Important Deaths throughout 2016

As the end of the year draws near, I’ve begun thinking about all the world’s important people who have passed away this year.  Celebrities, scientists with amazing breakthroughs, authors and more; I couldn’t agree more when people are wishing this year would be over already.

Take a look at the compiled list below.  This compilation includes a lot of, but certainly not all “celebrity” deaths that happened throughout 2016:

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JANUARY

04 – Robert Stigwood, Entertainment Manager – managed the Bee Gees – age 81

06 – Pat Harrington Jr., Actor – Schneider on “One Day at a Time” – age 86

08 – David Bowie, Musician – (2) time Grammy winner influenced music and culture for four generations – age 69

11 – David Margulies, Actor – the Mayor in Ghost Busters I and II (1984 & 1989)- age – 78

11 – Stanley Mann, Writer – screenwriter for such films as “Conan the Destroyer”, and “Omen II”, age 87

13 – Brian Bedford, Actor – best known for being the voice of Robin Hood, in the Walt Disney classic of the same name (1973) – age 80

14 – Alan Rickman, Actor – Hans Gruber in ‘Die Hard’ and Severus Snape in ‘Harry Potter’ – age 69

14 – René Angélil, Singer / Manager – husband and manager of Celine Dion – age 73

18 – Glen Frey, Singer / Songwriter – founded The Eagles “Take It Easy”, “Peaceful Easy Feeling” – age 67

28 – Paul Kantner, Singer / Songwriter – co-founder of The Jefferson Airplane – age 74

30 – Terry Wogan, Presenter / Personality – his infamous voice gave hundreds of thousands of people pleasure in his long-running radio show, among others – age 77

FEBRUARY

03 – Maurice White, Musician / songwriter – founding member of Earth, Wind & Fire – age 74

03 – Joe Alaskey, Voice Actor – Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Sylvester, Tweety – age 63

04 – Joe Dowell, Pop Singer – #1 hit song “Wooden Heart” (1961) – age 76

15 – George Gaynes, Actor – Commandant Eric Lassard on the Police Academy series – age 98

19 – Harper Lee, Novelist – Pulitzer Prize for fiction (1961) for novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” – age 89

22 – Sonny James, Country Music Singer/Songwriter – the first teenage country crossover #1 single “Young Love” – age 87

25 – Tony Burton, Actor – boxing trainer to Apollo Creed and later Rocky in six “Rocky” movies – age 78

29 – Gil Hill, Police Commander/Actor – Inspector Todd in three “Beverly Hills Cop” movies – age 84

MARCH

06 – Nancy Reagan, First Lady of the U.S.(1981-1989) Husband, 40th President Ronald Reagan – age 94

08 – Sir George Martin, Producer for the “Beatles” albums, known as “The Fifth Beatle” – age 90

10 – Keith Emerson, Musician / keyboardist – created Emerson, Lake & Palmer rock group – age 71

13 – Adrienne Corri, Actress – Mrs. Alexander in A Clockwork Orange (1971) – age 85

16 – Frank Sinatra Jr., Singer – son of Frank Sinatra and a talented singer – age 72

17 – Larry Drake, Actor – Benny Stulwicz on L.A. Law (1987-1994) – age 66

17 – Paul Daniels, Magician – massive entertainer over three decades; mainly on “The Paul Daniels Magic Show”, age 77

24 – Earl Hamner, Jr., Writer/Producer – created “The Waltons” TV show – age 92

31 – Ronnie Corbett, Entertainer – Known for many decades; primarily “The Two Ronnies” with his co-star Ronnie Baker, age 85

APRIL

17 – Doris Roberts, Actress – Marie Barone on “Everybody Loves Raymond” (1996-2005) – age 90

21 – Prince, Musician – flamboyant on stage, seven Grammy Awards, “Purple Rain” – age 57

24 – Billy Paul, Singer – Grammy Award for “Me and Mrs. Jones” (1972) – age 81

MAY

19 – Alan Young, Actor – Wilbur Post on “Mr. Ed” (1961-66) – age 96

JUNE

03 – Muhammad Ali, Professional Boxer – (formerly Cassius Clay) three time heavyweight champion (1964, 1974, and 1978), proclaimed “The Greatest” – age 74

