In Memoriam: 2016 Celebrity Deaths

2016 collage of celebrity deaths2IN MEMORIAM 2016 – A very sad year indeed – The list of celebrities and public figures who died this past year is incredibly astounding. We lost so many wonderful entertainers, musicians and athletes it’s mind numbing. I can’t recall another year in recent memory that so many A-list celebrities passed in the same year. 2016 seemed to have an unbelievable string of celebrity deaths throughout year. It felt so absolutely ruthless in claiming the lives of so many beloved public figures and entertainers. The death of a celebrity affects us strangely enough in a unique way. Although most of us have never met these famous people, the loss still stings because it feels like a particular puzzle or time piece of our lives has disappeared. For us older folks, it feels like the who’s who of our lifetime. The names we grew up from the 50’s through the 90’s. It seems like a bad dream. Some were getting up there in age, a few were way too young, but there were oh so many others that were sudden and unexpected. Here is the year in review of those who passed on in 2016.

2016 collage of celebrity deaths

In Memoriam

2016 Celebrity Deaths

Gone But Will Never be Forgotten


4 – Robert Stigwood (age 81)

Entertainment Manager – managed the Bee Gees and Cream

6 – Pat Harrington Jr. (age 86)

Pat Herrington

Actor – Schneider on “One Day at a Time”

7 – Troy Shondell (age 76)

Singer – big hit was “This Time (We’re Really Breaking Up)”

7 – Kitty Kallen (age 94)

Singer – Big Band Era, biggest hit was ‘”Little Things Mean a Lot”

9 – Angus Scrimm (age 89)

Actor – the Tall Man in “Phantasm” (1979) and four sequels

10 – David Bowie (age 69) 

David Bowie

Musician – 2-time Grammy winner influenced music and culture for four generations

11 – David Margulies (age 78)

Actor – the Mayor in Ghost Busters I and II (1984 & 1989)

14 – Alan Rickman (age 69)

Alan Rickman

Actor – Hans Gruber in ‘Die Hard’ and Severus Snape in ‘Harry Potter’

14 – René Angélil (age 73)

Singer / Manager – husband and manager of Celine Dion

15 – Dan Haggerty (age 74)

The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams - Season 2

Actor – The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams

15 – Noreen Corcoran (age 72)

Actress – Kelly Gregg in Bachelor Father (1957-59)

18 – Glen Frey (age 67)

Glenn Frey

Singer / Songwriter – founded The Eagles “Take It Easy”, “Peaceful Easy Feeling”

23 – Jimmy Bain (age 68)

Musician – heavy metal bassist with bands Rainbow and Dio

26 – Abe Vigoda (age 94)

Actor – Detective Fish on Barney Miller (1975-’77)

28 – Paul Kantner (age 74)

Paul Kantner

Singer / Songwriter – co-founder of The Jefferson Airplane

28 – Mike Minor (age 75)

Actor – Steve Eliot on “Petticoat Junction”


2 – Bob Elliot (age 92)

Comedian – one-half of the comedy duo of Bob and Ray

3 – Maurice White (age 74)

Maurice White

Musician / songwriter – founding member of Earth, Wind & Fire

3 – Joe Alaskey (age 63)

Voice Actor – Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Sylvester, Tweety

4 – Joe Dowell (age 76)

Pop Singer – #1 hit song “Wooden Heart” (1961)

04 – Edgar Mitchell (age 85)

NASA Astronaut – sixth person to walk on the Moon in Apollo 14 (1971)

15 – George Gaynes (age 98)

George Gaynes.png

Actor – Commandant Eric Lassard on the Police Academy series & Henry Warnimont on Punky Brewster

15 – Vanity (age 57)

Actress/Singer – lead for girl group Vanity 6; girlfriend and muse of Prince

19 – Harper Lee (age 89)

Novelist – Pulitzer Prize for fiction (1961) for novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”

22 – Yolande Fox (age 87)

Singer – Miss America 1951 and sang opera

22 – Sonny James (age 87)

Sonny James

Country Music Singer/Songwriter – first teenage country crossover #1 single “Young Love”

23 – Donald E. Williams (age 74)

NASA Astronaut – space shuttle pilot, Discovery and Atlantis

24 – Lennie Baker (age 69)

Musician – 1950s music tribute group and TV show Sha-Na-Na (1969-2000)

25 – Tony Burton (age 78)

Actor – boxing trainer to Apollo Creed and later Rocky in six “Rocky” movies

28 – George Kennedy (age 91)

George Kennedy

Actor – Academy Award for “Cool Hand Luke” also in all the “Airport” movies

29 – Gil Hill (age 84)

Police Commander/Actor – Inspector Todd in three “Beverly Hills Cop” movies


4 – Joey Martin Feek (age 40)

Country Muscian – husband and wife country duo “Joey + Rory”

6 – Nancy Reagan (age 94)

Nancy Reagan

First Lady of the U.S.(1981-1989) Husband, 40th President Ronald Reagan

8 – Sir George Martin (age 90)

Record producer George Martin  . REXSCANPIX.

