obituary

Washington state Senator Mike Carrell of Lakewood has died from complications related to treatment for a pre-leukemia blood disorder.

Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler said Carrell died Wednesday morning at a Seattle hospital of lung complications from his ongoing treatment of transplants from his brother and chemotherapy. Schoesler says that Carrell died in his sleep with his wife, Charlotte, nearby.

Pauline Phillips, known to millions of advice-seekers around the world as the original "Dear Abby," has died. She was 94.

The company that syndicates Dear Abby says on its website that she "died Wednesday ... in Minneapolis after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease."

If George McGovern often seemed miscast as a presidential candidate, he was at least as improbable as an icon of the anti-war movement.

The Vietnam War gave birth to an opposition movement unlike any America had seen in its previous wars. It was young, unconventional and countercultural, defiant of authority and deeply suspicious of government.

McGovern himself was none of these things.

I've written before in this space about how an animal obituary may help mark a life of significance. Here is my obituary for Ivan the gorilla.

A queen of comedy has died. Phyllis Diller had audiences in stitches for more than five decades with her outlandish get-ups and rapid-fire one-liners. She died at her home, where she had been in hospice care after a fall. She was 95.

Diller was glamorously outrageous — or at least the character she created was glamorously outrageous, the one who wore wigs that made her look like she had her finger in an electrical outlet, who wore gaudy sequined outfits. She was known for her laugh and those nasty jokes about her dimwitted husband, "Fang."

Phyllis Diller, who was known for her trademark self-deprecating humor and laugh, has died at 95.

The Associated Press

George Hickman, one of the original Tuskegee airmen and a longtime usher at University of Washington and Seattle Seahawks game, has died at age 88.

Longtime Seattle television news anchor Kathi Goertzen has died following a lengthy, public battle with brain tumors.

Gore Vidal, In Words

Aug 1, 2012

The death of writer and cultural critic Gore Vidal on Tuesday, at the age of 86, means many are trying today to capture that man of words' life in just a few phrases:

Gore Vidal came from a generation of novelists whose fiction gave them a political platform. Norman Mailer ran for mayor of New York City; Kurt Vonnegut became an anti-war spokesman. And Vidal was an all-around critic. His novels sometimes infuriated readers with unflattering portraits of American history.

He also wrote essays and screenplays, and his play The Best Man currently has a revival on Broadway.

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Ernest Borgnine, the beefy screen star known for blustery, often villainous roles, but who won the best-actor Oscar for playing against type as a lovesick butcher in "Marty" in 1955, died Sunday. He was 95.

Ray Bradbury, author of The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451, died Tuesday. He was 91. Bradbury was known for his futuristic tales — but he never used a computer, or even drove a car.

Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Ill., in 1920 and grew up during the Great Depression. He said it was a time when people couldn't imagine the future, and his active imagination made him stand out. He once told Fresh Air's Terry Gross about exaggerating basic childhood fears, like monsters at the top of the stairs.

Jack Benaroya, the philanthropist and developer for whom Seattle's symphony hall was named, has died at age 90.

Benaroya is known as a businessman with impeccable timing and a quiet generosity.

The Associated Press

The artist behind "Waiting for the Interurban," a popular sculpture in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, has died. Richard Beyer created the piece in 1978, which launched his career in public artwork. 

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