In the last week, many notable Americans passed away. This week saw a noted character actor, a former basketball player and an important inventor who changed the world all leave us 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.


Brent Briscoe (1961-2017) was an actor and screenwriter who had just over 90 credits to his name in a 26-year acting career. The well-known character actor was best known in film for his roles alongside Billy Bob Thornton as Scooter Hodges in “Sling Blade” and Lou Chambers in a “Simple Plan.” He also worked alongside Tom Hanks as Bill Doge in “The Green Mile.”

In recent years, he was best known for his TV work, playing JJ in “Parks and Recreation” and Detective Dave Macklay in the recently revived “Twin Peaks.” A family spokesperson announced on Facebook that Briscoe had died on October 18 at age 56.

Variety then reported on Friday that Briscoe had suffered a serious fall that resulted in internal bleeding and eventual heart complications, which led to his passing.


Justin Reed (1982-2017) was a professional basketball player who played for the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves. In four seasons at Ole Miss, Reed helped lead the Rebels to their first Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2001 while being named SEC Rookie of the Year.

The following year, they got back to the tournament for only the sixth time in program history. Reed was named First-Team All-SEC his senior season in 2004.

The Celtics drafted him with the 40th pick in the 2004 NBA draft.

He spent one-and-a-half seasons with the team before being traded to Minnesota. Reed was then traded to the Rockets halfway through his first full season with the Timberwolves but was waived after the trade. He then spent his next two seasons in the D-League.

In three seasons, Reed played in 136 games and started nine of them.

For his career, he averaged 3.5 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 0.5 assists while shooting 40.4 percent from the field. According to Ole Miss Spirit, Reed died on October 20 at age 35 from angiosarcoma, a cancer of the blood.


Richard Morley (1932-2017) was an electrical engineer.

He is considered the inventor and “father” of the programmable logic controller (PLC). He was involved with General Motors on the production of the first PLC, the Modicon. He did so while working at Bedford and Associates, the company he founded and was president of, in the late 1960s.

The PLC is seen as a significant advancement in automation and is important in the manufacturing industry. Morley has been honored for his achievements by various groups.

In 1990, he was named Business Week Entrepreneur of the Year. In 1996, Morley was awarded the Prometheus Award by the Automation Hall of Fame. He is also in the Process Automation Hall of Fame (2006) and the Measurement, Control & Automation Hall of Fame (2016). According to Spitzer and Boyes LLC, Morley died on October 17 at age 84.