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13 Overlooked Deaths of 2010

December 27, 2010

Ryan Thogmartin is the CEO of DISRUPT Media | Follower of Christ | Husband | Father | Entrepreneur | Host of #DISRUPTu! and #FUNERALnationtv | Lover of Skittles DISRUPT Media is a social media content agency that focuses on storytelling for funeral companies. We use real stories to build creative strategies that achieve actual business goals.

13 Overlooked Deaths of 2010

imageFrom Apparently, big-time celebrities consider dying to be just so 2009, because after a year of star-studded celebrity passings, 2010 saw only a few big names leave the mortal coil.

And while the Gary Colemans and the Corey Haims hogged the posthumous limelight, we think there were a few others who deserve a little recognition as well, Cracked-style.

#13 – Jan 4th – The World’s Luckiest (or Unluckiest) Man

Who?: Tsutomu Yamaguchi, survivor of both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear attacks of 1945

How?: Stomach Cancer


During World War II, Yamaguchi lived in Nagasaki, but he just happened to be in Hiroshima for business on Aug. 6, 1945. After surviving the attack with just a few burns on his upper body, Yamaguchi, along with two co-workers, hightailed it back home to the safety of … Nagasaki.

Two days later he reported back to work, just in time for the second bomb to hit.

Not only did he survive both atomic explosions without serious injury, but his wife and son made it through unharmed as well. Needless to say, he spent the rest of his life loudly claiming to be a Highlander (or campaigning against nuclear weapons … we forget which).

#12 – Jan. 11 — The World’s Strongest Man

Who?: Joe Rollino, Coney Island Strongman

How?: Hit by minivan.

The Legacy:

Clocking in at a nuggety 5-foot-5, Rollino once moved 3,200 pounds with his back, bent nails with his mouth and coins with his hands, and lifted 450 pounds with his teeth. In other words, there wasn’t a part of his body that couldn’t manipulate matter with brute force.

During WWII, he used his strength to carry four wounded men at a time off the battlefield. And he didn’t die of organ failure or a heart attack like most 104-year-olds — it took a whole minivan to knock Rollino out of the land of the living. But that’s OK, because the word on the street was that Rollino was eager to finally meet Death face to face so he could drag him around the underworld with his pinky toe.

#11 – Apr. 9 — The Munchkin Coroner

Who?: Meinhardt Frank Raabe, one of the last surviving cast members of The Wizard of Oz

How?: Heart attack

The legacy:

As memorable as the Munchkin coroner was in The Wizard of Oz, Raabe really only got 13 fleeting seconds of screen time (declaring the Wicked Witch of the East to be deceased), and his few lines were dubbed over by another actor altogether. But don’t go crying for old Meinhardt, because he not only ended up surviving just about everyone else from the movie but also went on to serve as a pilot during World War II, enjoy a 50-year marriage with his sweetheart and get cast as the Oscar Mayer spokesman. And yes, that meant he got to ride around in that sweet Wienermobile. Jealous?

Meinhardt Raabe: Not only is he merely dead, he’s really most sincerely dead.

#10: May 9 -The Inventor of the Bazooka

Who?: Edward Uhl, inventor of the most hilariously named weapon ever conceived.

How? Heart failure.

The legacy:

Edward Uhl, like most young men in the 1940s, had a problem: How in blazes was he supposed to rocket-launch a grenade toward Nazi tanks without blowing his own face off? Luckily, also like most men in the 1940s, Uhl enjoyed the national pastime of walking past junk piles filled with scrap metal. And it was on one such constitutional that he came across the answer to all his grenade-launching problems: a tube. Uhl figured out that a shoulder-mounted tube could launch a bomb without injuring the launcher. And then he exclaimed, “Ba-ZOOOOO-ka!” And the rest is history.

#9: June 3 – The Original GILF

Who?: Rue McClanahan, the slutty one from The Golden Girls

How?: Stroke

The legacy:

The man-crazed Blanche Devereaux on The Golden Girls was one of the first mainstream portrayals of older citizens as sexual beings. This could have been a step toward respect for the dignity and sensuality of people at all stages in life. Instead, we got granny porn. Thank you for being a friend, Rue.

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