Obituary |

" Back From The Dead"

RIP Doña Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, XVIII Duquesa de Alba (1926-2014)

Sad news of the passing of Excma. Sr.ª D.ª María del Rosario Fitz-James Stuart y de Silva, 18th Duchess of Alba de Tormes, Grandee of Spain (28th March, 1926–20th November, 2014). Known more commonly as Cayetana de Alba or Duquesa de Alba, she was the head of the House of Alba and the third woman to carry the title in her own right. A much-beloved figure in Spanish society, especially in Sevilla (indeed Doña Cayetana considered herself Sevillana at heart, despite not having been born there; in fact, her birthplace was the Palacio de Liria, in Madrid).

RIP Doña Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, XVIII Duquesa de Alba. God bless.

(Click title link for more information on the late Doña Cayetana de Alba; click image for source before modification).


Director Mike Nichols dies at 83.

First finding fame as a member of comedy duo Nichols and May, Mike Nichols was best known as a
director and won the 1968 Academy Award for Best Director for the film The Graduate.

Click through for a look back.

Jimmy Ruffin, Music Legend Dies, 78


Singer Jimmy Ruffin, who had hits with “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” and “Hold On (To My Love),” died Monday in a Las Vegas hospital, according to The Associated Press. He was 78. No details were immediately available about the cause of death.

Ruffin, who was the older brother of late Temptations lead singer David Ruffin, was born in Collinsville, Mississippi in 1936. He signed with Motown and released the Top 10 hit “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” in 1966.

Ruffin lived in England for several years. In 1984, he collaborated with Paul Weller’s post-Jam band the Style Council for the song “Soul Deep,” a benefit single meant to raise money for striking U.K. coal miners.

Fatima Dyczynski passed away in MH17 bombing

Fatima Dyczynski was the founder of Xoterra Space and a fellow student of mine at the space systems engineering departement of Delft University of Technology. I did not know Fatima personally, but it was clear to all she was an ambitious woman with a bright future ahead. Her mission was to make a difference and make space personal.

Fatima was flying to Perth to meet her parents and take on a job at IBM. My thought and condolences go out to her family and friends. I wish them strength in these terrible days.


‘Breaking Bad,’ Journal make ‘Final Jeopardy!’

“He received a real obituary in the Albuquerque Journal in 2013 noting his ‘long battle with lung cancer.’ ”

The answer – or question – of course is “Who is Walter White?”

Only one contestant got it right.

Last year,  Albuquerque science teacher Dave Layman and a group of friends took out an ad with the Albuquerque Journal with White’s obit. The obit went viral and the papers became collector’s items.

Maya Angelou’s life lesson: love liberates 

Dancer, educator, sex worker, activist, speaker, singer, streetcar conductor, author, poet, Hallmark card curator and composer, Maya Angelou lived a fierce and distinguished life. She was recognized as few other Americans have been, winning Grammys, a Tony, a Pulitzer Prize, a National Medal of Arts, a Presidential Medal of Freedom and dozens of honorary degrees. She was the second person to ever read poetry at a presidential inauguration. Perhaps her greatest achievement was the extent to which she loved herself, in a culture not given to convey that message to someone like her.

Read more

“Robin Williams was an actor. That was his calling, and that was his gift. Williams trained in the theater, and attended Juilliard, where he honed his knack for impressions and pretense. But because Williams could invent faster than any writer could write, very early in his career he took his talents to the stand-up circuit, where for however long his set lasted—ten minutes, an hour, more—Williams would turn his own life into an uncommonly complex act of theater. Williams would speak honestly about his relationships, his addictions, his desires, and his perspective on society, culture, and politics. The observations rarely changed much. What changed was the way Williams illustrated them: through characters, references, and riffs that he improvised, inspired by the moment.” [Read more…]

ETA: The Dissolve staff pays tribute to our favorite Williams performances, from Aladdin to World’s Greatest Dad.

Marie Curie was born today in 1867 (Nobel Foundation/Wikimedia Commons). Here’s her obituary from our pages in 1934.

Marie Sklodowska Curie, known throughout the world as Madame Curie, the co-discoverer, with her husband Pierre, of radium, died July 4 in her sixty-seventh year in a sanitarium near Sallanches, France. Seldom in really robust health and frail for the past few years, Madame Curie was nevertheless not believed to be so seriously ill. She had been for five weeks in a Paris clinic and it was at first thought that her ailment was such that a transfer to the mountain districts would be beneficial. However, it seems that her family knew how ill she was. The press reports that her death was due to a form of pernicious anemia, hastened by “a long accumulation of radiations” which prevented her from reacting normally to the treatment for the disease.

The work of Madame Curie is so well known to chemists that we shall not detail it here. A native of Poland, she obtained her early training from her father, who was a distinguished scientist in Warsaw. She soon became engrossed in research which shared with her two daughters her principal interest. For a time she taught physics, and research with her husband, whom she married in 1895, was pursued after hours.

Madame Curie was an extremely modest and retiring individual and chose to devote herself to her work, rather than make the most of the honors that were heaped upon her. She received many distinguished medals from scientific societies, was the only person to have received two Nobel prize awards, was honored by many universities and scientific institutions. During the war, with one of her daughters and a few students, she worked in a hospital near the front, employing her knowledge of radiography in aiding the wounded.

In the spring of 1921 she made her first visit to the United States and was presented with a gram of radium which had been purchased with $100,000 contributed by the people of the United States. At that time she dedicated the new Cryogenic Laboratory of the Bureau of Mines and visited a number of points in this country. In 1929 a return visit was paid to the United States, and in October she was presented with $50,000 with which to purchase a second gram of radium. She was a guest of Henry Ford at the Edison Jubilee held at Dearborn, Mich.

Since 1910 Madame Curie has been an honorary member of the American Chemical Society.

Chemical & Engineering News, July 10, 1934