In Memoriam 2018, Rich Paschall
Many people go into our memories as the years go by. Some will linger there always. Some will pass by for a fleeting moment, remembered and then forgotten, as the years put clouds in front of them. Some memories we will cherish always, some not at all.
This past year, as in those preceding it, awards shows and year-end retrospectives highlight those we have lost through their “In Memoriam.” This phrase is from the Latin term meaning “into memory” so it is into our memories we commend those who have left but meant much to us in our lives.
These passings do not only bring sadness for those who are gone, but they also remind us that we are entering a later time in the autumns of our lives. For this thought, we also have sadness for ourselves, knowing winter is near.
I will offer ten names that meant a lot to me in the past. There will be no numbers. It is not a top ten in the usual sense. I looked over some lists and picked ten that have been committed fondly into my memory. You may add yours in the comments.
On the short list, I also had Sen. John McCain, although I disagreed with him often. There was Stan Lee for creating the comic universe of superheroes. Also listed was Stephen Hawking, who had a beautiful mind locked in a diseased and twisted body. The prolific playwright Neil Simon brought us many great movies and plays. Also passing was the former lead of Jefferson Airplane, Marty Balin, and the lead of the Irish pop group Cranberries, Dolores O’Riordan, who died too young (46).
Waving a fond goodbye but staying forever in my memory:
Jerry Van Dyke, 86. The younger brother of Dick Van Dyke began his career by playing Rob Petrie’s younger brother in a few episodes of the Dick Van Dyke show. He is most fondly remembered as an assistant in the long-running sitcom, Coach.
Nanette Fabray, 97. She began her career in vaudeville. I remember her as someone who appeared frequently on the early variety shows of television and later as a frequent game show guest. She fought to show the importance of closed captioning in media, as she had been losing her hearing for many years. Here she performs in the musical “the Band Wagon:”
Tab Hunter, 86. The actor, singer, and writer became a movie star in the 1950s and ’60s. He was a teen heart-throb to many young girls and a few young guys too. He had a number one hit with “Young Love,” although this 1957 performance on the Perry Como Show may not have been his best effort. At least you will get to hear the girls scream:
Harry Anderson, 65. The magician and comedian scored two successful comedy series on television. The first was the long-running Night Court where he played the judge of a Manhattan court at night. Next up was Dave’s World, loosely based on writings of Dave Barry.
Burt Reynolds, 82. Although he had many iconic movie roles as well as highly regarded television series, I enjoyed him most in the sitcom Evening Shade. My memory recalls it as a thoughtful, well-written program with a top-notch ensemble cast.
John Mahoney, 77. The veteran stage and movie actor will be best remembered as the dad on Frasier (and Niles) on the sitcom of the same name. Locally, John was often seen on stage in Chicago in productions of the renowned Steppenwolf Theater.
Roy Clark, 85. The country singer and musician played host on the variety show, Hee Haw. Think of Laugh-In populated with country “hicks.” Having many southern relatives, we were greatly amused by this show and watched regularly.
Bill Daily, 91. Daily was born in Des Moines, Iowa but the family moved to Chicago. He graduated from high school in my neighborhood (long before my time) and went to the famous Goodman Theater school here. He scored two successful stints as a sidekick on television, one in I Dream of Jeannie and the other was the Bob Newhart Show.
Penny Marshall, 75. Best known for playing Laverne on the Happy Days spin-off, Laverne & Shirley, Marshall went on the be a well-respected producer and director. “Big” is a favorite film, the first one directed by a woman to gross more than 100 million dollars.
Aretha Franklin, 76. The Queen of Soul earned a lot of R-E-S-P-E-C-T in her life. The talented singer and musician excelled in many musical categories and earned her place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Chicago based musical Blues Brothers is a favorite with us and the following is one of the best numbers in the film.