2016 Year in Review – Obituaries



November 8th, 2016














January 6th, 2016


2 | Protesters, led by Ammon and Ryan Bundy, take over a wildlife refuge in Oregon and begin a week long standoff that ends with one dead and eight arrested.

6 | North Korea claims it successfully detonated its first hydrogen bomb.

11 | Aid convoys reach three besieged Syrian towns including Madaya, where 40,000 residents had been trapped for months. … Alabama defeats Clemson 45-40 to win the NCAA College Football Playoff National Championship.

13 | Iran releases 10 U.S. sailors after detaining them when their Navy vessels veered into Iranian waters.

14 | ISIS claims responsibility for a terror attack in Jakarta, Indonesia—the first known ISIS attack in Southeast Asia.

15 | Al-Qaeda militants storm a café and hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s capital, killing 30 persons.

16 | President Obama declares a state of emergency in Flint, Mich., due to contaminated water. … ISIS attacks the city of Deir al-Zour, beheading at least 150 persons and kidnapping 400 civilians.

17 | A day after the United States lifts sanctions against Iran, Iran releases four detained Americans.

19 | A UN report reveals ISIS has killed nearly 19,000 civilians in Iraq over 21 months.

22 | The annual March for Life proceeds in Washington, D.C., as -winter storm Jonas begins dumping record amounts of snow on New York, Baltimore, and other cities.

26 | Pope Francis meets with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the Vatican.


February 13th, 2016



1 | Hillary Clinton claims victory in the Iowa Caucus over Bernie Sanders, while Ted Cruz leads a crowded field of Republican candidates. … The World Health Organization declares the Zika virus a global emergency. … Chinese officials arrest Pastor Gu Yuese, the leader of China’s largest state-sanctioned church.

2 | The average price of gasoline falls to less than $1.80 per gallon.

6 | Thousands of people march across 14 European countries protesting the influx of migrants. … An earthquake causes a 17-story apartment complex in Taiwan to collapse, trapping hundreds and killing more than 100.

7 | The Denver Broncos score a 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

9 | President Obama delivers a $4.1 trillion budget to Congress.

12 | Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill meet in Cuba, the first such meeting in nearly 1,000 years between leaders of the Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches.

13 | Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia dies while on a hunting trip in Texas.

16 | The South Dakota Senate passes a bill requiring transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms corresponding to their biological sex, but Gov. Dennis Daugaard later vetoes it.

22 | After receiving millions of dollars in ransom, ISIS releases the last 40 of 230 Assyrian Christians kidnapped a year ago in Syria.

23 |  President Obama outlines his plan to shut down Guantánamo Bay.



March 20th, 2016



1 | Astronaut Scott Kelly returns to Earth after 340 days aboard the International Space Station, a record for a U.S. astronaut.

2 | The UN Security Council votes to impose new sanctions against North Korea for its recent nuclear and missile tests.

4 | Gunmen kidnap a priest and kill 16 persons, including four nuns, at a convent and nursing home in Yemen.

10 | South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard signs a 20-week abortion ban, making South Dakota the 13th state to pass such legislation since 2010.

13 | President Obama signs a disaster declaration for Louisiana after flooding damages homes and prompts evacuations. Flooding in August will cause more devastation.

15 | As peace talks begin in Geneva, Russian forces begin withdrawing from Syria after months of fighting rebel groups. … The Obama administration reverses itself and blocks oil drilling off the Atlantic Coast.

17 | Days after the House of Representatives unanimously votes to label ISIS attacks on Christians as genocide, Secretary of State John Kerry says the State Department has reached the same conclusion.

18 | In a deal reached with the European Union to curb the flood of refugees, Greece may now send back migrants fleeing from Turkey.

20 | President Obama visits Cuba, the first time in more than 80 years a sitting U.S. president has visited the country.

22 | ISIS claims responsibility for a Brussels terror attack at a subway station and airport that killed more than 30 persons and injured hundreds.

23 | North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signs a bill mandating -students use bathrooms corresponding with the sex on their birth certificate. The decision sparks a backlash from big businesses, including numerous event cancellations.

27 | A suicide bomber attacks a park in Lahore, Pakistan, killing more than 70 persons and injuring hundreds.

28 | The FBI cracks the encryption on the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, ending its court battle with Apple over access to the device.



April 16th, 2016



4 | California and New York become the first states to enact plans to raise the minimum wage to $15. … The Supreme Court upholds a Texas law that counts everyone, not just eligible voters, in deciding how to draw legislative districts. … Villanova defeats North Carolina 77-74 in the NCAA men’s basketball championship game.

5 | The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team defeats Syracuse 82-51, ending the season with a 38-0 record and securing its fourth consecutive championship. … Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signs a religious freedom bill that protects those who withhold services based on religious objections.

7 | The television show American Idol concludes its 15-year run.

8 | U.S. Naval officer Lt. Edward Lin faces charges of espionage for allegedly passing military secrets to China or Taiwan.

16 | A magnitude 7.8 earthquake devastates coastal Ecuador, killing more than 650 persons and injuring thousands more.

20 | The Treasury Department says Harriet Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. … The U.S. Supreme Court rules families of terror victims may collect a nearly $2 billion judgment against Iran’s central bank.

25 | President Obama authorizes the deployment of up to 250 special operations troops to support Syria and the fight against ISIS.

27 | A federal court sentences former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert to 15 months in prison for a bank fraud case linked to sexual abuse allegations.



May 25th, 2016



2 | Puerto Rico officially defaults on its $422 million debt.

3 | Wildfires force the evacuation of 80,000 persons in the Canadian oil city of Fort McMurray.

