Okay, I suppose he isn't a celebrity either, but losing Harmon Killebrew, the first Minnesota Twin to make it into the Hall of Fame, and a truly nice man besides, hit me hard last year. It was like losing a part of my childhood. Maybe part of it also had to do with the fact that I had met him a couple of times too.
I'm not exaggerating the nice part either. Aside from raising an enormous amount of money for leukemia research with his Danny Thompson memorial golf tournaments (Thompson was a former teammate of his who died of leukemia in his mid-twenties), he also was a spokesman for hospice care and helped build a bunch of Miracle Fields, which are ball diamonds that are built to accommodate disabled kids. On top of that, in twenty-two years of pro ball, he was never once ejected from a game. His on-line condolence books are filled with stories from people who were touched by his small acts of kindness to them over the years.