In Memoriam 2012 – Part 1

It’s that time of the year again – to reflect on those we have lost.  Some deaths might have been expected, but many came as a shock to us.  Either way, all will be missed.

January 2012

1 – Etta James – Leukemia (73)

James had a beautiful voice and was lucky enough to see it appreciated by a whole new generation when songs such as “At Last” became popular again in the 2000’s.  James won six Grammys and 17 Blues Music Awards.  Her music crossed genres as she was also inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993

22 – Joe Paterno – Lung Cancer (85)

Paterno, affectionately known as JoePa by Penn State Nittany Lions fans, was the head coach of the university’s football team for 45 years.  He racked up a regular season record of 298 wins, 136 losses and three ties.  But, the Sandusky scandal marred his career and many believe it hastened his death.

24 – James Farentino – Heart Failure (73)

Farentino was a prolific actor that starred in many television shows including “Police Story,” “Dynasty,” “ER,” and “Melrose Place.”

26 – Robert Hegyes – Heart Attack (60)

Hegyes appeared in “Chico and the Man” and “Cagney and Lacey,” but will always be remember as Epstein from “Welcome Back Kotter.”  He served as an “Artist-in-Residence,” professor, and guest lecturer at his alma mater, Rowan University.

February 2012

1 – Don Cornelius – Suicide (75)

Cornelius was the creator and host of “Soul Train,” a syndicated music show which launched the careers of many R&B, soul, and hip hop artists.

3 – Ben Gazzara – Pancreatic Cancer (81)

Gazzara often played a heavy on the big screen, appearing in movies such as Husbands, Road House, The Big Lebowski, and The Thomas Crown Affair.

3 – Nello Ferrara – Natural Causes (93)

You may not recognize Ferrara’s name, but you surely recognize a few of his candy inventions – Lemonheads and Atomic Fireballs.

11 – Whitney Houston – Drowning/Heart Failure (48)

It’s hard to encompass all of Houston’s accomplishments in one paragraph.  She sold over 55 million records and starred in movies such as The Bodyguard.   The Guinness World Records lists Houston as the most awarded female artist ever.  Among her accolades are two Emmys, six Grammys, 30 Billboard Music Awards, and 22 American Music Awards.

26 – Gary Carter – Brain Tumor (57)

Carter was a MLB catcher who played for the Montreal Expos, the New York Mets, the LA Dodgers, and the San Francisco Giants.  Carter, nicknamed “Kid,” won three Golden Glove awards and five Silver Slugger awards.  He was a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and a World Series Champion in 1986.

29 – Davy Jones – Heart Attack (66)

The ever-youthful Jones was the lead singer of the 60’s group The Monkees.   Jones also had several acting credits including appearing on “Love, American Style,” “My Two Dads,” and “The Brady Bunch.”  Jones was also a license amateur jockey.