part of the “Wrecking Crew”

Louisiana Red – blues guitarist

Davy Jones – lead singer of The Monkees

March

Jimmy Ellis – backup singer for The Trammps

Eric Lowen – Grammy Award-winning co-writer of “We Belong”

Earl Scruggs – Bluegrass legend

April

Barney McKenna – last of the original Dubliners

Andrew Love – saxophonist and member of the “Memphis Horns”

Levon Helm – legend of rock and folk, member of The Band

Pete Fornatele – WNEW rock DJ

May

Charles “Skip” Pitts – bass player on “Theme from Shaft

Donna Summer – disco legend and Grammy Award winner

Robin Gibb – member of the Bee Gees

June

Herb Reed – original member of the Platters

Graeme Bell – “The Father of Australian Jazz”

July

Jon Lord – keyboardist for Deep Purple

August

Scott McKenzie – singer, “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)”

Willa Ward – member of the gospel group, The Famous Ward Singers

September

“Sugar Boy” Crawford – writer, and original singer, “Iko Iko”

October

R.B. Greaves – writer and singer, “Take a Letter Maria”

Bil Dees – co-writer, “Oh, Pretty Woman”

November

Cleve Duncan – member of The Penguins and lead singer, “Earth Angel”

December

Dave Brubeck – pianist and jazz legend

Fontella Bass – singer of 1965 hit “Rescue Me”

You should be able to find the playlist on Spotify under “Playlist of the Dead 2012” or through my account, Josh Eisenberg.

For more Obit of the Day:

Playlist of the Dead for 2011

Archive

Clever idea for a playlist. 

12:06 // 1 year ago
September 3, 2012
obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day (Breaking): Academy Award Nominee Michael Clarke Duncan
Michael Clarke Duncan was a big man, (6’ 5”, 315 pounds) and may have normally been found on the football field. But the Chicago native was forbidden from playing by his mother, so he moved to the stage. After graduating from community college Duncan found himself digging ditches for the local gas company, it was then that he decided to move to Hollywood.
Duncan’s imposing physique and talent earned him a role in the blockbuster asteroid film, Armageddon (1998). The following year, his co-start, Bruce Willis, called Frank Darabont who was directing the film version of Stephen King’s novel, The Green Mile. Willis recommended Duncan for the role of John Coffey the gentle giant who brought magic to Tom Hanks’ death row. For his performance, Duncan was nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
Duncan would be featured in various films and TV series (including Sin City, Talladega Nights, Family Guy, and Chuck). His final two films, In the Hive and The Challenger are not yet released.
In July 2012, Duncan suffered a heart attack. He was unable to recover and died on September 3, 2012. He was only 54.
Sources: Chicago Tribune and IMDB.com
(Image is copyright of PETA and courtesy of ecorazzi.com)

He deserved all the praise he got for “The Green Mile.” It’s sad he died so young.

obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day (Breaking): Academy Award Nominee Michael Clarke Duncan

Michael Clarke Duncan was a big man, (6’ 5”, 315 pounds) and may have normally been found on the football field. But the Chicago native was forbidden from playing by his mother, so he moved to the stage. After graduating from community college Duncan found himself digging ditches for the local gas company, it was then that he decided to move to Hollywood.

Duncan’s imposing physique and talent earned him a role in the blockbuster asteroid film, Armageddon (1998). The following year, his co-start, Bruce Willis, called Frank Darabont who was directing the film version of Stephen King’s novel, The Green Mile. Willis recommended Duncan for the role of John Coffey the gentle giant who brought magic to Tom Hanks’ death row. For his performance, Duncan was nominated for Best Supporting Actor.

Duncan would be featured in various films and TV series (including Sin City, Talladega Nights, Family Guy, and Chuck). His final two films, In the Hive and The Challenger are not yet released.

In July 2012, Duncan suffered a heart attack. He was unable to recover and died on September 3, 2012. He was only 54.

Sources: Chicago Tribune and IMDB.com

(Image is copyright of PETA and courtesy of ecorazzi.com)

He deserved all the praise he got for “The Green Mile.” It’s sad he died so young.

19:45 // 2 years ago
July 16, 2012
Stephen Covey, author of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” dies at 79
The highly respected author passed away in Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center as a result of complications related to a bicycle accident that occurred in April. Covey, who Time Magazine once called one of the 25 Most Influential Americans, also co-founded the FranklinCovey consulting firm in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is survived by his wife, nine children, and fifty-two grandchildren. (Photo via Thinkers50) source
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The highly respected author passed away in Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center as a result of complications related to a bicycle accident that occurred in April. Covey, who Time Magazine once called one of the 25 Most Influential Americans, also co-founded the FranklinCovey consulting firm in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is survived by his wife, nine children, and fifty-two grandchildren. (Photo via Thinkers50) source

Follow ShortFormBlog: Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook

14:29 // 2 years ago
July 3, 2012
breakingnews:

