Grace Lee Whitney, Better Known as Yeoman Janice Rand on Star Trek Has Died at 85, Rest in Peace

One of my childhood crushes has passed away, Rest in Peace Yeoman Janice Rand …

Actress Grace Lee Whitney, better known as  Yeoman Janice Rand of Star Trek fame, has passed away at the age of 85. She  died at her home on May 1st in Coarsegold, California.  Whitney played the short skirted Star Trek officer on the original Star Trek, who had a crush on James T. Kirk; however, was unceremoniously let go after only 8 episodes.  She was born Mary Ann Chase in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1930. She was adopted by the Whitney family, and as a teenager, began her career in entertainment as a singer and dancer. Whitney was a recovering alcoholic and drug addict and had reportedly spent the last 35 years of her life helping others with addiction problems, including volunteering at women’s correctional facilities.

Grace Lee Whitney

April 1, 1930 – May 1, 2015, Rest in Peace

Later, Grace Lee Whitney returned for the movie franchise starting with 1979’s “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” with a promotion to chief petty officer, then in “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock,” “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” and she was finally promoted to lieutenant in 1991’s “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.”

An actress who appeared in just eight episodes of the original “Star Trek” — but made harrowing allegations in a memoir of sexual assault during her tenure — has died at 85.

Grace Lee Whitney — better known as Captain Kirk’s sometime love interest, Yeoman Janice Rand — died of natural causes at her home in California, her son Jonathan Dweck told the Associated Press.

“Over time, she became appreciative of her short time on ‘Star Trek’ because she developed meaningful relationships with the fans, Leonard Nimoy and other cast members,” Dweck said.

In a 1998 book, Whitney said she had high hopes for the show. Born Mary Ann Chase in Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1930, as NBC reported, she was raised by adoptive parents and in the middle of a divorce when she landed her part on a show she called her “Higher Power.”

Still, Whitney continued to appear on television, and returned as Rand in the first “Star Trek” film, later reprising her role in some of the sequels and TV series. She cited Nimoy as a crucial force in helping restart her career.

“The one person who really reached out to me after I was written out of ‘Star Trek’ was Leonard Nimoy,” she wrote. ” He was the only one who really knew how much I was hurting.”

Star Trek Season 1 – Episode 12, Miri

RIP Grace Lee Whitney, Star Trek’s Yeoman Janice Rand.

In her later years, Whitney worked as an advocate for people struggling with substance abuse. She credited her own recovery in some part to the Star Trek fans who supported her:

“When I told the fans I was an alcoholic, they all applauded. When I told them I had given myself to a higher power, they cheered again,” Ms. Whitney told The Bee’s Rick Bentley in 2013. “I’m in a great place because I’ve gone full circle.

Outside of Star Trek, the Ann Arbor, MI. native was in the Broadway musical Top Banana, and appeared in the 1954 movie version of the show. Her TV career included roles on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, The Real McCoys, The Outer Limits, Batman, and Bewitched. She also served as the inspiration for the Chicken of the Sea mermaid.

Legendary R&B Singer Percy Sledge Dies at Age 74

We have lost another music great …

Legendary R&B singer Percy Sledge has passed away at the age of 74 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Percy Sledge is most known for his 1966 hit, ‘When a Man Loves a Woman,’ that topped the R&B and Billboard pop charts, where  it spent 13 weeks in 1966, peaking at No. 1. Amazingly he never received a dime of song writing or air play royalties for the song.  Although it was reported that the singer had died of natural causes; however, he was in hospice care for cancer. His family released the following statement through his manager, Mark Lyman, Percy Sledge died at his home after a yearlong struggle with cancer. The cause of death was liver failure. Percy was married twice and is survived by his second wife, Rosa Sledge, whom he married in 1980, and his 12 children, two of whom became singers.

One of the best songs ever, ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’

Percy Sledge, the R&B belter whose biggest hit, “When a Man Loves a Woman,” became a cornerstone of soul music, died Tuesday. He was 73.

Sledge died in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, said Stephanie Price of the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office. Sledge died of natural causes, said East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Dr. William Clark. He had been in hospice care for cancer, Clark added.

