Differing milestones

How sad to awake on a Monday morning and learn that two people who meant something in our life had died.

First – and probably foremost – was Margaret Thatcher. She was called the “Iron Lady” and was the longest ruling British prime minister of the 20th century. She was also the staunchest ally of the United States and deserves a lot of the credit for the ending of the Cold War.

Although her conservative views are still controversial in Great Britain, she truly made her mark on the international stage. She deserves credit along with Reagan and Gorbachev for the peaceful ending of the difficult period when superpowers had missiles with atomic warheads pointed at each other.

Thatcher was a formidable presence and her worth during the 1980s is almost incalculable.

The second death we learned of Monday morning was Annette Funicello. To many of us of a certain age (OK, to us oldsters), she was part of our youth as a Mousketeer on The Mickey Mouse Club. She also starred in several Walt Disney movies, including “The Shaggy Dog.”

Then she went on to star in frivolous “beach” movies with the likes of Frankie Avalon. In lighthearted fare like “Beach Party” and “How to Stuff a Wild Bikini,” she was cute, bubbly and every teenage boy’s dream of the perfect girl.

What happened to her later seems very unfair – she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She fought a decades-long battle with MS until succumbing Monday.

So, two very different people die on the same day, but both impacted our life. A brilliant world leader and an adolescent crush. We’ll miss both of them.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.