Legendary Producer for the “Beatles” albums, known as “The Fifth Beatle”

9 – Robert Horton (age 91)

Actor – Flint McCullough in “Wagon Train” (1957-1962)

10 – Keith Emerson (age 71)

Keith Emmerson

Musician / keyboardist – founder of the progressive rock band, Emerson, Lake & Palmer

13 – Adrienne Corri (age 85)

Actress – Mrs. Alexander in A Clockwork Orange (1971)

16 – Frank Sinatra Jr. (age 72)

Singer – son of Frank Sinatra and a talented singer

17 – Larry Drake (age 66)

Actor – Benny Stulwicz on L.A. Law (1987-1994)

18 – Joe Santos (age 84)

Actor – Lieutenant Dennis Becker on The Rockford Files (1974-1980)

21 – Peter Brown (age 80)

Actor – Deputy Johnny McKay in “Lawman” (1958-62) & Chad Cooper in “Laredo” (1965-67)

22 – Rob Ford (age 46)

Politician – crack smoking Mayor of Toronto, Canada

22 – Richard Bradford (age 81)

Actor – “Man in a Suitcase” on British ITC (1967)

22 – Phife Dawg (age 45)

Singer – Rapper with the group A Tribe Called Quest, also known as “Five Foot Assassin”

23 – Joe Garagiola (age 90)

Baseball Player – MLB catcher and announcer and television host

23 – Ken Howard (age 71)

Actor – Coach Reeves on TV show “White Shadow” & President of SAG-AFTRA

24 – Earl Hamner, Jr. (age 92)

Writer/Producer – created “The Waltons” TV show

24 – Garry Shandling (age 66)

Gary Shandling

Comedian – “Garry Shandling Show” and “The Larry Sanders” Show

27 – Mother Angelica (age 92)

Franciscan Nun – founder of Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN)

28 – James Noble (age 94)

Actor – Governor Gatling on “Benson” (1979-1986)

29 – Patty Duke (age 69)

Patty Duke-young


Child Star/Actress – played identical cousins in “The Patty Duke Show” (1963-1966)


6 – Merle Haggard (age 79)

Merle Haggard

Legendary country singer/songwriter – “I’m a Lonesome Fugitive”, “Okie From Muskogee”

12 – Anne Jackson (age 90)

Actress – married to Eli Wallach who died in 2014

17 – Doris Roberts (age 90)

Doris Roberts

Actress – Marie Barone on “Everybody Loves Raymond” (1996–2005)

20 – Victoria Wood (age 62)

English Comedienne/Actress – Britain’s most popular stand-up comic

21 – Prince (age 57)


Musician – flamboyant on stage, seven Grammy Awards, “Purple Rain”

21 – Lonnie (Mack) McIntosh (age 74)

Guitarist – pioneered the ‘lead guitar solo’, “Wham!” & “Memphis”

23 – Madeleine Sherwood (age 94)

Actress – Reverend Mother Placido in “The Flying Nun” (1967-70)

24 – Billy Paul (age 81)

Singer – Grammy Award for “Me and Mrs. Jones” (1972)


8 – William Schallert (age 93)

Actor – Martin Lane (Patty’s Father) on The Patty Duke Show

12 – Julius La Rosa (age 86)

Singer – “Anywhere I Wander” fired by Arthur Godfrey on the air

19 – Morley Safer (age 84)

Journalist – CBS News for 52 years (1964-2016), 60 Minutes for 46 years (1970-2016) won 12 Emmy Awards

19 – Alan Young (age 96)

Alan Young

Actor – Wilbur Post on “Mr. Ed” (1961-66)

24 – Burt Kwouk (age 85)

Actor – Cato in the “Pink Panther” films

27 – Mike Barnett (age 89)

Singer – co-founder of the singing group “The Lettermen”


3 – Muhammad Ali (age 74)

Muhammad Ali

Boxing legend – (formerly Cassius Clay) three time heavyweight champion (1964, 1974, and 1978), proclaimed “The Greatest”

4 – Bill Richmond (age 94)

Writer – 3 time Emmy Award winner for “The Carol Burnett Show” (1974,’75,’78)

6 – Kevin Ferguson (age 42)

MMA Fighter/Actor – a/k/a Kimbo Slice known for his underground internet fights

10 – Gordie Howe (age 88)

Gordie Howe

Hockey legend – Detroit Red Wings for 25 seasons, 23-time NHL All-Star

13 – Michu Meszaros (age 76)

Actor / Circus Performer – was the man in the ALF costume (ALF TV Show 1986-1990)

14 – Ann Guilbert (age 87)

Actress – Millie Helper in The Dick Van Dyke Show and Yetta Rosenberg in The Nanny

14 – Ronnie Claire Edwards (age 83)

Actress – Corabeth Walton Godsey on The Waltons (1972-81)

16 – Jo Cox (age 41)

British Labour Party Member of Parliament – murdered (shot and stabbed multiple times) in an act of terror

17 – Ron Lester (age 45)

Actor – Billy Bob in movie “Varsity Blues”

19 – Anton Yelchin (age 27)

Actor – Pavel Chekov in three Star Trek movies (2009-16)

27 – Bud Spencer (age 86)

Italian Actor – God Forgives… I Don’t! (1967)

27 – Mack Rice (age 82)

Song writer – “Mustang Sally” & “Respect Yourself”

28 – Scotty Moore (age 84)

Guitarist – backed Elvis in early recordings and pioneered new styles

28 – Buddy Ryan (age 85)

NFL Football Coach – while defensive coordinator for Chicago Bears invented the 46 defense

28 – Pat Summitt (age 64)

NCAA Basketball Coach – University of Tennessee Woman’s team (1974 – 2012) the winningest NCAA coach ever


2 – Michael Cimino (age 77)

Writer/Director – “Deer Hunter”, “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot”