In a career that started in the 1960s, Sledge had a number of hits, including “Take Time to Know Her,” “Warm and Tender Love” and “It Tears Me Up” among them.

But his first and biggest hit, “When a Man Loves a Woman,” towered over them all.

NY Times Obit – Single Session Launched Percy Sledge, No. 1 Hit, and a Sound.

Sledge, who died Tuesday, grew up singing in nearby cotton fields of northwest Alabama and never had been in a studio before that day. He didn’t even know how to work a microphone during that first session, Johnson said.

Johnson had to twirl the volume dials on the recording machine just to keep Sledge’s untrained voice at the correct levels during the session, but it worked. The track would become a No. 1 hit in 1966 and establish Sledge as a rhythm-and-blues singer of the first order.

“It gave us chills,” Johnson said.

Afterward, Sledge became a star and helped his native northwest Alabama establish itself as a recording Mecca that drew Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, the Allman Brothers, Bob Seger and other top-shelf stars of the 1960s and ’70s in search of the “Muscle Shoals Sound.”

Johnson, now 72, said it all began when Sledge sang “When a Man Loves a Woman,” with its haunting lyrics and his mournful, blue-eyed style.

“Everything lined up for this,” said Johnson, who played rhythm guitar for the great Muscle Shoals studio group called “The Swampers.”

Posted April 15, 2015 by
Deceased, Music, Obituary | no comments

Actor Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek’s’ Mr. Spock Dead at Age 83 …”Live Long and Prosper” … REST IN PEACE

Live long and prosper … Actor Leonard Nimoy has passed away at the age of 83 … Rest in eternal peace.

Leonard Nimoy, the actor that will forever be known for his role as Mr. Spock, the half human, half Vulcan first officer of the Starship USS Enterprise has died at age 83. Nimoy died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles, California. According to his wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed Nimoy’s death and said it was a result of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD. The actor tweeted on Jan. 14, 2014, that he had lung disease.  Nimoy had just recently been hospitalized.  Sadly, he has passed.

As Captain James T. Kirk, William Shatner, stated at the conclusion of Star Trek – The Wrath of Khan when he emotionally eulogized Mr. Spock, “Of my friend I can only say this, of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most human”.

Leonard nimoy

 Leonard Nimoy, 1931–2015, Rest in Peace

Leonard Nimoy, the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,” died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83.

His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his death, saying the cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Mr. Nimoy announced that he had the disease last year, attributing it to years of smoking, a habit he had given up three decades earlier. He had been hospitalized earlier in the week.

Yet he also acknowledged ambivalence about being tethered to the character, expressing it most plainly in the titles of two autobiographies: “I Am Not Spock,” published in 1977, and “I Am Spock,” published in 1995.

In the first, he wrote, “In Spock, I finally found the best of both worlds: to be widely accepted in public approval and yet be able to continue to play the insulated alien through the Vulcan character.”

“Star Trek,” which had its premiere on NBC on Sept. 8, 1966, made Mr. Nimoy a star. Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the franchise, called him “the conscience of ‘Star Trek’ ” — an often earnest, sometimes campy show that employed the distant future (as well as some primitive special effects by today’s standards) to take on social issues of the 1960s.

On a personal note, although I am not a Trekky, but I loved the original Star Trek series.  Which is quite sad, because now with Leonard Nimoy’s passing, he has joined fellow Star Trek actors DeForest Kelley (Dr. “Bone” Mcoy) and  James Doohan, (Scotty) in heaven.

Variety – Obit:

Leonard Simon Nimoy was born in Boston; his parents were Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine, and the language at home was Yiddish. He developed an interest in acting at an early age, first appearing on stage at 8 in a production of “Hansel and Gretel.” He took drama classes for a while at Boston College, and after leaving home to pursue his career in Hollywood, he landed his first lead role in the 1952 film “Kid Monk Baroni.”

After serving in the Army from 1953-55, he appeared in small roles in a few films, but mostly found roles in TV series, appearing in episodes of “Dragnet,” “Sea Hunt,” “Bonanza,” “Wagon Train,” “Rawhide,” “The Twilight Zone,” “The Untouchables,” “The Outer Limits,” “The Virginian,” “Get Smart” and “Gunsmoke” before rising to fame in “Star Trek.”