9 | North Carolina files suit against the Department of Justice (DOJ) to defend its “bathroom bill.” The DOJ files a federal civil rights lawsuit to bar the bill’s implementation.

10 | NASA announces the discovery of 1,284 new exoplanets.

12 | A federal judge strikes down a portion of Obamacare, ruling President Obama does not have authority to spend money on subsidies to health insurers without congressional appropriation.

15 | The U.S. Supreme Court hands a victory to the Little Sisters of the Poor (and fellow petitioners), telling the lower courts to find an alternative accommodation to the HHS contraceptive mandate.

19 | EgyptAir Flight 804 disappears from radar, plunging into the Mediterranean Sea, killing all 66 persons aboard.

20 | Democratic Progressive Party chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen takes office as Taiwan’s first female president.

22 | The Iraqi army launches an offensive on ISIS-controlled Fallujah and liberates the besieged city by the end of June.

23 | The U.S. government lifts a decades long ban on arms sales to Vietnam.

24 | A judge rules Bill Cosby, 79, will stand trial next year on sexual assault charges stemming from a 2004 incident.

25 | Eleven states file suit against the Obama administration over its demand that public schools allow students to use the restroom and locker room facilities of their choice.

27 | President Obama becomes the first sitting president to visit Hiroshima, Japan.

28 | Cincinnati Zoo officials shoot and kill a gorilla after a 3-year-old boy falls into the enclosure.



June 12th, 2016



2 | Former Stanford University student Brock Turner receives a six-month jail sentence for a 2015 sexual assault of an unconscious woman—sparking public outrage for what many call a lenient punishment.

9 | California’s End of Life Option Act goes into effect, giving physicians permission to prescribe lethal drugs to terminally ill patients.

12 | Islamic terrorist Omar Mateen opens fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., killing 49 and injuring dozens more—the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history. … The Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the San Jose Sharks 3-1 in Game 6 to capture the NHL’s Stanley Cup.

14 | An alligator drags 2-year-old Lane Graves into a lake near Disney’s Grand Floridian, killing the boy.

19 | The Cleveland Cavaliers become NBA champions by defeating the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7.

20 | Four gun control measures fail to pass in the Senate.

23 | The U.S. Supreme Court votes to uphold affirmative action but, in a deadlocked decision, thwarts President Obama’s immigration plan. … A Baltimore judge acquits Caesar Goodson, the only police officer charged with murder in the 2015 death of Freddie Gray. … The United Kingdom votes to leave the European Union. Prime Minister David Cameron resigns the next day, and Theresa May takes over in July.

25 | President Obama signs a disaster declaration after record flooding in West Virginia claims the lives of 26 persons and devastates 44 of the state’s 55 counties.

27 | The Supreme Court strikes down as unconstitutional two provisions of a Texas law regulating abortion centers, and the next day rejects the appeal of Washington state pharmacists who objected to selling abortifacients.

28 | Three terrorists attack Turkey’s Istanbul Ataturk Airport, killing 41 persons and injuring more than 200.

30 | The Obama administration lifts a ban on openly transgender military service members.



July 7th, 2016



1 | ISIS claims responsibility for an attack on a Bangladesh restaurant that left more than 20 persons dead.

5 | A police officer shoots and kills Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, La., and the next day an officer in St. Paul, Minn., shoots and kills Philando Castile. Both incidents spark protests.

6 | The Justice Department closes its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server. The State Department reopens its investigation the next day. … Nintendo sparks a craze with the release of its augmented reality game, Pokémon Go.

7 | Micah Xavier Johnson opens fire on Dallas police officers during a protest, killing five officers and wounding seven others.

14 | Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel drives a truck into a crowd of people gathered for Bastille Day in Nice, France, killing at least 84 persons and injuring hundreds.

15 | An attempted coup of Turkey’s government fails but leaves more than 230 persons dead, over 1,000 wounded, and thousands under arrest.

17 | Gavin Long shoots and kills three police officers and wounds three others in Baton Rouge, La.

22 | Fires, fueled by high temperatures and a yearlong drought, rage in California. … Ali Sonboly, 18, shoots and kills nine people and wounds 16 others at a Munich shopping mall.

24 | Briton Chris Froome wins his third Tour de France.

25 | The FBI says it is investigating the hacking and leaking of Democratic National Committee emails.

29 | Florida confirms four cases of locally acquired Zika.

30 | A hot air balloon crashes in central Texas, killing all 16 persons on board—the deadliest such accident in U.S. history.



August 24th, 2016



5 | The 2016 Summer Olympics open in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. By close on Aug. 21, the United States walks away with the most golds and medals overall.

8 | A six-hour system shutdown grounds Delta planes and strands passengers around the world.

13 | Violent riots erupt in Milwaukee, Wis., after a police officer shoots and kills 23-year-old Sylville Smith.

16 | More than 82,000 persons flee the raging Blue Cut wildfire in San Bernardino County, Calif. … Russia launches airstrikes on Syria from an air base in Iran—the first time a major world power has used the Islamic Republic to stage military attacks since the 1979 revolution.

17 | Media outlets circulate a picture of a dazed and bloodied Syrian boy after an airstrike in Aleppo.

18 | The Obama administration admits a $400 million cash payment to Iran related to a 1970s military equipment deal was “contingent” on the release of four American citizens.

21 | A Texas judge blocks the Obama administration from allowing transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms of the opposite sex.

24 | A magnitude 6.2 earthquake rips through central Italy, leaving more than 240 persons dead and destroying historic homes, churches, and shops.

