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2017 Necrology
What is a necrology? A necrology is a listing of people who have died during a specific time period. Find A Grave necrologies let you browse the names and faces of the 75 most famous people who have died during a selected year, all the way back to 1900. They are listed in order of their Find A Grave 'fame ranking', as voted by Find A Grave contributors. To view a necrology, simply select a year from the pop up list below. You can optionally select a category to restrict the list even further (just actors, just politicians, etc.). To visit the memorial page for any of the names listed on a necrology, click on their name or photo.
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Eugene Cernan (1934 - 2017)
American Astronaut. He, as commander of Apollo 17, was the last person to walk on the Moon. He attended Purdue University and graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. He was commissioned in the United States Navy in 1956 and earned his master's degree in aeronau...
 
Buddy Greco (1926 - 2017)
Singer, Pianist. Born Armando Greco, he was a best-selling jazz and pop singer and pianist. He started playing the piano at the age of 4 and was performing on the radio and in clubs at an early age. Jazz legend Benny Goodman hired him to sing in his band when he was 16 years old and he toured the wo...
 
Antony Armstrong-Jones (1930 - 2017)
British Royal Figure, Photographer, Filmmaker. He, also known as Lord Snowden, was the husband of Princess Margaret, the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II, for eighteen years. He also was well known for his photography and film work. He attended Cambridge University and later established himself ...
 
Dick Gautier (1931 - 2017)
American Actor, Comedian and Author. Although he appeared in dozens of television shows and films, he will best be remembered for his role as Hymie the robot in he TV series 'Get Smart' from 1966 through 1968. Born Richard Gautier, he began acting in high school and after serving in the navy during ...
 
William Peter Blatty (1928 - 2017)
Novelist, Screenwriter, Actor. He shall be remembered for his penning of the bestselling, supernaturally-themed work "The Exorcist" (1971), which was made into a popular 1973 motion picture adaptation. He received an Academy Award for Best Screenplay. Born to parents of Lebanese descent, his father ...
 
Jimmy Snuka (1943 - 2017)
Professional Wrestler. Born James Wiley Smith (later changed to James Reiher Snuka), he was well known to wrestling fans for his high-flying style of wrestling that he brought to the World Wrestling Federation in the early to mid 1980s. He trained to go into professional wrestling in the late 19...
 
Tommy Allsup (1931 - 2017)
American Musician and Producer. Allsup, who was a Western swing musician for much of his career, was also the lead guitarist in Buddy Holly and the Crickets. He began his musical career as a member of the Oklahoma Swingbillies in 1949. Over the next few years he played in a variety of bands, includi...
 
Clare Hollingworth (1911 - 2017)
Journalist, Author, Humanitarian. A longtime war correspondent with the British news publication the Daily Telegraph, she will be remembered as the initial reporter who broke the news that World War II had begun in 1939. As one of the earliest prominent women in the field of Journalism, she is consi...
 
Francine York (1938 - 2017)
Actress. Born Francine Yerich, she spent part of her childhood in Cleveland and developed a love for acting which led to her performance in a theater production while in elementary school. She returned with her family to the place of her birth in Aurora, Minnesota and gained attention as winner of l...
 
Tilikum (1981 - 2017)
Orca. Tilikum became a resident of SeaWorld some 25 years ago. He had been born in the waters off Iceland some ten or twelve years previously. In 1983, when it was estimated that he was two or three years old, he was captured near Iceland, then kept for about a year in a holding tank. He then was i...
 
Roman Herzog (1934 - 2017)
German President. He was the first President to be elected after Germany's post-Cold War reunification. He studied law at the University of Munich, received his degree in 1958, and worked on the faculty until 1966, when he began teaching at the Free University of Berlin. He subsequently joined the G...
 
Sylvester Potts ( - 2017)
Singer. Member of the legendary Motown musical group The Contours. He joined the group in 1961, a year before the group's signature hit "Do You Love Me", it hit #1 on Billboard's R&B chart and crossed over to #3 on the Hot 100. The group had three other chart hits during 1963 and 1964 with "Shake Sh...
 
