I remember there was a very long thread dedicated to asking about missing members or whatever happened to.... It was eventually locked and I don't understand why.
Of course the mods can determine the rules anyway the see fit, but I personally don't see the harm in asking about people. Just as someone said upthread this is the internet, there are many long time members that become close and then are missed when they no longer post.
I think it is a genuine curiosity, especially when there are so many long term members. I've been here since the prior board - in fact, I think this year is my 10th year of membership dating back to 2001 (or maybe earlier). Many people come and go, but just like Mrs Wine, I do wonder if something unfortunate has happened.
I belong to a recipe website that recently changed hands. It used to be a very cohesive group and when members passed away, their family notified one of their friends there. We had a few people very sick and knew the end was near, but we also had a couple where the death was very sudden. I think the only person here I remember hearing about passing was Cindy.... and that was years ago.
Anyway, I'm sure some old members have suffered unfortunate endings. I just don't understand why asking about them is discouraged.