Most recently, he recurred on Fox sci-fi series “Fringe” as maniacal, genius professor William Bell, and he voiced Spock for a 2012 episode of “The Big Bang Theory.”

In addition to his work on “In Search Of…,” Nimoy lent his resonant, intelligent voice to a variety of films, TV projects and documentaries, including A&E docu series “Ancient Mysteries.”

The two videos from the Star Trek movie,  The Wrath of Khan now take even more importance that Leonard Nimoy has now passed. Who could forget in 1982 when Mr. Spock died saving the USS Enterprise and its crew, “The needs of the many, out way the needs of the few. Or the One”.

Mr. Spock Funeral scene from Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan movie

Captain Kirk, William Shatner, delivers an emotional eulogy for his friend Spock … “Of my friend I can only say this, of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most human”.

Former University of North Carolina Tar Heels Head Men’s Basketball Coach Dean Smith Died Saturday Night in Chapel Hill, NC at Age 83 (VIDEO Tribute to Coach Smith)(Update: Michael Jordan, “”He was My Mentor, my Teacher, my Cecond Father.”"

COLLEGE BASKETBALL HAS LOST A LEGEND, DEAN SMITH PASSES AWAY …

Dean Smith, the former legendary head men’s basketball coach at the University of North Carolina died Saturday night at the age of 83. Dean Smith passed away “peacefully” at his home in Chapel Hill surrounded by his wife and five children. Smith’s family said in the statement, “We are grateful for all the thoughts and prayers, and appreciate the continued respect for our privacy as arrangements are made available to the public. Thank you.” It is just amazing how many people’s lives this man touched, how innovative he was within the game and just how many of the greatest players this man coached in his career. Dean Smith was a phenomenal coach, a tremendous competitor and a humble man of such incredible character. College basketball has lost a legend.

Dean Smith, Rest in Peace

Dean Smith

North Carolina Tar Heals

Former University of North Carolina head men’s basketball coach Dean Smith died Saturday night in Chapel Hill, according to the university. He was 83 years old.

“Coach Dean Smith passed away peacefully the evening of February 7 at his home in Chapel Hill, and surrounded by his wife and five children,” the Smith family said in a statement. “We are grateful for all the thoughts and prayers, and appreciate the continued respect for our privacy as arrangements are made available to the public. Thank you.”

Smith was the head coach of the Tar Heels from 1961 to 1997, retiring as the winningest coach in college basketball. He led the Tar Heels to national championships in 1982 (VIDEO – UNC vs. Georgetown) and 1993 (VIDEO – NC vs. Michigan) , to 13 ACC Tournament titles, 11 Final Fours, and an NIT championship, and directed the United States Olympic Team to a gold medal at the 1976 Summer Games.

Dean Smith2

Click HERE or on pic to watch VIDEO

ESPN – Dean Smith dies at age of 83.

Dean Smith taught team work, he taught that no one person was bigger than the team. Sounds profound and easy, right? But try doing it when you have the likes of James Worthy, James Perkins, Michael Jordan and a who’s who of Carolina Blue greats. I can remember the joke of the time when Michael Jordan was at Chapel Hill, of Dean Smith’s coaching career: Who  was the only person ever to hold Michael Jordan under 20 points a game. Of course the answer is, Dean Smith. Some would use this as a punch line or something to hold against Smith, I, personally think it is the sign of remarkable character and coaching. The reason was because team meant more than an individual. Passing the ball and playing defense was just as important as scoring. As Smith once told Jordan during his freshman year at UNC, if you cannot pass the ball, you cannot play. Try attempting to do that in today’s college game. Maybe that is what is wrong with college basketball today.

Smith coached the Tar Heels from 1961 to 1997, going 879-254 and retiring as the winningest coach (VIDEO) in college basketball history. North Carolina won NCAA championships in 1982 and 1993 and reached the Final Four 11 times under Smith.

