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Obits of the Week: A Folk Legend, Heroic Veteran, Cartoonist, Marlboro Man and Rodeo Clown

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We stated it in an earlier post on The Finale and we’ll state it again: a well-written obituary—whether it be for a movie star, rodeo clown (see below) or your next door neighbor—can be fascinating, funny, evocative and an opportunity to learn about some interesting people who aren’t necessarily being profiled in major publications.

Each week, The Finale will highlight a few of the many, many interesting obituaries from the week, honoring a handful of the countless magnificent people who left this world better than they found it. The fist installment includes a folk legend, heroic veteran, cartoonist, Marlboro man and rodeo clown.

Pete Seeger, the legendary folk singer and activist who “sang for the labor movement in the 1940s and 1950s, for civil rights marches and anti-Vietnam War rallies in the 1960s, and for environmental and antiwar causes in the 1970s and beyond. ‘We Shall Overcome,’ which Mr. Seeger adapted from old spirituals, became a civil rights anthem.” http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/29/arts/music/pete-seeger-songwriter-and-champion-of-folk-music-dies-at-94.html?_r=0

James David Addis, a WWII hero who, as a teenager, served with the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airbone Division. Jim saw combat in Sicily, Holland and Germany, where he fought in the Battle of the Bulge. After being captured and then released by German soldiers, Addis helped liberate Auschwitz. http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/DailyBreeze/obituary.aspx?n=James-Addis&pid=169407568

Morrie Turner was one of the first mainstream black cartoonists and was most famous for the comic strip “Wee Pals,” which Ebony called “the first truly integrated strip.” Mr. Turner said he wanted the strip to promote tolerance and understanding, or “rainbow power.” He once wrote that of wanting “to portray a world without prejudice, a world in which people’s differences — race, religion, gender and physical and mental ability — are cherished, not scorned.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/comics/morrie-turner-dies-at-90-pioneering-wee-pals-cartoonist/2014/01/28/181143ea-883b-11e3-833c-33098f9e5267_story.html

Eric Lawson, the actor who portrayed The Marlboro Man in the 1970’s, also had bit parts in “Baretta,” “Charlie’s Angels,” and “Dynasty.” He is the fifth “Marlboro Man” to lose his life due to a smoking-related illness. Lawson was later featured in an anti-smoking ad and an Entertainment Tonight segment about the dangers of smoking. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/27/eric-lawson-marlboro-man-dies_n_4671746.html

Quail Dobbs was a rodeo clown for 35 years, and was inducted into the ProRodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2002. He retired in 1998 to become a West Texas judge. http://www.khou.com/entertainment/rodeo-houston/Beloved-rodeo-clown-Quail-Dobbs-dead-at-72-240629861.html

 

 

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