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The losses of 2016

Chances are, you lost some cultural icon who meant something to you during 2016, and more than likely more than one.

Musicians seemed to take the brunt of celebrity deaths during 2016, from Prince and David Bowie to two-thirds of the classic rock group Emerson, Lake and Palmer, to Merle Haggard. Fans of the Eagles lost Glenn Frey.

Baby boomers lost Princess Leia as the year drew to a close, the actress, writer and comedienne Carrie Fisher dying at age 60.

In sports, the larger-than-life Muhammad Ali, pugilist, poet and later man of peace, who stood behind his beliefs always, died.

Even fans of Harry Potter and the original “Die Hard” film lost actor Alan Rickman, and literature lost “To Kill A Mockingbird” author Harper Lee as her decades-awaited followup tale debuted. Doris Roberts, the overly protective mother on “Everybody Loves Raymond” died, as did makers of great TV Garry Marshall and Grant Tinker. The world lost the genius of gentle Gene Wilder, too. Patty Duke who rose so far above her early TV role as twin cousins died. A rising star playing Chekov in the new “Star Trek” movie series, Anton Yelchin, was killed by his own car.

There were seemingly countless other major American figures who died, from TV star and producer Alan Thicke to basketball announcer Craig Sager to journalistic giant Morley Safer and reporter and commentator Gwen Ifil to former first lady Nancy Reagan and former attorney general Janet Reno.

We can go on and on but it’s easy to note that the Baby Boom generation is losing its icons, the people who made its cultural roots grow.

And we are touched by all of that, but we must note that for all those who died as celebrities, we’ve been touched by personal losses in the ranks of family and friends. Those are the ones to keep in mind going forward, for they truly did shape lives here.

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