“It’s such a great loss for North Carolina — our state, the University, of course the Tar Heel basketball program, but really the entire basketball world,” said current Tar Heels coach Roy Williams, who spent 10 years as an assistant under Smith. “We lost one of our greatest ambassadors for college basketball for the way in which a program should be run. We lost a man of the highest integrity who did so many things off the court to help make the world a better place to live in.

“He set the standard for loyalty and concern for every one of his players, not just the games won or lost.”

Smith coached Hall of Fame players Michael Jordan, James Worthy, Bob McAdoo and Billy Cunningham, won 13 Atlantic Coast Conference tournament titles and coached the U.S. Olympic team to the gold medal in 1976.

“He was the greatest there ever was on the court but far, far better off the court with people,” Williams said. “His concern for people will be the legacy I will remember most.

 Coach Dean Smith Tribute Video

VIDEO – Go Heels.com

UPDATE I: Friends, players and colleagues mourn the loss of former UNC coach Dean Smith.

Following the announcement of his passing, several of his former players, friends, colleagues and even current players weighed in with their support and memories of the great coach.

UPDATE II: Reaction to the passing of former North Carolina head coach Dean Smith.

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams released a statement on the passing of Smith.

“It’s such a great loss for North Carolina – our state, the University, of course the Tar Heel basketball program, but really the entire basketball world. We lost one of our greatest ambassadors for college basketball for the way in which a program should be run. We lost a man of the highest integrity who did so many things off the court to help make the world a better place to live in.

“He set the standard for loyalty and concern for every one of his players, not just the games won or lost.

“He was the greatest there ever was on the court but far, far better off the court with people. His concern for people will be the legacy I will remember most.

“He was a mentor to so many people; he was my mentor. He gave me a chance but, more importantly, he shared with me his knowledge, which is the greatest gift you can give someone.

“I’m 64 years old and everything I do with our basketball program and the way I deal with the University is driven by my desire to make Coach Smith proud. When I came back to Carolina, the driving force was to make him proud and I still think that today.

“I’d like to say on behalf of all our players and coaches, past and present, that Dean Smith was the perfect picture of what a college basketball coach should have been. We love him and we will miss him.”

Dean Smith – Sports Century

UPDATE III: North Carolina coaching icon Dean Smith passes away at 83If there’s a Mount Rushmore of basketball, Dean Smith is on it.”

In recent years, Smith had rarely made public appearances as he battled a progressive neurocognitive disorder that affected his memory. The last time fans saw him in the building that bears his name was during a reunion for the program’s 100th anniversary in 2010. Three years earlier, UNC alum Michael Jordan memorably kissed Smith’s head during a celebration of the school’s 1957 and 1982 national championships.

“Dean Smith is one of the great coaches in the history of sport, not just basketball,” ESPN analyst and Duke alum Jay Bilas told The Fayetteville Observer recently. “I think his legacy goes beyond just the wins and losses. He built the program there and a culture. There’s only been a few programs that have been in that rarefied air, and he set a standard that few have been able to reach, not just on the floor, with basketball, but he showed such a social conscience when it wasn’t easy to do so.

“That’s why his legacy is doing the right thing and standing for something, both in basketball and outside of that. If there’s a Mount Rushmore of basketball, Dean Smith is on it.”

UPDATE IV: Michael Jordan Comments on the death of Dea Smith … He was ‘second father’ to me.

“He was more than a coach,” Jordan said in a statement. “He was my mentor, my teacher, my second father.”

Twitter_MJ_Dean Smith

Twitter – @SpearsNBAYahoo

ESPN Sports Anchor Stuart Scott Has Died Age 49 after Battle with Cancer … However, He Will Always Be “As Cool as the Other Side of the Pillow”

It is a sad day in sports today, ESPN’s Stuart Scott has passed away at the age of 49 …

The longtime ESPN anchor Stuart Scott died Sunday morning after an extended battle with cancer, he was just 49 years old. Scott joined the ESPN in 1993 as the network was ramping up to launch ESPN2. That was just the launching bad for Scott as he steadily grew into one of ESPN’s most well-known, well liked and respected personalities … “Boo-Yah.” I remember the founding of ESPN in 1978, let along the launch of ESPN2 and let me just say Stuart Scott brought an energy and a fun and off the wall perspective to the broadcast that you truly looked forward to watching it. It is not very often that sports highlights were must-see TV, but that is the talent that this man had. Stuart Scott did the best thing that any sports anchor could do, he provided us with an escape from the real world and made sports fun. He talked about the games, plays and highlights like we would with our friends. God bless you Stuart Scott, our prayers go out to your family and friends … thank you … rest in peace.

