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People We’ll Miss—2014

A fond look back at 16 Texans—and three beloved Texas animals—who died in 2014.


The end of a year is time for reflection, to cheer victories and lament losses. And sometimes those losses are quite palpable, like the death of loved ones who won’t be coming into the next year with us.

In 2014, Texas saw the passing of some politcal, cultural, and business giants—Robert Strauss, Johnny Winter, and Bunker Hunt, just to name a few—and great tragedy reverberated through the state when an allegedly drunk driver crashed through a barricade in downtown Austin during SXSW, killing four people. 

But here we wanted to remember a few people whose deaths may not have made the same national headlines, yet whose stories need to be told nonetheless: a man who was a loyal salesman for Lone Star for more than sixty years; a woman devoted to justice to her dying day; and a codebreaker during WWII, among thirteen others. And for those on the list whose fame extended beyond our state’s borders, we share how their time in Texas influenced their lives.

This list is by no means comprehensive, and we know that many others died in 2014 too. Please feel free to tell their stories in the comments, as a way to remember the people who made our state—and our lives—great. 

  1. Willard Mercier, 82December 10, 1931–July 17, 2014
  2. Sheila Johnson, 54August 19, 1959–April 12, 2014
  3. Rod Kennedy, 84January 22, 1930–April 14, 2014
  4. Ian McLagan, 69May 12, 1945–December 3, 2014
  5. Robert Heard, 84April 10, 1930–April 15, 2014
  6. Edith Sawyer, 93March 2, 1921–August 8, 2014
  7. Ed Sprinkle, 90September 3, 1923–July 28, 2014
  8. Betty King, 89November 27, 1925–December 1, 2014
  9. Marilyn Burns, 65May 7, 1949–August 5, 2014
  10. The North Central Texas College Softball Team PlayersBrooke Deckard, 20 (November, 16 1994–November 26, 2014); Jaiden Pelton, 20 (December 7, 1994–November 26, 2014); Megan Richardson, 19 (January 23, 1995–November 26, 2014); and Katelynn Woodlee, 18 (February 19, 1996–November 26, 2014)
  11. Animals We’ll Miss
  12. Bobby Keys, 70December 18, 1943–December 2, 2014
  13. Harley Clark, 78November 8, 1935–October 9, 2014
  14. Doc McPherson, 95October 6, 1918–January 25, 2014

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