Indiana Area Senior High School


By KATE RAIRIGH– All good things must come to an end. The world lost many inspirational people in 2016 as there were many deaths of well-loved celebrities. Senior Kyle Lear remarked, “It’s shocking how many celebrities died within this year, most of them were influential when I was growing up.”

One prime example was rock icon David Bowie, who passed away on January 10, 2016. Bowie was one of the most popular music figures of the 1970’s and wrote some of the most memorable pieces of music during that era.

Bowie discovered in 2014 that he had developed cancer. As a result, his last album, Blackstar, was a reflection on the fact that he knew that he was dying. It’s been rewarding to gain a deeper understanding of Bowie’s mindset and motives towards the end of his life with his production of songwriting and performances.

Along with Bowie’s passing, four days after, the beloved and sometimes loathed Harry Potter actor, Alan Rickman also passed away from cancer. Many young viewers recognize him as Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series, along with a big role in Die Hard. His death profoundly affected the cast of Harry Potter due to the many years that he had worked with them. Although he has passed, he has given laughter, life lessons, and joy to the world. Many expressed tribute to Rickman including Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling who said, “There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman’s death. He was a magnificent actor & a wonderful man.” As devastated as people are concerning his death, his legacy will live on.

A hero of the American space program, explorer John Glenn was a national hero and astronaut. Ohio State University announced on December 8, 2016,  the death of the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962. After years of working with NASA, Glenn retired and moved on to run in the Senate. In 1970, Glenn ran for the Senate, but lost in the Democratic primary. He then won four years later and easily seized victory in the general election, beginning a 24 year Senate career. Glenn was a flier to the end.

And certainly one of the major deaths of 2016, was the passing of Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher. She suffered a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles on December 23, then later died four days later on the December 27. Fisher appeared in Star Wars as the beautiful Princess Leia and reprised that role in The Empire Strikes Back to The Force Awakens, for franchise fans, The Force will always be with her. Senior, Lauren Makara commented, “The deaths of the celebrities were terrible and awful, but we have to remember what they have given to the world and their legacy will live on.”

As tragic as her death was, her mother Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds died soon after learning of her daughter’s death. Reynold’s death was essentially caused by a stroke. Many feel that her death was caused by grief over her daughter’s death. Reynolds was mostly known for starring in Singing in the Rain, Halloween Town, and Charlotte’s Web.Whether she was a witch or a talking spider, she will always be remembered and never forgotten. Senior, Charlie Bennett, “Many of these celebrities were from my childhood, Debbie Reynolds was an amazing actress, along with her daughter.”

2016 was a year we would rather forget as we lost many beloved musicians and Hollywood stars. Here is to hoping and wishing that 2017 will end on a happier note.


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