REST IN PEACE STUART SCOTT

stuart scott

Stuart Scoot was first diagnoses with a rare form of cancer in November 2007. He took the vile disease publicly as he allowed us to share in his battle. So many of us either have been in Scott’s shoes or know some one personally who is. Stuart Scott helped us all deal with cancer in our own lives as he battled his. Scott was a beacon of light and remained so positive in his fight against cancer. One of the greatest lessons Stuart showed us all was to not let cancer paralyze you. He lived his life to the end on his terms and that meant being an ESPN sports anchor and commentator to the best of his ability. Please watch the VIDEO below of Scott’s moving speech, it is one of the best ever. For 7 years Scott battled cancer and kept the attitude that “fighting was winning, not quitting, not saying I have cancer, I can t do anything. ” Scott maintained the only way you lose against cancer is to not fight it and to just lay down and have a pity party for yourself.

His personality was infectious … Rest is peace Stuart Scott, you will forever be “as cool as the other side of the pillow.”

To all who have cancer, have known those who have cancer or currently know some one who is battling cancer, we need to remember the words that  Stuart Scott said during his speech after receiving the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the ESPYS on July 16, 2014. Please make sure to watch his acceptance speech below.

“When you die, it does not mean you lose to cancer. You beat cancer in how you live, why you live and in the manner in which you live. So live, live, fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and have some body else fight for you. That’s also very important. I can’t do this “don’t give up thing” by myself. I got thousands of people on Twitter and on the streets who encourage me.”

stuart scott_tweet

ESPN:

Stuart Scott, a longtime anchor at ESPN, died Sunday morning at the age of 49.

Among the features of the new ESPN studio in Bristol is a wall of catchphrases made famous by on-air talent over the years. An amazing nine of them belong to one man — from his signature “Boo-Yah!” to “As cool as the other side of the pillow” to “He must be the bus driver cuz he was takin’ him to school.”

That man is Stuart Scott, and his contributions to the sports lexicon are writ large. But they are only one aspect of his legacy. When he passed away, he left behind so much more. He inspired his colleagues with his sheer talent, his work ethic and his devotion to his daughters, Taelor, 19, and Sydni, 15. He defied convention and criticism to help bring this network into a new century. He spoke to the very athletes he was talking about with a flair and a style that ESPN president John Skipper says, “changed everything.”

“He didn’t just push the envelope,” says sports radio host and former ESPN anchor Dan Patrick. “He bulldozed it.”

Stuart Scott was honored for his fight against cancer at the 2014 ESPY Awards, where he became the latest recipient of the Jimmy V ESPY Award for Perseverance. The award named for college basketball coach Jim Valvano, whose life was also taken by cancer in 1993, and who gave probably one of the greatest speeches in sports history that speaks to one’s everyday life, “Don’t Give Up, Don’t Ever Give Up”.

Stuart Scott’s Moving ESPYS Speech, 

UPDATE I: Remembering Stuart Scott:

Steve Levy, who came to ESPN shortly before Stuart in August 1993 and served as his co-host for the first “SportsCenter” from the new studio last June, put it this way: “I think the audience recognized that when Stuart was on, there was going to be something special. And to his credit, he brought something special every night he was on.”

Tributes to Scott on Twitter, #BooYah

stuart scott_tweet5

stuart scott_tweet2

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stuart scott_tweet4

Remembering Stuart Scott’s first set at ESPN … muted colors in 1D!!!

He made us laugh … ESPN commercial with Stuart Scott and Maria Sharapova … “Can I get that can back?” Priceless!!!