2 – Elie Wiesel (age 87)

Jewish Writer/political activist – Holocaust survivor, and Nobel Laureate

2 – Teddy Rooney (age 66)

Actor/Musician – son of Mickey Rooney and Martha Vickers

2 – Caroline Aherne (age 52)

Comedienne/Actress – lead role and co-producer of “The Royle Family”

3 – Noel Neill (age 95)

Actress – Lois Lane in “Adventures of Superman” (1952-58)

6 – Danny Smythe (age 67)

Musician – founding member of the Box Tops (Devilles) “The Letter” (1967)

16 – Bonnie Brown (age 77)

Country Muscian – family musical group The Browns “The Three Bells”

19 – Garry Marshall (age 81)

Gary Marshall

Writer/Producer/Actor – created “Happy Days”, “Mork & Mindy”, “Laverne & Shirley”

27 – Jerry Doyle (age 60)

Actor – Michael Garibaldi in “Babylon 5” (1994–98)

30 – Gloria DeHaven (age 91)

Actress/Singer – “So This Is Paris”, “The Girl Rush”


2 – David Huddleston (age 85)

Actor – Character actor “Santa Claus: The Movie”

3 – Ricci Martin (age 62)

Entertainer – son of Dean Martin

6 – Pete Fountain (age 86)

Jazz Musician – played with both Al Hirt and Lawrence Welk

11 – Glenn Yarbrough (age 86)

Glenn Yarborough

Singer – The Limeliters (1959-63) “Baby the Rain Must Fall”

13 – Michel Richard (age 68)

Chef/Restaurateur – restaurant Citrus in L.A. and 5 other cities

13 – Kenny Baker (age 81)

Actor – played R2-D2 in the Star Wars franchise also played Paploo, the Ewok

14 – Fyvush Finkel (age 93)

Actor – lawyer Douglas Wambaugh on “Picket Fences”

19 –Jack Riley (age 80)

Actor – Elliot Carlin on “The Bob Newhart Show”

23 – Steven Hill (age 94)

Actor – District Attorney Adam Schiff on “Law & Order” (1990-2000)

25 – Jeanne Martin (age 89)

Model – Orange Bowl Queen (1947) & Dean Martin’s wife

25 – Marvin Kaplan (age 89)

Actor – telephone worker Henry on the TV show “Alice”

29 – Gene Wilder (age 83)

Gene Wilder

Legendary Comic Actor – Blazing Saddles (1974), Young Frankenstein, Willy Wonka


1 – Jon Polito (age 65)

Actor – Steve Crosetti on “Homicide: Life on the Street”

6 – Hugh O’Brian (age 91)

Actor Hugh O'brian.

Legendary Actor – starred in TV series “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp” (1955–1961)

9 – James Stacy (age 79)

Actor – Johnny Madrid Lancer on “Lancer” (1968-’70)

16 Edward Albee (age 88)

Playwright – The Sandbox (1959), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962)

17 – Charmian Carr (age 73)

Charmaine Carr

Actress – Liesl Von Trapp (eldest daughter) in the movie classic, “The Sound of Music”

24 – Bill Nunn (age 63)

Actor – Robbie Robertson in Spider-Man film trilogy

25 – Jean Shepard (age 82)

Jean Shepard

Legendary Country Singer/Songwriter – Pioneered C&W for women, “A Dear John Letter”

25 – José Fernández (age 24)

Baseball player – starting pitcher for the Miami Marlins and Cuban refugee

25 – Arnold Palmer (age 87)

Arnold Palmer

Legendary Golfer – One of the greatest golfers ever, did more to popularize the sport than any other golfer

28 – Shimon Peres (age 93)

Statesman – President of Israel (2007-’14), Prime Minister twice, held various offices from 1959-2007


12 – Tommy Ford (age 52)

Actor – Tommy Strawn in the sitcom Martin

21 – Kevin Meaney (age 60)

Comedian – “Uncle Buck” in the TV series by the same name

23 – Pete Burns (age 57)

Singer/Songwriter – founder of the band Dead or Alive, “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)”

24 – Bobby Vee (age 73)

Bobby Vee

Singer – “Take Good Care of My Baby”, “The Night Has a Thousand Eyes”

30 – Tammy Grimes (age 82)

Stage Actress – Molly in “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”


3 – Kay Starr (age 94)

Kay Starr

Legendary Singer – “Wheel of Fortune” and “The Rock And Roll Waltz”

7 – Janet Reno (age 78)

Attorney General of the United States 1993-2001 nominated by President Bill Clinton

7 – Leonard Cohen (age 82)

Leonard Cohen

Poet / Songwriter – “Suzanne”, “Hallelujah” and “Bird on the Wire”

11 – Robert Vaughn (age 83)

Robert Vaughan

Actor – Napoleon Solo in “The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964-’68)

13 – Leon Russell (age 74)

Leon Russell

Musician / Songwriter – “A Song for You”, “Tight Rope” and “This Masquerade”

15 – Holly Dunn (age 59)

Country Singer / Songwriter – “Are You Ever Gonna Love Me” and “You Really Had Me Going”

24 – Florence Henderson (age 82)

Florence Henderson

Actress / Singer – Carol Brady on “The Brady Bunch” (1969 to 1974)

25 – Fidel Castro (age 90)

Dictator – Prime Minister then President of Cuba (1959-2008)

25 – Ron Glass (age 71)

Actor – Det. Ron Harris on “Barney Miller” (1975-1982)

