As we say good bye to 2006 this evening and enter into a new year; we also say good bye to so many that passed away this past year. Many that I look back on that I had not even realized that they had passed. Take a look at the full list here.
Let us first say that we give respect and say a special prayer to those that have died in our armed forced. It is too bad that the media refers to them as numbers instead of individuals and names. We also say a prayer for those in the police, fire and rescue who have died in 2006. These people put their lives on the line so that we may have the freedoms, protection and safety that we experience every day. We also say a special prayer for their families and loved ones that they leave behind. God Bless.
We also say a prayer for all those missing persons and families we covered in 2006 who’s loved ones were found deceased. A special prayer also goes out to those families who still have not been provided answers. God be with you all.
Please add any one else you wish including those who have passed this year who have touched your lives, whether they be family, friends or those on this list.
Here are some of my personal favorites that have passed that will be missed.
- Wilson Pickett, 64. Fiery soul music pioneer (“Mustang Sally.”) Jan. 19. Wilson Pickett … just one of the greatest soul singers ever. It doesn’t get any better than ‘Mustang Sally’.
- Coretta Scott King, 78. Civil rights leader; carried on work of her martyred husband. Jan. 30
- Al Lewis, 82. Grandpa on “The Munsters.” Feb. 3. Who didn’t like Grandpa? Even following his political run was amusing when he ran for the Governor of NY in 1998 for the Green Party and actually got over 50,000 votes. He was laid to rest on 18 February 2006 in his favorite cigar box.
- Curt Gowdy, 86. Sportscaster; called 13 World Series and 16 All-Star games, first Super Bowl. Feb. 20. One of my favorite broadcasters of all time. There was nothing better than Curt Gowdy and Al DeRogatis covering an old AFC game and it heading into The Wonderful World of Disney on NBC. Curt also covered the infamous Heidi Game between the NY Jets and Oakland Raiders.
- Don Knotts, 81. Won five Emmys for playing bumbling Deputy Barney Fife on “The Andy Griffith Show.” Feb. 24. Was there anyone funnier? This man just put a smile on your face. No matter what the show, one just had to laugh.
- Darren McGavin, 83. Tough-talking actor; grouchy dad in “A Christmas Story.” Feb. 25. One of my favorite actors of all times. Most know him as Ralphie’s dad from a Christmas Story; however, Darren Mc Gavin will always be known as Kolchak from “The Night Stalker”. One of the best mystery shows ever made.
- Dana Reeves, widow of actor Christopher Reeves, passed away at age 44 after losing the battle with lung cancer.
- Kirby Puckett, 45. Baseball Hall of Famer; carried Minnesota Twins to two World Series titles. March 6. Stroke.
- Buck Owens, 76. Flashy rhinestone cowboy who shaped country music (“Act Naturally.”) March 25. Who didn’t watch Hee-Haw?
- Red Buttons, 87. Actor-comedian; won Oscar with a dramatic turn in “Sayonara.” July 13. One of the funniest men ever and the last of a dying breed. Red’s BIO.
- Buck O’Neil, 94. Negro Leagues batting ace; star of PBS’ “Baseball.” Oct. 6. One of the greatest players of the Negro Leagues. Shame on the Baseball Hall of Fame to never honor this man by inducting Buck O’Neil while he was alive. Buck O’Neil never made it into baseball’s Hall of Fame. He missed it by one vote just this year. A star of the Negro leagues, first as a player and then a manager, he became the first black coach in the major leagues.
- Red Auerbach, 89. Basketball Hall of Famer; guided Boston Celtics to 16 championships. Oct. 28. The greatest professional basketball coach of all times. Known for his trademark victory cigar, Red did more for professional basketball than anyone ever. It would be a shame if the Championship trophy is not renamed after him.
- Ed Bradley, 65. TV journalist who created a powerful body of work on “60 Minutes.” Nov. 9.
- Jack Palance, 87. Hollywood heavy (“Shane“) who turned to comedy, winning Oscar for “City Slickers.” Nov. 10. Jack Palance was a pip. From his Oscar performing push ups to his no nonsense, fun loving characters.
- Bo Schembechler, 77. One of college football’s great coaches, compiling 194-48-5 record at Michigan. Nov. 17. Not only one of the greatest college football coaches of all times, but one of the finest men to walk the sidelines. Bo conducted his programs the way all colleges should.
- Peter Boyle, 71. The curmudgeonly father on “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Dec. 12. Peter Boyle was one of my favorite and funniest actors of all time. Better known for his unforgettable role as Frankenstein in ‘Young Frankenstein’. He will be missed.
- Lamar Hunt, 74. Owner of football’s Kansas City Chiefs; coined term “Super Bowl.” Dec. 13. One of the original founders of the AFL and influential owners of the AFL/NFL merger. One of the true pioneers of the NFL.
- Joe Barbera, half of the Hanna-Barbera animation team that produced such beloved cartoon characters as Tom and Jerry, Yogi Bear and the Flintstones, died at the age of 95.Yogi and Boo Boo Bear, enough said. Joe Barbera was one of the most brilliant cartoonists ever. The team of Hanna-Barbera will never be matched. There successes included: “Tom & Jerry”, ”The Flintstones,” “The Jetsons,” “Yogi Bear,” “Scooby-Doo” and “Huckleberry Hound and Friends.” Hanna previously died in 2001, marking the end of the greatest duo of cartoonists we shall ever see.