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Rodgers Review: A year of loss

December 23, 2009 - Pam Rodgers
This will be one of my more solemn blogs. It seemed to me that 2009 brought some of the biggest losses to the celebrity world. In my lifetime, I can’t remember a year that had more well know people pass away.
The most staggering losses was that of Michael Jackson. He is arguably to most famous man on Earth. No one will ever know what it was like to be in his shoes. I know for me personally, it was a bit life-changing because it got me to remember what it was like to listen to his music when I was young. I have reverted back and have listened to his music more in the last six months than I have in the past 10 years. By far, it had the most outcry from the world at large. People can debate for hours then kind of man he was off the stage. But hardly anyone can doubt what he brought to the world with his music and performances. I can’t imagine a world without Michael Jackson in it.
A loss that is closer to home and just as staggering in the hearts and minds of Iowans is the senseless murder of Applington-Parkerburg football coach, Ed Thomas. To have a city go through so much last year with a horrible tornado and then to lose its most influential figure is just mind boggling. No town deserves that much heartbreak.
One of the more sudden losses came at the beginning of the year with the death of John Travolta’s son Jett. What is more heartbreaking to see than someone lose a child. But it makes it harder when you are in the public eye and you must deal with the death while the rest of the world is butting its nose in.
In the same way, losing a wife and mother in Natasha Richardson with just as shocking an exit. This leave Liam Neeson and his children to try and adjust to a world without a loved one while battling to people trying to find out more.
Some iconic figures passed away in Walter Cronkite and Ed McMahn. There is no one who lived in the 60s and 70s who doesn’t know who Cronkite is and remember his voice as one of the best newsmen of all time. McMahon’s face will always be remembered as the announcer and sidekick on the Johnny Carson show and later making a staple of his image in commercials and television host.
There are many other deaths that I have failed to mention. It unbelievable how many people close to the entertainment world that have passed this year. Just going to the internet move database ( and scrolling through all the deaths of 2009 is hard to believe. I feel I have to mention just a few others. Farrah Fawcet passed the same day as Jackson, and it is unfortunate that the attention was taken from such a sad loss. While not as sudden, she fought cancer bravely and will be missed. The same goes to Patrick Swayze who was saddled with one of the worst kinds of cancers a person can get. His loss was sad and it will do him well to remember what he contributed to the acting and music world. Bea Aurthur was also battling cancer and passed in April. While I started watching The Golden Girls in syndication, I will always remember her comedic impact on the show.
As I started this blog, another loss occurred in the entertainment world. The loss of Brittany Murphy. While not everyone will know her movies, she still did have success in her short life. To lose anyone at the age of 32 is just tragic.
This blog is to pay tribute to all those who left us this year. On a worldwide scale and a personal one as well, I hope that the families find peace in their loved one’s passing and to get through the tough times and remember the good times. In Loving Memory...


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