26 – Fritz Weaver (age 90)

Actor – Dr. Josef Weiss in the mini series “Holocaust”

28 – Van Williams (age 82)


Actor – starred as Britt Reid (a.k.a. the Green Hornet) on the 1966-1967 TV series, Kenny Madison in “Bourbon Street Beat” (1959) & “Surfside 6” (1960)

28 – Jim Delligatti, McDonald’s franchisee – created The Big Mac – age 98

30 – Keo Woolford, Actor – Det. Chang on Hawaii Five-0 (2010 version) – age 49

30 – Grant Tinker (age 90)

Television executive – Chairman and CEO of NBC (1981-’86) married to Mary Tyler Moore (1962-’81)


3 – Don Calfa (age 76)

Actor – Paulie the hitman in “Weekend at Bernie’s” (1989)

3 – Billy Chapin (age 72)

Actor – Little John Harper in “The Night of the Hunter” (1955)

7 – Greg Lake (age 69)

Greg Lake

Musician – founding member of Emerson, Lake & Palmer “Lucky Man”

8 – Joseph Mascolo (age 87)

Actor – Stefano DiMera on “The Days of Our Lives” (1982-’85) & (1993-2001)

8 – John Glenn (age 95)

John Glenn

WWII & Korean War Fighter Pilot. Marine Colonel. NASA Astronaut. Senator from Ohio (1974-99). Married for 73 yrs – first American to orbit the Earth (1962)

12 – Jim Lowe (age 93)

Singer – biggest hit “The Green Door” (1956)

13 – Alan Thicke (age 69)

Alan Thicke

Actor – Jason Seaver, the father on “Growing Pains” (1985-’92)

14 – Bernard Fox (age 89) 


Bernard Fox

Actor – Dr. Bombay in “Bewitched” and Colonel Crittendon in “Hogan’s Heroes”


18 – Zsa Zsa Gabor (age 99)

Zsa Zsa Gabor

Hungarian Actress & Socialite – Moulin Rouge (1952), married 9 times to mostly wealthy men

18 – Gordie Tapp (age 94)

Entertainer – wrote and acted on “Hee Haw”

20 – Michèle Morgan (age 96)

French Actress – Joan of Paris (1942), Higher and Higher (1943)

23 – Piers Sellers (age 61)

NASA Astronaut – flew in three space shuttle missions (2002,2006,2010)

24 – Richard Adams (age 96)

Author – Watership Down, The Plague Dogs

24 – Rick Parfitt (age 68)

Musician/Songwriter – rock band Status Quo; “Pictures of Matchstick Men”

24 – Liz Smith (age 96)

Actress – Nana in “The Royle Family”, Annie Brandon in I Didn’t Know You Cared

25 – George Michael (age 53)

George Michael

Singer/Songwriter – #1 hits; “Faith”, “I Want Your Sex”, “Careless Whisper”

26 – Ricky Harris (age 54)

Actor/Comedian – Ray in “Hard Rain”

26 – George S. Irving (age 94)

Stage Actor – Oklahoma! (1943), Me and Juliet (1953)

27 – Carrie Fisher (age 60)

Carrie Fisher

Actress/Author – Princess Leia in “Star Wars” (1977) and four sequels

28 – Debbie Reynolds (age 84)


Legendary Actress – Kathy Selden in “Singin’ in the Rain”, Mother of Carrie Fisher

31 – William Christopher (age 84)

Actor – Father Mulcahy on TV show M*A*S*H


2016 collage of celebrity deaths

In Loving Memory… A Tribute to the Children & Families of the Connecticut School Tragedy

Sandy Hook Memorial candles & teddy bears

Sandy Hook Children Collage Never Forget

‘Twas 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38

When 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven’s gate

Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air

They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there

They were filled with such joy, they didn’t know what to say

They remembered nothing that happened earlier that tragic day

“Where are we?” asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.

“This is heaven.” declared a small boy. “We’re spending Christmas at God’s house.

“When what to their wondering eyes did appear

But Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.

He lovingly gazed at them and smiled, and they smiled back just the same.

Then He opened His arms as He called them by name.

Come Charlotte, Olivia, Dylan and Chase,

Emilie, Josephine, Noah and Grace,

Come Allison, Catherine, Ana and Jack;

There was Daniel and Jessica as he looked back.

Come Benjamin, Avielle, Jesse and James,

Caroline, Madeline; his eyes tearing up as he finished their names.

When roll call was finished, 20 young Angels received their new wings.

He lamented that they’d be able to do all sorts of things.

Then he asked them all to close their eyes.

Jesus told them he had brought along another surprise.

Six special teachers and guardians they’d all recognize,

Who only moments ago protected and hugged them during their cries.

Jesus would not allow them to suffer in pain,

So he whisked them away to a better place again.

And as that moment brought comfort and joy only heaven can bring

Those children all flew into the arms of their Savior and King.

And as they lingered in the warmth of His gentle embrace,

One small child turned and looked at Jesus’ face.

And as if He could read all the questions she had

He gently whispered to her, “I’ll take care of mom and dad.

“Then He looked down on earth, the world far below

He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe

Then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,

“Let My power and presence re-enter this land!”

“May this country be delivered from the evil deeds of fools”

“I’m taking back my nation. I’m taking back my schools!”

Then He and the children stood up without making a sound.

“Come now my children, let me show you around.”

A wave of excitment enveloped the space,

A new sense of adventure overwhelmed the place.

