2012 obituaries of Sacramento-area arts notablesLoading
    The year 2012 witnessed the passing of many influential authors, actors, musicians, directors, dancers and others who contributed greatly to our region's vibrant arts scene. They challenged and changed us with their words, melodies, movements and visions. But mostly, they entertained and inspired. Some were born here, others arrived later in life, but each left a legacy. Here, Bee critics and reporters remember a few whose work affected them both professionally and personally.

    Dave Brubeck, the legendary jazz pianist, composer and bandleader perhaps known best for his seminal piece "Take Five," died Dec. 5 from heart failure. He was 91.

    Read the obituary here.
    Brian Baer | Bee file, 2008
    Judith Waegell, a ranching family matriarch who made classical music as a professional cellist, died Dec. 7 of colon cancer. She was 74.

    Read the obituary here.
    Edna Comerchero, a virtuoso flutist who performed professionally and taught students who became world-class performers, died Oct. 25 of complications from acute myeloid leukemia. She was 80.

    Read the obituary here.
    Richard Cragun, a professional dancer who left Sacramento at 16 to win international acclaim as one of the leading male ballet stars of the 20th century, died Aug. 6 in a Rio de Janeiro hospital. He was 67.

    Read the obituary here.
    Perla Warren, a noted choral conductor and former music teacher at American River College, died July 29 of cancer. She was 76.

    Read the obituary here.
    Linda Louise Arnold, a former professional dancer who helped start and teach the children's theater program at Chautauqua Playhouse for more than 25 years, died July 14 of cancer. She was 71.

    Read the obituary here.
    Eva Rutland, a noted author who wrote about her hopes and fears as an African American mother raising children amid racial discrimination in post-war California, died March 15. She was 95.

    Read the obituary here.
    PAUL KITAGAKI JR. | Bee file, 2007
    Della Davidson, a UC Davis dance professor and innovative choreographer who merged body movements with narrative elements to tell multimedia stories onstage, died March 13 of complications related to breast cancer. She was 60.

    Read the obituary here.
    Debbie Aldridge | UC Davis file, 2004
    Steve Schofer, a veteran musician who played bass for Mick Martin and the Blues Rockers, died Feb. 27 of complications from lung cancer. He was 64.

    Read the obituary here.
    Susan Pressley
    Robert M. Watson, a longtime physician who also performed locally as a top-notch jazz pianist, died July 23 from injuries he suffered in an automobile accident in Southern California. He was 76.

    Read the obituary here.
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