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Our dearly departed: People who died in 2012

Photo: Courtesy photos, License: N/A

Courtesy photos

El Curro

Photo: , License: N/A

Krisanne Frost


As the year's end triggers our obsessive compulsion for list-making, we look to those we'll miss in 2013. Mourning has its place, but in the tradition of our recent holiday passed, Día de Los Muertos, we prefer a celebration of the lives lived, the sharing of calaveras, epitaphs, and stories to encourage visits from the souls that left us behind.

Below is by no means a full list of those we lost in 2012. We encourage you to go online to sacurrent.com and use this page to share your own stories, anecdotes, poems, and memories. Perhaps you'll trigger a kind visit from the ones we wish were still here.

Alex Caragonne
Architect, author, educator, and art patron Alex Caragonne died September 12 at age 77. A graduate of UT Austin and Cornell University, he taught in the architecture schools of both his alma maters as well as Yale, Harvard, and UTSA. He is the coauthor of The Texas Rangers: Notes From an Architectural Underground and (also with Colin Rowe) the three-volume opus As I Was Saying. Another title, Teaching Architecture, is forthcoming. Plaza Guadalupe is one of his best known San Antonio works.

Lupe Ontiveros
One of the most recognizable and acclaimed Latino TV and film actresses of our time died July 26 at age 69 in Los Angeles after battling liver cancer. Born in El Paso, she would've been 70 on September 17. Besides several nominations and wins in her career, she won the Special Jury Prize for Best Dramatic Acting at Sundance in 2002, a prize she shared with America Ferrera for Real Women Have Curves, and was best known for her role as Selena's murderer in the biopic of the slain Tejano singer.

Krisanne Frost
Krisanne Frost, a well-known local artist and gallery liaison at Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, died December 6 from cancer at age 61 after being diagnosed just weeks prior. Born in Houston and raised in the Hill Country, she was an early resident in the Blue Star complex, and ran a gallery near the McNay Art Museum. For seven years Frost was the vibrant presence who met visitors at the Blue Star galleries, and the one visiting artists turned to when setting up their shows. Bill FitzGibbons, the art nonprofit's director, summed up the experience: "Krisanne was the smile and the welcome that greeted everyone that came into Blue Star."

Johnny Pérez
The drummer of legendary Sir Douglas Quintet, the '60s Tex-Mex rock band featuring Doug Sahm and Augie Meyers, died September 11 in Topanga Canyon, California, at age 70.

Jacques Barzun
Eminent historian, essayist, and educator Jacques Barzun died at his San Antonio home on October 25 at the impressive age of 104. Known for his boundless curiosity (which he claimed was acerbated by insomnia), he published his masterpiece, From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, 1500 to the Present, in 2000 at age 92. Surveying the ups and downs of the last half-millennium, Barzun argued that we're sliding towards another crash that could result in "the liquidation of 500 years of civilization." But, praising the West as a resilient "mongrel civilization," a mélange of dozens of cultures, he predicted it would rise again. A founder of the discipline of cultural history, he was an authority on the composer Hector Berlioz and the history of ideas, but his interests ranged from baseball and philosophy to the detective novel. Born in Créteil, France, Barzun was sent to study in the U.S. at 12, going on to graduate from Columbia University, where he served as dean of faculty, provost, and university professor. Barzun moved to San Antonio, his wife's hometown, in 1996.

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