UPDATE II: ESPN Colleagues Remember Stuart Scott. (VIDEO)

Chris Berman, Rich Eisen, Dan Patrick and Gus Ramsey look back on their time working with Stuart Scott

Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo Dead at Age 82

Former Empire state governor Mario Cuomo dead at 82 …

Mario Cuomo, the former governor of New York from 1983 through 1994 has passed away at the age of 82 from heart failure. Cuomo passed away at 5:15 pm of heart failure, surrounded by family in his Manhattan apartment as his son, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, was in Buffalo delivering his second inaugural address of the day. Mario Cuomo was most known for his July 1984 keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention where he offered a rebuttal of President Ronald Reagan’s vision of America as a “shining city on a hill.” They have been spewing division for quite some time.

Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, the liberal son of Italian immigrants and a gifted orator whose talents brought him national stature, died Thursday. He was 82.

Cuomo died in New York of natural causes due to heart failure shortly after his eldest son, Andrew, was sworn in for a second term as New York governor, the office his father had previously held for eleven years. The elder Cuomo had been hospitalized in November for a heart condition, the day after his son won re-election.

“He is in the heart and mind of every person who is here,” Andrew Cuomo said in his inaugural address Thursday. “He is here and he is here, and his inspiration and his legacy and his experience is what has brought this state to this point. So let’s give him a round of applause.”

In a statement, President Barack Obama called Cuomo “a determined champion of progressive values, and an unflinching voice for tolerance, inclusiveness, fairness, dignity, and opportunity.

NY Daily News – Obit.

Mario Matthew Cuomo was born June 15, 1932, in Queens, the third and final child of immigrants from a small village near Naples, Italy. His parents, Andrea and Immaculata Cuomo, owned a grocery store in South Jamaica during the Depression.

Cuomo became a product of the borough’s Catholic schools and a strong athlete: He excelled in baseball and basketball.

A center fielder, Cuomo signed a contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization when he was 19. He was hitting .244 with one homer in 81 games in the Georgia-Florida League when he was beaned by a fastball. He was blinded for a week and never played professionally again.

He went home and attended St. John’s University and then its law school, where he tied for first in his graduating class. In 1952 he married St. John’s student Matilda Raffa, a union that lasted 62 years until his death.

Bill and Hillary Clinton ‘terribly saddened’ by Cuomo’s death.

Hmm, you mean they don’t consider him a “Mafioso” anymore?

“It was Mario Cuomo’s great gift and our good fortune that he was both a sterling orator and a passionate public servant,” they said. “His life was a blessing.”

Police Officers Gather to Remember Slain NYPD Officer Rafael Ramos … Watch Funeral VIDEO Live Streaming

GOD BLESS OFFICER RAFAEL RAMOS, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AND MAY YOU REST IN ETERNAL PEACE …

This morning thousands of police officers have gathered at the Christ Tabernacle Church in Queens, NY to pay their respects and honor one of their own who was gunned down in the line of duty. It is believed that 20 to 25,000 police officers from New York and around the United States will attend the funeral.

“What happened to my father was a tragedy,” Ramos’ son, Justin, said in a tearful eulogy viewed by hundreds of officers in the street who watched on giant television screens outside the crowded Christ Tabernacle Church in Queens. “But his death will not be in vain.”

Ramos, a 40-year-old married father of two, was studying to become a pastor and kept Bible study books in his locker, his commanding officer said.

nypd officer ramos

Who was officer Rafael Ramos:

Ramos leaves a wife, Maritza, and sons Justin and Jaden, the latter of whom recounted how he had to say goodbye to his father in an emotional Facebook post.

“(H)e was the best father I could ask for,” Jaden wrote after the shooting. “It’s horrible that someone gets shot dead just for being a police officer. Everyone says they hate cops but they are the people that they call for help. I will always love you and I will never forget you. RIP Dad.”

Justin, the older brother, spoke at his father’s wake at the church Friday, according to CNN affiliate NY 1.

“My father was a man of character. He was a selfless man,” the college sophomore said. “He always went above and beyond for his family, constantly putting everyone before himself. Dad, I’m forever grateful for the sacrifices you made to provide for me and Jaden.”

Ramos_Funeral Service

nypd officer ramos funeral

THE FUNERAL OF RAFAEL RAMOS – SAYING FAREWELL TO A NYPD HERO

Watch the funeral LIVE of office Ramos

UPDATE I: Police from New England show up in force to honor and celebrate the life of officer Rafael Ramos.