13 – Michu Meszaros, Actor / Circus Performer – was the man in the ALF costume (ALF TV Show 1986-1990) – age 76

14 – Ronnie Claire Edwards, Actress – Corabeth Walton Godsey on The Waltons (1972-81) – age 83

17 – Ron Lester, Actor – Billy Bob in movie “Varsity Blues” – age 45

19 – Anton Yelchin, Actor – Pavel Chekov in three Star Trek movies (2009-16) – age 27

27 – Mack Rice, Song writer – “Mustang Sally” & “Respect Yourself” – age 82

JULY

02 – Michael Cimino, Writer/Director – “Deer Hunter”, “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot” – age 77

02 – Elie Wiesel, Jewish Writer/political activist – Holocaust survivor, and Nobel Laureate – age 87

02 – Teddy Rooney, Actor/Musician – son of Mickey Rooney and Martha Vickers – age 66

03 – Noel Neill, Actress – Lois Lane in “Adventures of Superman” (1952-58) – age 95

19 – Garry Marshall, Writer/Producer/Actor – created “Happy Days”, “Mork & Mindy”, “Laverne & Shirley” – age 81

27 – Jerry Doyle, Actor – Michael Garibaldi in “Babylon 5” (1994=-98) – age 60

AUGUST

02 – David Huddleston, Actor – Character actor “Santa Claus: The Movie” – age 85

03 – Ricci Martin, Entertainer – son of Dean Martin – age 62

13 – Kenny Baker, Actor – played R2-D2 in the Star Wars franchise also played Paploo, the Ewok – age 81

25 – Jeanne Martin, Model – Orange Bowl Queen (1947) & Dean Martin’s wife – age 89

29 – Gene Wilder, Actor – Blazing Saddles (1974), Young Frankenstein, Willy Wonka – age 83

SEPTEMBER

17 – Charmian Carr, Actress – Liesl Von Trapp (eldest daughter) in The Sound of Music – age 73

24 – Bill Nunn, Actor – Robbie Robertson in Spider-Man film trilogy – age 63

25 – Arnold Palmer, Golfer – One of the greatest golfers ever, did more to popularize the sport than any other golfer – age 87

OCTOBER

24 – Bobby Vee, Singer – “Take Good Care of My Baby”, “The Night Has a Thousand Eyes” – age 73

NOVEMBER

07 – Leonard Cohen, Poet / Songwriter – “Suzanne”, “Hallelujah” and “Bird on the Wire” – age 82

11 – Robert Vaughn, Actor – Napoleon Solo in “The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964-’68) – age 83

23 – Andrew Sachs, Actor – best known for being the clumsy waiter, Manuel, in the series “Fawlty Towers”, age 86

24 – Florence Henderson, Actress / Singer – Carol Brady on “The Brady Bunch” (1969 to 1974) – age 82

25 – Fidel Castro, Dictator – Prime Minister then President of Cuba from 1959-2008 then gave same powers to his brother – age 90

25 – Ron Glass, Actor – Det. Ron Harris on “Barney Miller” (1975-1982) – age 71

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

DECEMBER

07 – Greg Lake, Musician – founding member of Emerson, Lake & Palmer “Lucky Man” – age 69

08 – Joseph Mascolo, Actor – Stefano DiMera on “The Days of Our Lives” (1982-’85) & (1993-2001) – age 87

08 – 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) – age 95

13 – Alan Thicke, Actor – Jason Seaver, the father on “Growing Pains” (1985-’92) – age 69

14 – Bernard Fox, Actor – Dr. Bombay in “Bewitched” and Colonel Crittendon in “Hogan’s Heroes” – age 89

18 – Zsa Zsa Gabor, Hungarian Actress and Socialite – Moulin Rouge (1952), married nine times to mostly wealthy men – age 99

24, Rick Parfitt, Singer / Musician – an English singer / songwriter and guitarist, best known for being one of the front men in Status Quo, age 68

