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The Blog of Death is on hiatus

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Categories: Site News

Even though fascinating people continue to die, The Blog of Death will not be posting new obituaries this year. The site is on a temporary hiatus while I write my latest book. Older BOD obits will remain visible during this time; feel free to post tributes in my absence.

In the meantime, if you want to keep up with the latest and greatest obits from other media outlets, follow @blogofdeath on Twitter. For news about death, funerals, grieving, cemeteries and all things beyond the veil, visit our Tumblr.

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A Look Back

Categories: Site News

hourglass.jpgSome people believe writing obituaries is a morbid job, but in truth, only one line deals with death. The rest of the story focuses on the amazing lives people lead.
Whenever I hear about a death, I ask myself, “Did they live with passion? Did they accomplish great things? Did they touch other people’s lives in a positive or negative way? Did they contribute something to the world that was previously missing?” Then, I simply try to tell a good story using the facts at my disposal.
This year, The Blog of Death chronicled the lives of celebrities, criminals, artists, heroes and ordinary people who did extraordinary things. These 10 obituaries were my personal favorites:
* Gemina, the beloved crooked-necked giraffe at the Santa Barbara Zoo.
* Lazare Ponticelli, the last French veteran of World War I.
* Vicki Van Meter, a record-setting young pilot.
* Pippa Bacca, an Italian performance artist.
* Dianne Odell, a children’s book author and polio sufferer.
* Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon University professor who gave an inspiring final lecture.
* Sandy Allen, the tallest woman in the world.
* Maudie Hopkins, one of the last known widows of a Confederate soldier.
* Dave Freeman, co-author of “100 Things to Do Before You Die: Travel Events You Just Can’t Miss.”
* Gus, the ugliest dog in the world.
Rest in peace.

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Congratulations!

Categories: Site News

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An epitaph is an inscription on a tombstone or monument in memory of the person buried there. It’s also a summary statement of commemoration for a dead person. For The Final Farewell Contest, we asked our readers to give us their preferred epitaphs in 25 words or less.
This year’s winners are:
Gloria Brownstein:
Here lies Gloria. She sang opera (not Laura Branigan songs).
Barb Wilson:
I was beholden to no one but myself. Then I died. Who wants to beholden me now?
Jennifer Colton:
She read as many books as she could.
James Dunston:
I loved well. I danced often. I traveled much. I died old. Life was good.
Michael Sanchez:
I’m dead. It’s great. There’s no pain, no taxes and no political ads.
Each winner will receive:
* “I Told You I Was Sick: A Grave Book of Curious Epitaphs” by Nigel Rees
* Two coffin nails
* Epitaph published on The Blog of Death
Congratulations! You will all be remembered forever.

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The Final Farewell Contest

Categories: Site News

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EPITAPH
Definition:

1. [n] an inscription on a tombstone or monument in memory of the person buried there
2. [n] a summary statement of commemoration for a dead person
Famous Examples:
That’s All Folks
Mel Blanc
Man of 1,000 Voices
Beloved Husband and Father
1908-1989
Jefferson Davis
At Rest
An American Soldier
And Defender of the Constitution
(1808-1889)
Jesse James
Died April 3, 1882
Aged 34 years, 6 months, 28 days
Murdered by a traitor and a coward
whose name is not worthy
to appear here.
Dean Martin
Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime
Edgar Allan Poe
Quoth the Raven nevermore.
To enter The Final Farewell Contest, write an epitaph in 30 words or less. Paste the epitaph in the body of an e-mail, along with your name, mailing address and e-mail address. Each entry must use the subject heading “Final Farewell Contest.” No attachments will be accepted. Only one entry per person, please.
The top five entries will receive:
* “I Told You I Was Sick: A Grave Book of Curious Epitaphs” by Nigel Rees
* Two coffin nails
* Epitaph published on The Blog of Death
Deadline is Oct. 28, 2008. Winners will be announced on Oct. 31, 2008.

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A Look Back

Categories: Site News

hourglass.jpgSome people believe writing obituaries is a morbid job, but in truth, only one line deals with death. The rest of the story focuses on the amazing lives people lead.

Whenever I hear about a death, I ask myself, “Did they live with passion? Did they accomplish great things? Did they touch other people’s lives in a positive or negative way? Did they contribute something to the world that was previously missing?” Then, I simply try to tell a good story using the facts at my disposal.

This year, I wrote more than 100 obituaries for The Blog of Death. I chronicled the lives of celebrities, criminals, artists, heroes and ordinary people who did extraordinary things. These obituaries were my personal favorites:

* Conrad Buchanan, a security guard who risked his life to save another
* Momofuku Ando, the inventor of “Chicken Ramen”
* Barbaro, the winner of the 2006 Kentucky Derby
* Ken Black, one of the founders of the lighthouse preservation movement in the U.S.
* Robert Adler, the inventor of the TV remote control
* Brad Delp, the lead singer of the rock band Boston
* Lt. Jean Kennedy Schmidt, an American nurse who was held prisoner for nearly three years during World War II
* Jim Cronin, the owner of the Monkey World Ape Rescue Center
* Wayne Schenk, a New York man who won the lottery but was unable to use his winnings to save his life
* Wally Schirra, the only astronaut who flew in three of the U.S.’s pioneering space programs
* Yahweh Ben Yahweh, the infamous founder of a violent black supremacist sect
* Harvey Weinstein, a tuxedo manufacturer who was once kidnapped and buried alive
* Jan Romary, a champion foil fencer who competed in six Olympic Games
* Don Herbert, an actor who made science fun for millions of kids as “Mr. Wizard”
* Bob Evans, a restauranteur known for his fabulous sausage
* Matt Nagle, a quadriplegic who once participated in a mind-control experiment
* Irene Kirkaldy, a quiet icon of the civil rights era
* Leona Helmsley, a Manhattan hotelier with a reputation as the “Queen of Mean”
* Alex, the renowned African grey parrot who helped researchers better understand the avian brain
* Andre de Jongh, a Belgian nurse who helped hundreds of Allied airmen flee the Nazis during World War II

Side note: I also published more than 500 death notices on Writers We’ve Lost. Feel free to visit this blog and leave tributes to the writers, editors, journalists and authors who’ve died over the past year.

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