Hazel Jane Dickens (June 1, 1935 – April 22, 2011) was an American bluegrass singer, songwriter, double bassist and guitarist.
Her music was characterized not only by her high, lonesome singing style, but also by her provocative pro-union, feminist songs.
Noxolo Nogwaza (1987 – April 23, 2011) was a South African lesbian LGBT rights activist and organizer of the Ekurhuleni Pride Organising Committee. She was raped and murdered by assailants in KwaThema, Gauteng, in an incident which was branded a hate crime.
Yvette Iola Vickers (ne Vedder) (Aug. 26, 1928 – circa 2010, Los Angeles) was an American actress, pinup model and singer. In 1958, she appeared in Attack of the 50 Foot Woman as Honey Parker. The following year she played the role of Liz Walker in Attack of the Giant Leeches. In 1959, she appeared as the Playboy Playmate of the Month for the July issue. Vickers was found in her home roughly a year after her death.
Alfred Mordecai Freedman (Jan. 7, 1917 – April 17, 2011) was an American psychiatrist. A long-time educator and advocate of social justice, Freedman is known for leading the effort to have the American Psychiatric Association declassify homosexuality as a mental illness. Wanda Bullard (April 24, 1948 – Sept. 19, 2011) was the inspiration for The Moth live storytelling events (and subsequent podcast). She was known for telling a story about her father liberating a prisoner on the faith that he would go fetch his bail money in his own previously impounded car — and the prisoner did.
Frank Woodruff Buckles (Feb. 1, 1901 – Feb. 27, 2011), born Wood Buckles, was the last surviving American veteran of World War I. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1917 and served with a detachment from Fort Riley, driving ambulances and motorcycles near the front lines in Europe.
Erhard Loretan (April 28, 1959 – April 28, 2011) was a Swiss mountain climber. Loretan was the third person to have climbed all 14 eightthousanders. He died on his 52nd birthday while climbing the Grnhorn in the Swiss Alps.
Eddie Kirkland (Aug. 16, 1923 – Feb. 27, 2011) was an American electric blues guitarist, harmonicist, singer and songwriter. Kirkland, known as the “Gypsy of the Blues” for his rigorous touring schedules, played and toured with John Lee Hooker from 1949 to 1962.
William Barnard “Bill” Justice (Feb. 9, 1914 – Feb. 10, 2011) was an animator and engineer for the Walt Disney Company. Justice joined Walt Disney Studios as an animator in 1937 and worked on such features as 1940’s Fantasia, 1944’s The Three Caballeros, 1951’s Alice in Wonderland, and 1953’s Peter Pan. He is arguably best known as the animator of the rabbit Thumper from 1942’s Bambi and the chipmunks Chip and Dale.
Chris Hondros (March 14, 1970 — April 20, 2011) was considered one of the most important conflict photographers in the world at the time of his death. He worked for Getty Images. Hondros was fatally wounded in a mortar attack by government forces in Misrata while covering the 2011 Libyan civil war. Photojournalist Tim Hetherington was also killed in the attack.
Leonard Irving Weinglass (Aug. 27, 1933 – March 23, 2011) was a U.S. criminal defense lawyer and constitutional law advocate. In 1972, Weinglass took on the defense of John Sinclair, chairman of the White Panther Party in Detroit. The case led to a landmark decision prohibiting the government’s use of electronic survelliance without a warrant.
David Victor Emmanuel (Feb. 10, 1963 – March 15, 2011), better known as Smiley Culture, was a British reggae singer and deejay known for his “fast chat” style. During a relatively brief period of fame and success, he produced two of the most critically acclaimed reggae singles of the 1980s.
Kaikhosru Dadhaboy (K.D.) Sethna (Nov. 26, 1904 – June 29, 2011) was an Indian poet, scholar, writer, philosopher, and cultural critic. He published more than 40 books. He was also known as Amal Kiran.
Norma Duffield Stong “Duffy” Lyon (July 29, 1929 – June 26, 2011) was an American farmer and artist nicknamed The Butter Cow Lady. She was known for creating elaborate butter sculptures at the Iowa State Fair from 1960 until 2006, when she retired. She also created for celebrities and politicians.
George Charles Ballas (June 28, 1925 – June 25, 2011) was an American entrepreneur. He invented the first string trimmer, known as the Weed Eater, in 1971. He was the father of ballroom dancer Corky Ballas and grandfather of Mark Ballas of Dancing with the Stars.
Frederick Gilman Spencer III (Dec. 8, 1925 – June 24, 2011) was an American newspaper editor. He was editor at The Trentonian, Philadelphia Daily News from 1975 to 1984, New York Daily News from 1984 to 1989, and The Denver Post from 1989 to 1993.
Susan Elizabeth Rotolo (Nov. 20, 1943 – Feb. 25, 2011), known as Suze Rotolo, was an American artist, but is perhaps best known as Bob Dylan’s girlfriend between 1961 and 1964 and a strong influence on his music. She is the woman walking with him on the cover of his album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.
Maria Gomes Valentim (July 9, 1896 – June 21, 2011) was a Brazilian super-centenarian who died at the age of 114 years, 347 days. She was the oldest verified living person in the world at the time of her death.
Yelena Bonne (Feb. 15, 1923 – June 18, 2011) was a human rights activist in the former Soviet Union and wife of the noted physicist and dissident Andrei Sakharov.
Neil Graham Moran (Sept. 2, 1941 – Oct. 27, 2011), known professionally as T. Max Graham, was an American actor. He played the owner of the pencil factory in David Lynch’s film Eraserhead.
Robert Gerald Beaumont (April 1, 1932 – Oct. 24, 2011) was the founder of Sebring-Vanguard, a Florida-based company that produced the Citicar, an electric automobile manufactured from 1974 to 1977.
Lars Sjsten (May 7, 1941 — October 2011) was a Swedish jazz pianist. During the 1960s, Sjsten often worked at the world-famous jazz restaurant The Golden Circle in Stockholm. He played with many jazz greats, like Ben Webster, Dexter Gordon, Art Farmer and Bernt Rosengren.
Elouise Pepion Cobell, Yellow Bird Woman (Nov. 5, 1945 – Oct. 16, 2011) was a Niitstapi (Blackfoot Confederacy) elder and activist, banker, rancher, Native American leader, and lead plaintiff in the groundbreaking litigation Cobell v. Salazar, which challenged the United States’ mismanagement of trust funds belonging to more than 500,000 individual Native Americans.
In 2010 the government approved a $3.4 billion settlement for the trust case. The major portion of the settlement is to be used to buy back lands and restore them to the Native American tribes.
Special thanks to Wikipedia.org. Several of the above obituaries have been edited from the ongoing Wikipedia project found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/death_ in_2011