Twitter_Police NewEngland Ramos Funeral

Justin Michaels @JMichaelsNews  ·  2h 2 hours ago

Huge New England police contingency in #NYC supporting @NYPDnews, family of fallen #NYPD officer #RafaelRamos. @NECN

UPDATE II:  Yesterday’s Wake for Officer Ramos:

A sea of blue flooded the streets around a Queens church Saturday morning — thousands of police waiting to pay respects for one of two New York officers who lost their lives in the line of duty last weekend.

More than 25,000 police officers are expected at Christ Tabernacle Church in the Glendale neighborhood for the funeral of Rafael Ramos, the New York City police officer murdered one week ago.

A funeral service and procession for Ramos, 40, will start at 10 a.m. at the church, where he was a 14-year member. A police honor guard took his casket into the church.

Musician Joe Cocker Dies at Age 70 after Battle with Lung Cancer … Rest in Peace

Sadly, one of my favorite singers of all times has passed away … A Classic Rocker.

Singer Joe Cocker, known for his raspy voice and incredible music ballads that included “You Are So Beautiful,”  “Up Where We Belong,”  and his Beatles cover “With a Little Help From My Friends” has passed away at the age of 70 from lung cancer. Cocker’s singing career lasted more than 40 years as he was propelled to super-stardom when he released his version of With A Little Help From My Friends that went to number one in 1968. Many of you younger folks  remember it as the theme song to the TV show, the Wonder Years. However, it was much, much more than that as Cocker would perform the anthem song at Woodstock in 1969, see video below. On a personal note, I was too young to attend Woodstock, but that does not mean my older sister didn’t. Which might explain why my early introduction to music as a youngster, growing up listening to the Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplanes, Lynrd Skynrd, The Who, the Stones, Don McLean, Simon & Garfunkel, The Mama’s and the Papa’s, CCR, Bob Dylan and of course Joe Cocker.

Joe Cocker

Joe Cocker is survived by his wife, Pam, of Crawford; his brother Victor Cocker of Norfolk, England; his step daughter, Zoey Schroeder of Stevenson Ranch, CA and two grandchildren, Eva & Simon Schroeder. What a voice, take a listen HERE, we are going to miss you Joe, God bless and Rest in Peace.

The Sheffield-born singer had a career lasting more than 40 years, with hits including You Are So Beautiful and Up Where We Belong.

His agent Barrie Marshall said Cocker, who died after battling lung cancer, was “simply unique”.

Known for his gritty voice, Cocker – a former gas fitter – began his singing career in the pubs and clubs of Sheffield in the 1960s before hitting the big time.

He was propelled to pop stardom when his version of With A Little Help From My Friends reached number one in 1968.

He performed the song at the famous Woodstock Festival in New York state a year later.

‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ – 1969 Woodstock

Joe Cocker Obit:

“Joe Cocker is a legendary artist of rock and blues history and yet he was one of the most humble men I’ve ever met. His iconic voice will forever be etched in our memories and our thoughts go out to Joe’s wife Pam and his family at this difficult time. Joe will live on in the hearts of millions of fans around the world.” Edgar Berger, Chairman and CEO, Sony Music Entertainment, International, who had signed Joe Cocker to Sony Music Entertainment.

Joe Cocker was born May 20, 1944 in Sheffield, England where he lived until his early 20’s. An outstanding interpreter of songs, his successes include a Number One single in the UK in November 1968 with his version of the Beatles’ ‘A Little Help from My Friends’. Joe’s career took off considerably after he performed this song at the Woodstock Festival in August 1969.

Joe enjoyed long walks in the mountains with his dogs, fly fishing in the Black Canyon, playing snooker with friends and growing tomatoes in his greenhouse year-round.

Joe Cocker is survived by his wife, Pam, of Crawford; his brother Victor Cocker of Norfolk, England; his step daughter, Zoey Schroeder of Stevenson Ranch, CA and two grandchildren, Eva & Simon Schroeder.

A private memorial is planned. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Cocker

Kids’ Foundation, P.O. Box 404, Crawford, CO. 81415. Read More

‘You Are So Beautiful’

Musician Joe Cocker dead at age 70.