29 | After weathering intense criticism over its EpiPen price hike, drug maker Mylan says it will sell a generic version for half the price.

30 | The Associated Press documents 72 mass graves in Iraq and 17 in Syria that could contain as many as 15,000 victims of ISIS. … An airstrike kills ISIS spokesman Mohammad al-Adnani in northern Syria.

31 | A year of social and economic instability culminates with the Brazilian Senate voting to remove President Dilma Rousseff from office.



September 4th, 2016



4 | Pope Francis canonizes Mother Teresa, making her Saint Teresa in the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church.

6 | ITT Technical Institute closes all campuses after the Department of Education cuts off federal financial aid for new students. … Fox News agrees to pay former Fox & Friends host Gretchen Carlson $20 million to settle sexual harassment claims against former chairman Roger Ailes, who stepped down in July.

7 | Physicians in Aleppo, Syria, say they treated victims of a chlorine gas attack.

8 | North Korea claims it detonated another nuclear bomb. The blast causes an earthquake near the test site.

9 | A major leak shuts down an Alabama gasoline line. A few weeks later an explosion along the same pipeline kills one worker and injures five others.

17 | Police in New York and New Jersey investigate pipe bomb blasts that went off hours apart. The blast in Manhattan injures 29 persons. … ISIS claims the man who stabbed nine persons at a Minnesota mall was an ISIS soldier.

18 | Vladimir Putin’s party wins parliamentary elections, paving the way for him to run for a fourth term as Russia’s president.

20 | Violent protests erupt in Charlotte, N.C., after a police -officer shoots and kills Keith Lamont Scott.

22 | Yahoo reveals a “state-sponsored actor” stole personal information from 500 million Yahoo accounts in late 2014.

25 | Britain, France, and the United States walk out of a UN Security Council emergency session, accusing Russia of committing war crimes in supporting Bashar al-Assad’s bombing of Aleppo.

28 | Congress overrides President Obama’s veto of a bill allowing 9/11 victims’ families to sue Saudi Arabia for backing some of the terrorists. The vote was the first veto override of Obama’s presidency. … Jesse Osborne, 14, allegedly kills his father before opening fire at a Townville, S.C., elementary school, shooting three. Jacob Hall, 6, later dies from his injuries.

30 | Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, President Obama, and former President Clinton join Israelis at the funeral of former Prime Minister and President Shimon Peres.



October 4th, 2016



2 | Colombians narrowly defeat a peace deal to end decades of civil war with the rebel FARC group.

3 | The United States cuts off diplomatic contacts with Russia over Syria, and Russia withdraws from a nuclear pact.

4 | Hurricane Matthew hits Haiti, killing at least 1,000 persons. The Category 4 storm then causes havoc in the Bahamas, Cuba, Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas.

13 | Boko Haram releases 21 Chibok girls two years after kidnapping 276 of them.

17 | The Iraqi government launches an offensive to take back Mosul, the last major Iraqi city under ISIS control.

18 | Ecuador restricts WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s internet access at its London embassy after the site publishes damaging emails from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

21 | A massive cyberattack against Dyn, an internet routing company, blocks access to popular websites like Netflix, Spotify, and Etsy.

24 | The Obama administration acknowledges that premiums on government healthcare exchanges will see double-digit increases.

27 | North Dakota police in riot gear arrest 141 protesters from private land in the path of the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

30 | FBI Director James Comey tells Congress the agency is renewing its inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s server after more emails are uncovered—a development Clinton later blames for her election defeat. … A magnitude 6.6 earthquake flattens historic buildings, including the centuries-old Basilica of St. Benedict in Norcia, Italy.



November 3rd, 2016



3 | At least 240 migrants die in shipwrecks off Libya’s coast in the Mediterranean Sea, bringing the number of migrant deaths in 2016 to at least 4,220. … In a Game 7, 10-inning thriller, the Chicago Cubs defeat the Cleveland Indians 8-7 and win their first World Series since 1908. … Federal officials fine Penn State University $2.4 million for numerous violations of a campus safety law.

6 | Geologists say underground injection of wastewater from oil and gas production caused a magnitude 5.0 earthquake in Cushing, Okla.

8 | Donald Trump surprisingly wins the U.S. presidential election, defeating Hillary Clinton.

10 | A prolonged drought in the Southeast fuels wildfires in the Appalachian Mountains.

14 | A magnitude 7.8 earthquake rocks New Zealand, stranding tourists and residents in a remote coastal town.

26 | People pour into the streets of Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood to celebrate the death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

28 | Somali refugee Abdul Razak Ali Artan drives his car into a crowd of pedestrians at Ohio State University before jumping out of his car and stabbing bystanders. … A plane carrying a Brazilian soccer team crashes in Colombia, killing more than 70 persons.

29 | Drought conditions fuel wildfires throughout the South, igniting the Great Smoky Mountains and ravaging Gatlinburg, Tenn., where 14,000 persons flee homes and tourist spots.



December 6th, 2016



2 | A fire during a party at an Oakland, Calif., warehouse claims the lives of at least 36 persons.

6 | Ohio lawmakers pass a ban on abortion after a baby’s heart begins beating. On Dec. 13, Gov. John Kasich vetoes the bill but signs a less extensive pro-life measure.

7 | A federal judge halts the hand recount of 4.8 million presidential ballots cast in Michigan. … A 6.5 magnitude earth-quake rocks Indonesia’s Aceh province, killing at least 100 persons. … A Pakistani airplane crashes near Abbottabad, killing all 48 aboard.

