News & Views » Views

Those who died in 2018 that you might not have realized



With the nationally broadcast send-off for President George H.W. Bush only just in the rearview mirror, and with the calendar's impending turnover to 2019 just a few days ahead, it's that time of year when the notable deaths of 2018 will be aggregated and slideshow-ed for consumption on your favorite mobile device.

You will read about and remember Anthony Bourdain and Stephen Hillenburg and Aretha Franklin and Stan Lee and William Goldman and Paul Allen and Mac Miller and other luminaries whose deaths were of general and widespread interest. What's offered here is different. Yes, these people also died in 2018, but their deaths largely didn't vault from the obit pages of The New York Times or The Washington Post, where notable deaths are chronicled in beautiful and regular fashion, or from the obit pages of the daily papers of cities where these folks lived and worked. Their endings may not have merited a CNN chyron or Twitter Moment headline, but that they were lesser known doesn't mean they aren't worth remembering.

Emily "Mount Fiji" Dole, pioneer of female professional wrestling
Thomas Bopp, amateur astronomer and discoverer of Comet Hale-Bopp
Ursula K. Le Guin, trailblazing speculative novelist
Mark E. Smith, irascible frontman of the Fall
Gary Burden, essential album cover artist of the 1970s
Arnie Lerma, ex-Scientologist who became Scientology's fiercest critic
Judith Leiber, Holocaust survivor and designer of extravagant handbags
Glenn Snoddy, recording engineer and inventor of the fuzz tone
Ted Dabney, electronics engineer and co-founder of Atari
Mike Arnold, owner-operator of St. Louis' Gus Gus Fun Bus
Vladimir Voinovich, Soviet dissident and dystopian satirist
Mary Carlisle, "Baby starlet" who made more than 60 films in a decade
Chief Wahoo, Cleveland Indians mascot and racial flashpoint
Hamiet Bluiett, progressive jazz titan
William Shearer, immunologist and physician to the so-called Bubble Boy
Dorcas Reilly, inventor of the green bean casserole

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.