As Jesus guided them on their journey to the new Promised Land,

Angels filled the heavens like oceans washing up on sand

As the kids followed Jesus, some skipped and some ran.

All displaying enthusiasm that only small children can.

And i heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,

“In the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT.”

-Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf-

Originally posted online by Sandy Meginnis This poem was taken from a “memorial” posted on a Google review of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut on the same day as the tragic school shooting  

I also personally added several more lines and changed a few other lines around to make this even more meaningful in hopes this may put a small smile on a loved ones face to help them get through these tough emotional times in the early aftermath of this horrific event. Please know that the nation, actually the world, mourns with you.

Heaven's Playground Newtown Angels

Heaven’s Playground
Newtown Angels

Sandy Hook child victim collage

Always Remember…..

The Beautiful Faces of the Innocent Children…..

Victims of the Sandy Hook School Tragedy

Emilie Parker 5/12/2006

Emilie Parker

Dylan Hockley3/8/2006

Dylan Hockley

Jessica Rekos5/10/2006

Jessica Rekos

Daniel Barden9/25/2005

Daniel Barden

Grace McDonnell12/04/2005

Grace McDonnell

Noah Pozner11/20/2006

Noah Pozner

Charlotte Bacon2/22/2006

Charlotte Bacon

Chase Kowalski10/31/2005

Chase Kowalski

Olivia Engel7/18/2006

Olivia Engel

Jack Pinto5/06/2006

Jack Pinto

Madeleine Hsu7/10/2006

Madeleine Hsu

Jessie Lewis6/30/2006

Jessie Lewis

Caroline Previdi9/07/2006

Caroline Previdi

Benjamin Wheeler9/12/2006

Benjamin Wheeler

Allison Wyatt7/03/2006

Allison Wyatt

James Mattioli3/22/2006

James Mattioli

Ana Marquez-Greene4/4/2006

Ana Marquez-Greene

Catherine Hubbard6/8/2006

Catherine Hubbard

Avielle Richman10/17/2006

Avielle Richman

Josephine Gay12/11/2005

Josephine Gay

Also Remembering the Incredible Teachers & Staff of Sandy Hook …..

Who Sacrificed Their Owns Lives Protecting Countless School Children

And Died As Heroes In The Process

Dawn Hochsprung (47)  Principal

Dawn Hochsprung (47)
School Principal

Mary Sherlach (56) School Psychologist

Mary Sherlach (56)
School Psychologist

Anne Marie Murphy (52)  Special Education Teacher

Anne Marie Murphy (52)
Special Education Teacher
Teacher’s Aide

Rachel D'Avino (29)  Behavioral Therapist  Teacher's Aide

Rachel D’Avino (29)
Behavioral Therapist
Teacher’s Aide

Victoria Soto (27) Teacher

Victoria Soto (27)
1st Grade Teacher

Lauren Rousseau (30) Teacher

Lauren Rousseau (30)
Permanent Substitute Teacher

More Special Tributes

Sandy Hook School Beyond the Clouds

Sandy Hook - The Field Trip Poem

Sandy Hook - Prayer Candle

Sandy Hook - 1st Christmas in Heaven Angels

Sandy Hook - 1st Christmas in Heaven names

Sandy Hook - Dear God Letter Santa

Sandy Hook - Star Light poem

Sandy Hook - Teddy Bear Wall

Sandy Hook - Flag of Honor

Sandy Hook - paper angels

Sandy Hook School green ribbon banner

Sandy Hook Memorial Eternal Light Candles

20 Children

20 children won’t have their first kiss.

20 children won’t know what it feels like to graduate.

20 children won’t know what it feels like to have their heart broken, and then repaired again.

20 children won’t go to prom.

20 children won’t know what true love feels like.

20 children wont know what it’s like to have their first job.

20 children won’t know what it’s like to get their licence.

20 children won’t ever have the chance to get married.

20 children won’t know what it feels like to be accepted to college.

20 children will not get to run down the stairs in excitment this Christmas.

20 children won’t know what it feels like to turn 21 with their friends.

20 children won’t be able to have children of their own.

20 children won’t ever know how they made us realize we all took life for granted.

RIP to all the innocent souls.

Heaven gained beautiful angles today.

Sandy Hook - Memorial engraved plaque with names

Sandy Hook Memorial keep the candle burning




<p><a href=”″>Hallelujah – A Tribute To The Sandy Hook Elementary School Victims! The Voice &amp; NBC.</a> from <a href=””>South Beach Music Group</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>


“You Are Not Alone”


“If I Could Be Where You Are” by Enya

“Twenty Tiny Angels” by Eric Von


“Christmas In Heaven” by Randy Xavier

“Green & White” by Char (with original lyrics)

“Even When We Cry” by Jason Earley (with original lyrics)

“Night Light” by Cry To The Blind Music

“26 Angels” by Bailey Jeffko (with original lyrics)

“27 Hearts” by Young Markk

“Heaven” by young child rapper, Baby Kaely

“Cold December (Song for Newtown, Connecticut)” by Rachel Hershman (with original lyrics)

“Just This Morning” by Acoustiyah

“Newtown – 26 Angels” by Jacob Restituto (with original lyrics)

sandy hook promise

Sandy Hook School Black Ribbon

Remembering Music Artists Who Passed in 2012

As sure as each day fades into night and each night reveals a new day, sooner or later, we will all be faced with our own mortality. As we grow older and move from one stage of our life to the next, majority of us  have fond memories of people that made an impact on our day-to-day lives, parents, relatives, friends, teachers, counselors, coaches, role models, etc. on a personal level. Then we have those memorable icons who kept us  entertained through the media that we looked forward to seeing on our favorite TV shows, at the movies, on the radio, in the funny pages (comic books), in concert or on stage. As time passes and we all age, we begin loosing many of our childhood heroes and people we cared about or made us feel secure in our own special place.