Cocker, a song interpreter more than a songwriter, first became known through his hit cover of the Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends,” and a characteristically manic performance at the first Woodstock festival in 1969. His raucous “Mad Dogs & Englishmen” tour of 1970 produced a film and a recording that went gold.

He had a top 10 hit in 1975 on the aching ballad “You Are So Beautiful,” with his voice cracking on the final emotional note and won his first Grammy Award in 1983 for his “Up Where We Belong” duet with Jennifer Warnes, which was the theme of the movie “An Officer and a Gentleman.”

Cocker, who received an Order of the British Empire in 2011 for his contribution to music, released 40 albums and continued to tour after the hits dried up.

Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes: ‘Up Where We Belong’

Ken Weatherwax, Who Played Pugsley on the 1960′s TV Series “The Addams Family” has Died at Age 59

Ken Weatherwax, who played Pugsley on the 1960′s TV series ‘The Addams Family’ has passed away at the age of 59. His niece, Shanyn Vieira, confirmed on her Facebook page that Weatherwax died from a heart attack. Weatherwax was found at his home in California on Sunday.

Pugsley

Weatherwax died of a heart attack at his Box Canyon, California, home over the weekend, said Joey D. Vieira, his half brother. Weatherwax’s body was found on Sunday.

Pugsley, the son of Gomez and Morticia, was a member of the family of macabre oddballs in the television series, which aired on ABC from 1964 to 1966 with its familiar, finger-snapping theme song.

 Ken Weatherwax of TV’s Addams Family has died:

Besides acting on the Addams Family, which was based on the merrily macabre New Yorker cartoons by Charles Addams and ran on ABC for two seasons beginning in 1964 – Carolyn Jones and John Astin starred as Pugsley’s parents, Morticia and Gomez Addams – Weatherwax served in the Army and worked for Universal Studios as a grip, said his niece, Shanyn Vieira.

Former Mayor of Washington, DC Marion “Mayor for Life” Barry Dies at 78

Marion Barry dead at age 78.

Marion Barry, the former mayor of Washington, DC has passed away at the age of 78. Hospital spokeswoman Natalie Williams said Barry arrived at the hospital around 12:30 a.m. and died at 1:46 a.m. He had been released from Howard University Hospital on Saturday following a brief stay. There was no cause was given, but he had suffered from many health problems over the years, including diabetes, prostate cancer and kidney ailments. Barry was married four times and is survived by one son, Marion Christopher Barry.

Barry was first elected mayor in 1978, then re-elected in 1982 and 1986. However, Barry was probably most famous when he gained international notoriety in 1990 when he was videotaped in an FBI sting smoking crack in a downtown Washington hotel room with a female friend.  He was convicted on one count of drug possession and sentenced to six months in prison. Unbelievably, after getting out of prison, Barry was elected to a fourth, and final, term as mayor in 1994. It probably spoke more to the disarray of DC than anything else.

Former District of Columbia Mayor Marion Barry, whose four terms were overshadowed by his 1990 arrest after being caught on videotape smoking crack cocaine, died Sunday morning. He was 78.

Barry D.C. council spokeswoman LaToya Foster says he died shortly after midnight Sunday at a hospital in Washington. He had battled kidney problems stemming from diabetes and high blood pressure and underwent a kidney transplant in February 2009.

But he gained international notoriety in 1990 when he was videotaped in an FBI sting smoking crack in a downtown Washington hotel room with a female friend. He was convicted of a single count of drug possession — jurors had deadlocked on most counts — and sentenced to six months in prison.

Despite the embarrassment, Barry’s political career was far from over. In 1992, he made it back to city government, winning a council seat representing the poorest of the city’s eight wards. That victory helped propel him to a fourth, and final, term as mayor in 1994.

UPDATE I: Barack Obama paid tribute to the late mayor:

Dude, really? I guess if you overlook that little crack thing. (VIDEO)

President Obama on Sunday paid tribute to the late Marion Barry, saying the former Washington, D.C., mayor and councilman made a mark fighting against poverty and spearheading other initiatives that earned him the respect of his city.

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