I was a fan of Jim Aparo. I passed him by during a convention many years ago thinking I would get him next time (I was there on business, so I didn't have anything for him to sign with me). A few years later he died.
I mentioned death in an earlier blog, and really I don't have more to say on the subject. But this death. Mike Wieringo (signed his name Ringo! however) dying of a heart attack needs to be addressed. While I have all the Fantastic Four issues he drew, I was not a "Fan" of his work. That's not to say that it wasn't dynamic, or any good, it was just not my cup of tea.
They say he was very healthy, and a vegetarian. They also say he was very dedicated and loved his work. I never met the man (nor did I ever pass him by), but the fact that he died still affects me. Maybe it's because it was a sudden thing. Maybe it's because he was so...young (44). Maybe it's because he is a "name" that I can associate with (since I have his comics). But regardless, I can sympathize with his family and those close to him.
8/21/08 update: There have been so many deaths since then yet no one is any worse than the one you are associated with. At times I think about how there are so many things that can kill you any given day. Yet we (as a race) still beat the odds.