Stan Lee – The Marvel Genius
Stan Lee had a big personality and created all the Marvel greats we know today from Spiderman, Hulk, Iron Man to X-Men and more. His creative genius led to all the superhero movies we love and adore and will for years to come.
Lee died in November at the ripe old age of 95. He lived a good life with his wife in Joan Boocock Lee, a British-American model and voice actress who passed away in 2017. They lived in Woodmere, Long Island.
Anthony Bourdain – The Culinary Virtuoso
Anthony Bourdain was an amazing and talented celebrity chef, author and TV personality. He was well known for his global expeditions around the world finding the best of culinary delights. He even dined with then president Obama at a Hanoi restaurant on one of his TV shows.
Bourdain took his own life in June in France at the age of 61. He left behind his wife, Ottavia Busia (they were in the process of getting a divorce) whom he married in 2007 and an 11-year-old daughter called Ariane.
Next, this legend was one of the most beloved music legends of all time…
Aretha Franklin – The Queen of Soul
Aretha Franklin was a songstress with a voice that conquered. This lady with a boisterous personality created many famous hits in her time including “Respect”, “A Natural Woman”, “Think”, “Chain of Fools” and “I Say a Little Prayer”.
Franklin died at the age of 76 in August in Detroit, Michigan. She leaves behind 4 adult children and was married twice – to Ted White and Glynn Turman. She was an amazingly strong and confident woman who was in a league of her own. She will always be embedded in our memories as a trailblazer and the brightest star among many of her time.
Margot Kidder – The Original Lois Lane
Margot Kidder was a vivacious actress whom the world fell in love with after 1978’s megahit “Superman” where she played inquisitive and stubborn newspaper journalist Lois Lane. She also starred as Kathy Lutz in 1979’s “The Amityville Horror” which further cemented her A-list status in Hollywood.
Kidder passed away at the age of 69 in May in Livingston, Montana. Often mistaken for Indiana Jones actress Karen Allen. She had married three times to Thomas McGuane, Phillipe de Broca and John Heard respectively. They all ended in divorce. She had one daughter Maggie McGuane who has worked as a photographer, writer, and model.
This British physicist changed the way we look at the universe…
Stephen Hawking – A Brilliant Mind
Stephen Hawking opened our eyes to a new way of looking at the universe and black holes. He was not only one of the most famous scientists of our time but an author as well. His 1988 book “A Brief History of Time” was so popular, it sold over 10 million copies and was translated into 35 languages.
Hawking passed away at the age of 76 in March in Cambridge, United Kingdom. At the age of 21, Hawking was diagnosed with a motor neuron disease. He was married to Jane Hawking from 1965-1995 and leaves behind three adult children – Lucy, Robert and Timothy Hawking.
Kate Spade – The Trendy Fashionista
Kate Spade was an American fashion designer and businesswoman. She founded and was co-owner of the very well-known designer brand Kate Spade New York.
Spade took her own life at the age of 55 in New York City. She was married to Andy Spade whom she wed back in 1994 and leaves behind one child Francis Beatrix Spade who is now 13. Spade left behind a suicide note telling her daughter that she should not blame herself for her mother’s death. Her death came as a shock to many who knew her in the fashion world.
This US president left a political dynasty…
George H.W. Bush – The Political Patriarch
George Bush was the 41st US president of the United States. During his reign, the Persian Gulf War began. He was a member of the Republican Party. He also signed the “Americans with Disabilities Act” which forbade discrimination against people with disabilities.
Bush died in November at the age of 94 in Houston, Texas. His wife Barbara passed away earlier this year in 2018. Together they had 6 children: Jeb, Neil, Pauline Robinson, Dorothy, Marvin and the 43rd president of the United States, George W. Bush.
Gary Kurtz – The Force Was Strong With This One
Gary Douglas Kurtz produced Star Wars, American Graffiti – which won the Golden Globe for best motion picture back in 1974, The Empire Strikes Back and The Dark Crystal. Peter Mayhew, the original and adorable Chewbacca actor when describing Kurtz said that “without him, there would have been no ‘Force’”.
Kurtz died at the age of 78 in September in London, England. He had been married three times to Meredith Alsup Kurtz, Roberta Jimenez Kurtz and Claire Gabriel who passed away in 2018. He leaves behind three adult children Tiffany Leigh, Dylan Antony, and Melissa Dawne Kurtz.
