In the last week, many notable Americans passed away. This week saw a famous and beloved rock icon pass, as well as a notable comedian. Meanwhile, the sports world saw two Hall of Famers in their respective sports, NASCAR, and basketball, pass away this week. These amazing people came from various walks of life, helping to shape American culture and life in some way. May they be put In Memoriam forever.


Tom Petty (1950-2017) was a rock musician, singer, songwriter and record producer. He was the lead singer and founder of “Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers”, while also being a member of late 80s supergroup “The Traveling Wilburys” on top having a successful solo career.

Petty is one of the best selling artists of all time, along with also being regarded as one of the most renowned rock stars. He also had many hit songs over the decades from “Free Fallin” to “American Girl.” He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. His longtime manager reported that Petty died on October 2 at age 66 from cardiac arrest.

Ralphie May (1972-2017) was a stand-up comedian and actor. He first rose to fame back in 2003, when he was part of the first season of “Last Comic Standing”, coming in second place. In 2005, he released his first comedy album, “Just Correct.” He would go on to do four Comedy Central and two Netflix specials.

TMZ was the first to report his death, as May died on October 6 at age 45 from cardiac arrest.


Robert Yates (1943-2017) was a NASCAR team owner. In 1989 he started his Sprint Cup Series team Robert Yates Racing with Davey Allison.

He was also the co-founder of Roush-Yates Engines, which most Ford teams now use.

His drivers won 57 races during his time as owner and in 1999 Dale Jarrett gave him his first NASCAR championship by winning the Winston Cup Series. In 2007, Yates retired as a team owner and two years later the team folded and merged into Ricard Petty Motorsports.

In May, he was selected to become a member of NASCAR's Hall of Fame Class of 2018. Yahoo reported that Yates' son announced on Twitter that his dad died on October 2 at age 74 from liver cancer.

Connie Hawkins (1942-2017) was a basketball player who played for the ABL, ABA, and NBA. He was expelled from Iowa his freshman season because of his alleged involvement in the 1961 college basketball point shaving scandal. He was never arrested or indicted but was basically blackballed from the NCAA, NAIA, and NBA.

He then spent one season in the ABL playing for the Pittsburgh Rens before the league folded, being named league MVP and to the All-ABL First-Team.

Hawkins then spent the next four years performing with the Harlem Globetrotters.

In 1967, he joined the ABA in its inaugural season, playing two years for the Pittsburgh/Minnesota Pipers. In his first season, he led the team to the ABA championship, winning regular season and playoff MVP honors. He was also named an ABA All-Star and to the All-ABA First Team. His second season he was once again named a First-Team player but was limited to 47 games because of a knee injury.

He then joined the NBA in 1969 and was assigned to play for the Phoenix Suns. Hawkins would play in the league for seven years with the Suns, Los Angeles Lakers and Atlanta Hawks. He was a four-time All-Star and one time All-NBA First Teamer.

He is in the Basketball Hall of Fame and Suns Ring of Honor. According to NBC 12 News Arizona, Hawkins died on October 6 at age 75.