25 – George Michael, Singer / Song writer – one of the duo of Wham!, and later a solo artist – age 53

27 – Carrie Fisher, Actress – Best known for playing Pricess Leia in the Star Wars movies, but Carrie Fisher was also an active feminist, age 60

28 – Debbie Reynolds, Actress – mother to Carrie Fisher, and best known for her role as “Kathy Selden” in “Singin’ in the Rain”.  It has been reported that she was rushed to hospital whilst discussing her daughters funeral planned, where she later died, age 84

It almost made me sick…

Please take note.  What I am about to write about may be too much for those with a heart, or with a sensitive manner.  It may insult some people, and it may boil some peoples’ blood to the point that I will receive many personal messages, comments and threats.  Please let me assure you, that by writing this post, I am not intending to insult anyone.  I am simply writing my thoughts and feelings, as with every other post I make.

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Once upon a time, on a facebook not too far away from you, I saw a status update from a friend of mine.  It read, “Why would facebook allow sick twisted people to post videos of muslims slaughtering kamels infront of children !!!”  There was more to it, but this is my focus.

The next post down from this stated “**** has commented on a video”.  It was the same friend, and indeed, he had commented on a video to which my stomach immediately knotted.  It had a thumbnail of a camel, lying in a pool of blood.  It seemed like it was some form of hoax.  Surely that’s not blood?  Surely this is one of those posts to simply get a raise out of you..?  Surely all that red liquid is some form of water, simply dyed red..?

I read some of the comments.  There was the comment from my friend.  It simply stated how disgusting the video was.  The majority of the other comments were in Dutch.  I clicked the ‘see translation’ on a few of them, and not one mentioned about the video.  It was just insulting those with the Islamic faith.  Nothing was said about the camel.  I thought my friend had got the wrong end of the stick.  Maybe he just jumped to a conclusion, without watching the video…

I clicked play.

There was a camel on a leash.  One of its’ four legs had been tied up from the knee.  About 10 seconds in to the video, someone came out with a large blade and plunged it in to the throat of the camel.  Blood instantly started to gush out…  It was like a violent waterfall…

I couldn’t watch any more.  The 10 seconds of the 6.32 minute video was too much for me.  I felt sick.  I actually feel sick now, and I watched it about 4 hours ago.  That poor camel.  Those poor kids who were stood around in the circle…  Why were they smiling?  Some of them were laughing…

I don’t understand.

Shaking, I clicked on the ‘report this video’.  Couldn’t do it.  I tried again…  It still wouldn’t work.  What’s going on?  I immediately went over to Twitter, and typed in “Facebook”.  There must have been a problem with the servers, as this error seemed international.  I shot straight back to facebook…  Clicked the report button again…  It allowed me to get to the end of the report, and when I clicked “send”, it said it could not be sent.  There was an error.

I couldn’t cope with the video being on my newsfeed, so I blocked the page instead.  At least it allowed me to do that.

Why?  That’s all I can think.

Rumours

It’s funny just how fast rumours can spread.

Something is briefly mentioned, someone overhears it, tells someone…  Soon enough, practically the whole world can know about it.

Yesterday, the world found out that Cory Monteith had passed away.  For those few who don’t know who he is, he played the character of Finn in the programme, Glee.  He was just 31 years old.  Coroners are due to perform a post-mortem some time today (Monday), but speculation is already flying around that it was a drug overdose.

Earlier this year, the whole ‘Gleek’ population was shocked to hear that Cory had checked himself in to a rehabilitation centre, to get help with his drug addiction.  After a month, he checked out clean.

Two weeks from now, he was to attend a wedding.  His own.

Lea Michelle (fiance and co-star, plays Rachel on Glee) had been his rock, and had supported him through his addiction cleansing.  She was planning a wedding, but is now planning a funeral.

I spent a lot of time scrolling through Twitter yesterday.  I’m normally a total facebook addict, but Twitter seems to have the “know”.  The tweets are up-to-date, and you can find out a lot of information about what’s going on in your area.  However, a lot of the tweets are for speculation.  You have to either read between the lines, or research further by googling it (my choice of search engine).