This actor won the heart of women…
Burt Reynolds – The Sex Symbol
Burt Reynolds was Hollywood’s top-grossing actor throughout 1978 until 1982. He was well known for his signature mustache, huge smile, and laugh. People knew him for his roles in Smokey and the Bandit, Deliverance, and Cannonball Run. He was nominated for best supporting actor in 1997’s Boogie Nights.
Reynolds died at the age of 82 in September in Jupiter, Florida, United States. He was married to Judy Carne and the gorgeous Loni Anderson. He leaves behind one adult child Quinton Anderson Reynolds.
Stephen Hillenburg – The Marine Lover
Stephen Hillenburg created the much-beloved children’s cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants. It debuted in 1999 and to this day is the highest-rated Nickelodeon show in its history. The protagonist of the show is an easy-going happy sea sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea. He was a former marine biology teacher.
Hillenburg passed away at the tender age of 57 from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) in November, San Marino, California. He was married to Karen Umland and leaves behind one child, his 20-year-old son, Clay Hillenburg.
This war hero was a presidential nominee…
John McCain – The Popular Republican Senator
John McCain was a war hero, six-term senator of the Republican party and one-time presidential nominee. When he entered the political field, one of the causes that took top priority was finance reform. He was a senator of Arizona from 1987 until he passed away.
McCain died at the age of 81 in August in Cornville, Arizona. He had experienced a rollercoaster ride of a life. He had spent more than 5 years as a North Vietnamese war prisoner and sustained wounds. He was married twice and leaves behind 5 children.
Neil Simon – The Pulitzer Prize Winner
Neil Simon was an American playwright, screenwriter, author and Pulitzer Prize winner. People knew him for his popular plays “The Odd Couple” and “Barefoot in the Park”. He got four Oscar nominations and won Tony awards for Biloxi Blues, The Odd Couple and Lost in Yonkers.
Simon died at the age of 91 in New York City. He was married to Joan Baim, Marsha Mason, Diane Lander, and Elaine Joyce. He leaves behind 3 children, Nancy, Bryn, and Ellen Simon.
This artist helped Spiderman come to life…
Steve Ditko – The Creative Artist
Steve Ditko was an artist that worked on the Marvel characters that Stan Lee created. Even though these characters belonged to Lee, Ditko helped to bring out the characters artistically to life. He worked on Doctor Strange, Spider-Man and the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. In his early life, he studied under Batman artist Jerry Robinson at the Cartoonist and Illustrators School in New York City.
Ditko died at the age of 90 of June in New York City. As far as the public knows, he never married and never had children.
William Goldman – The Accomplished Novelist
William Goldsmith was a novelist and award-winning screenwriter who worked on “The Princess Bride”, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “All the President’s Men”. His first memoir about his career in Hollywood was called “Adventures in the Screen Trade.”
Goldman died at the age of 87 in November in Manhattan, New York. He was married in 1961 to Ilene Jones and got a divorce from her in 1991. He leaves behind two children, Susanna, and Jenny Rebecca Goldman.
This lady took on Marvel characters and helped bring them to life…
Marie Severin – The Prolific Artist & Colorist
Marie Severin was an artist and colorist for Marvel and DC Comics. She co-created Spider-Woman and worked on the Hulk. Severin worked on much-loved characters such as Iron Man, Doctor Strange, the Hulk, Daredevil and The Sub-Mariner. Severin co-created the superhero Spider-Woman in 1976, designing her original costume with Stan Lee.
Severin died at the age of 89 in August in Massapequa, New York. In 1974 she won the Shazam Award for Best Penciller and was inducted into the Will Eisner Comics Hall of Fame in 2001.
Dolores O’Riordan – The Woman With The Angel’s Voice
Dolores O’Riordanm was the lead singer of the band ‘The Cranberries’. In 1994 she blasted the airwaves with the super hit “Zombie” which reached number 1 for six weeks on the Billboard Chart Hits. It played worldwide and the world fell in love with this enchanting Irish lass.
Dolores died at the young age of 46 in January at the London Hilton on Park Lane hotel in Mayfair. Her death was not immediately made public. Eventually, it was leaked to the public that she died drowning in the bath while intoxicated by alcohol. She married and divorced Don Burton and leaves behind 3 children.
Sondra Locke – The Brilliant Actress
Sondra Locke was an American actress and director. She was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her film debut in 1968’s “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.” She starred in many movies and worked with Clint Eastwood who was her partner for over 13 years.
Locke died in November at the age of 74 in Los Angeles, California. In her life, she was an actress, singer, director and author. She was married to Gordon Anderson and her partners in life were Clint Eastwood and Scott Cunneen.