Greg Trooper (1956 - 2017)
American Singer and Songwriter. He was a singer-songwriter whose songs incorporated country, folk, roots rock and soul, that have been recorded by Vince Gill, Robert Earl Keen, Steve Earle and Billy Bragg among others. He began visiting folk clubs in Greenwich Village in his teens during the early 1...
 
Bill Champion (1947 - 2017)
Major League Baseball Player. For eight seasons (1969 to 1976), he was a pitcher with the Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers. Born Buford Billy Champion, he attended Shelby High School in North Carolina, prior to being signed by the Philadelphia Phillies during the 3rd round of the 1965 Ama...
 
David Modell (1960 - 2017)
Professional Football Executive. Born David Orrick McDearmon Jr., he served as the president and COO (chief operating officer) of the National Football League's Baltimore Ravens from 1996 to 2004. He, along with his brother John, were adopted by Art Modell, the owner of the NFL's Cleveland Browns...
 
Mario Soares (1924 - 2017)
Portuguese Statesman. Born Mario Alberto Nobre Lopes Soares, he served as two tenures as Prime Minister of Portugal from July 23, 1976 to August 28, 1978 and June 9, 1983 to November 6, 1985. He also served as President of Portugal from March 9, 1986 to March 9, 1996. He studied at the University of...
 
Frank Spellman (1922 - 2017)
Olympic Gold Medalist. He received a gold medal in the Men's Weightlifting competition during the 1948 Summer Games in London. Born Frank Isaac Spellman, into a Jewish family, he was abandoned by his family at the age of seven and was raised in an orphanage. After developing an interest in weightlif...
 
Peter Sarstedt (1941 - 2017)
Musician, Songwriter. He will be remembered for his 1969 chart-topping single "Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)?". Born in India, to British parents who worked as civil servants for the British Government, Peter returned with his family back to their native England in 1954 following his father's death...
 
Richie Ingui (1946 - 2017)
Musician. Founding member of the 1960s garage band "The Soul Survivors", the will be remembered for their 1967 Top 10 hit "Expressway (To Your Heart)". Along with his older brother Charlie Ingui and Kenny Jeremiah, the formed their first group "The Dedications. Following their relocation to Philadel...
 
Milt Schmidt (1918 - 2017)
Professional Hockey Player, Coach, Executive. Born Milton Conrad Schmidt, he played the center position for the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League from 1936 to 1942 and from 1946 to 1955. He played junior hockey with various teams in Ontario until his rights was acquired by the Boston Bruin...
 
Albert Brewer (1928 - 2017)
Governor of Alabama. He was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 1954 where he served four years as Speaker of the House. Brewer, who was close to previous Alabama Governor George Wallace and then Governor Lurleen Wallace, was elected in 1966 to serve as Lieutenant Governor. After Gove...
 
Oliver Smithies (1925 - 2017)
Nobel Laureate Geneticist. He shared the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Mario Capecchi and Martin Evans for their discovery of the technique of homologous recombination of transgenic DNA with genomic DNA, a much more reliable method of altering animal genomes than previously used, ...
 
Jackie Brown (1943 - 2017)
Major League Baseball Player, Coach. For seven seasons (1970 to 1971 and 1973 to 1977), he was a pitcher with the Washington Senators, Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians and Montreal Expos. Born Jackie Gene Brown, he attended Moss High School in Oklahoma, prior to being signed as an amateur free agent...
 
Georges Pretre (1924 - 2017)
Conductor. A prolific Maestro, he shall probably be best remembered for his operatic performances with the legendarily difficult Maria Callas. Raised in northern France, he manifested his talent early, entered the Conservatory of Douai at eight, and by his teens had transferred to the Conservatory o...
 
Tony Rosato (1954 - 2017)
Italian Canadian Comedian and Actor. He was best known for his regular performances on 'Second City TV' (SCTV) and 'Saturday Night Live', and for providing the voice for Luigi in the animated series 'The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3' and 'Super Mario World'. In 1979, he joined Second City’s Tor...
 
