A professor I had when I was an undergraduate died a few weeks ago. I was taking his course when I decided to major in history of science; I wonder how much I was influenced by the fact that my mother had taken his course about 25 years earlier and hated him.
I ran into a historian of science yesterday who worked with that professor when she was a graduate student and she told me about his death. Apparently he had a disease that required blood transfusions to keep him alive. He was writing a book, and when he had finished the book and mailed it to the publisher he said no more transfusions and died a week later. She saw that as heroic, but I'm not sure I do.