9 | South Korean lawmakers vote to impeach President Park Geun-hye amid reports of extortion, abuse of power, and bribery. … President Obama orders an investigation into Russian hacking during U.S. election cycles.

10 | Sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson of the University of Louisville wins the Heisman Trophy, with 51 touchdowns and 4,928 total yards this year. … Two bomb blasts outside a soccer stadium in Istanbul kill 38 persons and wound more than 160. … A church roof collapses in southern Nigeria, reportedly killing 160 persons gathered for the ordination of a bishop.

11 | A bomb blast during Mass kills 25 persons and wounds 49 at a Coptic chapel in Cairo.

19 | The Electoral College voted 304 to 227 to elect Donald Trump president of the United States over Hillary Clinton. Seven electors voted for alternative candidates. … A man driving a truck slammed into a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 and injuring 48. Police apprehended a 23-year-old refugee they identified as Naved B.


Obituaries – 2016


Joe Alaskey

63, Feb. 3 • Voice actor who succeeded Mel Blanc as the TV and film voices of Looney Tunes characters Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and others.


Edward Albee

88, Sept. 16 • Innovative playwright who won three Pulitzer Prizes for the plays A Delicate Balance, Seascape, and Three Tall Women, but is best remembered for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?


Muhammad Aliobits-2016-m-ali

74, June 3 • Controversial boxer who won the world heavyweight title three times, the first with a win over Sonny Liston in 1964. At that bout, he announced he had joined the Nation of Islam sect, accepted its teachings, and had given up his Louisville, Ky., birth name, Cassius Clay, in favor of the new name given him by sect leader Elijah Muhammad.


Peter Allen

96, Oct. 8 • Successor to Milton Cross (d. 1975) as the authoritative announcer’s voice of the Metropolitan Opera’s Saturday matinee radio broadcasts for the next 29 seasons and 500 broadcasts.


Eddie Applegate

81, Oct. 17 • Actor known for playing Patty Lane’s high-school sweetheart on the 1960s The Patty Duke Show.


William L. Armstrong

79, July 5 • Colorado media executive and conservative Republican who served in Congress (1972-1990, including two terms in the Senate, where he was a strong ally to Ronald Reagan). He became a “committed Christian” in the 1970s, was a longtime board member of Campus Crusade for Christ (since renamed Cru), and president of Colorado Christian University from 2006 until cancer felled him this year.


Natalie Babbitt

84, Oct. 31 • Noted children’s author and illustrator, whose 1975 novel Tuck Everlasting led young readers to explore what it might mean to live forever.


Kenneth E. Bailey

85, May 23 • Evangelical scholar, author, and professor who spent 40 years (1955-1995) in the Middle East, learning its history, cultures, and languages, and teaching in -seminaries and institutes in Egypt, Lebanon, Jerusalem, and Cyprus. A Presbyterian, he was known for books like Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes.


David Bald Eagle

97, July 22 • Native American whose varied career included appearances in 40 films, including the 1990 Oscar-award-winning Dances with Wolves. His was tourism’s face of the Lakota people of South Dakota.


Cliff Barrowsobits-2016-c-barrows

93, Nov. 15 • Song leader, music director, and emcee for evangelist Billy Graham’s crusades, from the first one in 1947 in Michigan to the last in 2005 in New York City. Barrows, an ordained Baptist, was a skilled preacher himself and sometimes substituted when Graham fell ill. Graham often told others, “Cliff could just step up and preach a lot better sermon than me because God gave him the gift—not only of organization and music, but also of preaching and teaching.”


Daniel J. Berrigan

94, April 30 • Jesuit priest, roving academic, author, poet, hero of the Catholic left, and militant anti-war activist who with eight fellow Catholics in 1968 seized draft records from a Selective Service office in Maryland and burned them publicly. He eventually served two years in federal prison for the crime.


Boutros Boutros-Ghali

93, Feb. 16 • Egyptian Copt and professor-turned-diplomat who served a five-year term as secretary–general of the United Nations during a period of genocides and political friction in the early 1990s. The Clinton administration blocked his bid for a second term.


David Bowieobits-2016-d-bowie

69, Jan. 10 • Popular British rock star and songwriter, ever epitomizing moderns’ search for spiritual meaning in life and the universe, a quest seemingly left unfinished when he died.


John Bradshaw

82, May 8 • Self-help adviser known for books that sold millions of copies, appearances on public television and TV talk shows, and sold-out workshops, mostly about harking back to childhood and “reclaiming … your inner self.”


Ralph Branca

90, Nov. 23 • Brooklyn Dodgers relief pitcher who, ahead 4-2 in the ninth inning of the final game of the 1951 National League championship series with the New York Giants, served up baseball lore’s “shot heard around the world” pitch, a high fastball to Bobby Thomson, with two runners on base. Thomson sent the ball rocketing into the left field stands at the old Polo Grounds, a three-run walk-off homer. Bedlam ensued.


Jerry Bridges

86, March 6 • Administrator, Bible teacher, speaker, and author (The Pursuit of Holiness and others) with Colorado-based The Navigators discipleship ministry for nearly 60 years.


Harry Briggs Jr.

75, Aug. 9 • As a young boy he became a catalyst of the Supreme Court case desegregating public schools. In 1949 he and other African-American children in his South Carolina community had to walk up to 9 miles to a segregated school while buses took white children to their own segregated school. That led to a lawsuit that folded into the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision ending school segregation.


Charles (C.D.) Brooks

85, June 5 • Prominent Seventh-day Adventist evangelist who preached on six continents and for 23 years was the speaker on Breath of Life, a weekly Adventist television outreach to African-American viewers.


