Indiana Mourns the Loss of Notable Names in 2012
Big John Gillis (file photo)
Indiana mourned the loss of some of its biggest and brightest names in 2012.
Indiana University Professor Elinor Ostrom had delighted students. She also won a Nobel Prize for Economics. Neil Armstrong was not a native Hoosier but Purdue University is no less proud of the first man to walk on the moon, one of many astronauts with Purdue diplomas. The Armstrong Hall of Engineering bears his name on the West Lafayette campus. Rose Hulman Insititute of Technology was shocked by the death of President Matt Branam after a medical emergency at his desk. Marian University lost its founder, Reverend Boniface Hardin.
The sports world mourns for Blair Kiel who played football for Notre Dame and the Indianapolis Colts and for Gary native Alex Karras who starred in pro football and, later, television and the movies. And former Indiana University basketball player Neil Reed died in California. He was the player involved in the choking incident that eventually led to the firing of legendary coach Bobby Knight.
Former State Senator and Indianapolis City County Councillor Glenn Howard died in 2012, as did former Lawrence Mayor Paul Ricketts. Indianpolis Philanthropist Marilyn Glick reached the end of a long and productive life.
Indianapolis also lost two broadcasting giants. A generation fought rush hour traffic with the help of traffic reporter Big John Gillis. Chuck Workman hosted a jazz music program on public radio, years after becoming Indiana's first black television sports director.