Monday, February 15, 2016

Saying GoodBye To Those Who Passed This Way

By Darlene Donloe

A number of noteworthy people closed their eyes for the last time in 2015. They were writers, actors, directors, musicians, activists, community leaders and politicians. All were influential in their own way. And, before leaving the planet, they all made their mark and touched the lives of so many.  This column pays tribute to those who passed this way.


Jan. 3 - Edward W. Brooke, the Massachusetts Republican who was the first African-American to be elected to the U.S. Senate since Reconstruction. He was 95.


Jan. 4 – Stuart Scott, ESPN anchor. He was 49.

Jan. 5 – King Sporty. Reggae singer.  He was 72.

Jan. 7 - Jethro Pugh, Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle.  He was 70.

Jan. 8 – Andrae Crouch, gospel singer, songwriter and choir director. He was 72.

Jan. 12 - Clifford Adams, Educator and Kool and the Gang trombonist. He was 62.

Jan. 18 - Rapper A$AP Yams, founder of A$AP Mob.  He was 26.

Jan. 18 – Cynthia Layne. Jazz vocalist. She was 52.

Jan. 23 - Ernie Banks, baseball player, Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer. He was 83.

Jan. 30 - Don Covay (born Donald Randolph), singer/songwriter. He wrote the hits "Pony Time" a #1 record for Chubby Checker, and the Grammy Award winning "Chain of Fools" for Ms. Aretha Franklin. He was 78.


Feb. 3 Charlie Sifford, first black in the World Golf Hall of Fame, first black player in the PGA Tour. He was 92.

Feb. 17 - Kenneth "Wally" Kelly, original member of The Manhattans. He was 74.

Feb. 20 - Ahmad Givens, a.k.a. Real. Appeared on VH1 ‘Real Chance of Love.’ He was 33.

Feb. 21 - Clark Terry, trumpeter and composer. He was 94.

 Feb. 23 – Col. Paul Green, Tuskegee Airmen. He was 91.


Feb. 24 – Dori Maynard, journalist. Daughter of Publisher Robert C. Maynard, former owner of the Oakland Tribune. She was 56.

Feb. 26 - Earl Lloyd, the first black person to play in the National Basketball Association, in the 1950–51 NBA season.  He was 86.

Feb. 28 – Anthony Mason, former NBA player (New York Knicks). He was 48.

Feb. 28  - Charmayne Maxie Maxwell, member of the R&B group Brownstone. She was 46.


March 1 – Minnie Minoso, first black major league baseball player in Chicago in 1951. White Sox left-fielder. He was 92.

March 9 - Gene Patton, “Gene Gene the Dancing Machine’ from ‘The Gong Show.” He was 82.

March 10 – Windell D. Middlebrooks, appeared as the Miller High Life Guy in commercials. Also appeared in a Geico commercial with Kenny Rogers. He was 36.

March 27 - Lady BJ Crosby, singer, actress, Tony nominee. She was 62.


Apr. 5 - Gardner C. Taylor, known as the dean of American preaching. He was 96.

Apr. 14 - Percy Sledge, R&B singer (When A Man Loves A Woman). He was 73.


Apr. 16 – Ben Powers, actor (Good Times). He was 64.

Apr. 17 – Johnny Kemp, Bahamian R&B singer. He was 56.

Apr. 29 - Calvin Peete, Pioneer on PGA Tour. He was known as Mr. Accuracy. He was 71.

Apr. 30 - Ben E. King, soul music legend. He was 76.


May 6 - Errol Brown, fronted the disco band Hot Chocolate. He was 71.

May 14 – B.B. King, blues legend. King of the Blues. He was 89.

May 15 – Ortheia Barnes-Kennerly, R&B singer. She was 70.

May 16 – Adrian Robinson Jr., former Owls defensive lineman-linebacker. He was 25.

May 24 - Marcus Belgrave, Detroit jazz trumpet legend. He was 78.


May 28 – Reynaldo Rey. Actor, comedian. He was 75.

May 28 – Mel Waiters. R&B singer. He was 58.


June 11 - Ornette Coleman, jazz saxophonist, violinist and trumpeter.  He was 85.


July 2 – Charlie Sanders, former Detroit Lions Tight End. He was 68.

July 11 - Joseph Robinson, headed famed Sugar hill Records. He was 53.

July 11 - Claudia J. Alexander, NASA scientist. She was 56.

July 17 - Ms. Melodie, rap pioneer known as Ramona Parker. She was 43.

July 26 - Bobbi Kristina Brown. Reality TV actress, singer. Daughter of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown.  She was 22.


Aug. 3 – Mel Farr, Former Detroit Lions Running Back. He was 70.

Aug. 3 – Brian Breye, Owner of Museum in Black. He was 79.

Aug. 4 – Lynn Manning, Theater executive. He was 60.

Aug. 9 – Sean Price, Brooklyn rapper. He was 43. 

Aug. 9 - Brook Stephenson, Rolling Out journalist. He was 41.

Aug. 14 – Tony Gleaton, photographer. He was 67.

Aug. 17 – Tracy Kennedy, celebrity make-up artist.

Aug. 18 – Louis Stokes, former Congressman. He was 90.


Aug. 18 – Karolyn Ali, film and music video producer. She was 70.

Aug. 19 - Doudou N’diaye Rose, Senegalese drummer and band leader. He was 85.

Aug. 25 – Amelia Boynton Robinson, civil rights activist. She was 104.

Aug. 28 – Darryl Dawkins, Former NBA star. He was 58.

Aug. 29 – Kyle Jean-Baptiste, Broadway actor. He was 21.


Sept. 3 – Don Griffin, former Miracles singer and guitarist. He was 60.

Sept. 3 - William Grier, co-author of ‘Black Rage’.  He was 89.

Sept. 8 - WOL DJ Bobby ‘The Mighty Burner’   He was 72.

Sept. 4 – Morris Alan, contemporary soul singer. 

Sept. 13 - Moses Malone, NBA great. He was 60.

 Sept.       Jerry Moore, Freedom Rider.


Sept. 27 – Wilton Felder, saxophonist, Founding member of The Crusaders. He was 75.

Sept        John Barry Pleasant (J.B. Stone), former program director at KGFJ, KHJ & KJLH in LA, KDIA, Oakland and WHBQ, Memphis.


Oct. 5 - Grace Lee Bogs, Civil rights icon. She was 100.

Oct. 16 - Dr. Beny J. Primm, world expert on HIV and addiction. He was 87.

Oct. 20 - Cyril O. Byron Sr., a Tuskegee Airman who later became an educator. He was 95.

Oct. 23 - Leon Bibb, actor, folk singer, civil rights activist. He was 93.

Oct. 28 - Sam Sarpong, model, actor, host of MTV’s Yo Momma. He was 40.


Nov. 1 - Derrick Gilbert, AKA D-Knowledge, poet. He was 45.

Nov. 1 - Raul Rekow, conga king of Santana.  He was 61.

Nov. 9 – Allen Touissant, songwriter, producer, performer. He was 77.


Nov. 23 – Cynthia Robinson, trumpeter and co-founder of Sly and the Family Stone. She was 69.


Dec. 24 - William Guest, co-founder Gladys Knight and the Pips. He was 74.

Dec. 27 - Meadowlark Lemon, Harlem Globetrotter. He was 83.


Dec. 29 - Billie Allen. Actress. She was 90.


Dec. 31 - Natalie Cole. She was 65.

No comments:

Post a Comment