Joy Browne

71, Aug. 27 • Psychologist and radio and television personality who dispensed self-help advice and therapeutic encouragement to thousands of call-ins and millions of listeners for nearly four decades.


Howard E. Butt Jr.

89, Sept. 11 • Nationally known Southern Baptist business and lay leader, an heir apparent to his family’s Texas-based H-E-B supermarket chain. A catalyst for workplace ministry, he also was known for his one-minute positive-thought broadcasts aired daily on 3,000 radio outlets.


Charmian Carr

73, Sept. 17 • Amateur church singer who portrayed Liesl, the teenage oldest (and best-remembered) von Trapp daughter in the 1965 Rodgers and Hammerstein Oscar-winning classic, The Sound of Music.


Fidel Castroobits-2016-f-castro

90, Nov. 25 • Former Cuban president who led a rebel army to an improbable victory in Cuba in 1959 and then instituted Soviet-style communism. He presided over the murder and imprisonment of his opponents and reduced Cuba to grinding poverty during his dictatorial half-century rule.


Jack Chick

92, Oct. 23 • Former technical illustrator for an aerospace company, advocate of fundamentalist Christianity, and cartoonist–publisher of gospel tracts in mini-comic book format.


Guy Clark

74, May 17 • Texas-born Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer known for hits like “L.A. Freeway” and “Desperados Waiting for a Train.”


Leonard Cohen

82, Nov. 7 • Celebrated Canada-born poet, novelist, gifted singer-songwriter. “Hallelujah” was his best-known song, but regardless of their subject, most of his songs conveyed a religious mysticism. A Sabbath-keeping Jew who dabbled in Buddhism and claimed “no religious aptitude,” his songs frequently referenced or alluded to Christ or the cross.


Pat Conroy

70, March 4 • Victim of abuse growing up in South Carolina who drew on that experience in his best-selling novels The Lords of Discipline and The Prince of Tides.


Denton Cooley

96, Nov. 18 • Heart surgeon at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston who in 1968 performed the first successful heart transplant in the United States and in 1969 the first implant of a fully artificial heart.


Jan Crouch

78, May 31 • Colorful Christian TV co-host and pink-wig enthusiast who, with her late husband Paul, co-founded Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). She appeared regularly on the broadcasts and managed TBN’s Holy Land Experience, a religious theme park in Orlando, Fla.


Jack Davis

91, July 27 • Versatile artist and satirical cartoonist who in 1952 became one of the founding members of the “usual gang of idiots” who put out Mad Magazine.


Gloria DeHaven

91, July 30 • Singer and actress who started out as a child actor in a 1936 Charlie Chaplin movie but went on to appear in several MGM musicals. Daytime TV audiences later knew her in As the World Turns, Ryan’s Hope, and All My Children.


Jim Delligatti

98, Nov. 28 • Pittsburgh-area McDonald’s franchise owner in Uniontown, Pa., who in 1967 test-marketed a new double-decker hamburger sandwich he had created. It rolled out a year later and became the single-greatest-selling sandwich in world history—the Big Mac.


Patty Dukeobits-2016-p-duke

69, March 29 • Actress who as a child star won renown for stage, film, and television performances. At age 12, she starred as Helen Keller in Broadway’s The Miracle Worker, at age 16 won an Oscar in the Hollywood version of the story, and the following year debuted in the ABC sitcom, The Patty Duke Show, which ran through 1966.


Bob Elliott

92, Feb. 2 • Half of the Bob and Ray comedy team. He and his gruffer-voiced partner, Ray Goulding, kept radio, Broadway, film, and television audiences amused for decades with their zany satire of pop culture.


Jane Fawcett

95, May 21 • Sharp-eyed young woman who worked at the British code-breaking center during World War II, where she spotted and reported a German message that enabled the Royal Navy to locate and sink Germany’s important battleship, the Bismarck, in May 1941.


Joey Feek

40, March 4 • Country/bluegrass/gospel duo singer with her husband Rory. Their albums made Top 10 country lists, but she didn’t live to see the success of 2016’s Hymns That Are Important to Us, which reached nearly 500,000 in U.S. sales as of November. She was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2014, shortly after giving birth to a baby daughter with Down syndrome.


Glenn Frey

67, Jan. 18 • Founding member, singer, guitarist, and driving force of the 1970s Californian country-rock band the Eagles, co-writing most of their biggest hits, including “Tequila Sunrise,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” and “Hotel California.”


Greta Zimmer Friedman

92, Sept. 8 • 21-year-old dental assistant in a nurse’s uniform shown in a famous photo being kissed by a random sailor in Times Square celebrating the end of World War II on V-J Day, Aug. 14, 1945.


Zsa Zsa Gaborobits-2016-zsa-zsa-gabor

99, Dec. 18 • Early example of a star who became “famous for being famous,” Gabor turned her flamboyant lifestyle, her 1936 Miss Hungary title, and her nine marriages (including one annulled after one day) into Hollywood celebrity.


Joe Garagiola

90, March 23 • Baseball catcher who spent nine seasons in the major leagues with unremarkable stats, then scored big in the broadcasting booths and on television for NBC for three decades with his play-by-play calls, colorful commentary, and self-effacing humor.


Ron Glass

71, Nov. 25 • Emmy-winning TV actor best known for his role as Ron Harris in the 1970s police sitcom Barney Miller.


John Glenn

95, Dec. 8 • Highly decorated fighter pilot and Mercury Seven astronaut who on Feb. 20, 1962, became the first American to orbit the earth. He later served four terms in the U.S. Senate.


