How sad to be "dead"

I, who can only write in broken Chinglish, am certainly not qualified to comment on English usage.

Still, I must say I find it odd, and a bit sad really, reading a piece of New York Times news, whose title reads:

Teresa Stich-Randall, 79, American Operatic Soprano, Is Dead

May be it's just me, but I much prefer using "dies" or "passes away" to describe someone who dies of natural causes.