The focus on this particular post will be on MUSIC ARTISTS of all genres. I will attempt to present to you many of my personal favorites that the world has lost during this calendar year. As you might expect, this post will be ongoing and updated as we unfortunately will lose more wonderful music artists through the end of 2012. I know there will be some that I leave out, maybe because I’m unaware of their passing, or because they were not known in America, or, in the case of a few, I personally did not like them or care for their music.

* There may also be a couple of other “non-artists” that were involved in some capacity with music that I have included here also such as band members, producers, writers, hosts (Don Cornelius), etc.

Enjoy the trip down memory lane and hopefully some of the artists listed will leave a soft spot in your heart or a tear in your eye.  

I’ll include one of their classics that they are best remembered for (as well as a personal favorite).

Deaths are listed in reverse chronological order from most recent (December) backward to the beginning of the year, January, 2012.



Updated once again as the curtain closes on 2012, with several more entries of those who passed during the past twelve months, those who entertained us through music and song…. that left us with memories of our youth, our past, the good times, the bad times, the happy, the sad



Fontella Bass – Age 72

July 3, 1940 – December 26, 2012 (from St. Louis, Missouri)

Ray Collins – Age 76

(Mothers of Invention)

November 19, 1936 – December 24, 2012 (from Pomona, California)

Mike Scaccia – Age 47

(Lead Guitar – Ministry)

June 14, 1965 – December 23, 2012 (from Babylon, New York)

Lee Dorman – Age 70

(Bass Guitar – Iron Butterfly, Captain Beyond)

September 15, 1942 – December 21, 2012 (from St. Louis, Missouri)

Jimmy McCracklin – Age 91

August 13, 1921 – December 20, 2012 (from St. Louis, Missouri)

Inez Andrews – Age 83

(Gospel Soloist / The Caravans)

April 14, 1929 – December 19, 2012 (from Birmingham, Alabama)

Pecker Dunne – Age 79

April 1, 1933 – December 19, 2012 (from Castlebar, Ireland)

Ravi Shankar – Age 92

April 7, 1920 – December 11, 2012 (from India)

Jenni Rivera – Age 43

July 2, 1969 – December 9, 2012 (from Long Beach, California)

Ed Cassidy – Age 89

(Drummer/Founder – Rising Sons, Spirit)

May 4, 1923 – December 6, 2012 (from Bakersfield, California)

Huw Lloyd-Langton – Age 61

(Guitarist – Hawkwind, Widowmaker)

February 6, 1951 – December 6, 2012  (from London, England)

Dave Brubeck – Age 91

December 6, 1920 – December 5, 2012  (from Concord, California)

Dee Harvey – Age 47

1965 – December 1, 2012  (from Memphis, Tennessee)


Frank Barsalona – Age 74

(Legendary Talent Agent/Pioneering Rock Promoter)

March 31, 1938 – November 22, 2012  (from Staten Island, New York)

Frank Barsalona

Peter Bennett – Age 77

(Legendary Music Promoter)

May 10, 1935 – November 22, 2012  (from The Bronx, New York)

Pete Bennett

Michael Dunford – Age 68

(Guitarist – Renaissance)

July 8, 1944 – November 20, 2012  (from Surrey, England)

Billy Scott – Age 70

(Billy Scott & the Prophets)

October 5, 1942 – November 17, 2012  (from Huntington, West Virginia)

Major Harris – Age 65

(The Delfonics, solo career)

 February 9, 1947 – November 9, 2012  (from Richmond, Virginia)


Terry Callier – Age 67


May 24, 1945 – October 27, 2012 (from Chicago, Illinois)

Pundits referred to his music as “jazz-folk” in the 1970’s. Callier was an unusual and singularly inspired singer-songwriter whose music defied such easy categorization. He was largely ignored by the U.S. record buying public, despite being well-respected among musicians and critics.


Hal David – Age 91


May 25, 1921 – September 1, 2012  (from Brooklyn, New York)

Hal David wrote words for, most notably, Burt Bacharach. Together, the two provided hits to Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones, The Carpenters and others. Songs include, “The Look of Love,” “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” “(There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me” and “Do You Know The Way To San Jose.”

Joe South – Age 72

February 28, 1940 – September 5, 2012 (from Atlanta, Georgia)

An American songwriter, singer, guitarist and record producer. Best known for his songwriting, South won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1970 for “Games People Play” and was again nominated for the award in 1972 for “Rose Garden”.

Dorothy McGuire – Age 84

(McGuire Sisters)

February 13, 1928 – September 7, 2012 (from Middletown, Ohio)

The McGuire Sisters were a singing trio in American popular music. The group was composed of three sisters: Christine McGuire (born July 30, 1926); Dorothy McGuire (February 13, 1928 – September 7, 2012); and Phyllis McGuire (born February 14, 1931). Among their most popular songs are “Sincerely” and “Sugartime”, both number one hits.

