Randal, plain and simple

HNV: Some who left us in 2023



Early each year for the last few years I have devoted a “Hugh's News & Views” to remembering some who left us during the preceding year. I think it is always interesting to look back and reflect on the names of those who passed away in the preceding twelve months. I group these under the headings of Government & Public Service, Entertainment, Sports, Gospel Preachers, and Family & Friends. The names in each category are listed pretty much in the order in which they died, though I keep no record of the date of their death.

Government & Public Service:

Don Sundquist (former U. S. Congressman and two-time Republican Governor of Tennessee) Bill Richardson (former Governor of New Mexico and Republican candidate for president of the U. S.) Joe Johnson (longtime president of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and member of the church of Christ) Diane Feinstein (Senator from California; longest sitting female senator in U. S. history) Rosalyn Carter (former First Lady of the U. S.) Henry Kissinger (former Secretary of State and adviser of Presidents) Sandra Day O'Connor (first woman to serve on the U. S. Supreme Court)


Barbara Walters (placed in this category for lack of a more fitting one, iconic news reporter, actually died on 12/30/22, but not included in last year's list) Lisa Marie Presley (pop culture icon, only child of Elvis Presley) Gina Lollobrigida (Hollywood movie star, once dubbed the “Most Beautiful Woman in the World”) David Crosby (musician; member of The Byrds; Crosby, Stills, and Nash) Burt Bacharach (songwriter and performer, “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”; once married to the actress Angie Dickinson) Raquel Welch (Hollywood movie star) Harry Bellafonte (singer, actor, activist) Jerry Springer (TV talk show host) Gordon Lightfoot (singer and songwriter; native of Canada) Tina Turner (Rock & Roll legend; native of Nutbush, TN (Haywood County), which I have driven through (does not take long!) on several occasions) Pat Robertson (Televangelist) Jesse McReynolds (Bluegrass musician; mandolin aficionado) Bobby Osborne (Bluegrass musician, also mandolin aficionado; he and McReynolds, ironically, died the same week in June) Jerry Bradley (Music Row (Nashville) executive and producer; member of Country Music Hall of Fame) Paul Reubens (a.k.a. “Pee Wee” Herman; actor) Bob Barker (TV personality; longtime host of “The Price is Right”) Shoji Tabuchi (Japanese fiddler; well-known Branson entertainer; his theater a showcase itself) Jimmy Buffett (singer; entertainer) Suzanne Somers (movie and TV actress; weight loss guru; author) Buck Trent (legendary Country Music instrumentalist; banjo aficionado; Hee Haw regular; Branson fixture) Richard Roundtree (movie and TV actor) Roger Moseley (movie and TV actor; T. C. (helicopter pilot) on “Magnum P.I.”) Matthew Perry (TV actor; “Friends”) Norman Lear (iconic TV producer, including “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons,” and “Maude”) Ryan O'Neal (Hollywood actor; “Love Story”) Laura Lynch (founding member of The Dixie Chicks, now The Chicks) Tom Smothers (TV comedian and entertainer)


Willis Reed (NBA legend) Vida Blue (Outstanding Major League pitcher; helped lead Oakland to three straight World Series titles) Jim Brown (NFL star and Hall of Famer; later Hollywood actor and activist) Brooks Robinson (Hall of Fame 3rdbaseman for the Baltimore Orioles; all 23 seasons spent with the Orioles; winner of sixteen consecutive “Golden Gloves” awards; played in eighteen MLB All Star Games) Tim Wakefield (MLB knuckle ball pitcher; won 200 games, 186 with the Boston Red Sox) Dick Butkus (NFL Hall of Fame linebacker with Chicago Bears where he spent his entire career) Walt Garrison (NFL star with the Dallas Cowboys, also performed on the Professional Rodeo circuit) Frank Howard (MLB slugger and home run hitter; most of career with Washington Senators/Texas Rangers) Bobby Knight (legendary college basketball coach, notably at Indiana for many years, later at Texas Tech.) Frank Wycheck (NFL; popular player with the Tennessee Titans) Cale Yarborough (NASCAR legend)

Gospel Preachers:

Bill Flatt (also professor and former Dean of Harding Graduate School of Religion in Memphis) Nick Boone (never a preacher per se, well-known song leader, social worker (child care), brother of Pat Boone) Robert Taylor (longtime personal friend) Hoyt Kirk (also longtime basketball coach (and other sports); Athletics Director at Freed-Hardeman University) Keith Ellis Gynnath Ford Gerald Miles Walter Buchanan (personal friend) David Pharr (fellow student at Freed-Hardeman, personal friend for over sixty years) Bill Sherrill E. C. Meadows Rick Whittle (knew him when he was a teenager in Mobile, AL) Charles Clark Bruce Ligon John T. Willis (also longtime Bible professor at Lipscomb and Abilene Christian universities) Dorris V. Rader F. T. Patton (also missionary) Ron Brewer (not a preacher per se, but highly respected Bible teacher) Howard Norton (former missionary to Brazil; Bible professor at Oklahoma Christian and Harding universities; former editor of the Christian Chronicle) David Lemmons David Malone Landon Saunders (fellow student at Freed-Hardeman) Terry Broome Jerry Cantrell James Draper Kelby Smith

On a personal note, I was blessed not to have lost any family members during the past year, but some old and/or special friends passed away. Among these were Charles Carlan, an early boyhood friend and schoolmate in DeFuniak Springs, FL (his mother was my sixth grade teacher); Jerry Smelser, a fellow student at Freed-Hardeman who rose to a high position with NASA in Hunstville, AL; Maxine Weaver, my longtime personal secretary at the Skillman church in Dallas and a wonderful friend for her remaining years; Grady Powell, a member of the LaGuardo Church of Christ in Wilson County, TN; and Barry Oliver, a deacon and song leader at the Philippi church in Trousdale County, TN where I am privileged to preach one Sunday each month.

As the late great gospel preacher John Banister often said at funerals, “We are going down the valley one by one.”

Hugh Fulford January 8, 2024

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