The New York Times Magazine devotes the last issue of the year to people who have passed away during the previous twelve months. Usually they create one short article for the really important/famous people, and then a series of smaller articles for lesser-known but still influential people. I have my own, somewhat more personal list, that coincides a bit with theirs, but not completely.
Gian Carlo Menotti
Seems like we lost a lot of good people in 2007.