Rollin “Oscar” Sullivan – Age 93

(Lonzo and Oscar)

January 9, 1919 – September 7, 2012 (from Edmonton, Kentucky)

Andy Williams – Age 84

(December 3, 1927 – September 25, 2012 (from Wall Lake, Iowa)

A legendary American popular music singer. He recorded 44 albums in his career, 15 of which have been gold-certified and three of which have been platinum-certified.He was also nominated for six Grammy Awards. He hosted The Andy Williams Show, a television variety show, from 1962 to 1971, and numerous TV specials. The Andy Williams Show garnered three Emmy awards. The Moon River Theatre in Branson, Missouri, is named after the song he is most known for singing—Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini’s “Moon River”. He sold over 100 million records worldwide including 10.5 million certified units in the United States.


Jimmy Jones – Age 75

June 2, 1937 – August 2, 2012 (from Birmingham, Alabama)

Marvin Hamlisch – Age 68

June 2, 1944 – August 6, 2012 (from New York City, New York)

An American composer and conductor. Hamlisch was one of only twelve people to win Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards. He is also one of only two people (along with Richard Rodgers) to have won those four prizes and a Pulitzer Prize.

Carl Davis – Age 77

(record producer)

September 19, 1934 – August 9, 2012 (from Chicago, Illinois)

An American record producer and music executive, who was particularly active in Chicago in the 1960s and 1970s. He was responsible for hit R&B records by Gene Chandler, Major Lance, Jackie Wilson, The Chi-Lites, Barbara Acklin, Tyrone Davis and others.


Scott McKenzie – Age 73

January 10, 1939 – August 18, 2012 (from Jacksonville, Florida)

An American singer and songwriter. He was best known for his 1967 hit single and generational anthem, “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)”.

Max Bygraves – Age 89

October 16, 1922 – August 31, 2012 (from London, England)

An English comedian, singer, actor and variety performer. He appeared on his own television shows, sometimes performing comedy sketches between songs. He made twenty Royal Variety Performance appearances and presented numerous programmes, including Family Fortunes.



Bob Babbitt – Age 74

(Bass Guitar/ The Funk Brothers, MFSB)

November 26, 1937 – July 16, 2012  (from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

He was a bassist in Motown Records’ studio band, the Funk Brothers, from 1966 through 1972, and also a member of MFSB for Philadelphia International Records. He played on hundreds of hits, including Steve Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours,” Edwin Starr’s “War” and Gladys Knight and the Pips’ “Midnight Train to Georgia.”

Jon Lord – Age 71

(Deep Purple)

June 9, 1941 – July 16, 2012  (from Leicester, England)

An English composer, pianist, and Hammond organ player known for his pioneering work in fusing rock with classical or baroque forms, especially with Deep Purple, as well as Whitesnake, Paice, Ashton & Lord, The Artwoods, and The Flower Pot Men. In 1968 Lord co-founded Deep Purple, a hard rock band of which he was regarded as the leader until 1970.

Kitty Wells – Age 92

“Queen of Country Music”

August 30, 1919 – July 16, 2012  (from Nashville, Tennessee)

Her 1952 hit recording, “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels”, made her the first female country singer to top the U.S. country charts, and turned her into the first female country star. Her Top 10 hits continued until the mid-1960s, inspiring a long list of female country singers who came to prominence in the 1960s. Wells ranks as the sixth most successful female vocalist in the history of Billboard’s country charts. In 1976, she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 1991, she became the third country music artist and the eighth woman to receive the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Wells’ accomplishments earned her the nickname Queen of Country Music.


Herb Reed – Age 83

August 7, 1928 – June 4, 2012 (from Kansas City, Missouri)

An American musician, vocalist and founding member of The Platters, who were known for their hits during the 1950s and 1960s. Reed, who was the last surviving original member of the group, which he co-founded with four other musicians in 1953, is credited with creating The Platters’ name.

Bob Welch – Age 66

August 31, 1945 – June 7, 2012 (from Los Angeles, CA)

An American musician, who was member of Fleetwood Mac from 1971 to 1974. He had a successful solo career in the late 1970s. His singles included “Hot Love, Cold World,” “Ebony Eyes,” “Precious Love,” and his signature song, “Sentimental Lady

Graeme Bell – Age 97

September 7, 1914 – June 13, 2012 (from Victoria, Australia)

An Australian Dixieland and classical jazz pianist, composer and band leader


Marjorie “Marjie” Hymans – Age 91

August 9, 1920 – June 14, 2012 (from New York City, New York)

An American jazz vibraphonist, pianist, and arranger. She began her career as a vibraphonist in the 1940s, playing with Woody Herman (from 1944 to 1945), the Hip Chicks (1945), Mary Lou Williams (1946), Charlie Ventura (1946), George Shearing (from 1949 to 1950), and led her own groups, including a trio, which stayed together from 1945 to 1948, performing on 52nd Street in Manhattan



Doc Watson – Age 89

(Guitarist / ‘Roots Music’ Legend)

March 3, 1923 – May 29, 2012  (from Deep Gap, North Carolina)

Blind from nearly birth, Watson went on to become a legendary guitar picker, both fingerstyle and flatpicking. He won seven Grammy awards and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. When you think of traditional American music — folk, bluegrass, blues, country and gospel — think Doc.

Robin Gibb – Age 62

The Bee Gees

December 22, 1949 – May 20, 2012  (from Douglas, Isle of Man)

Of Brothers Gibb fame, Robin sang lead on many of the early Bee Gees hits, including “Massachusetts,” “I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You” and “I Started a Joke.” He has writing credits on “How Deep Is Your Love,” “Stayin’ Alive,” “Night Fever” and “Tragedy.”

