In order: Gary Gygax passed away, he of Dungeons & Dragons fame. Many, many hours were spent playing D&D in High School until I met my now-wife and somehow the campaigns all fell apart. Which is not a value statement on D&D though it marks a common joke--I really loved the game and with more hours in the day would've wanted to continue DM'ing, but you know...love....
Good timesWithin not too long college came upon me and my group and the life that followed never again allowed for the coordinated time to get the group together. Somewhere, I still have our character sheets. What was poignant was hearing of his death as I worked on illustrations for Dungeons & Dragons. Not only was he a significant contributor to my youth, but the game he created is also currently providing me both employment and food on my table. So here's to you Gary Gygax.
"I'm sorry Dave, I'll have to put you to sleep now."
Next up, Arthur C. Clarke, who at 90 outlived most of his peers from the Golden Age of SF. Books by himself, Asimov, Poul Anderson, Bradbury and other giants made up a lot of my reading through my early 20s after which work and other interests dominated my time. When I was a kid I watched 2001 and fell asleep. I read the book in High School and loved it. I then decided to re-watch the film with my new love of the book in mind...and fell asleep. I know 2001 is supposed to be a classic of film making and all, but its languorous pace just gets to me. Childhood's End was another great title, and I always loved his short stories, including "the Other Tiger" and its multiverse implications. I think I'm a sucker for these metaphysical fictional exercises since Asimov's "the Last Question" ranks as my favorite of his short stories that I've read.
The last death I'll take note of here is that of Herb Peterson. Mr. Peterson was the creator of the Egg McMuffin, whose Sausage-with-egg variety is one of my favorite breakfast items. Herb's invention is the most enduring in my life, as I have eaten these tasty sandwiches from before D&D through now.