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Today's obituaries

Steven Kopperud, agriculture lobbyist and writer, dies at 69

His father rose up the ranks of farmers' cooperatives delivering insights into droughts and other topics, but Steven Kopperud vowed to have no part of…

'We messed up': Ex-Alabama senator warns of virus before death

Before his death from COVID-19 last week, former Alabama state senator Larry Dixon spoke to his wife of 53 years from his hospital bed and asked her to relay a warning.

Chuck Yeager, 1st to break sound barrier, dies at 97

Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Charles "Chuck" Yeager, the World War II fighter pilot ace and quintessential test pilot who showed he had the "right stuff" when in 1947 he became the first person to fly faster than sound, has died. He was 97.

'B.A.P.S.' star Natalie Desselle Reid dies at 53

Natalie Desselle Reid, who starred alongside Halle Berry in the 1997 film "B.A.P.S." and on the sitcom "Eve," has died. She was 53.

Tom Keegel, U.S. Teamsters leader, dies at 79

As word spread that Tom Keegel died last month, his family was deluged with cards, flowers and donations from grateful friends and colleagues — a…

Biden picks Xavier Becerra to lead HHS, coronavirus response

President-elect Joe Biden has picked California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to be his health secretary, putting a defender of the Affordable Care Act in a leading role to oversee his administration's coronavirus response.

Former Sen. Paul Sarbanes of Maryland has died, at 87

Former Sen. Paul Sarbanes, who represented Maryland for 30 years in the Senate as a leader of financial regulatory reform and drafted the first article of impeachment against Republican President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal as a congressman, has died, his son said. He was 87.

David Lander, 'Squiggy' on 'Laverne & Shirley,' dies at 73

Actor David L. Lander, who played the character of Squiggy on the popular ABC comedy "Laverne & Shirley," has died after a decades-long battle with multiple sclerosis, his wife said. He was 73.

Principal, mentor Mary Bright, who helped lead troubled youth and young athletes, dies at 57

During more than three decades as a youth counselor and social worker, Mary Bright stood out for her empathy."She was a great teammate, friend, mentor…

Alison Lurie, prize winning novelist, dead at 94

Alison Lurie, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist whose satirical and cerebral tales of love and academia included the marital saga "The War Between the Tates" and the comedy of Americans abroad "Foreign Affairs," died Thursday at age 94.

Kansas man's obit criticizes those who won't wear masks

He was born as America was recovering from the Great Depression and about to enter World War II — periods of national sacrifice his son would recall decades later in an obituary lamenting his death from COVID-19 even as many people refused to wear "a piece of cloth on their face to protect one another."

County moves to protect health staff after deadly outbreak

A Maryland health department is taking new steps to protect its workers six months after a coronavirus outbreak killed a veteran employee who was twice…

Leonard 'Skeets' Langley, champion accordion player and music teacher, dies at 77

Langley started playing the accordion when he was 6. By the time he was 11, he was playing professionally.

Miguel Algarín, a founder of beloved NYC poetry space, dies

Miguel Algarín, poet, professor and a founder of New York City's beloved Nuyorican Poets Café performance space, has died. He was 79.

Rafer Johnson, 1960 Olympic decathlon champion, dies at 86

Rafer Johnson, who won the decathlon at the 1960 Rome Olympics and helped subdue Robert F. Kennedy's assassin in 1968, died Wednesday. He was 86.

American Indian Movement co-founder Benton-Banai dies at 89

Eddie Benton-Banai, who helped found the American Indian Movement partly in response to alleged police brutality against Indigenous people, has died. He was 89.

Lon Adams, Slim Jim jerky recipe creator, dies of COVID-19

Alonzo "Lon" T. Adams II, the man who created the formula for Slim Jim beef jerky sticks, has died from complications of COVID-19. He was 95.

Richard Cisek, who helped put the Minnesota Orchestra in the big leagues, dies at 92

"A giant." "A legend." "A pivotal figure." Despite being on the administrative side of the Minnesota Orchestra — "the man behind the music," as one…

Arizona's Kelly is sworn into Senate, narrowing GOP edge

Arizona Democrat and former astronaut Mark Kelly was sworn into the Senate on Wednesday, narrowing Republican control of the chamber and underscoring his state's shift from red to blue.

Pizza Hut co-founder Frank Carney dies from pneumonia at 82

Frank Carney, who with his brother started the Pizza Hut empire in Wichita, died Wednesday from pneumonia. He was 82.