George Kosana (1935 - 2017)
American Actor. Kosana was a character actor who will best be remembered for his role as Sheriff McClelland in George Romero's 1968 cult-classic 'Night of the Living Dead'. He reprised the role of Sheriff McClelland in both 'Living Dead' (2012) and 'My Uncle John is a Zombie!' (2016). He also appear...
 
Nicodemo Scarfo (1929 - 2017)
Organized Crime Figure. He was head of Organized Crime in Philadelphia and was considered for a period, one of the most powerful leaders on the East Coast. Prone to fits of violence, Scafro was personally involved with the murders or arrangement of murders of scores of people over a three-decade per...
 
Kenny Wharram (1933 - 2017)
Professional Hockey Player. For fourteen seasons (1951 to 1952, 1953 to 1954, 1955 to 1956 and 1958 to 1969), he played at the right-wing and center positions in the National Hockey League with the Chicago Blackhawks. Born Kenneth Malcolm Wharrman, he put together two consecutive impressive seasons ...
 
Om Puri (1950 - 2017)
Actor. Puri was a versatile actor known for his roles in Indian, Pakistani, British and Hollywood films. He made his acting debut in the 1976 film 'Ghashiram Kotwal' and became a well-known figure in the Indian film industry in the 1980s before he found international fame in the following decade. Hi...
 
Geori Boue (1918 - 2017)
Opera Singer. A soprano of wide repertoire, she is remembered for her long career at Paris' Opera-Comique during which she specialized in French compositions. Raised in Toulouse, she studied piano and harp from age seven, trained at the Conservatory of her native city, and at 16 made her professiona...
 
Ron Smith (1944 - 2017)
Professional Hockey Coach. Born Ronald Earl Smith, he distinguished himself at football, basketball and field and track while at high school. Additionally, he played baseball and hockey in his neighborhood. In fact, he was good enough on the baseball diamond to be noticed by the San Francisco Giants...
 
Ruth Perry (1939 - 2017)
Liberian Stateswoman. Born Ruth Sando Fahnbulleh, she served as the Chairperson of the Council of State (head of state) of Liberia from September 3, 1996 to August 2, 1997. She graduated from the Teachers College of the University of Liberia and later worked as an elementary school teacher in Grand ...
 
Octavio Lepage Barreto (1923 - 2017)
Venezuelan Statesman. He served as the Acting President of Venezuela from May 21, 1993 to June 5, 1993. He attended the Central University of Venezuela and while there, became a member of the student movement of the Accion Democratica (AD) political party. He graduated with a degree in law in 1947 a...
 
Daryl Spencer (1928 - 2017)
Major League Baseball Player. For ten seasons (1952 to 1953 and 1956 to 1963), he played at the shortstop, second base and third base positions with the New York/San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds. Born Daryl Dean Spencer, he attended East High School ...
 
Jean Vuarnet (1933 - 2017)
Olympic Gold Medalist. Widely regarded as an innovative figure of downhill racing, he was considered by many as being the first to use the "deep tuck position", also known as the "egg position". Additionally, he was the first athlete to use medal skis. He earned a gold medal in the Men's Downhill ev...
 
Nat Hentoff (1925 - 2017)
Newspaper Columnist, Author. Born Nathan Irving Hentoff, he was a well known long time newspaper columnist and famed jazz critic. He graduated with high honors from Northeastern University and did his graduate work at Harvard University. He worked as a teen for Frances Sweeney at the "Boston City R...
 
James Mancham (1939 - 2017)
Seychellois Statesman. Born James Richard Marie Mancham, he served as the first President of Seychelles from 1976 to 1977. He went to law school in England. When Great Britain announced its intention to give Seychelles its independence, he formed the Seychelles Democratic Party. He became the chief ...
 
Akbar Rafsanjani (1934 - 2017)
Iranian Statesman. Born Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, he served as President of Iran from August 3, 1989 to August 3, 1997. He moved to Shi'te holy city of Qom in 1948 to pursue his religious studies and by 1958, had became a disciple of Ruhollah Khomeini. He later became a hojatoleslam, the...
 

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