Andy Grove

79, March 21 • Longtime head of Intel Corporation who helped turn the company into the leading maker of microprocessors for most computers, starting with IBM’s first PC in 1981.


Ann Morgan Guilbert

87, June 14 • Actress best known for her role on The Dick Van Dyke Show in the 1960s; she was Millie Helper, the vibrant friend of Laura Petrie.


Merle Haggard

79, April 6 • Legendary country music songwriter and performer with a troubled past and with more than 100 songs that made the Billboard charts, 38 of them at No. 1. Perhaps best known for “Okie from Muskogee,” an anti-hippie anthem from the height of the Vietnam War.


Earl Hamner Jr.

92, March 24 • Novelist and television writer who drew on his warm family memories of growing up in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Charlottesville, Va., during the Depression to -create the hugely successful CBS series The Waltons (1972-1981).


Pat Harrington Jr.

86, Jan. 6 • Character actor and comedian remembered best as the laughable macho building superintendent Dwayne Schneider in the CBS sitcom One Day at a Time (1975-1984).


Tom Hayden

76, Oct. 23 • 1960s student radical who led protests against the Vietnam War, married actress Jane Fonda and toured postwar Vietnam with her, but finally settled into what he called a more “commonsense” life as a writer and state legislator.


Fred Hellerman

89, Sept. 1 • Baritone singer, guitarist, songwriter, and last surviving member of The Weavers—the quartet at the heart of the folk music revival in the 1950s.


Donald “D.A.” Henderson

87, Aug. 19 • Ohio-born epidemiologist who led the successful global war against smallpox in the 1960s and ’70s.


Florence Hendersonobits-2016-f-henderson

82, Nov. 24 • Actress remembered best for her role as Carol Brady, mom of The Brady Bunch (1969-1974), a sitcom about a suburban blended family.


Steven Hill

94, Aug. 23 • Versatile stage, film, and television actor known best for his role as grumpy New York district attorney Adam Schiff in TV’s Law & Order.


Gordie Howe

88, June 10 • Nicknamed “Mr. Hockey,” considered one of the greatest and most durable players in the history of the NHL, who powered his Detroit Red Wings teams to four Stanley Cup championships and was 52 years old when he finally hung up his skates. He scored 801 goals in the NHL, second only to Wayne Gretzky’s 894.


Gwen Ifill

61, Nov. 14 • Veteran print and broadcast journalist who in 1999 became moderator and managing editor of the public-affairs program Washington Week on PBS and co-anchor and co-managing editor, with Judy Woodruff, of PBS NewsHour.


Monte Irvin

96, Jan. 11 • Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder who played seven seasons for the New York Giants (1949-1955) and one season for the Chicago Cubs. He missed becoming the first black player in major league history when he turned down an offer from Branch Rickey to join the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1945. Already a five-time All Star in the Negro National League, and just back from WWII, Irvin felt he needed to stay in the Negro leagues.


Esther Jungreis

80, Aug. 23 • Dubbed the “Jewish Billy Graham” by The New York Times, she was an Orthodox Jewish revivalist who in 1973 founded Hineni. Its mission was to summon “fallen Jews back to a fundamental faith,” to reject secularism and live a life dedicated to God’s commandments. She spent nearly two decades delivering that message in rallies worldwide.


Kitty Kallen

94, Jan. 7 • Popular singer during the swing era, known best for 1954’s “Little Things Mean a Lot,” No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. She started out as “a gifted child” at age 11 with her own radio show in Philadelphia and went on to sing for bandleaders Artie Shaw, Harry James, and Jimmy Dorsey.


Paul Kantner

74, Jan. 28 • Founding member, guitarist, harmony singer, and songwriter of the late-1960s psychedelic rock band Jefferson Airplane and its successor, Jefferson Starship.


Marvin Kaplan

89, Aug. 25 • Longtime film and TV actor, beginning with a 1949 uncredited role in Adam’s Rib. That performance led to a seven-decade-long career as a comedy actor in film and television. His most memorable role was as Henry Beesmeyer, the telephone repairman in the recurring sitcom Alice.


Alfred G. Knudson Jr.

93, July 10 • Medical scientist and oncologist renowned for his groundbreaking genetics-related “two-hit” theory of how cancer develops: the first hit could be an inherited or mutated gene, but it takes a second hit (radiation, for example) to activate the cancer. His published findings in 1971 ushered in a new era of cancer research.


Burt Kwouk

85, May 24 • British character actor who unforgettably played the martial arts expert Cato, servant to bumbling Inspector Jacques Clouseau in the hugely successful Pink Panther film series.


Tim LaHayeobits-2016-t-lahaye

90, July 25 • Former evangelical pastor in San Diego, leader and benefactor of conservative causes and institutions nationally, and author of more than 50 books, including with co-author Jerry B. Jenkins the best-selling prophecy-themed Left Behind fiction series (with sales of more than 65 million since 1995).


Melvin R. Laird

94, Nov. 16 • U.S. Navy veteran and Purple Heart recipient who served in the Pacific during WWII, and longtime Wisconsin congressman chosen by Richard Nixon in 1969 to be his secretary of defense and manage American withdrawal from Vietnam. At the Pentagon, he suspended the military draft in 1973 in favor of an all-volunteer force.


Harper Lee

89, Feb. 19 • Alabama author of the 1960 bestseller To Kill a Mockingbird. The story about small-town racial injustice won the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, was made into a popular film version starring Gregory Peck in 1962, went on to sell 40 million copies, and became required reading for millions of American schoolchildren.