BREAKING: Actor Andy Griffith has died, friend says
Andy Griffith died this morning in Dare County, North Carolina, according to former UNC President Bill Friday. Friday, a close friend of the actor, confirmed the news to WITN News.
(Photo: AP file, via msnbc.com)

Insanely sad to hear this; Andy was an icon. He made television worth watching for many.
UPDATE: CBS News is seeking independent confirmation of Griffith’s death, backing off this initial report.
UPDATE 2: The local sheriff’s department has confirmed the report. You’ll be missed, Andy.

breakingnews:

BREAKING: Actor Andy Griffith has died, friend says

Andy Griffith died this morning in Dare County, North Carolina, according to former UNC President Bill Friday. Friday, a close friend of the actor, confirmed the news to WITN News.

(Photo: AP file, via msnbc.com)

Insanely sad to hear this; Andy was an icon. He made television worth watching for many.

UPDATE: CBS News is seeking independent confirmation of Griffith’s death, backing off this initial report.

UPDATE 2: The local sheriff’s department has confirmed the report. You’ll be missed, Andy.

10:25 // 2 years ago
March 19, 2012
obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day: Inventor of Red Bull
The most famous energy drink in the world was created by a 50-someting, Thai recluse. Chaleo Yoovidhya created Red Bull (which is the English translation of the original Thai name Krathing Daeng) in the 1980s and marketed the high-caffeine carbonated beverage to truck drivers and blue collar workers.
Not long after its introduction, a German pharmaceutical sales rep named Dietrich Mateschitz, tried the drink on his worldwide travels and found that it was the only cure he could find for jet lag. He partnered with Mr. Yoovidhya (each contributed $500,000 and owned 49% of the company) to introduce Red Bull to an international market. Red Bull was introduced first to Austria in 1987.
Twenty-five years later Red Bull owns 70% of the energy drink market and both Yoovidhya and Mateschitz have become billionaires. When Mr. Yoodvidhya died his age was listed by various news outlets as 80, 88, or 90.
(Image of a bottle of Red Bull from Thailand is courtesy of forum.loyat.net)

He gave you wings.

obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day: Inventor of Red Bull

The most famous energy drink in the world was created by a 50-someting, Thai recluse. Chaleo Yoovidhya created Red Bull (which is the English translation of the original Thai name Krathing Daeng) in the 1980s and marketed the high-caffeine carbonated beverage to truck drivers and blue collar workers.

Not long after its introduction, a German pharmaceutical sales rep named Dietrich Mateschitz, tried the drink on his worldwide travels and found that it was the only cure he could find for jet lag. He partnered with Mr. Yoovidhya (each contributed $500,000 and owned 49% of the company) to introduce Red Bull to an international market. Red Bull was introduced first to Austria in 1987.

Twenty-five years later Red Bull owns 70% of the energy drink market and both Yoovidhya and Mateschitz have become billionaires. When Mr. Yoodvidhya died his age was listed by various news outlets as 80, 88, or 90.

(Image of a bottle of Red Bull from Thailand is courtesy of forum.loyat.net)

He gave you wings.

9:13 // 2 years ago
March 7, 2012
Obit of the day: Ms. May Puffe Weed may find herself on Jay Leno someday. (ht @marisaballetti)

Obit of the day: Ms. May Puffe Weed may find herself on Jay Leno someday. (ht @marisaballetti)

18:21 // 2 years ago
February 11, 2012
reuters:

A Beverly Hills Police Crime Lab vehicle is seen outside the Beverly Hilton Hotel where singer Whitney Houston was found dead in Beverly Hills, California February 11, 2012.
Singer and actress Houston, a winner of six Grammy Awards including record of the year for “I Will Always Love You” and album of the year for “The Bodyguard,” has died at age 48, a spokeswoman for the singer said. [REUTERS/Danny Moloshok]
Read more: Whitney Houston dies at 48

This is not a great way to go out; in the highest-profile of ways, before a celebrity-stacked party. So unfortunate. (more at our tag)

reuters:

A Beverly Hills Police Crime Lab vehicle is seen outside the Beverly Hilton Hotel where singer Whitney Houston was found dead in Beverly Hills, California February 11, 2012.

Singer and actress Houston, a winner of six Grammy Awards including record of the year for “I Will Always Love You” and album of the year for “The Bodyguard,” has died at age 48, a spokeswoman for the singer said. [REUTERS/Danny Moloshok]

Read more: Whitney Houston dies at 48

This is not a great way to go out; in the highest-profile of ways, before a celebrity-stacked party. So unfortunate. (more at our tag)

22:02 // 2 years ago
October 20, 2011

The AP just ran Gaddafi’s obit. That’s significant. (Editor’s note: we’re trying out the Clipboard embed with this one. Work for you? Let us know what you think.)

10:33 // 3 years ago