Donna Summer – Age 63

(“Disco Queen”)

December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012  (from Boston, Massachusetts)

She became a disco queen, with racy hits such as “Love To Love You Baby,” “I Feel Love,” “Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls,” eventually became a born-again Christian. But while her music was often controversial for its lyrical content, it was just as groundbreaking in the musical sphere, bringing electronic-based music to the people.

Donald “Duck” Dunn – Age 70

(Booker T & The MGs)

(Bass guitarist / session musician / record producer / songwriter)

November 24, 1941 – May 13, 2012  (from Memphis, Tennessee)

Teaming up with guitarist Steve Cropper, bassist “Duck” Dunn joined the house band at Stax Records, which became Booker T. and the MGs. Session work was extensive, including Otis Redding’s “Sitting On the Dock of the Bay” and Wilson Pickett’s “In the Midnight Hour.”

Adam “MCA” Yauch – Age 47

(Beastie Boys)

August 5, 1964 – May 4, 2012  (from Brooklyn, New York)


Levon Helm – Age 71

(The Band)

May 26, 1940 – April 19, 2012  (from Elaine, Arkansas)

Helm was a multi-instrumentalist known for singing and drumming with the Band on such hits as “The Night They Drove Ol’ Dixie Down” and “Up On Cripple Creek.” He was a benevolent musician who won the first ever Grammy Award for Best Americana Album with Electric Dirt.

Dick Clark “America’s Oldest Teenager” – Age 82

(Legendary Producer, TV/Radio Personality, American Bandstand, American Music Awards, New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, as well as other TV series & game shows)

November 30, 1929 – April 18, 2012  (from Mount Vernon, New York)

Dick Clark became a cultural icon as he switched from radio to TV and hosted American Bandstand, which ran from 1957 to 1987. Started his own production company while hosting Often referred to as “America’s Oldest Teenager,” Clark also counted down New Year’s Eve every year on New Year’s Eve!


Earl Scruggs – Age 88

(Bluegrass Music Legend, Banjo)

January 6, 1924 – March 28, 2012  (from Flint Hill, North Carolina)

Banjo players the world over mourned the passing of this bluegrass music giant. He joined Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys in 1945 and popularized his three-finger picking style.

Ronnie Montrose – Age 64

(Montrose, Gamma)

November 29, 1947 – March 3, 2012 (from San Francisco, California)

An American rock guitarist, who led the bands Montrose (1973-77 & 1987) and Gamma (1979-83 & 2000) and also performed and did session work with a variety of musicians, including Van Morrison (1971–72), Herbie Hancock (1971), Beaver & Krause (1971), Boz Scaggs (1971), Edgar Winter (1972 & 1996), Gary Wright (1975), The Beau Brummels (1975), Dan Hartman (1976), Tony Williams (1978), The Neville Brothers (1987), Marc Bonilla (1991 & 1993), Sammy Hagar (1997), and Johnny Winter. The first Montrose album was often cited as “America’s answer to Led Zeppelin” and Ronnie Montrose was often referred to as one of the most influential guitarists in American hard rock.


Davy Jones – Age 66

(The Monkees)

December 20, 1945 – February 29, 2012 (from Manchester, Lancashire, England)

An English singer-songwriter, musician, actor and businessman best known as a member of the band The Monkees, and for starring in the TV series of the same name. Jones is considered one of the great teen idols of his era.

Whitney Houston – Age 48

(solo artist)

August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012 (from Newark, New Jersey)

The only artist to chart seven consecutive #1 Billboard Hot 100 hits, Whitney Houston was a force of nature who lost her battle with her inner demons. She starred in the hugely popular film The Bodyguard in 1992, which also featured the best-selling single by a female artist, “I Will Always Love You.”

Don Cornelius – Age 75

(Soul Train creator, producer & host)

September 27, 1936 – February 1, 2012 (from Chicago, Illinois)

Don Cornelius brought “Love, Peace and Soul” into the homes of average teenagers who watched his music program Soul Train religiously for its promotion of R&B and soul music performers such as James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson, among the many.


Etta James – Age 73

(Soul Singer)

January 25, 1938 – January 20, 2012 (from Los Angeles, California)

Discovered by Johnny Otis when just a teenager, James was inducted into several Hall of Fames — Rock and Roll, Blues, Grammy — and was known for such hits as “Roll With Me, Henry,” “At Last” and “Tell Mama.”

Johnny Otis – Age 90

“The Godfather of Rhythm & Blues”

December 28, 1921 – January 17, 2012 (from Vallejo, California)

Commonly referred to as “The Godfather of Rhythm & Blues,” Otis was a singer, drummer, pianist, producer, songwriter whose credits included playing the memorable vibraphone part on Johnny Ace’s “Pledging My Love.” He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

Jimmy Castor – Age 71

(Jimmy Castor Bunch)

June 23, 1940 – January 16, 2012 (from Manhattan, New York)

Larry Reinhardt – Age 63

(Guitarist / Iron Butterfly & Captain Beyond)

July 7, 1948 – January 2, 2012 (from Florida)

An American rock guitarist who played with Iron Butterfly and Captain Beyond. At one time Reinhardt was known by the nicknames “El Rhino” and “Ryno”.


Fred Milano – Age 72

(The Belmonts)

August 26, 1939 – January 1, 2012 (from the Bronx, New York)