Neville Marriner

92, Oct. 2 • Violinist and one of the founders of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. He led the chamber group to become one of the world’s most-recorded classical music groups, making more than 500 recordings and performing in venues across the world. The group’s soundtrack for the 1984 Oscar-winning Amadeus sold in the millions and became one of the best-selling classical recordings ever.


Garry Marshallobits-2016-g-marshall

81, July 19 • Influential television writer and film director who created sitcoms Happy Days, The Odd Couple, and Laverne & Shirley and directed hit movies including Pretty Woman and The Princess Diaries.


George Martin

90, March 9 • Record producer whose greatest success came during the seven years he spent with The Beatles, the most successful group in music history. His career spanned six decades; in that time he produced more than 700 records, wrote film scores, and worked with music’s greatest talents.


Don McClanen

91, Feb. 16 • High-school and college basketball coach who founded the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) in 1954, with a major assist from Brooklyn Dodgers executive Branch Rickey.


John McLaughlin

89, Aug. 16 • Former Jesuit priest, speechwriter for President Richard Nixon, and provocative conservative who went on to create and host the Sunday public-affairs panel and punditry show that aired mainly on PBS TV stations and bore his name, The McLaughlin Group (1982-2016).


Robertson McQuilkin

88, June 2 • Christian educator, former missionary and church planter in Japan, and president of Columbia Bible College and Seminary (now Columbia Interna-tional University). He resigned early in order to care for his Alzheimer’s-stricken wife, Muriel, who died in 2003.


Marvin Minsky

88, Jan. 24 • MIT scientist and inventor who studied how computers “think” and became the pioneering force in the field of artificial intelligence.


Gilbert Morris

86, Feb. 18 • Former pastor, English professor, and author of some 230 novels. The best-known of his works is the 40-volume House of Winslow series, covering the centuries of America’s roots and growth.


Noel Neill

95, July 3 • Petite red-haired actress who portrayed Lois Lane in 1940s Superman movie serials and on television in the 1950s.


Prince Rogers Nelson

57, April 21 • Flamboyant pop singer, guitarist, and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer with many No. 1 hits in the 1980s and ’90s and a 1984 album, Purple Rain, that was No. 1 for 24 weeks. No lyrics seemed too salacious—or too spiritual—for the Seventh-day Adventist-turned- Jehovah’s Witness to sing.


Hugh O’Brian

91, Sept. 5 • Actor who starred as a Wild West peace officer in TV’s The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, which ran on ABC from 1955 to 1961. He also was founder in 1958 of an international youth leadership training program known as HOBY, which nearly 500,000 people have completed so far.


Arnold Palmer

87, Sept. 25 • Widely acclaimed “king of golf” who won seven major championships and 62 PGA Tour titles beginning in 1955, including the British Open, the U.S. Open, and the Masters


Gary S. Paxton

77, July 17 • Songwriter, producer, and singer who wrote more than 2,000 songs, produced the pop hits “Alley-Oop” and “Monster Mash,” faded out on drugs and alcohol, visited a church in Nashville and professed faith in 1971, switched to working with Christian artists, and was inducted into the Country Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1998.


Shimon Peres

93, Sept. 28 • Polish-born, twice-serving Israeli prime minister and longtime notable member of the Knesset, known for strengthening Israel’s defense forces and attempting to negotiate peace with West Bank Palestinians, for which he won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize.


Nancy Reaganobits-2016-n-reagan

94, March 6 • Starting out as stage and screen actress Nancy Davis, she went on to marry Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan and become his first lady in the California Statehouse and the White House. In retirement, she cared faithfully for him throughout his struggle with Alzheimer’s.


Janet Reno

78, Nov. 7 • Nation’s first female attorney general, serving eight years during the Clinton administration. She ordered the controversial attack on the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, in 1993.


Lawrence O. Richards

85, Oct. 16 • Prominent and prolific Christian education researcher and writer, he was author of more than 250 books, including popular Bibles for children and teens.


Alan Rickman

69, Jan. 14 • Emmy- and Golden Globe–winning actor with an unforgettable voice who became one of Britain’s best-loved stars thanks to roles including Professor Snape in the Harry Potter films and Hans Gruber in Die Hard.


Rita “Mother Angelica” Rizzo

92, March 27 • Born Rita Rizzo in Canton, Ohio, she became a Catholic nun at age 21 and took the name by which the world would come to know her: Sister Mary Angelica. In 1981 she founded the Eternal Word Television Network.


Doris Robertsobits-2016-d-roberts

90, April 17 • Five-time Emmy winner best known for her work as Marie Barone, Raymond’s mother, on TV’s Everybody Loves Raymond. A veteran character actress, Roberts appeared in more than three dozen movies and guest-starred on some of the most popular TV shows from the 1970s to the 1990s.


Leon Russell

74, Nov. 13 • Influential long-haired, scratchy-voiced pianist, guitarist, songwriter, and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. His most famous songs include “Delta Lady” and “Roll Away the Stone.”


Charles C. Ryrieobits-2016-charles-ryrie

90, Feb. 16 • Retired professor of systematic theology and director of doctoral studies at Dallas Theological Seminary and author of more than 50 books. He edited The Ryrie Study Bible, containing 10,000 of his explanatory notes in four Bible versions (KJV, NASB, ESV, and a Spanish translation), with sales of more than 2.6 million copies.


Morley Saferobits-2016-m-safer

84, May 19 • Toronto-born veteran CBS newsman who went on to become a respected, commanding presence on 60 Minutes for 46 years, winning dozens of awards for stories ranging from light-touch cultural fare to sensitive investigative pieces.


Theresa Saldana

61, June 6 • Actress known especially for her role as Joe Pesci’s wife in the Martin Scorsese film Raging Bull and for her work on TV’s The Commish.


