It is the custom for news organizations to end the year with a review. We look back in hopes of gaining some wisdom by sifting through the year’s victories and our losses.
This is the moment when we try to say a final farewell to those we lost in 2018, but, of course, we know Gerald Fischman, Rebecca Smith, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara and Wendi Winters will forever be with us.
We lost them in June, when a man armed with a legally purchased shotgun blasted his way into our newsroom and ended the lives of five people simply going about the business of their lives, working in a profession they loved. Much has been written about this act of violence, and more will come.
But as for anyone who loses people dear to them, the world is different seen through the shattered pieces of lives changed forever by violent death.
We miss you all every day and always will.
There were many others whose contributions to this community came to an end over the past 12 months. We know, as always, this is an incomplete list. For those we omit, your lives were just as valuable.
Hillard Donner, 94, turned an Annapolis liquor store into the leading wine emporium in the mid-Atlantic and spent millions making his community a better place to live.
Gibson Island resident Helen V. "Honey" Passano’s life was defined by her interests in the environment, Chesapeake Bay, the arts and Planned Parenthood.
Terra Walters, 77, of Annapolis was a lover of fine things. Her Porsche and Mercedes Benz were always “parked and ready to go. The longtime restaurant critic for The Capital, she loved a good bottle of wine (preferably Italian), her two cats and most importantly, a good meal.
Boxing promoters usually position themselves to win, setting up their own guys with easy fights when they put on a show. That wasn’t Scott Wagner. The 49-year-old Glen Burnie man was the founder of Ballroom Boxing and won by setting up others.
Donna L. Harrington, 54, of Hanover, associate dean and professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, mentored students for two decades.
Naval Academy graduate Thomas Hudner Jr. was the last living Navy recipient of the Medal of Honor from the Korean War.
Lauraine Wagner, 91, was hired in 1977 as the women’s editor of The Evening Capital, a job she took after her four sons had graduated from high school. She quickly changed the job to become the first community news editor and change the newspaper forever.
Emil George Germanos, 88, of Annapolis was a retired Westinghouse engineer who had a second career building Ocean City apartment houses.
Former Annapolis Mayor John Apostol, 79, was the city’s first full-time mayor and held the office for two terms.
Dr. Larry Linder, 56, was a Baltimore-Washington Medical Center emergency physician who relished active travel and its challenges. He died of a brain hemorrhage while on a hiking trip in the Everest region of Nepal.
Vince DePasquale, 79, was known to many as the "Mayor of Cape St. Claire” and believed to be the longest-tenured president of the Anne Arundel Youth Football Association.
Anne Arundel County lost a sports and life coach in May when former Old Mill High School wrestling standout Daniel Youngblood of Millersville died in a boat accident on the Severn River. He was 51.
Del. Ted Sophocleus, 79, was one of the longest-serving public officials in Anne Arundel County history. The Democrat from Linthicum was running for another term in a crowded District 32 primary election.
Willard R. Mumford of Annapolis — an engineer, educator and retired Air Force officer — worked tirelessly on discovering and preserving Anne Arundel County’s history.
Mary Cherry Lewis, 62, of Millersville was a former special assistant to then-Vice President George H.W. Bush who also wrote political novels.
Annetta M. Richter, 91, of Annapolis had a love of flowers that was reflected in her becoming a flower show judge and serving as president of the Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland Inc.
Jules Smith Sr., 88, was the man who brought the Renaissance Festival to Maryland in 1977.
Kincey Potter was an Annapolis-area resident who became a leading Chesapeake Bay environmentalist after surviving the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. She was 75.
Marsha Frazier of Glen Burnie served the community as president of the North County Emergency Outreach Network for 25 years, helping thousands with assistance for groceries and sometimes medication or electric bills.
Dr. Stuart Walker, 95, was one of the world’s most renowned dinghy sailors and founder of Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis.
Thomas H. Caraker III, 84, of Severna Park had a few nicknames. He was Crackerbox Tom, Tomboy or Trailblazer Tom to some, but the nickname he lived up to most was “Mayor of the B&A trail.”