I seen this yesterday…

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This is just one of the tweets, this one, as you can see, has been retweeted 5543 times.  There are other tweets, very similar to this one, the top two lines are the same, but occasionally, the third person is someone else, and there is a fourth listed too.

I recognised the name, Kyle Massey, but I just couldn’t put my finger on who it was.  After visiting my beloved Google, I found out that he played Cory on ‘That’s So Raven’, and his spin-off show, ‘Cory in the House’.  There were pages, upon pages, on Google regarding how Kyle is just 21 years old, saying that he is terrified of dying, and asking people to pray for him.  Obviously, I was taken on in the spin of the tale.

I get up this morning, and my husband had been reading the entertainment news on imdb.com (if you’ve never visited the site, you’re missing out!).  One of the first things he said to me was, “that Kyle Massey hasn’t got cancer”.

Once again, I hopped on to twitter, and the tweets are still flying around, similar to above.

I opened up another tab in my browser, and went to imdb.com myself, in order to hit the nail on the head of this insensitive rumour.  I made a tweet myself, linking the page.

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The point I am trying to make is simple.  Don’t believe everything you hear / read.  Do your own research on the matter first.  If you don’t, you’re just as bad as the rest.  Don’t be a sheep – It may be easy just to retweet, or re-say something that you have heard, but think about what you are doing first.  Afterall, you wouldn’t like it if the rumour was about you.

“What you don’t see with your eyes, don’t witness with your mouth.” – Hebrew proverb

It’s a Grimm topic…

I have been given the nickname of “The Reaper” in my place of work.  I think if anyone else would have received that name, they would be upset, or insulted.  Personally, I think it is a nice twist because of who I am, and what I do outside of work.  But my name remains “The Reaper” by my colleagues because of the specialised work I do.

Normally, I would be on the phones, answering queries from the public.  Instead, due to personal health issues, I am not “on the phone”.  Instead, I use my work time in reaping the dead.  That is to say, in the nicest possible way, that I turn peoples’ files “dead”, and stop any payments being issued.

When someone passes away, their family members can call what is known as the “Tell Us Once” service.  This service will forward all details of the deceased person to all the major governing bodies.  For example, to their local council, the Pension Service, the Job Centre, etc.

Basically, my job is to ensure that the deceased does not receive any further payments of their pension(s) / benefit(s), to make sure that their will not be a bill land on the executors doormat to repay any overpayment.  The best part of this job, if there is a best part, is filling in the executors details and issuing any monies owed to the estate.  I also look into any other benefits that the widow / widower may now be entitled to.  Money will never replace the loss of a loved one, but it can help.

Today, I had three encounters of the unusual variety.  If you get upset easily, please do not read on.

The second person on my list today, passed away yesterday.  She was born in 2009.  She would have been 4 in September.  As a mother to a child below this age, this didn’t just tug at my heart-strings…  This grabbed tight hold of them, pulled them out of my chest and played the harp on them.  After only being in work for 20 minutes, I had to excuse myself from my desk, after completing this file, to regain my composure.  I can’t imagine what the parents, family, and friends are going through.  ❤  Rest in Peace, little one.

When I returned to my desk, the next deceased person I had to deal with was born in 1906.  Although a really upsetting time for her family and friends, it did make me smile to see this.  This lady had recently reached her 107th birthday.  What an amazing life…

An hour or two later, I saw a surname on my list that isn’t very popular.  I processed what I could, and then, when I inputted the executors’ details on the file, ready to issue the arrears, I realised that I once knew the person who’s details I was now typing…  The deceased person is a parent of an old friend.  I’ve not spoken to them for several years, and I have no intention of getting in touch now, but if I do ever see them again (I doubt I will), I will pass on my condolences.

Losing someone is always difficult to do, and I’d like to take this opportunity to pass on my sympathies to anyone reading this who has recently lost someone.  I tried to make the matter lighter by the start of this post, and I mean no insult.