Joe Santos

84, March 18 • Husky character actor who played Lt. Dennis Becker, the grudgingly helpful pal to private eye Jim Rockford (James Garner) on NBC’s The Rockford Files.


Antonin Scaliachapman.0830 - 08/29/05 - A Supreme Court headed by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has questions for Chapman University Law School professor John Eastman as he and California Attorney General Bill Lockyer argue the 1905 ''Lochner v. State of New York'' case during a re-enactment Monday afternoon at Chapman University. (Credit: Mark Avery/Orange County Register/ZUMA Press)

79, Feb. 13 • Appointed by Ronald Reagan to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1986, he became the leader of its conservative wing and by his wit, clarity, and intellect also became a widely acknowledged defining figure in American constitutional law. He was a devout Catholic.


William Schallert

93, May 8 • Actor known for his roles in two classic sitcoms—as the frustrated English teacher to Dwayne Hickman and his pals in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1959-1963) and as Patty’s stressed father in The Patty Duke Show (1963-1966).


Sydney Schanberg

82, July 9 • New York Times foreign correspondent who won a Pulitzer Prize for covering Cambodia’s fall to the Khmer Rouge in 1975 and who inspired the film The Killing Fields.


Phyllis Schlaflyobits-2016-p-schlafly

92, Sept. 5 • One of the most energetic and influential advocates of conservatism in recent U.S. history. A faithful Catholic focused on protection of the family, busy mother of six, late-blooming lawyer, skilled debater, broadcaster, and author of the best-selling 1964 book, A Choice Not an Echo, that helped define the conservative revolution.


Russell Shedd

87, Nov. 26 • Teacher, linguist, pastor, writer, publisher, translator, missionary, theologian—his was a household name among evangelicals in Brazil, where he put down roots in 1962 and taught for 30 years at a Baptist seminary.


Jean Shepard

82, Sept. 25 • Country music singer, feisty traditionalist in the genre, and women’s advocate who spent 60 years with the Grand Ole Opry cast, with hits like “A Satisfied Mind” (1955) and “Second Fiddle (to an Old Guitar)” (1964).


Gary Smalleyobits-2016-g-smalley

75, March 6 • Popular speaker, broadcaster, and author of dozens of best-selling books, all part of a ministry focused on healing and restoring marriage and family relationships.


Jane Stuart Smith

90, Jan. 14 • Opera singer from Virginia whose successful career on the Italian stage ended when in 1960 she professed faith in Christ, renounced the “temptations” of the opera world, and dedicated herself to Christian ministry at the scholarly L’Abri Christian community in Switzerland headed by Francis and Edith Schaeffer. She helped to form an ensemble that sang in concerts internationally.


Pat Summitt

64, June 28 • Former Tennessee women’s basketball coach who won more Division I college basketball games than any other coach—male or female.


Alan Thicke

69, Dec. 13 • Actor and songwriter best known for playing the patriarch of the Seaver family in the 1980s sitcom Growing Pains. The Ontario native also wrote the theme music for the shows Diff’rent Strokes, The Facts of Life, and Wheel of Fortune.


Raymond Tomlinson

74, March 5 • Computer programmer responsible for the @ in email addresses. He chose the little-used symbol to separate the user’s name from the computer’s location.


Peter Vaughan

93, Dec. 6 • Best known to American audiences for playing blind Maester Aemon for five seasons on Game of Thrones, but he had been well-known to British audiences for decades, first appearing on TV in the 1950s.


Robert Vaughn

83, Nov. 11 • Stage, screen, and television actor best known for his role as the suave spy Napoleon Solo in the 1960s TV series The Man From U.N.C.L.E.


Bobby Vee

73, Oct. 24 • Clean-cut teen singer and bandleader known for early 1960s hits like “Take Good Care of My Baby,” “Rubber Ball,” and “The Night Has a Thousand Eyes.”


Abe Vigoda

94, Jan. 26 • Actor known best for roles he played on both sides of the law—as the sunken-eyed, raspy-voiced, death-bound mafia captain Salvatore Tessio in The Godfather (1972) and as cranky New York veteran detective Phil Fish in the ABC sitcom Barney Miller (1975-1982).


  1. Peter Wagner

86, Oct. 21 • Academic, a missionary in Bolivia for 16 years, a professor in evangelism and church growth at Fuller Seminary, founder of Global Harvest Ministries, and author of more than 70 books.


Maurice White

74, Feb. 4 • Percussionist, singer, and co-founder and leader of Earth, Wind & Fire, a nine-piece band that sold more than 90 million albums in the 1970s and early ’80s, including hits like “September” and “Shining Star.”


Elie Wiesel

87, July 2 • Romania-born Holocaust survivor who was a teenager when the Nazis sent him to Auschwitz-Birkenau and Buchenwald until liberated by U.S. forces in 1945. He went on to work for French, Israeli, and U.S. newspapers and write 57 books.


Gene Wilder

83, Aug. 29 • Comic actor known for playing the charming candy man in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and hilariously neurotic characters in several Mel Brooks comedies, including Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles.


Anton Yelchin

27, June 19 • Actor who played Chekov in recent Star Trek movies; killed in a freak accident when his SUV slid backward and pinned him against a brick pillar outside his home.


Alan Young

96, May 19 • Easygoing comedic actor who achieved TV stardom in the 1960s playing opposite a talking horse in Mister Ed. Young also provided the voice for Disney’s Scrooge McDuck and played kindhearted Jack Allen on radio’s long-running Adventures in Odyssey.





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