"How are we to help those who die and those who have died?" --
Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

"By writing or reading obituaries,
we can discover ways to make our time on earth more worthwhile, more productive, more meaningful to others." -- Alana Baranick, "Life on the Death Beat"

"'I always read the obituaries in The Times,' I explained to her. 'They make me bloody glad to be alive.'" -- John Mortimer, "Rumpole's Return"

Arthur O. "Punch" Sulzberger

Former publisher of the New York Times -- via the New York Times. He printed the Pentagon Papers, and fought the case for freedom of press in front of the Supreme Court -- and won. 

I love the kicker on Clyde Haberman's comprehensive review of Punch's life:

"'I think that paper and ink are here to stay for the kind of newspapers we print,' he said in a post-retirement interview. 'There's no shortage of news in this world. If you want news, you can go to cyberspace and grab out all this junk. But I don't think most people are competent to become editors, or have the time or the interest.'

'You're not buying news when  you buy the New York Times,' Mr. Sulzberger said. 'You're buying judgment.'"