There may be others (I hope not!) but the ones I've discovered are Ursula K. Le Guin, Kate Wilhelm, Harlan Ellison, Gardner Dozois, and Mary Rosenblum.
Long time readers of science fiction, especially older readers, will recognize some or all of those names. If you like reading sf and you don't recognize those names, please do a Google search, or an Amazon search, and get acquainted with them.
Most died of illness and/or old age. One died in a crash of a private airplane near an airfield in Washington. She was the pilot and the only one aboard.
That one was perhaps the least famous on the list, at least for die-hard science fiction readers.
Mary Rosenblum published and won awards for her science fiction writing, but also for her mystery writing. She was also an expert cheese maker and taught classes for that. And in 2010 she took up flying and relatively quickly became president of the Oregon Pilots Association.
She was also an excellent teacher of writing. She taught at the Clarion West Writers Conference, one of the most prestigious writers conferences in the world.
In 2011 I was ready to give up writing. I'd failed again and again to get anything published. But I decided to give it one more try. I signed up for the basic writing class with the Long Ridge Writers Group (LRWG). If you show enough promise, they pair you up one-on-one with an accomplished author that has also shown an ability to teach. I was fortunate enough to have Mary assigned as my tutor. I published for the first time in 2012, a poem and a short story in Page and Spine, an internet magazine (e-zine) that was just getting started.
I credit her for getting me "over the hump" on the road to publication. At that time she also wrote the newsletter for LRWG which included not only instruction points on writing, but also on publishing, self-publishing, and the hazards of publishers that will rip off an author if they get the chance.
In 2012 she established her own company, The New Writers Interface, to help shepherd new writers through process of writing, especially self-publishing. She billed herself the Literary Midwife and published a newsletter under that title.
I was offered a contract by a publisher for Witchery. The contract was an obvious rip-off, and when I pointed out I wished to renegotiate, he informed me that he did not renegotiate contracts and that his offer was standard in the publishing business. He was either a crook or woefully ignorant. For example, his contract gave the publisher the copyright rather than the author. I declined the offer. I emailed Mary and sent her a copy of the contract offer, which she featured in one of her newsletters as a perfect example of what an author must not sign.
Besides being Facebook friends, we exchanged emails infrequently, mostly she would reply when I had a question or a declaration of success.
Sadly, we'd had little contact over the last two years, so I did not know of her death until this week, even though she died in March. A notice appeared in my email saying that Mary Rosenblum wanted to be friends on Facebook. That was obviously a bogus request.
When I went to Facebook and keyed in her name I was sent immediately to Google, and the notice of her death.
Many friends and associates of Mary in the Oregon pilots community and the science fiction community have written tributes and obituaries.
I guess this is mine. I am very sad...sad about her death and sad that I did not learn of it till seven months after the fact.
Thank you for reading. Please remember to keep in touch with all those special in your life, especially the ones you don't see often—or ever—and whom you won't miss until it's too late.