It was an awful year for great talents dying before their time, from Phillip Seymour Hoffman to Robin Williams. But in between those headline-grabbers, we lost other great and fascinating people who you knew when they were famous, but whose deaths probably didn't trend on Twitter for more than a few hours. So, every year at this time, Cracked likes to stop and memorialize the less famous deaths that probably flew under your radar:
Note: Due to the sheer number of the dead this year, we have split this list into two parts. The scythe of the Reaper is never still, friends.
January 16: That Japanese Soldier Who Refused to Stop Fighting WWII
Hiroo Onoda, who if nothing else, was no quitter.
Onoda was an intelligence officer in the Imperial Japanese Army in WWII. In 1944, he was sent to Lubang Island in The Philippines with orders to hamper all enemy attacks and, above all, not to surrender. Onoda took that order very, very seriously. Dude didn't surrender until 1974.
"I think I've made my point."
Yes, your math is correct -- he spent 30 goddamned years running around in the jungle killing locals like the freaking Predator, decades after the war was over. When the Japanese government found out about Onoda's overtime, they tracked down his original commanding officer and sent him to officially relieve Onoda of his duty. When he was found, Onoda's gun still worked, and he still had 500 rounds of ammo, some hand grenades, and the dagger his mother had given him to kill himself with if he was captured (ah, this guy's attitude makes a whole lot more sense now).
Upon his return to Japan, he refused his back pay and refused to run for local government, despite his newfound fame. Instead he quietly became a farmer, and we're guessing no one ever, ever dared cross him.
January 29: The Internet's Other Grumpy Cat
Colonel Meow (aka "the Colonel," "the angriest cat in the world," "a prodigious Scotch drinker") holds the 2014 Guinness world record for longest fur on a cat.
How long was his fur, you ask? Nine inches, pal. However, he was more well-known in the land of the magical Interwebs for his famous "evil scowl."
We weren't kidding about that scotch thing, by the way.
Unfortunately, in order to achieve a scowl so evil, The Colonel had a heart full of hatred -- a heart that caused him serious medical problems and ultimately, his death ... all before he could even get his own movie deal. But don't worry, the Colonel will live on forever, in meme form:
"He's just saying what we're all thinking." --Cats