It irritates me to hear TV newspeople say “passing” when they are speaking of a death.
In his 1983 (or 1984?) book Class: A Guide Through the American Status System, Paul Fussell wrote, “And of course the middle [class] is where you hear false teeth called dentures, the rich called the wealthy, and dying called passing away (or over). (Proles are likely to be taken to Jesus.)”
“The middles cleave to euphemisms not just because they’re an aid in avoiding facts. They like them also because they assist their social yearnings toward pomposity.”
And in the 1950’s, Nancy Mitford in her essay “The English Aristocracy” characterized “die” as U (Upper Class) speech, and “pass on” as non-U (not Upper Class) speech.